How to Shout at a Protest Without Breaking Your Voice

The statement matters, but it shouldn’t be just metaphorical. If you are participating in a protest, you can sing, applaud, shout, or use your voice to be heard loud and clear. However, fighting injustice is a marathon, not a sprint, so you’ll want to scream again another day.

Before I share some tips, I would like to remind you that yelling is not the only way to get your message across. Since screaming can cause small airborne droplets to form that spread the coronavirus, it’s a good idea to consider other ways of generating noise and messaging. Signs carry a message; drums and other sources of noise can provide loudness. But if you want it anyway or do you need to scream? You will need some of these tips.

Artist @orpheuswannabe on Instagram shared a set of tips on how to take care of your voice during a protest. She also shared a full resource document that has a link to the list of Black Vocal Trainers. If you would like to know more, be it an individual or an activist organization of which you are a part, consider hiring these professionals to provide services to them.

Some of the tips will sound familiar if you’ve ever sung in a choir or had a vocal teacher, but surprise! – they work for shouting too. Here are some of the highlights:

Before you start using your voice, moisturize and warm up well with some breathing and vocal warm-up exercises like these .

During the protest, the guide suggests screaming “from deep within the gut” and imagining the sound coming from your nose and forehead, without getting stuck in your throat or mouth at all. Higher pitches are carried away and can lighten your voice.

If you are part of a group speaking in unison, you do not need to shout over the crowd. Keep your voice at a comfortable volume knowing that syncing with your neighbors will amplify your voice.

If you start to lose your voice, it’s time to stop screaming for the whole day. (You can still wave your sign and continue to support the protest without a voice.) Have some hot tea and rest your voice when you can. The tips also tell you that if you encounter tear gas, recognize it as an irritant and soothe your voice to avoid aggravating the irritation.


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