EL Melody Vocal Studio

Annandale, VA

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About this pro

How does your business stand out?

many people in industry, they try to sing pretty and don't really appreciate the sound of 'raw' voice. everyone tries to copy the singers and totally forget about the 'true beauty' of their own voices. that's where i come in, i bring out the 'Raw' voice of yours and understand your voice and know. how to make your own style to it.

What do you enjoy about the work you do?

i love music especially 'singing'. Was born in music family and grew up singing all day and everyday. this is my life and i share my passion of music with my students.

Location

Annandale, VA 22003

Background check

Complete

Years in business

6

Number of employees

1

Times hired on Thumbtack

37

Reviews

35 Reviews
  • Nadia Q. Apr 20, 2016
    Singing Lessons
    Verified Review
  • Tori L. Jan 27, 2016
    I've been taking lessons with Sam Shin for a good two years now, and I can say that my vocal technique has improved exponentially. Sam has coached me using various drills and techniques that have improved my power and range. I highly recommend taking lessons with el Melody if you have a passion for singing.
  • Sharon K. Nov 28, 2015
    I can't say enough to do justice to the quality of teaching that Sam provides. Sam is invested 100% in all of his students and looks at them as an individual whole. He is interested in the story of what brought you to his door and gives you a realistic idea of what the future can hold for you. I think that Sam is true master of his craft not just because of his limitless capabilities as an artist but because he is able to teach his craft to anyone. I'm so grateful to have read the other reviews and walked into his studio. I have been his student for about 4 months and I have walked away from each lesson learning something new. My vocal experience consists of singing at karaoke bars but I am hoping to pursue singing on a professional level and I feel like I have made the best choice for a coach. Sam sees my vision and he is pushing for my success.
  • Jermaine S. Oct 22, 2015
    I've been working with Sam for about two months now and all I can say is wow. He has taught me what the true meaning of music is from A to Z. Not only has Sam corrected my breathing, but has also shown me how to correct my posture. Just in two months I'm singing better than I ever have been! Sam is the best vocal coach I have ever had. He defiantly has a God given gift. I am honored to not only call Sam a vocal coach but a mentor.
  • Kathy G. Sep 20, 2015
    Singing Lessons (for adults)
    Verified Review
    I have been taking lessons from Sam for about two months now. I am an adult who is coming to vocal training with little experience in singing other than some high school chorus and performances. And I am so glad I did! Sam was immediately welcoming, encouraging, and warm. He is clearly a wonderful person and it shows right away. But maybe more importantly, he is an extremely talented singer, performer and instructor. I really wanted an experienced and sophisticated teacher who will not just encourage me but teach me, push me, and help me to advance and become an accomplished performer. Sam has a great reputation and teaches many advanced, even famous singers but he is also great for beginners. He teaches you not just singing technique but how to develop as a musician both technically and emotionally. Before starting with Sam, I took a few lessons with others who start you off the bat with sheet music and just singing. That doesn't work in my view. Singing is difficult (more difficult than I expected actually) and to progress you have to understand theory, rhythm, timing and phrasing. Sam starts you with these kinds of lessons so that when you start singing you understand the music itself, not just technique. In short, you won't find a better teacher or person than Sam so if you are interested in progressing either as a beginner or an experienced singer, please check him out. You won't be disappointed.
  • Winstead B. Jul 9, 2015
    Singing Lessons
    Verified Review
  • Liza J. Jul 8, 2015
    I decided to start looking for a voice coach for my daughter Taylor in the fall of 2014. I asked friends and looked at reviews. I entered Sam Shin’s website and knew I had found her coach. His mission statement and choice of studio name touched my heart El Melody, “E” for everlasting and “L” for love – God’s Love. I immediately contacted him and set up an appointment. Mr. Sam greeted us with a warm smile and his signature hat. He sang a few bars while he played the keyboard, and it was honestly some of the sweetest music we’ve ever heard. Sam asked my daughter to sing so he could assess her needs. We discussed her goals musically and beyond. He made my daughter feel comfortable and we signed on. Sam began instruction with the fundamentals – defining types of breathing, breathing techniques and exercises, musical terminology, exposure to various genres of music, etc. It was weeks before actual singing began. Sam was first building a foundation. Then with encouragement and guidance he elicited the best out of Taylor. The year culminated in a rehearsal at a Grammy–winning recording studio and a tear jerker performance of “Beautiful” at Jammin Java with a live band. Each lesson with Sam feels like a spiritual experience. He is knowledgeable and exudes a love of music and people. Taylor’s life has been enriched by Sam’s mentorship.
