Financial Disclosure: Dr. Treinkman has no financial relationships to disclose. 


Non-Financial Disclosure: ​Dr. Treinkman has no non-financial relationships to disclose.

Melissa Treinkman, DMA

Melissa Treinkman, DMA, is a singer and voice teacher based in Los Angeles. She teaches musical theater voice at the University of Southern California and classical voice at Loyola Marymount University. Melissa recently sang the role of the Vendor in Carmen and the role of a Noble Page in Tannhäuser, both at LA Opera. She was a featured singer on the 2017 GRAMMY winning recording of The Ghosts of Versailles. Melissa earned a Doctor of Musical Arts degree from the University of Southern California.  An ardent pedagogue, her work has been published in the Journal of Singing and the Journal of Voice. She was the 2020 recipient of the Voice Foundation's Sataloff Award for Young Investigators and was the first researcher ever to win the award in the category of vocal pedagogy.

​​Paper Presentation - Don’t Follow Your Instincts: Ten Ways Singing Training Can Be Counterintuitive

Many would agree with the adage: don't follow your instincts. However, sometimes the process of learning to sing involves learning to ignore our instincts and train new habits that seem counter to what we’d expect to be effective. This presentation will delve into ten ways that singing can be counterintuitive and explore science-backed pedagogical concepts to explain why students sometimes need to do the opposite of what seems “natural.” This presentation was inspired during actual voice lessons when I found myself frequently saying, “I know what I am telling you to do is the opposite of what you might intuitively think you should do.” The ten topics that will be covered are: 1) Don’t take bigger breaths to solve “running out of breath” 2) Think down as you go up in pitch and up as you go down in pitch 3) The magic of cross-training (to improve your belt, work on head voice) 4) “Loud” singing is often produced softly 5) Don’t listen to yourself while singing 6) Why voice cracking is often a good thing when you are learning to sing 7) Why trying to sing in tune can be deadly to your vocal technique 8) Why you usually shouldn’t sing the exact written rhythms 9) Why you should learn sing with your full voice before making it “pretty” or nuanced 10) Why acting is your vocal technique’s best friend