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Melissa Cross: The Authentic Voice, Vocal Technique & the Zen of Screaming

Joining us this week is vocal instructor Melissa Cross out of New York City. Melissa is a highly in-demand voice teacher and creator of the acclaimed “Zen of Screaming” instructional DVD. Her approach to singing is rooted in passion and authenticity, and the techniques she teaches are all about allowing artists to be themselves.

She’s worked with some of the biggest bands and artists in the business. Her client list includes vocalists of bands such as Sleeping with Sirens, Halestorm, Senses Fail, Taking Back Sunday, Circa Survive, and even Kevin Bacon.

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Highlights:

  • Melissa believes she is here on this Earth to help people
  • Melissa is a sucker for talent – it’s one of the main things she looks for in a partner!
  • We hear how Melissa developed the vocal technique she now teaches
  • Melissa shares how classical vocal techniques aren’t necessarily applicable to non-classical music
  • “We need to take the resonant strategy of classical music and apply it to the spoken tone” – Melissa Cross
  • Melissa tells us how the authenticity in the metal scene of the 80s/90s made her want to be part of the community
  • Ross and Marcio tell Melissa how they’ve used her Zen of Screaming exercises in the past
  • Melissa tells us about her upcoming Zen of Screaming website, featuring animation to help singers develop their technique
  • We talk about visualisation in terms of singing
  • Melissa tells us how artists can find their authentic voice, and sing like “themselves”
  • The idea of imagination rather than judgment and listening is at the basis of Melissa’s technique
  • Melissa shares some advice for artists on taking care of their voice

Advice:

  • You need to know the material as if you’re sloppy, you may overwork your voice
  • Warming up your voice is so important
  • Your voice is not invincible – respect it
  • You have to love your voice – if you’re doing it for money, you’re in it for the wrong reason
  • Singing professionally is only for people who couldn’t survive doing anything else

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