  • Jaya G. May 13, 2015
    Singing Lessons
    Verified Review
    Sam is a great voice teacher who is patient and understanding, and met me at my level of development. He is definitely skilled as a vocalist, and knows the little tips and tricks that have improved my singing. I've really appeciated his flexibility in scheduling lessons that work with my schedule.
  • Dominique L. May 2, 2015
    If you are looking for the very best in a vocal teacher/ coach then look no further. I have experienced many music teachers and vocal instructors in my life time and no one compares to Sam Shin. He is above and beyond what you would expect in a vocal coach bringing years of experience in vocal performance in many genres of music as well as extensive education in vocal techniques and performance. I knew from the very first lesson that I had finally found a vocal coach who could help me achieve my full potential as a vocalist. His instruction is the perfect balance of honesty and encouragement so that you always have a sense that Sam is invested in your progress as much as you are. If you choose EL Melody and Sam Shin as your guide to a great singing voice, you will not be disappointed.
  • Laurel B. Apr 30, 2015
    Singing Lessons
    Verified Review
    I have only been working with Sam for about 3 months now, and, WOW! I can not even begin to describe how much I have improved. He will do wonders with/for your voice! I highly recommend El Melody for ANYONE who wants to build your vocal style and range.
  • Alex B. Apr 26, 2015
    I started taking voice lessons for the first time at the age of 53 from Sam. My only other musical experiences were singing in a church choir as a teenager and taking piano lessons for a couple of years when I was in middle school. I chose Sam because of his willingness to accept different types of voices and his terrific and positive reviews. I have never questioned my choice. When I started with Sam, my voice was weak. I could basically carry a tune, but definitely not in a public setting and definitely not one that was outside of the middle-of-the-road range. I took lessons so I could feel more confident in my singing ability and improve my voice. Sam started by teaching me how to breath while singing. I’ll admit that it was hard work and not the most exciting, but it has made a huge difference in my ability. My range has been broadened and my voice is much stronger than when I began 8 months ago. During that time we have worked on music theory, rhythm, harmony, different types of music, etc. The key for me is that I have always found Sam very patient and encouraging yet at the same time mindful of the technical expertise needed to improve one’s voice. I highly recommend him for someone like me and definitely for anyone who has a more natural musical talent!
  • Schist L. Apr 23, 2015
    Sam Shin is an amazing vocal coach. He is incredibly detailed and demonstrates a lot of techne when it comes to the art of singing. He takes a hard approach to the fundamentals of tonality and rhythm and begins with the building blocks of proper breathing and muscle control. I am a producer and my thoughts were that I would always stay clear of a microphone and let the singers do their thing. Before we started my vocal lessons, Sam explained to me that in order for me to become better at my craft, I would need to learn how to sing properly in order to instruct my artists to deliver a better product. It has been nearly a year now, and Sam has taken my voice to another level that has surprised both my family and close friends. He has done so with such a mastery of vocal pedagogy, that I am now one of my own primary singers on an album I am currently producing. My advice to anyone taking lessons from Sam, is to be consistent and give him the same dedication that he provides to his students as a skilled instructor.
  • Debbie J. Apr 16, 2015
    I have been taking my daughter to vocal lessons with Sam for a little over a year. He has been teaching her the fundamentals of vocal singing and her improvement is incredible. Not only has her singing voice improved greatly, but her confidence is soaring! We highly recommend Sam Shin at El Melody!
  • Alex L. Feb 18, 2015
