Debra Byrd | Vocal Chair at Musicians Institute
Vocal Coach on American Idol and The Voice

"I had the distinct privilege of working with Molly as her direct supervisor and Vocal Chair at the world renowned Musicians Institute, College of Contemporary Music (MI) in Hollywood, CA. Molly proved to be one of our most valuable and finest instructors at MI, and a favorite amongst our vocal students. I often referred to her as the "velvet hammer" because she has the ability to offer honest and constructive feedback while still coming from an encouraging and supportive place. Our students could rely on Molly to always go the extra mile, inspiring them to bring out their best. There is no question that Molly is dedicated to the craft of singing and artist development. Her industry experience, innate teaching abilities, gifted singing plus an impressive background as an artist herself, has equipped her with the necessary tools to be a top-notch vocal coach."


Kalynne Michelle Schoelen
Hometown: Red Bluff, CA
Resides: Los Angeles, CA

facebook.com/kalynnemichelle 
twitter.com/kalynnemichelle

"When I first came to Molly I had trouble singing in my head voice. It was not as strong as it needed to be. I expressed this to Molly during our first lesson together and immediately she introduced me to some vocal exercises to help strengthen my falsetto. Every lesson we had we did these exercises. Over time, I noticed my head voice was becoming stronger and stronger. It became more forward in my mask instead of airy and weak. Thanks to Molly drilling in the exercises I needed, I now have a fuller, stronger falsetto! I also had some trouble dealing with nerves. I had a tendency to stay in one spot while performing and butterflies would sometimes get the best of me and hinder my vocal performance. Molly shared some simple breathing exercises with me that were able to help me control my nerves and ultimately allow me to focus more on my movements. In no time she had moving all over the stage!
Additionally, the first day I walked into my private lesson with Molly I knew we we’re going to have a great time working together. She is very personable and makes learning so much fun! Molly is absolutely wonderful. She radiates professionalism, talent and knowledge of her craft. She is patient, understanding and pushes you to exceed your full potential. I never had to wait on Molly, she’s very punctual and was always early to our lessons. We would begin the hour by catching up on life, share stories about our week, have a laugh, loosen things up a bit. We would then begin with vocal exercises, spending a good amount of time working on each register. Then we would focus on performances I had in the upcoming week and work on specific songs or parts of songs I needed help with. Molly is very passionate about what she does and to me that makes all the difference in a teacher. She believes in what she is teaching and she believes in every single one of her students. She focuses on each individual’s strengths and weaknesses and makes sure that you meet specific goals you set for yourself. You will not go wrong with this wonderful teacher!"
 
Paolo Lopez
Hometown: Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
Resides: Brasilia, Brazil

"As a guitar player, I always had the desire to sing but I was insecure about my vocal. In the six months I spent with Molly, my technical and performance skills improved more than I could have ever imagined. She helped me become a confident singer, and more importantly, she helped me to find out who I am as a singer. 
Molly is a fabulous teacher and singer. With a great method, she goes direct to the problems. A very ethical person, she is always in a good mood and genuinely cares about her students. I can say that Molly changed my life."

Pavlina Horwath Hill
Hometown: San Antonio, Texas
Resides: Mt. Juliet, TN

 "I had several voice coaches before I was finally paired with the one that understood me the best, Molly. She was my private lesson instructor for a year, and I learned the most during that time. One of the biggest things that Molly helped me with was embracing my voice and fine tuning it rather than shaping me to sing like someone else.
She was able to give me exercises that actually enhanced my voice rather than change it, she helped me not only with my confidence singing but performing as well. I am very grateful for finding such a fantastic match to help me improve my vocal skills and I look forward to continuing to work with Molly."


