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Tonsils Removed, Does It Affect Your Singing Voice

  • 25-10-2020 10:02am
    Registered Users Posts: 50 ✭✭

    Hi, quick question, thinking of getting my tonsils removed cause I have infections every few weeks. Does it change your singing voice though? Or is there any examples of singers I could listen to to hear the difference? Please note if you're a singer or not if you can.


  • Registered Users Posts: 13,052 ✭✭✭✭Dial Hard

    It didn't affect my voice but I had mine out quite young (12) and my vocal chords would have been still maturing.

    I don't know of any singers who had theirs out as adults that could compare for you. I think your best bet is to speak to your consultant and ask their advice. Have you been referred to one yet?

  • Registered Users Posts: 807 ✭✭✭Jenneke87

    A vocal coach should be able to tell you, no?

  • Registered Users Posts: 15,119 ✭✭✭✭ILoveYourVibes

    Hih op ..i was a classically trained singer for a while.

    I dunno what type of singing you do. But for most singing the whole idea is to open the throat as much as you can. Which is diff to opening the larynx.

    The larynx is just below the tonsils ..well several inches below.

    It can actually improve someone's voice to have them removed.

    All the flesh in your throat absorbs the sound. And so do tonsils ..having them out can open up your throat ( which is what we seek to do in singing).

    The only thing you need to worry would your larynx getting nicked by something or keloid scarring.

    The operation is not done to your vocal chords. But having sharp instruments around them is obv concerning for a singer but its 99% impossible they get nicked.

    But there are other structures that support singing. Some doctors may not even be aware of this.

    But the muscles under the tonsils are the ones to lift your soft palate which is very important. If you do classical singing you will hear teachers say not off the soft palate ..lift it etc. It feels like yawning with your mouth shut. If THESE muscles or around them are scarred...yes there are difficulties.

    There is such a thing as a 'SINGERS TONSILLECTOMY' in which your surgery is adapted.

    I got a singers wisdom tooth removal when i was 17.

    If you have minimal scarring ( which is usual) and just have your tonsils removed could find after you get used to the extra space that you are a better singer.

    When i got my wisdom teeth out my teacher gave me exercises to move all the muscles (NO SINGING ) just voiceless. And it was to ensure my muscles remained mobile and stopped contraction/scarring.

    Through singing you have been lengthening the pharynx muscles ....and you need to keep that length and flexibility

    I would have a word with a REALLY genuine good vocal coach and a speech therapist and your surgeon ask then if they have worked with singers before.

    But having said all that .....its likely you won't have much scarring. But you just have to ask your surgeon to try and keep the scarring away from the soft palate and the pharnyx muscles

    Tell the doctors you are a singer and you are worried. They have heard it all before.

    Also ask your singing teacher for VOICELESS exercises to stop contraction from any scarring. You need to keep the length/flexibility in the area. Not to do them too soon.

    The candle blowing thingy ...blowing up balloons ....from the diaphragm ...any breath builder thingies

    remember the diaphragm can pull on these muscles too to help them and its often gentler than actually trying to mobilize the actual muscles your breathing exercises will help. Do your vowels and dipthongs.

    Dipthongs might be something you do later. They tend to really activate the pharynx muscles even if you were not trying to..

    Just let everyone know your worries. I think you would be fine.

    At first your voice can sound a bit nasal you won't want to move the muscles around the area immediately ..

    As i said ..start activating them from breathing (diaphragmatic ) first its protective and gentler but believe me the diaphragm helps dilate the pharynx its the pull you get from supported breathing during a long phrase of singing. So you don't need to directly activate the pharynx muscles to lengthen them.

    I am sure you know that as a singer though. So if you could just do your breathing exercises totally voiceless that would lengthen the muscles in a gentle way. Some non classical singers don't know the diaphragm and breathing CAN actually work the throat muscles even if you don't use your they go straight into throat exercises or voice exercises too soon. Obv ask your doc first they may suggest you do nothing for week etc.

    Sorry this post is so long. Its just this is something i know about. I was a classical singer for years.

  • Registered Users Posts: 15,119 ✭✭✭✭ILoveYourVibes

    OP if i were you ...i would tell the doctors doing it i am a singer and ask they take every precaution . I would listen to their advice and then ask the advice of a speech therapist and my singing teacher.

    Get it done ...then after do nothing but breathing exercises for 6 weeks. Then slowly ease myself in.