Vocal and Instrumental Instruction


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Posted by shelly on May 29, 2015 at 9:00 AM Comments comments (1690)

This year's spring showcase will be the KICKOFF for


 We are thrilled to be returning to:


Tuesday June 9, 2015 at 6pm.  

Please make sure to purchase your tickets online in order to secure a seat!   It's a tight space, so also make sure to get early. =)


Posted by shelly on May 29, 2015 at 3:35 AM Comments comments (39)

We are thrilled to announce:



FEATURING YOUR KIDS AS:  THE SKYSCRAPERS (Soloists and Backup Singers / Band members)

This summer and fall, I'll be booking shows through the tri-state area and in other cities throughout the east coast as well.  If you're interested in becoming a host, please let me know!  

How to make it happen:

We pick a date.

You invite 20 friends.

I send you practice tracks for the kids to practice singing / playing their songs / backup, etc.

On the day of the show:

We rehearse.  We set up a real stage area with seating etc.

I perform, they perform, we all perform.  You watch and video with your friends.  

I explain the concept of my new Young Artist Program, which we will launch this coming school year and how you can help support the cause!  

What are you supporting?

The launching and development of my Young Artist Program, in which students will be writing songs for children in hospitals, bully victims, foster children, etc.  As part of their vocal/music lessons curriculum, students will study and practice music as a language with a 'real-life purpose'; writing a song for a child in need.  We will be partnering with hospitals, foster care centers, bullying victims, and more. In need-children will send us a packet a letter explaining their thoughts and things they like to do, friends' names, etc., and we will write a song for them.  Each student will write one song for one child per semester.  Students can also partner up.

A handful of music teachers write songs with their students and a few charity agencies write songs for children in hospitals, etc.   But we are combining the two, for the following reasons. 

It's a great way to:  

1. Learn music as a LANGUAGE, by immersion and the real-life experience of crafting a song.

2. Do community service.  -- Give someone a unique adn theraputic gift that could change their lives.  

3. Get your song(s) published (Awesome for resumes when applying for scholarships and schools)

4. Motivate yourself to practice finish a project with the intention and deadline of helping someone.

* Contributions will go towards recording, studio space, engineers and producers, production costs, etc. 



SWS Student Songwriter performs her song, My Five Horses

Posted by shelly on June 26, 2014 at 6:30 PM Comments comments (38)

Music and Lyrics by student, Abby Geissler and Shelly Wade

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Amalia performing Ready or Not at her school Talent Show

Posted by shelly on June 26, 2014 at 6:05 PM Comments comments (40)

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SWS student, Frank Gauthier

Posted by shelly on June 26, 2014 at 6:05 PM Comments comments (41)

SWS Student,  Frank Gauthier performing 'Crying' by Roy Orbison during a segment of his one-man show!

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New Photos from The Summer Concert at The Pine Tree Lodge Restaurant NYC

Posted by shelly on September 17, 2013 at 12:10 AM Comments comments (41)" target="_blank">

View More Photos Here!" target="_blank">

From Mozart to Miley...

Posted by shelly on August 27, 2013 at 7:30 PM Comments comments (40)

As a former opera singer, now country artist, I perform the same old songs at gigs all the time... Timeless hit songs by Patsy Cline, Dolly Parton, etc. I value the art of performance, just as any other classical artist in Lincoln Center. It's a great thing, to perform... giving an audience an hour of enjoyment and entertainment--for healing, peace, etc.

BUT... As a society, we're so caught up in getting on stage, that somehow we've forgotten to teach our children how to create anything new! ... So it goes from Mozart to Miley. K-12 music teaches us to listen, read, and play music. It stops there. No one ever teaches kids how to create it. So those kids who aren't talented enough or are intimidated by performing, often quit music altogether. I truly appreciate and love performing classical music and my old country tunes, but if we can show young people the opportunity of creating new music, perhaps there would be some better tunes on the radio.

If music education were taught more like technology, we could have more young composers creating significant music. Instead, our music history classes 500 years from now will go from Mozart to Miley. If Steve Jobs had sat in an office all day "performing" and rebuilding old Ataris everyday, we wouldn't have Macbook Pros and Iphones. For Apple, Creativity + Profit = Growth. Yet, us musicians keep singing and playing the same old songs...creating no growth in music. We should be teaching our children how to create new sounds for the world. Like Tesla and Steve Jobs... Beethoven and The Beatles. Something to mark down for the 2000s in our music history books.

One of my 5 year old students composed this song last year. He transcribed it himself. It isn't perfect, but most important of all, it gave him an awareness of the career choice, "Composer". It gave him confidence that he can not only play music, but create and write something new for the world. Now go write some music!

Free Video Lesson!

Posted by shelly on April 22, 2013 at 4:15 AM Comments comments (63)

Hello singers!  

