Two weeks ago I've started taking singing lessons to learn the proper technique and improve the extension.
The teacher gave me 2-3 exercises to do at home that are involved with correct breathing (like standing in front of a mirror, inhale profoundly, feel the ribs/stomach widen and then exhale producing a constant "S" sounds, or also saying number for as long I have breath).
Other than this, we started to study a song this way: she made me mark on the lyrics where the singer takes a breath so that I have visual assistance to do the same, and sing the song in pieces by taking a deep breath with my mouth every time the singer does that, so that I can learn step by step how to breath correctly during a song.
So the problem is that after studying I always feel a little itchy in the throat, nothing really painful, but it's bothering because it's clear that I'm doing something wrong and I don't want to ruin my voice.
I'm gonna see the teacher again only next month due to work stuff, but until then I want to keep practicing but I'm scared how to handle this.
I can tell I'm breathing correctly at least for the inhaling part, feeling the stomach and ribs opening; I've seen few videos explaining how to breath and I've seen I was breathing correctly, so I'm afraid there's something wrong in the way I exhale, could it be?
That maybe I still push somehow with my throat and not just let the air flow out? Maybe not pushing with the lungs/diaphragm? How can I prevent this from happening?


2 Answers 2


Ok, where is that itch? deep in the neck or higher? Is it really an itch or a mild strain? I am 3 months into lessons and I have a mild strain in my larnyx - above the Adam's apple ... below is the esophogus. If it's that then it's not breathing, it straining ... trying slightly too hard because you really do want to exercise getting the most sound out you can ... it's actually yelling a note and not so much focusing on delicate singing.

After a few total hours of singing ten minutes, stopping when I get the strain for a few hours, starting again, you'll find it gets the workout needed and you'll be able to have control over your larnyx so you can open it wide as possible as needed.

At this point you're developing awareness of the back of the throat and combining it with some moderate/strong but smooth diaphragm support. In a few weeks ... some 3-4-5 hours of 10-15 minutes practice and good rest you'll see that you'll be able to 'yell musically' and the strain to reach higher notes will the same volume will start to go away.

((IF! it's a mild strain and not truly something else being a tickle or itch or such.))

Also... warm salt water gargles, warm decaf tea, Riccola or Fisherman's Friend ... specically.

  • Hi, thank you, the itch in the tonsil zone/beginning of the esophogus, right where you usually have sore throat and you feel pain when you swallow. It's not a big pain, it's just itchy (not mild strain). Can it be also poor hydration?
    – Usr
    Oct 23, 2019 at 7:20
  • 1
    Yes, hydration sound like the issue. Please see my answer too.
    – user50691
    Oct 23, 2019 at 14:24
  • 1
    ggcg's answer is best. My example is not your situation. Oct 23, 2019 at 15:00

You are doing something that does not feel natural yet and that will take time. I have studied classical voice for a couple years now (still a beginner). I can tell you from personal experience that you will feel strange tickles and buzzing and all sorts of weird feelings. Some are normal and some an indication of strain. You need to tell your instructor what you are feeling and they will probably be able to figure out if you're just getting used to a new exercise or if you should take a break.

Proper singing technique excites the sinuses. When you do lip trills and other exercises in the upper limit of your range you can feel the buzz in your forehead, nose, behind the eyes. It feels wacky but it's normal. In fact it can clear the sinuses, singing is a good way to clear it out when you have a cold or allergies. On the flip side singers get a lot more activity in the sinus as a result of this work and that leads to feelings of post nasal drip etc.

As for a breathing exercise are you inhaling through your mouth or nose? As you do these exercises you will dry out your mucus membranes and that can make your throat feel scratchy. Just drink water occasionally when you practice. My teacher actually puts out water bottles for all her students.

I cannot diagnose what you feel but it sounds to me like you are just not familiar with what feelings are normal vs abnormal and your are not yet familiar with how to handle them. Again, tell your teacher how the throat feels and see what they say.

  • Hi, thank you. When I practice doing the exercises I inhale with the nose, and in that case I don't feel the itch. But when we practice singing, I inhale with the mouth and in that case I feel that sensation.
    – Usr
    Oct 23, 2019 at 14:28
  • 1
    It sounds like hydration but ask your teacher.
    – user50691
    Oct 23, 2019 at 14:40

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