Shelly Edwards: My Vocal Evolution

Who is Shelly Edwards? It's a question that seems simple, but as I've delved into writing these blogs, I've realized that introducing myself properly is an essential first step. 

After all, why should you care about what I have to say? 

As I enter my 40s, I've been on a journey of self-reinvention, and I can assure you that the concept of reinvention will be a topic we explore in the future. 

So, let's begin with the core of it all – my passion for singing. For me, it all started with Tina Turner, who has been my inspiration since I was five years old and remains so even today. She embodied everything I aspired to be: fierce, courageous, unafraid to occupy space, a brilliant beacon of awesomeness, and, of course, with a voice that was unmatched. 

Later on, the Little Mermaid's Jodi Benson entered the scene, changing my world with her beautiful voice, which ignited my desire to sing in front of people and share my love for singing. 

As time passed, I explored different musical realms, dabbling in the songs of Whitney Houston and Anita Baker. 

Then, fate led me to my first voice teacher and now mentor, Mary Amorosia. Mary introduced me to opera, setting me on a path of classical singing. 

I embarked on rigorous training and earned a Master's in Opera Performance, but my journey was far from over. Along the way, I faced countless auditions, some nerve-wracking and others triumphant, and I can assure you, that's a discussion for another day. 

Eventually, I realized that I didn't want to limit myself to opera. My heart tugged me in the direction of other musical styles. To satisfy this desire, I began performing at weddings, parties, and with choral groups. 

Singing with the LA Master Chorale was a highlight in my career. While most of the singing was classical, it occasionally delved into contemporary pieces and breathed new life into traditional ones. My time with LAMC introduced me to a community of singers I greatly admire. 

My Musical Life took a pause when I got married and started a family. Little did I know that my family would infuse my singing with newfound meaning. It removed the fear I had grappled with as a young singer, and it taught me the importance of embracing failure to learn and grow. Having children helped me realize that the only opinions that truly matter are my own and my family's. With this new-found strength, I continued my singing journey more vibrantly and courageously. 

Though I chose to step back from professional singing to raise my family, I continued teaching voice during my hiatus. Teaching became my way of staying accountable and recognizing that all the training I had received had truly sunk in. My students ranged from 4-year-olds to individuals in their 50s, with styles spanning classical to rock, pop to EDM, and musical theater to jazz. I always strive to meet my students where they are, challenge them, and celebrate their unique voices. My goal is to make vocal technique relatable, just as a former teacher once told me, "It's not rocket science." 

“Every lesson truly left me feeling so much stronger, not only vocally, but mentally as well. I left with not only a great understanding of my voice and its capabilities, but most importantly, the motivation and confidence I needed to succeed in auditioning.”

-Kelly Denise Taylor - SIX Broadway Tour

My teaching experience reignited my passion for professional singing, and in 2021, I silently prayed for an opportunity to sing again. Miraculously, a week later, I received an email inviting me to perform at a church with an old friend from LA Master Chorale. I said "YES!" to every professional singing opportunity that came my way. This led to singing for a documentary recorded on the LA Opera Stage, participating in the West Coast Premier of the Pulitzer Prize-winning opera, "Omar" by Rhiannon Gidden and Michael Abels, session singing for "Creed III," traveling to NY to sing at Carnegie Hall, and performing at the Hollywood Bowl in Game of Thrones Live! It's incredible what prayer and readiness can manifest – yet another topic I'll explore in detail.

Now, as a mother of three, I've discovered the art of balancing a professional singing career with parenthood. It's an incredible journey, and I want to inspire other parents to know that it is possible to maintain or reembark on a career as a professional musician while cherishing the role of parenthood.

The Shelly I was when I first started singing has grown and continues to evolve. I'm grateful for the highs and lows that brought me to where I am as a musical person and as a mother of three. It's my duty to share my experiences and knowledge where it's welcome. 

I've shared my journey of balancing music and motherhood. I'm eager to hear your experiences and questions. 

Are you a musician and parent? 

Have you found unique ways to pursue your passions? 

Share your thoughts in the comments or reach out via to connect. 

Thank you for reading my blog, and I can't wait to share more!


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