Thoko Dlamini 
Hometown: Johannesburg, South Africa

Resides: Los Angeles, California
"When I first moved to Los Angeles, I was very afraid of my own voice. Having Molly as my Vocal Performance teacher not only helped me develop my voice, but also my confidence. She helped me understand what works for my voice while pushing me to excel in what I wanted to do. Above all else she is extremely positive and supportive. I love her style of teaching because she explains how to do technical exercises in simple ways and is very practical about how you can achieve your vocal goals. I can now confidently sing in my chest voice and I am developing my falsetto. I am truly thankful that I got an opportunity to be taught by her."

Sydney Maxine
Hometown: Santa Maria, CA
Resides: Nashville, TN

www.sydneymaxine.com 
www.facebook.com/SydneyMaxineMusic
"I had the privilege of having Molly as my private lesson instructor and Vocal Performance coach while studying at Musicians Institute in Hollywood, CA. Before working with Molly, I had an extremely hard time singing in my head voice and my mix. I went in not knowing how to fix these problems. With a proper assessment and one warm-up given, Molly knew exactly what I needed to work on. Each week, I could tell that certain parts of my vocal cords were getting stronger and stronger. She made a "not so easy" process fun and exciting. Molly's patience, down to earth personality, and professionalism made my journey to becoming a better singer worth while. I could not have asked for a better vocal coach."

Liyang Duan
Resides: Beijing, China
https://m.weibo.cn/u/1225884255
"Molly is a really nice and kind person. She is willing to help at any time and takes all the time needed to solve my vocal and performance problems. She is very honest to point out my weaknesses so we can work on how to improve them. Before I met Molly, I was not able to sing with my chest voice. However, after working with her in private lesson, I can now sing stronger and my voice is a lot more powerful. She also helps me with improving my stage presence, confidence, and interacting with audience. I've learned a lot from her as a musician."

Bryan G
Resides: Tomah, Wisconsin
"I've had several very good music instructors and Molly stands out as among the very best, and in many ways is the best I've had the pleasure of studying under. Molly herself is a great vocalist and a gifted teacher as well. She takes the time to learn about her students, what they are looking for and adds in what she sees as their needs. 
I've consistently gotten valuable lessons and even followups summarizing what we went over, what I need to work on during the week and also what to expect in the coming lesson. I am very glad to have the opportunity to work with Molly and wouldn't hesitate to encourage anyone to do the same. If progress and direction are what you're looking for in a voice lesson, sign up with her now!"

 
Rick H
Resides: New York, New York
"I have been working with Molly for five or six weeks now and she has already taken my vocal ability to the next level. She was and still is quickly able to identify the opportunities in my voice and succinctly explain in relatable terms how to adjust and improve. I would recommend Molly as a vocal coach to individuals with no experience or even some. She will take you where you need to go as long as you put in the effort."
Wayne Harper
Hometown: New York
Resides: Nashville, TN
www.wayneharpermusic.com
"First two weeks with Molly has already been fantastic. She's very personable and took the time to get to know me, and my ability to tailor a specific lesson plan for me. She's also very open to working on any covers or originals you might want to improve as well as strengthening and bettering your overall vocal dynamics."
 

Anna Leonowicz
Hometown: Czestochowa, Poland
Resides: Los Angeles, CA

"I was Molly's student for almost 2 years. Before that I had been struggling with my fear of stage. She taught me how to be more confident and comfortable on the stage which I'm extremely grateful for.  Molly is such an amazing teacher. Always helpful, full of great positive energy, and always 100% prepared for a class. She makes it a point to know exactly the needs of her students and then works on them very carefully. Very inspiring!"


Thiago Muller
Hometown: Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
Resides: Los Angeles, CA

"I worked with Molly for 2 years at Musicians Institute. She was my private instructor for vocal lessons.  Our first challenge was my falsetto. I  had a problem with my head voice...I didn't have one, or so I thought.  Molly worked with me, was very patient and professional, and gave me useful vocal technique exercises for me to practice everyday. She made me challenge myself and I found a new voice that I never realized I had. I owe a lot to Molly. To me she is more than a professional teacher. She is also a musician.  Molly loves to teach, and she is so passionate about it that it inspires her students.  That's exactly what a teacher should be doing with their students... inspire them. I am very thankful that I got to work with her as I accomplished my goals and now have a head voice!"

