Thursday, July 3, 2014

How To Start Singing.

So you want to start singing? Great! You might be so excited you can’t wait for your first lesson. If you are like most people, you may also be filled with a little trepidation or even outright anxiety. Here are 5 pieces of advice to help make that first lesson a great one.
1. You Are Not Supposed To Know Anything Yet.
Your teacher is not a judge on American Idol. Remember that when you walk into your first lesson and first learn how to start singing, it is their job to teach you, not your job to impress them. Relax, take a deep breath, and enjoy learning how to sing from someone who has dedicated their life to it. They will appreciate you acknowledging their expertise, and you will be relieved from the pressure to perform.
2. Love Your Mistakes.
Mistakes are not mistakes, they are part of the learning process. Imagine that instead of learning to sing, you were learning to play guitar. Would you cringe and crumble every time you plucked the wrong note? Probably not. Guitar players understand that the best way to learn is to experiment with their instruments. The same goes for singing! Learn to love your mistakes – they will make you a better singer.
3. You are not Beyonce.
One of the most common complaints I hear from students is, “I want to sound like Beyonce… Kelly Clarkson… Ed Sheeran…” The truth is, you will probably never sound like the famous person you want to sound like. This is because each person is born with their own unique instrument, and there is no changing that. You wouldn’t yell at a ukulele because it doesn’t sound like a Fender Strat. Go into your first lesson excited to discover your own unique sound, and I guarantee you will be pleasantly surprised.
4. Rome wasn’t built in a day.
Before you begin your lessons know that singing well takes a lot of time, energy, and dedication. How long it will take you to sing well depends on your level of natural talent, the technique you are learning, your practice schedule, and how often you take lessons. Singers are vocal athletes, and muscle memory training takes time. Also remember that your teacher has been studying singing for many years. Don’t expect to match his or her level of mastery overnight.
5. Enjoy the Ride.
You and your teacher have one very important thing in common – you both love to sing. Remember what inspired you to start singing in the first place? Was it a concert you went to? A music video you watched? Perhaps a Broadway show that blew your mind? It is that fire that burns inside of your teacher, too. So much so, in fact, that they decided to make a life out of it. Never lose sight of this shared passion and allow yourself to enjoy the process as your journey unfolds.
Valencia music lessons with Melody M.Melody M. teaches singing, Broadway singing and songwriting to students of all ages in Valencia, PA, as well as through online lessons. A certified SLS (speech level singing) instructor.  For lessons, visit

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Vocal Science: A great video for beginners

Hi Everyone!
  Check out this video to understand the basics of Vocal Anatomy and how the voice works.  I recommend both the "Voice Production" and "Pitch and Mechanisms" videos.  Just click on the link below.  Enjoy!
PHYSCLIPS: Human Sound

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Win a FREE 45 minute Voice Lesson!

Want to win a FREE 45 minute Voice lesson?
    Ok, Molinaro Vocal Studio students, you are making me do this! =)   Since very few of you submitted videos for the Inspiration contest, I am going to open the contest to all of my Facebook friends, Youtube subscribers, and current or past students.  Winner receives a free 45 minute voice lesson. Here it is again.  Happy Singing!

 Record a video of yourself via Youtube answering the question, "What Artist/Singer/Type of Music Inspires you, and why?" After answering the question, sing a song by the Artist/Singer/Genre of Music that most exemplifies why you are inspired by them. You can perform to a karaoke track, accompany yourself on any instrument, or sing A capella. Be creative, but most importantly, be you. =)

Please have the videos sent in to me by December 31st, 2012.  Contest is open to everyone.  Skype lessons available for those overseas or out of the area.
Let the fun begin!
Keep Singing,

Melody Molinaro
Vocal Technique Instructor

Monday, November 19, 2012

Seth Riggs- Vibrato Explained

Guy Babusek with the founder of SLS, Seth Riggs, speaking about Vibrato.  Learn from the Master!  Enjoy!

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Is Perfectionism Ruining Your Voice?

       I am a self- admitted recovering perfectionist.  For a long time I didn’t even know that I was one.  I thought my standards were normal. In fact, most perfectionists don’t think they are one until something in their life spins out of control and makes them take notice.
     For me, my perfectionism caused my artistic output to grind to a halt.  I couldn’t stand not living up to some standard in my mind so I set out to become the best, the most, the highest, the absolutely perfectly perfect version of myself that would finally at least be “good enough.”  Until I reached that oh so high place of exalted grandeur I didn’t feel that the gifts I already possessed were worth sharing.  And so for many, many years, I shared nothing.
     I shifted abruptly from living a life as a full time performer and artist to one of crushing incubation and silence. Stuffing my creative spirit, I promised myself that I would hibernate until I could emerge, one day, unblemished. I continued to study, study, study, and all along the way grew more and more discouraged.  It seemed that for every step forward there were five more steps added in front of me.  The more I learned, the higher the bar was set.   There were so many teachers, successful artists, sets of artistic values, and techniques.  I tried to learn and practice them with precision, often finding myself in a frustrating mess of beliefs and philosophies.  My own spirit became heavy with negative self-talk that echoed the opinions and values of others, and my ears seemed to have magic filters on them that only let in the sounds of mistakes, poor technique, and sour notes.  It became a very dark and gloomy way to live.

