For the first time in weeks, I woke up this morning without a sore throat. My "vocal rest" teaching day on Friday, and my "taking it easy" approach at marching band on Saturday really paid huge dividends. I'm not back to 100% yet - far from it - but I can finally see the light at the end of the tunnel.
What they don't necessarily tell new teachers is the fact that teaching is very, very hard on the voice. You need to project a loud, clear, interestingly varied vocal tone to the back corners of the classrooms, in order that students hear and understand what you're saying. The additional factor of musical instruments merely makes it more challenging to be heard.
I've been pretty well vocally trained, and I usually don't have issues with my voice. But, when you're out of teaching for a year, and when you stopped singing for a couple of months because of a summer spent caring for a sick child, it can take a long time to rebuild those muscles to work all day AND to sing all night. It's been pretty horrible dealing with it.
While I can feel myself working back to normal (my voice is still feeling the effects of the cold from which I'm recovering, but it's only a temporary weakness), I need to remember to take it easy for a couple of more days. Thankfully, this week is well set-up for it. Church today was mostly low-voiced music, and I have Tuesday and Wednesday off from school thanks to the Jewish holiday of Rosh Hoshanah. This means that, assuming I can get through Monday without having to raise my voice above a soft speaking level, I should be in pretty good shape for Thursday's long day of auditions, school, marching band and church choir practice.
Of course, if there were less on my plate, and I was - say - sleeping more and had less stress on my life, then things might be a little bit different... but, let's not go nuts.