    Sam (El Melody) has been great! Not only is he an outstanding vocal teacher but he also pushes you to get out there doing public performances and working on your music. After only 4 months with him I performed at his winter recital in front of about 100 people with a full band behind me, it was great and way more than I expected to be getting from a vocal teacher I had been with for just a few months. Sam is always pushing you to improve your singing, from fine tuning details of specific performances to overall technique, and pushing you to move forward with your own goals regarding what you want to do with music. He has a great attitude, he's fun but tough, and does a great job. In my first 4 months with him I feel like I've progressed a lot, with improved breathing technique, better overall singing ability, and increased confidence singing in front of others. It's been an awesome 4 months and I'm really looking forward to the next year working with him.
  • Jenny G. Feb 5, 2015
    I studied voice in middle and high school, and stopped when I got to college. Missing singing tremendously, I found Sam online and felt I should check him out since everyone seemed to love him. Everyone loves Sam because he is not only an amazing teacher -- he's an amazing person as well. Sam has changed my voice. I never thought I'd be able to belt, and he helped me find the courage to overcome my fears. Now I am singing songs I never thought I'd be able to sing, and I am able to do things with my voice I've always wanted to do. Sam not only teaches excellent technique, but musicianship, interpretation and the tools needed to be the best singer you can be. He pushes you to do your best, and is very supportive as you grow as a musician.
  • Tiffany J. Nov 9, 2014
    Singing Lessons
    Verified Review
    I do not have any background in singing. Just a love of singing. In the bathroom. Which my family have to suffer through listening. I know I lack range, depth, and tonality. It's difficult to hear my own recording when I first started practicing with Sam. He thought me how to breathe properly, how to practice correctly, and how to evoke emotion fittingly. Within four months, I've made great improvements. I can hear it in the recordings. What's more, he sets a goal for you whether or not you've created one for yourself-- a long term goal and a short term goal-- and I find this to be particularly important because it sets you on a path of continual improvement.
  • Raymond G. Nov 2, 2014
    Singing Lessons
    Verified Review
    When I came to Sam, I was a decent singer that many said had great potential but I continued to hit a wall no matter how many trainers I had over the years. The amount of improvement I have had with Sam during the last 8 months has outweighed any trainer I have ever had. I had great tone but horrible range, control, and breathing. Sam revolutionized my techniques and I continue to see growth every month. I have had the opportunity to sing at several events since training and have had numerous people comment on the improvement of my vocal performance and effectiveness. I owe everything to Sam and planned to achieve great heights alongside him as my trainer! No matter what style you seek to perfect he has the right solution to make you a versatile vocalist and distinguished artist. He truly is more than a vocal coach but an artist developer and really will help you to see, feel, and deliver music correctly.
  • Melanie B. Oct 5, 2014
    Singing Lessons
    Verified Review
    I was looking for a vocal coach who could give me a professional assessment of my daughter's voice. During my search, I came across El Melody, and the reviews were outstanding. The reviews were absolutely right. Sam Shin is a fabulous vocal coach. He has such a logical approach to teaching everyone from the beginner to the advanced singer how to improve their voice. I was so impressed on how the quality of my daughter's voice had in improved in such a short time. She has a good voice, but he made it so much stronger.
  • Rachel S. Mar 27, 2014
    Singing Lessons
    Verified Review
    Everything you want in an awesome and highly effective music teacher, that's Sam. He is a true master of music. Sam has been my vocal instructor for just three months and in this short time, I along with friends and family, have noticed a dramatic improvement in my singing. He teaches you the proper, organized vocal technique from a solid foundation... He had learned from the best and has a collective wealth of knowledge to impart! He knows just what you need to work on with a keen, highly trained ear to pick up on the smallest flaws to correct them. He's also lots of fun to work with, and has a great sense of humor. He keeps a warm, positive environment and is very encouraging. I think what sets Sam apart from most other instructors is that he works hard to see his students excel not only as a teacher but as a mentor and advisor who has his students' best interests at heart. I'm so thankful to have found him, and you will be too. Thank you Sam for teaching me how to soar!
  • Sarah H. Mar 13, 2014
    Singing Lessons
    Verified Review
