Spotlight On A Student

Singing is a very personal activity, and people do it for lots of different reasons. These spotlights are intended to give you a chance to see the types of students who study with me.  I have the greatest students, and I love them all – I really do!

Meet Alice:

Alice is an experienced singer who came because she wanted to brush up on her technique and get rid of vocal tensions that had crept into her singing over the years. She has an interesting love of music – from classical to English rocker bands.

What motivated you to take lessons?
I was motivated to start taking Voice lessons after being in a Performance Choir called Mosaic for the last 10 years. After being in a choir situation I began to sing solos less often. So I wasn’t paying attention to the craft of singing.  And by being in the choir I had developed some bad habit’s. One of them was lifting up my chin to see the director. By lifting my chin I was putting stress on my neck . This stress was giving me a lot of migraine headaches. I also noticed that I was raising my larynx when singing. Whatever I was doing I was doing it wrong. I needed new instruction and I needed it fast as I  was now being asked to sing solos. I am so  grateful Malya took me on as a new student.

What is your favorite kind of music?
My favorite kind of music would have to be music I can sing to. I favor Broadway musicals and some opera. I also love singing Baroque music. My husband plays classical guitar and we often play baroque songs or songs like Ave Maria (Bach version) and  “Mary did you know?” and many others like that. But I also like to sing rock songs by Heart or Queen.  And I also love pop songs from the 80’s.
What should other people know about taking singing lessons ?
I also teach voice and one thing I stress when someone signs on to take singing lessons is to PRACTICE!  I practice scales for 1 to 2 hours a day. So people say they don’t have time to practice. Not true. I have learned to incorporate practicing into my daily ritual of getting ready for work or whatever I’m doing. I have an ipod which has recordings of scales on it. I play that in the car or wear headphones when I walk places. I do a lot of humming if I can. I also think singer’s should keep their throats hydrated. I like to boil at pot of water every morning and put a towel over my head and breath it in for about 10 min.s. I think if you record your lesson then you will have the correct vocal warm ups Malya wants you to do. Also take singing lessons seriously. Don’t take them for granted.

Meet Jasmine:


Jasmine is 8 years old, almost 9! She’s been studying with me for 1.5 years, is in the 3rd grade, and her favorite color is purple. She also wanted me to mention that her favorite animal is a dog. She has a maltese poodle.

What motivated you to take lessons?
I love to sing and I needed encouragement to start. I was a little shy.

What is your favorite kind of music?
I really like Christian contemporary songs. I also like pop.  I sing songs from musicals with Malya, I like those now too.

What should other people know about taking singing lessons?
I like singing with Malya. I also like performing in the recitals. I felt more confident after the very first time I performed.


Meet Thomas:


This is Thomas. He is a retired doctor of physical medicine and has been studying with me for about a year.  Since he began, he’s joined the Sno-King Community Chorale and now sits on the board of that organization.  Joining a choir has many benefits for people in their retirement years, and he seems to really enjoy it.

Here’s his interview:

What motivated you to take lessons?

I’ve always sung and didn’t have any training.  I wanted to improve. I am at a place where I have time for it, and when my wife died it gave me the opportunity to express grief.  Now it also gives the the opportunity to express happiness, love, other emotions.  Men don’t have enough outlets for expression of emotion.  This is a good way to do that.

What is your favorite kind of music?

America standards, old popular music.

What should other people know about taking singing lessons?

That it’s a good growing experience, and forces you to think and practice and improve. Learning experiences are good for one’s brain and adapting to change, because life has changes and does change as you get older.