So these past few weeks beginning around my first performance of the semester, I have been fighting illness. At first it seemed like it could be strep throat, but some tests proved otherwise. Eventually I had a blood test that told me I have mononucleosis. Thankfully, it seems to be a mild strain and I'm slowly recovering. During my first performance I was on prescription steroids that the nurse said would take down the swelling in my tonsils so I could perform more easily. Various singers in school with me advised that steroids are very bad for a singer in that they take away the swelling, but not the problem itself. This is bad because that means you're in danger of damaging your voice even more when on them. However, I made it through the performance unscathed.
When a singer does feel like their voice is tired I know of a few vocal exercises one can do to help strengthen the voice. The most common vocal exercise of this type are tongue/lip trills. These involve singing a note of high pitch while vibrating the tongue or lips. According to the local voice clinic, these must be done as quietly as possible with the least amount of effort while singing the note as long as you can. This warms up and strengthens the voice without damaging it since it calls for little effort. Another exercise a singer can do to strengthen the voice is gliding. To do this one you must think 'choir boy oo' but then close your mouth around it and glide your voice from your lowest note to your highest, while making little effort. This exercise works the contraction in the voice.
There are many more vocal exercises one can do to keep the voice healthy and strong but those are the ones I find the most helpful. Now, to bed to rest my voice. Another busy week of singing!