    I have been taking voice lessons with Sam since November and start lessons full time in january. Needless to say, I plan on having Sam as my voice teacher for as long as possible! There are many things about Sam that make him a wonderful asset to the music world. The first, being his knowledge and experience. The second, his ability to observe you and your voice and how to teach you accordingly. Lastly, his amazing personality. I am one of many students who after only speaking, and singing a few lines. Sam was able to pinpoint my issues. Sam is the best at concluding your weaknesses, but more importantly, your strengths. The best thing about Sam of course, is his encouragement. I have had 2 other voice teachers and neither were as warm and encouraging as Sam. Sam deeply cares about your voice, your confidence, and your progress. He WANTS to see and hear you do better. He isn't just there to give you tips, but he is there to be your mentor. Lastly, as far as Sam's lesson plan, he will start with basic breathing techniques, then advanced, music fundamentals, as well as analyzing music, and adjusting your voice accordingly for the best sound. And in case you are wondering, yes, my grown has changed, and grown, and gotten better in ways I was not expecting. If you are considering Sam as your voice teacher, you will not be disappointed!
  • Andres G. Oct 30, 2013
    Singing Lessons
    Verified Review
    I have been working with Sam for only a few months (once every other week), but have already noticed improvements in the tone and strength of my voice. We have mostly worked on breathing techniques, but as a foundation for everything else that is to come. The typical class (thus far) consists of Sam introducing some new breathing technique, making sure that I have learned to do it correctly on my own so that I can continue working on it at home, and working on singing using the new breathing techniques. There is a lot left to learn, as Sam has a lot to offer as a teacher, but in the short time we have worked together, I have been very pleased with the results. The reason I gave 4 stars and not 5 is only because of the short time we have been working together. In a few months, I feel that I will be able to provide a more accurate assessment of my experience with Sam, but as of now, I would recommend him to anyone looking to improve their vocal talents.
  • Tiffany B. Jun 7, 2013
    Singing Lessons
    Verified Review
    I am a worship leader and was having vocal issues with a strained voice after long worship sets. It was so frustrating because I desperately wanted to worship God freely without vocal constraints. I was praying about it and researching different options on-line. I posted a review on thumbtack about a month ago and have been seeing Sam ever since. Sam is an amazing vocal coach! He tailors every lesson to exactly what I need. From my very first lesson, he made me feel comfortable & at ease. I immediately knew I was where God wanted me to be! I am amazed at how much I've learned in just a short time! I have weekly lessons with Sam & I am so excited about what God has in store!! I give Sam the highest marks across the board & recommend him highly!! I thank God for Sam!!!
  • Amie F. Apr 30, 2013
    Singing Lessons
    Verified Review
    Our 10 year old daughter started taking lessons from Sam about 5 months ago. We knew she had a beautiful voice and loved to sing, but didn't know what to expect. I have to say we are very impressed. Just after the first couple of lessons she was gaining confidence and singing stronger; and now she sounds amazing! Sam is funny and puts my daughter as ease and at the same time challenges her each session. She can walk in having a hard time with a song she has to sing for chorus at school and walk out nailing it. He has helped her, supported her, and challenged her and we couldn't be happier.
  • Beverly E. Feb 15, 2013
    Singing Lessons
    Verified Review
    Getting singing lessons from Sam has been great. I've been going for 2 months now. And what I like about Sam is that he takes you step by step. He teaches you amazing breathing techniques and how to be confident in yourself. I've learned so much in these 2 months. I really thank him for giving me great tips to reaching those high and low notes. My voice is changing and I can really feel the difference.
  • Daniel P. Feb 4, 2013
    Singing Lessons
    Verified Review
    I'm 60 y/o and wanted to sound better singing while playing my guitar. Sam's simple breathing, humming and singing exercises are helping achieve my goal quicker than expected. A side benefit is that my speaking voice has increased resonance and projection and I've noticed others paying closer attention when I speak. I highly recommend Sam.
  • Dakena H. Dec 11, 2012
    Singing Lessons
    Verified Review
