Hoarse Power


How being hoarse helped me

Having been a professional singer for decades, I’ll admit that I was well into my career before I learned that my talent is not evidenced by how loud I yell. And while I CAN yell, and there are audiences who’d prefer to hear me yell, they are not with me Monday through Friday when I’m employing every trick to get my voice back in time for my next singing engagement. How long we last in any industry has everything to do with how well we manage the tools of our trade.  I remember getting a surprise call to do a very high profile gig. It was a major awards ceremony. I was to stand in during sound check for a legendary singer (who’ll remain nameless).  She was scheduled to arrive in time for the televised event. Depending on your achievement level in the music industry, it is not uncommon that you are exempt from perfunctory responsibilities like sound check. This singer is amongst those who are considered music royalty. It was an honor to be asked. “I know you can do it. I’ve heard you sound just like her.” I was silent.  Assuming that I was waiting to be prodded with compensation, the contractor quickly followed up with “It pays…..” I was available and the money was great.  The only problem was that I was still hoarse from my last gig. Being hoarse at the most inopportune time forced me to learn a very powerful lesson. Missing that opportunity taught me to take better care of my instrument.  Now, I warm-up before presenting, I stay hydrated, I insist on proper amplification and I rarely yell anymore.

Whether you speak publicly or sing or act professionally, simple practices like warming up before you address the audience and learning which keys are best for you can increase your performance endurance.

Just like improper lifting can lead to back injuries, using your voice incorrectly can lead to vocal fatigue and hoarseness.

I have known singers to develop lesions on their vocal cords as a result of misuse. If you experience periodic or frequent hoarseness, there is a good chance that you are abusing your vocal instrument by practicing

  • poor breathing techniques
  • speaking in noisy situations
  • using inappropriate pitch (too high or too low) when speaking
  • singing outside of your vocal range
  • not using or improperly using amplification (microphones) when speaking publicly

Whether you are a paid speaker, professional performer or you work in an office building, we all use our voices on a regular basis. To improve the limits of your vocal performance ability, invest in yourself by engaging the services of a professional vocal coach. Click here to learn more about Winceyco Coaching Programs. Click here to join my mailing list


International Vocalist Wincey Terry-Bryant is a business and vocal coach who has been performing professionally since 1988. This native of Newark, NJ has worked with music industry giants such as Sting, Tina Turner, Dorothy Norwood, Tom Jones, Grover Washington Jr. and Dr. Bobby Jones. Wincey has opened for great performers like Regina Belle, Tamela Mann and Ben E. King.  Wincey is the featured singer on Monie Love hit single Its A Shame. Her Television credits include: “Soul Train,” “The Arsenio Hall Show”Spike & Company Do It Acapella,B.E.T. Dr. Bobby Jones Birthday Tribute”,The Cosby Show, and “Late Night with David Letterman.” Her voice can be heard on TV commercials and the famed children’s series “Sesame Street.  

Wincey is a resident artist for the New Jersey Performing Arts Center, a presenter of arts-integration assembly programs for the Arts Horizons Agency, and a teaching artist for the National Wolf Trap Early Childhood Professional Development Teacher Training program. CEO of Winceyco LLC, Wincey’s organizations produce musically-inspired educational programs and promote philanthropic initiatives for under-served populations.  Complements to this work include self-produced inspirational music projects, educational CDs, DVDs, and childrens’ books. 


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