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Melissa Cross "When people ask me what style of singing I teach, I say, 'Anything passionate'".

Melissa Cross talks a lot about emotion and letting things happen naturally - about avoiding contrivance at all cost. So it should come as no surprise that what brought NYC's most forward - thinking voice teacher to her profession was not a conscious decision, but the same path that led to the development of her innovative technique: personal experience.

The journey began when Melissa made a move from years of traditional music study at the prestigious Interlochen Arts Academy and the Bristol Old Vic Theatre School in England to a career as a performing rock artist. All the years of perfecting her voice through classical training suddenly made little sense. My voice lessons had absolutely no context in rock," she remembers. "They had no relevance to anything I was doing. I was basically screaming and throwing technique out the window to get a sound that felt real to me." It was only through a long process of figuring out how to really deliver those raw, heartfelt rock vocals without holding anything back - and without damaging her voice - that Melissa Cross discovered the technique that she teaches her students today. "I found the missing link between rock and classical vocal training," she reveals. "I was able to extract the essential aspects of classical technique, apply them to speech - and then, again, apply them back to music."

At first, Melissa kept the technique to herself. In fact, it inspired her to quit her day job (working for major record companies and entertainment law practices) and follow her heart, even if it meant playing the street. Which is actually where her talent was first appreciated - not only by those interested in recording her as a performing musician, but by other artists interested in learning from her. A singer was so impressed after hearing Melissa in a club that she became her first client.

That she went on to become so 'in-demand' as a vocal teacher for major label artists as well as on-the-rise stars requires little explanation. The simple truth is Melissa's vocal technique is unique and it works. "My frustration with having learned in a very 'contrived' way and not finding this helpful to what I was doing allowed me to build the bridge between good technique and real technique," she explains. "They need to be the same."

Melissa is more than thrilled at the way things have worked out. "I love my job and I love teaching vocalists with a passion for the cutting edge, for the rebelliousness of letting it all go. But I respect the importance of control in getting across that passion without sounding contrived. I know what it's like to want to be the best that you can be, and I see personal transformations. And pure joy when my students are doing it well and doing it straight from the heart. It's a great thing."

The Zen of Screaming - DVD, Audio CD, Booklet
The Zen of Screaming
The first of its kind, this DVD offers comprehensive but easy-to-follow vocal instruction and information, plus step by step exercises. Convenient menus allow you to navigate easily and effectively through the 30+ segments.

The instruction includes invaluable tips on vocal maintenance, actual vocal cord footage, and explicit and helpful animations which illustrate and illuminate the specific vocal exercises. Interspersed is exclusive backstage and performance footage of today's most exciting artists, with candid offstage interviews and opportunities to see these artists actually working in-studio with Melissa.

Featured vocalists include Andrew W.K., Lamb of God's D. Randall Blythe, Shadows Fall's Brian Fair, Every Time I Die's Keith Buckley, God Forbid's Byron Davis, Melissa Auf der Maur and more!

Also included is an Audio CD & Booklet with a clearly itemized vocal practice program for each range. This DVD is as entertaining as it is informative and a must-have tool for vocalists of today.

"...the Bible for any extreme music vocalist."
-Tom Beaujour, Editor In Chief, Revolver Magazine

DVD Running Time: 2 hrs 25 min plus special features. NTSC. Region free. In English
View and purchase The Zen of Screaming DVD, Audio CD, Booklet:
from Amazon UK
from Amazon USA

The Zen of Screaming 2 - Voice Lessons DVD
Now that you have nailed the basics of good vocal production in "The Zen of Screaming," you are ready to tackle the finer points of extreme vocals! Vocal instructor Melissa Cross will guide you through the three different kinds of screams with the help of her clients, including the lead singers of Underoath, Unearth, Thursday, Arch Enemy (a GIRL, finally!), Sick of It All, All That Remains, A Life Once Lost, God Forbid and more.

Plenty of performance and practice tips are included to help you get that gig and rise above the rest. Also good for those wishing to get the 411 on how to get the rasp in the voice without ripping up the vocal cords. Running time approx 88 minutes.
View and purchase The Zen of Screaming 2 Voice Lessons DVD:
from Amazon UK
from Amazon USA