Thursday, June 15, 2006


It's been a tough year. Since just before the Women in Games conference in Dundee I have had a problem with my throath, voice going when ever I have to talk much. At first I thought it was just a lousy immune system, and that I picked up every bug going around, more efficient than an air filter. After one or two weeks of intensive lecturing, enclosed in lecturing halls with classes from 20-150, it would be a miracle if I did not come down with the strain.

Then I thought it was the travelling, as I tend to come down with a cold the day after I have been somewhere to lecture. When I got sick in the middle of a period of no travel, tucked in my own house, after a meeting including a day of talking to only one healthy person and not 150 students, I started to suspect something else.

Today I am actively resting. I have spent the weekend interviewing players, then one day in a meeting, talking, two days doing oral student assessments and one evening having dinner with and chatting and laughing with Jill and Scott. Now my throath, mouth, jaw, ears, nose, all of it either hurts or itches, and I want to call my doctor and ask if he can hurry up the specialists, I want to figure this out, and now.

Apparantely, singers and teachers have something in common: we tend to strain the vocal cords. This can either be helped by training: learning to relax, ease the voice into a more comfortable register, new techniques of projecting, or it can be helped surgically, by removing the "knots" on the cords.

I hope it's all psychosomatic, or just a bad cold. I'd rather face my fear of talking in public than the terror of a knife - even a lazer knife - in my throath.


Marica Sevelj said...

Hello Torill

I am sorry to hear about your throat problems. As I was reading your post I was reminded of the sessions we had at teacher's training college on how to use our voice and how to protect it. At the time it didn't mean a lot but once I started teaching I soon learnt how important this was. Let's face it, our voices are an important tool for our trade.

I hope your solution for your throat problems is straightforward.

Am thinking of you and hoping it all turns out okay for you.

Best wishes,
Marica (from NZ)

Torill said...

Good to hear from you Marica! Yeah, I think voice lessons would be a good idea, no matter what comes out of this. I have been feeling the strain lately, even when I don't end up whispering. But also thinking consciously about shutting up and let others talk might be a good idea for me. Or not trying to yell over the noise in karaoke bars in Wellington... ;)