Vocalists often become sick a day or two before an important event (recital, audition, performance, or competition). Is this stress? What do you suggest the student be told about how to deal with this?
Common illnesses are always the result of stress on the system. Stress comes from many different sources, but the most common is lack of good sleep, exercise, and nutrition. We see this a lot in teenagers, who already have a melatonin shift that makes it hard for them to get up in the morning and hard to get to sleep at night. Pile on lots of homework and perhaps a musical at their high school that has rehearsals every day that run late, and that leaves them little time for healthy habits. Add skipping nutritious meals in favor of junk food…it’s a wonder they can even stay upright!
Vitamin supplements may help the nutrition problem—especially Vit B-complex and Vit C which deal with the chemical changes occurring in stress. For the mucus membranes, Vit A and E are also helpful. It is best to get these naturally from foods, of course, but in a pinch, supplements may keep the teenager’s body running smoothly. Sleep and exercise…all you can do is remind them of their importance.