     Unfortunately, I was not alone.  Students, friends, other artists. . . I began to see so many of us stuck in our own perfectionist mud.  Where was the merry music making?  What about our self-expression?  What about MY self-expression?  This was not the life that I had inside of me, bursting to get out, joyfully singing “Hallelujah” at full volume complete with accompanying choreography while driving down the street.  This was not the sweet breeze-like hum that magically appeared in my ears on some mornings, begging to be jotted down, put to music, and given to the world to enjoy.  This was not the real me. 
     The perfectionist waiting game is a game that never ends.  If you wait until you are “perfect” or “good enough” to begin your incredible journey as an artist you will never take that first step.  You will remain stuck in the mud, holding your dreams to your chest like tattered rags, gazing longingly at the horizon and wondering what it might be like to touch that golden sunset.  The only way to win the perfectionist waiting game is to refuse to play it.
     I am un-sticking.  I highly recommend you consider doing the same, no matter where you are in your career as a singer or artist.  Hibernating until you are “good enough” will actually have the opposite affect than you intend.  You will grow faster, much faster, if you allow yourself to make mistakes, be where you are, and enjoy the process.  Making art will grind to a halt if you sit in constant judgment of its every sway.  Swaying is the job of your inspiration- don’t squash it with negativity- encourage it with permission to explore itself and all of its infinite possibilities. 
      I am a teacher of Speech Level Singing because it has helped me become a more well-rounded singer, eased tension in my voice, taught me how to mix vocal registers, and extended my range.  However, be careful, lovely students, that you don’t let it box you into a corner.  I made some very beautiful art before I even knew that SLS existed, and I had a very promising career built on that raw talent.  Do not wait until your technique is “perfect” to sing.   Do not for a second think that technique is more important than the thing that makes you special- which is YOUR unique voice.

When I say it, I mean it.  Keep Singing.
Love, Melody
Hey Guys,
   Here is a new video that will help clear up the confusion about Chest Voice, Mix Voice, and Head Voice.  I hope you enjoy!

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Sing It Stupid!!!

     On Sunday I was fortunate enough to attend the SLS Teachers Vocal Master Class with Seth Riggs and Greg Enriquez in HollyWood, CA.  Learning from these masters has proven to be the single most influential force in my teaching career, and Sunday was no exception.   As a vocal technique instructor, my job is to hear what is going on inside of your throat, and it is a skill I am constantly refining.   I wish every student had the opportunity to be exposed to the kind of mastery that Seth and Greg have accomplished. Although that may not be possible, it is possible for me to give you as much information as I can, via this blog site.
    One thing that I already knew but was solidly reinforced last Sunday was the importance of vowels.  Let your mantra as a singer be "Vowels are everything!!"  When I am listening to a singer, I listen for a pure vowel.  Many singers who have a heavy chest voice will constantly widen or "open" the vowel, causing a splat sound and resulting in the distortion of the word.  For example, a singer whose larynx tends to be high may sing the word "love" on a high note, but what comes out is the word,  "Lav."  Many singers don't even realize this is happening until they listen back to a recording of themselves.
     The good news is that there is always help!  If you can't afford to work with a qualified instructor, you can still help get control of your larynx and the tendency to splat or open vowels.  During my volunteer lesson in front of a whole theatre of voice teachers, I chose to sing Adele's "Someone Like You."  Greg walked up to me and whispered in my ear, "Sing it Stupid.  Just be dumb."  I knew immediately that what he was trying to accomplish was a lower, more stable larynx in my mix voice.  The result was astounding, and every teacher wanted to know the "secret" that Greg has whispered into my ear.  Ha!
   There are many exercises throughout this website that employ the "dumb" sound as a tool for stabilizing the larynx.  Record yourself and listen closely to the vowels in your words.  Does "love" sound like "Laav?"  Does "girl" sound like "Gal?"  If so, sing it dumb!  Although the dumb sound is a temporary, unfinished sound, it will allow you to experience a free and stable larynx.  Singing will become so easy, you will think you must be doing it wrong!  
Keep Singing!