Screaming lessons

The hard work of a certain sort of vocal cultivation.

New York is full of vocal coaches who help polish pipes, but [Melissa] Cross is one of a kind – she doesn’t teach singing; she teaches screaming. Her students – the heavy-metal faithful – generally don’t know from show tunes or arias.  They come to her femininely soothing studio – filled with paper lanterns and Buddha figures – to wail with confidence.

As basic as it may seem, screaming is not just that primal complaint every baby learns in the crib. It’s as much an art as, say, hitting an A flat with no hitches. Guns and Roses’ Axl Rose and Aerosmith’s Steven Tyler don’t just find their inner beasts without a vocal compass. Screaming takes skill.

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