This month’s vocal coach in residence is an academic who knows his performance stuff.
Matthew Edwards is the Artistic Director of the CCM Vocal Pedagogy Institute at Shenandoah University.
He’s also Author of “So you want to sing rock ‘n’ roll?”, Secretary of the Pan-American Vocology Association.
Matt is also a performer with experience spanning from opera to musical theater to rock ‘n’ roll.
Metallica “Ride the Lightning”.
To be the next Kurt Cobain.
Vocalists who inspire?
Arlo Guthrie, Bruce Springsteen, Neil Diamond, Adele, Freddie Mercury, Tom Waits, and Katy Perry (her Super Bowl performance was amazing!).
A favorite nerves remedy?
Controlled inhalation / exhalation exercises.
The perfect (or a favorite) live mic for you / your students?
Shure SM-58 because it is indestructible and I tend to be rough on gear.
The perfect recording mic (or a favorite) for you / your students?
MXL-990 because they can easily afford it for their home studio and it has a nice sound for the price.
A secret good luck charm for travelling / performing?
Weirdest thing you’ve ever seen happen in a singing performance?
I was on stage and a light exploded above me raining glass down on the stage in the middle of the performance.
What did you do?
It was in a production “Bye Bye Birdie.” My character actually had fall down to the ground as part of the staging after the light exploded! I fell very slowly that night and acted like nothing happened. The scene luckily ended with me on the ground. When the curtain came down they just checked me out and swept the stage. As they say, “the show must go on!”
Worst singing advice you’ve ever heard?
Sing like you are throwing up and taking a dump at the same time.
Your biggest performance blunder?
Taking six weeks off before a gig and thinking I could just jump back into to singing an hour straight without getting fatigued.
Where most singers mess up with vocal health?
When they are talking with fans before or after a gig.
Best advice someone ever gave you about performing?
Stop trying so hard.
Top recording tip?
Practice with a metronome before arriving at the studio. A click track can really throw you off and cost you a lot of money in extra studio time.
What’s different about a vocalist vocation today compared to 20 years ago?
The major labels used to have way more power twenty years ago, today artists are empowered to define their own careers.
Bad thing to say to a venue manager?
This place is just like (insert competing venue’s name).
Good thing to say to a venue manager?
I’m flexible, what works best for you?
Favorite quote about singing?
“Vocal sound producing machines are of no use to society or culture, what we want are living people, singing artists.” Konstantin Stanislavsky.
Your life philosophy in 10 words?
The greatest gift you can give is knowledge.
The perfect day?
Going camping with my family.
Matthew Edwards is Artistic Director of the CCM Vocal Pedagogy Institute and associate professor of voice at Shenandoah University. He is the author of “So you want to sing rock ‘n’ roll?” and has authored chapters and articles for numerous other books, magazines, and journals. In addition to training rock singers to find their own authentic voice, Edwards is also passionate about training other voice teachers to work with rock singers using functional techniques.