I am dedicated to helping you to feel comfortable singing, performing and even auditioning. Teaching healthy techniques to free up your voice and give you the confidence to sing what you want.
I have recently finished a Master's of Music degree from Brigham Young University (BYU) in vocal performance. I have taught private and group voice lessons since 2011, and have developed effective ways of communicating to students. I am trained to help students get to know their voices and how to use them effectively.
I have performed major operatic roles for BYU, and am currently performing with the Utah Opera Chorus in Salt Lake City. I have performed in many venues and in front of hundreds of people. My background in performance allows me to teach my students necessary techniques to conquer stage fright and enjoy singing in front of people.
*** Lesson Details ***
My first priority is making the student feel comfortable, we will move only as fast as the student wants to move. We will start by setting some goals- what the student is hoping to get out of voice lessons. Be it "learn how to sing/speak better" or to prepare for up-coming auditions, I will keep your goals in mind when teaching.
Learning how to sing can be a slow process, but after 3-6 months of studying, you will be able to notice many improvements in your vocal tone, breath management, overall posture and self confidence. Remember that, with any type of study, the more consistently you practice, the more consistent your progress.
Students will be asked to find or purchase their own music (average of $10-$30). Please let me know if this is going to be an issue, there are sometimes free publications online that we can look into.
Also, if you do not find the time you were hoping for on my availability calendar go ahead and contact me, we can discuss the options!
Lastly, I do have cats. While I keep my studio space cleaned and dusted please be aware if you are concerned about allergies!
*** Studio Equipment ***
I can provide a piano, music stand and CD player as well as books to reference. Students must buy or find their own music- I am happy to assist in finding the least expensive option.
*** Specialties ***
I believe that classical voice training is a solid foundation to build any voice style upon, from opera to musical theater and jazz. I work on techniques that fit the students goals and individual vocal needs as well as acting and performance techniques, including how to read and interpret music notation, audition preparation, and proper vocal care. My goal is to help the student gain confidence though singing and performing- any age, any style.
Singing/ Leading music for the Church of Christ Scientists
Teaching private and group voices from my home studio.
Singing in the chorus of the Utah Opera Producions
Teaching private voice students and group voice classes
Participated in a Masterclass led by Michael Ballam
Learned stage fright control and music composition from Michael Colgrass workshop. Participated in Premier piece written for the Southern Utah University Band.
Learned stage fright resisting techniques and performance techniques in workshop directed by Paul Salamunovich.
Participated in a month long tour of Europe with the Utah Ambassadors of Music
· Singing · In studio Melissa uses great imagery in helping get your needed airflow, vowel formation, tongue placement , etc. I've learned a lot, and have a new friend!
· Singing · In studio Melissa is very knowledgeable, and, more important, knows how to explain things so they are easily understood.
She uses times judiciously and is very friendly and patient.
I wholeheartedly recommend her.
· Singing · In studio I had an amazing time at my lesson with Melissa. She helped me see that my goals were possible. She is happy, talented and knowledgeable.
· Singing · Fantastic teacher!
Melissa is wonderful! I was nervous to take lessons, and she made me feel comfortable. She is very friendly and very complimentary of what I am doing well, even if I'm doing other things poorly. I would recommend her to anyone, especially those who are shy about getting started.
· Singing · Great Teacher! :)
Melissa is an amazing voice teacher! She always created a comfortable environment that we could learn about our individual voices in. She always told me exactly what I needed to improve on in a way that wasn't demeaning, but encouraging! I also attended an opera that she was in, and she was a great actress and singer! I really enjoyed her class and benefited a lot from it.
· Singing · Great Teacher!
I have nothing but good things to say about Melissa James. She is a very talented teacher who can take a student of any skill level and let them know what they can work on to improve. I really enjoyed the semester class that I took from her.
· Singing · This instructor knows voices
I was amazed at how well Melissa could identify how to improve my voice! She knows how sounds are produced and is able to correct anything I'm doing wrong, from breathing to posture to shaping sounds in my mouth.
· Singing · Best voice teacher I've ever had!
I took one semester of voice lessons from prof. James. She was the best voice teacher I've ever had. She is very reliable, punctual and precise. With her, I finally understood where my biggest problems with singing were. Her explanations were clear and very helpful. We worked all together as a class on the basics and then we dedicated a big part of the semester just doing individual lessons. One thing that I really appreciated was that she convinced me to get slightly out of my comfort zone and had me singing a song that I never thought I would have been able to sing. And it was a great success. Not to mention that I attended an opera where she was one of the main opera singers, and she was incredible! Her diction was also impeccable, and I can say that because I'm Italian. If you're thinking of taking voice lessons from a professional who really knows what she's doing, Prof. James is the teacher for you.
· Singing · Awesome Awesome Teacher!
I loved her, she is very talented herself and was able to explain things well. The key to succeeding with any vocal training is practice, and she gives you the best in-class and out-of-class activities to help you advance! Definitely worth taking lessons from :)