Our body is our instrument
As everybody is different, the way I teach each student is different.
There are fundamentals I bring to every student (such as breath) but I have no set curriculum and work together with each student to individually shape the direction(s) of the work. As such, whether we are doing simple voice or breathing exercises, or working on complex material, I will invite you to include the whole body in the process. I believe this leads to a much richer learning experience.
If I can help instill a long-term engagement and everyday curiosity about your voice, then you will keep going further and deeper. Voice work is a process, and although we can set goals together and work to meet those goals, my belief is that there is always space for exploration, which can lead to some really valuable learning.
In my classes, I like to have ―not just a little― fun; such great learning can emerge through play!
Melisa has been teaching voice, mostly singing for the past fifteen years. She draws upon the many morsels of information she has learned through her own training, along with her drive to emulate and expand upon the gamut of contemporary vocal styles.
Although Melisa considers herself to be mostly self-taught, she received classical voice training and voice training for theatre and musical theatre throughout her formative years. She also studied in the Jazz Program at Vancouver Island University as a guitar major, where she partook in voice training in chamber choirs and vocal jazz ensembles.
Melisa has worked for many years as a singer/songwriter. Her years of experience in the areas of songwriting, touring and recording and all the trouble-shooting and problem solving therein, have proven to be valuable assets to her as a teacher. Although she works with most ages, interests and skill levels, she has a particular interest in touring musicians, and working with them to develop healthy and sustainable vocal practices.
While making her living by teaching voice and guitar in Vancouver, Melisa felt compelled to look into some of the many vocal pedagogies out there. With a particular interest in finding techniques to smooth over the bumps between registers and find a unified sound, she studied Speech Level Singing® with master teacher Spencer Welch for a year. During this time, she also took an introductory workshop to Fitzmaurice Voicework®, which literally breathed new life into both her careers as a performer and as a teacher.
In winter of 2014, Melisa completed her certification in Fitzmaurice Voicework®, and is now a Certified Associate Teacher of this work. She has taken a few workshops with Roy Hart teacher Richard Armstrong, and continues to nurture her curiosity about voice both as a teacher and as a student, believing that all good teachers are perpetual students.
"By participating fully and openly herself, Melisa allowed me feel like an equal. She was absolutely free from judgement and full of grace, which immediately addressed my insecurities. Her lesson content was imaginative and gave me insight. Her feedback was immediate and helpful.
We shared much laughter and fun!
Letting my vulnerable voice out in the midst of Melisa's easy-going support and total receptivity made my heart sing, too!"
Melisa is a Certified Associate Teacher of Fitzmaurice Voicework®.
Fitzmaurice Voicework is a full body approach to voice training that explores the dynamics between body, breath, voice, the imagination, language, and presence. It encourages vibrant voices that communicate intention and feeling without excess effort, and brings together physical experience and mental focus. This work explores the negotiation between doing, ie, the technique of healthy voice production, or the doing of performing, and allowing what you are feeling or experiencing in your body color your voice.
To quote founder Catherine Fitzmaurice: “Don’t get out of your head, include your body!”
This work is for anyone who performs, which includes, actors, teachers, singers, public speakers, etc. The definition of performer is flexible.