    I've been going to Sam a for about a month now and let me say that I couldn't be any happier. Sam really knows what it takes to develop your true singing voice and gives great instruction on how to bring that out. He's an amazing vocalist himself and shares the importance of every day health and the effect it has on your vocal ability and shares how to keep your voice healthy as well. I love the fact that he starts with the bare basics which is essential to being a great singer. With only a few lessons I can already hear and feel a big change in my voice. I'm excited for what's to come because as we progress and move forward I know he'll turn my voice into what I always imagined it could be.
  • Kayla R. Nov 24, 2012
    Singing Lessons
    Verified Review
    "I met with Sam for the first time on Tuesday. He reviewed the contract with me, spent time discussing my music goals and experience, and he gave me instructions for our next lesson which include selecting the songs that I want to work on. Sam was excellent! And using Thumbtack was a good experience too!"
  • Kelli R. Nov 7, 2012
    Singing Lessons
    Verified Review
    I was in search for a voice coach for my 13 year old daughter for over a year now. I was not going to settle and wanted to find a good match for her. I came across Sam Shin and read his bio. I set up an appt with my daughter to meet him and was very impressed. We started her voice lesson immediately. My daughter is in choirs, but she wants to take her voice to the next level.... Sam was 500% perfect for my daughter. He teaches technique, confidence, and just how to be the best you can be. His instruction is so amazing, that I drive from Montgomery County Md, to have him coach my daughter. He is worth every minute of that drive . My daughter looks forward to meeting with him every week and I get excited to hear the new things she learns each week. Sam is a blessing to the music industry, and my daughter and I plan to work with Sam for many years to come. He is fabulous. I cannot express enough thankfulness to him for all he has done and will do for my daughter's voice now and in the future years to come.
  • Joi M. Oct 27, 2012
    Verified Review
    Sam is a gift to me sent straight from Heaven! I’ve grown so quickly in such a short time - even though music and singing has been a passion for most of my life… As a kid I harmonized with the congregation to Gospel music in my father's tiny Baptist church in Southern California or "jammed" alone in my room to records my folks bought me (not realizing it was the dawn of Christian Contemporary Music). Later in my childhood I did a few jingles for TV commercials & then sang in choirs as a teen - anything from Handel's Messiah to English Madrigals; in college I moved on to singing in a cappella groups: R&B (Essence) / Praise&Worship (Rejoice). Now 30 years later, I'm still singing when I can (as a part of my church's Worship Department) - but I can't say that I've grown that much vocally since I was a kid in my father's church...well, that all changed when I met Sam. Sam immediately put me at ease when I met him (I'm a bit perfectionistic & was soooo nervous). After just the first meeting, he told me things about my voice even my current choir director doesn't know – whom I’ve served under for a decade! He's a great guy - but, he IS demanding...putting me through the paces necessary to build a good foundation first all the while being very affirming. Actually, the first gift Sam gave me was Confidence. I don't have a fantastic voice but I have a good ear & Sam can hear subtle but important qualities/problems in my voice & call them out for me & then give great tips to correct them - whether it was my tone, breathing, inflection or phrasing. [I've purchased online voice programs (eg, Singing Success) & have understood the issues before but one-on-one instruction with Sam has addressed them more than every CD exercise I've tried.] Because I am a mixture of different musical backgrounds, I LOVE that Sam has the unique ability to fuse Eastern & Western music theory into practical instruction. I’m all about understanding the details behind singing. But, I’ve learned that the best Technician is not the best Teacher or Singer. It also requires something of the Heart. Well – that’s the beauty of Sam’s range: if the song requires soul...he's got it; if a more traditional, classical flavor is needed...no problem! So – for me – the best thing about Sam is his genuine heart for his students and for the true purpose of Music: to release in sound something from the heart that blesses ourselves & others...from the very core TO the very core. This was what I was missing before...the sound that came out of my mouth never seemed to merit what I felt inside. Well, I'm so much closer now to this precious place than I was before (after only 7 weeks)! I still have a LONG way to go. But because of God’s gift to me (Sam), I know I’m on the road to some place very new...
  • Dawana D. Oct 26, 2012
    Singing Lessons
    Verified Review
  • Gurpreet S. Oct 22, 2012
    Singing Lessons
    Verified Review