Since many of you have been asking questions about breath support, I'd like to invite you into a recent lesson with my student, Alex!  We tackle the issue from the very beginning, so it's a great video for every level.  Enjoy and please email me at [email protected] if you have any questions! 

Happy breathing!  :lol:

Shelly Wade

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Can You Throw a Baseball With Your Uncle Terry's Big Toe?

Posted by shelly on October 9, 2012 at 11:20 PM Comments comments (39)


Down with the diaphragm! 

by Shelly Wade


 New York vocal coach, Shelly Wade, unifies the body and voice in each of her students, gaining a natural and healthy technique built to last. The goal is to form and maintain habits that will make our voices built to last a lifetime. In order to do so, we must learn to isolate and make proper use of our muscles. "What muscles?", you may ask. The diaphragm... abdominals... intercostals...? May sound confusing; especially considering that the diaphragm happens to be an involuntary muscle. Every vocal teacher has their own technique and explanation of what they call "breath support". Many of the explanations can become highly confusing, and sometimes disagreeable with our bodies. "Belly out!", they say. Well, to me, that just plain hurts. "Drop your jaw!", they say. "Use your diaphragm!" I don't know about you, but I can't control my diaphragm any more than I can control my Uncle Terry's big Toe!

 How can one use or control something they can't even feel? All of these directions seem to work like a charm if you have a ton of raw talent and don't need extra work. For the rest of us, it's too darn confusing! "Belly out", "Drop your jaw", and "Use your diaphragm" are all "control driven" directions that make your brain work too hard for singing. Yes, your belly will come out as you inhale. (You can feel this as you lie on your back and breathe normally with a book on your belly.) And yes, your diaphragm will release (Your diaphragm is a domed-shape, involuntary muscle that releases down as you inhale- to make room for your lungs to fill up. As a result, your organs are released down as well, and your belly expands.). This is a process of "result"; not a process of "cause". You cannot "cause" your belly to expand or "control" your diaphragm. You just can't. Both of these things happen as a "result". A simple result of isolating and using the proper muscles. As you inhale, try to push your belly out. It's just hurts. As you have probably already heard, "Don't do it if it hurts!"

 You can also think of this as an "Action - Reaction process". With Shelly, the only thing you have to worry about is exercises. Simply singing, with no work involved. You body does it's work as a "reaction", not an "action". The "Exhalation" (Singing) is the "Action"! This happens just as you would speak to someone in a conversation. The "Reaction" happens when you run out of breath. Your body allows more air in by releasing and making room for your lungs to fill. As you are reading this, you don't say to yourself, "Okay, I need to breathe now or else I will suffocate." You just breathe as a "result of needing air." Why would you do otherwise as you're singing? If you try to "control" all these muscles, will be in for a big disappointment and a lot of unwanted tension.

 Many directions we are given as singers can impede the natural beauty of our tone quality. They can also turn into bad habits, causing tension, pitch problems, etc. Shelly makes sure her directions are "result" driven. There is no need for anyone to make singing complicated.

 Shelly uses several body movement methods into her technique, including Yoga, Feldenkrais, and Alexander Technique. She focuses on isolating and releasing the proper muscles in order to prevent tension and misuse of extraneous muscles outside the vocal folds. Awareness is key. Tension cannot be inhibited without awareness. If you are scrunching your shoulders as you're reading this, you aren't able to release them until you recognize they are tense. It's the same with your jaw or any other part of your vocal mechanism. Let the exercises do the work so you can think about more important things like articulation and expression during your songs.

 We don't go around town reminding our knees to bend as we walk! They bend because that's the natural process. Now go out, forget about your darn diaphragm, and let it do it's job!

Practice Practice Practice...the RIGHT stuff.

Posted by shelly on October 9, 2012 at 11:10 PM Comments comments (41)


Beginners, amateurs, and musicians, welcome. Reading music, ear training, and performance techniques are awaiting you. All you need is a desire to play, dedication, and a bit of time.


The most important component of learning an instrument is knowing how to practice. I repeat, "Learn how to practice!" I taught myself to play several instruments before I was trained. I did not realize the agony I was putting myself through. Playing phrases and chord changes over and over and never getting anywhere. I was practicing hard, with all of my heart; but not with my mind. I was practicing alright! Practicing my mistakes. I was practicing too fast and 80% of the time, I went to wrong notes. That means, 80% of the time, I was practicing my mistakes. We all know what happens when we practice folks. We get better! I was getting better at my mistakes. Unfortunatley, I'm not the only one. Every single student who walks into my studio for the first time does the very same thing. Everybody wants to become a great player- and FAST! Everyone is in a big fat hurry. So slow down, focus, and practice the right notes; not the wrong ones. Even if you play a phrase correctly 8/10 times, you practiced it wrong twice! One more time, and you have a habit.


With some concentration and positive mentality, we can all learn any instrument, no matter how old or young we are. But we have to be patient. Practice slow and you will get you to your destination much quicker in the end.




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