    Let me start off by saying that it has been an honor and privilege learning from Sam. He is an amazing singer and an incredible teacher! I had previously taken vocal lessons from another instructor, but I wasn't too glad with the teaching method. I began taking lessons from Sam after reading the positive reviews on his profile. After my first class with Sam, I knew that I had made a good decision. After a couple weeks, I've seen major improvements in my voice quality, breathing technique, and vocal dynamics. In addition, I've started to sing with more emotion and connect with songs at a level that I didn't know existed. I'm excited to continue learning from Sam and I cannot be happier! Sam's very knowledgeable in all aspects of music, and his experience with soul, jazz, blues, and contemporary music really resonates. I believe what makes Sam an amazing teacher is his ability to connect with his students - he's very passionate about teaching and he makes it his goal to take his students to the very top. I trust in Sam to help me reach my goal because I know that Sam trusts in me. If singing is your passion, I highly encourage you to take lessons from Sam - he will help you find your voice! - Gurpreet
  • Deborah M. Oct 19, 2012
    Singing Lessons
    Verified Review
    Sam has been a tremendous blessing. I am new to the area and knew that I wanted to pursue music. Just one problem, I didn't know where to go or who to trust. I'm so glad that I landed on Sam's thumbtack page and I went with my heart with contacting him because I now know that there couldn't have been a better fit for me. Sam not only has a gift musically, but he has a gift spiritually. He has a way of connecting with his students and that is one of the most important qualities in finding a vocal coach. He sincerely cares about the advancement of each and every one of his students and that to me is priceless. Whether you're a professional or a novice singer, Sam will meet you at your level and will push you to be great. Sam is extremely professional, passionate and has been amazing to work with. He is going to teach everything he knows about singing, all he asks for in return is your commitment.
  • Ashley S. Oct 11, 2012
    Singing Lessons
    Verified Review
    I basically went in to Sam's studio to see where I'm at with singing. Sam told me to sing so I did. He also told me what I need to work on and then scheduled for me to come in every week. I am very pleased with the voice lesson and would definitely recommend Sam to my family and friends. I am going to continue using his service on a weekly basis.
  • Hao J. Sep 16, 2012
    Singing Lessons
    Verified Review
    " I had my first lesson with Sam on Friday. It was very good. We discussed my prior music experience, some techniques and my goals. Sam was on time and very professional and I would definitely recommend him. And using Thumbtack was a good experience too!"
  • Chao X. Aug 27, 2012
    Singing Lessons
    Verified Review
    Sam is a great voice instructor. He is experienced in both classical styles and traditional and contemporary R&B/Jazz styles and has performed with numerous popular acts such as Tony Bennett and Aretha Franklin and was a successful contestant on MTV's Making the Band reality show. As an instructor, he stresses the fundamentals in his lessons and helps students to develop a solid foundation upon which they can build performance techniques. He teaches students artistry as well as technique. In addition, he is often encouraging and energetic in his lessons and is very friendly. For students of pop/R&B/jazz standard singing, he uses Michael Buble as models for students and likes developing a round, solid sound rather than the strained vocals seen in most of today's pop music. This helps students with damaged voices to improve vocal production technique and find ways to repair their voices.

Q&A

What education and/or training do you have that relates to your work?
I live and breath with music. Music study shouldn't be happening only in school, It's everywhere. Look around and see what inspire you to sing. Everything and anything you see and hear can turn into music. I study music in my life basis.
How did you get started doing this type of work?
i have always been singing in my whole life and also been a professional vocalist for quite some time. I,m back to my town and back to God. Love give my passion for music to my students and share with them.
What types of customers have you worked with?
Weak Voice, Unstable High notes, Damaged Vocal cord. Want to become Professional singers and so on.
Describe a recent project you are fond of. How long did it take?
I am Proud of every students of mine and They are the winners and all are absolutely fantastic. Every Lesson i do with my students are irreplaceable, I watch them grow as an artist and it truly fulfills me.
What questions should customers think through before talking to professionals about their project?
I don't just teach voice nor music. understanding the students needs and emotion comes first than anything. Music isn't just a technique. it's sharing the emotions and understanding the others. I want to get to know you and know what you are trying to expressing through your voice.