Nathalia Lacerda
Hometown: Sao Paulo, Brazil
Resides: Los Angeles, CA

"I first met Molly in 2012. The first thing that stuck out to me about her was the way she taught. She was hands-on. She would go on the stage and move me around, give me detailed feedback and always teach by example!! The one thing she would always tell me is, “You’re singing in your throat. Project your voice to a focal point in the back of the room, like you are trying to get someone's attention on the other side of the street.” To this day I remember that. She has helped so much on resonance and understanding where my voice has to sit."


Moses Ibrahim
Hometown: Abuja, Nigeria
Resides: Los Angeles, CA 

"I was honored to take Molly’s Vocal performance class while she was a teacher at the Musicians Institute.  She was very professional and always willing to help her students. She’s approachable, friendly and nice to everyone. I really appreciate her honest critiques, always focusing on ways to improve one's performance skills. Her work ethic is great and she’s always on time. I like how she gives her students equal amount of attention without making anyone feel left out.
I've always been a very shy performer, never allowing myself to be free and expressive on stage. That completely changed when I started working with Molly. She saw potential in me, and recognized I was holding back. She took time to work on my stage presence and confidence. She gave me exercises to do to loosen up and that really helped me grow. She wrote down notes on what I needed to change, improve and learn. She took time to answer all my questions, and really explain the details.  Now, I am more confident on stage. I’m very expressive and I know who I am as an artist."

MANUELA EDER
Resides: Munich, Germany
www.cosmic-fever.com
"I have found one of the best teachers I have ever had in Molly! I live in Munich, Germany, and ever since I started to take vocal lessons, I have been searching for a vocal teacher like her. What I love about Molly's way of teaching is how she emphasizes the importance of writing and composing songs. She has helped me so much to find my own personal way of writing by expressing my inner thoughts and feelings in my own songs. She is such an inspiration not only musically but also personally. Molly is a great believer in her students, that's what I needed the most at certain times when I felt discouraged or stuck.  
Molly has the great gift of knowing how to teach and get the point across. She not only teaches the theoretical stuff such as various exercises and theory, but also knows how to help with lyrics and how to get the creative juices flowing :-)  I have taken in-home lessons with Molly in Los Angeles as well as via Skype which also works very well for the lessons. She has really taught me how to believe in myself and my creativity! Very helpful and inspiring… I can not thank her enough for sharing these experiences with me!"


Aria Zhang
Hometown: Zhengzhou, Henan Province, China
Resides: Zhengzhou, Tianjin, Hangzhou, China

"Before meeting Molly in Hollywood, I never sang country music. Being from China, this genre was very different than anything I had sang before. Molly took me into the world of country music and showed me how beautiful and exciting it is. I can feel the enchantment when I hear Molly singing country music. That is what influenced me to try it out. She really gave me awesome guidance. I'll always to be grateful to her coaching. Molly is always so sweet and patient. Learning from her is a pleasant process, and I always learn something new from our private lesson...every time . That's really exciting!"


Ziwei  Xia
Hometown: Shandong, China
Resides: Los Angeles, CA

"Molly has been my personal vocal coach for over 2 1/2 years. Prior to that, I was new to music and needed to learn the fundamentals of singing. I needed help with breathing, my rhythm, pitch and timing. I also needed to learn what songs best suit my vocal range. After working with Molly, my voice and stage presence have improved a lot! She's helped me with my goal of one day becoming a professional singer. My chest voice continues to get stronger, my rhythm and timing are getting much better, and my English pronunciation is even becoming more accurate. Now I have a really pretty voice and I am more confident than ever to sing on stage. Molly is a great coach for me. She is patient, encouraging  and supportive. I don't plan on changing vocal coaches anytime soon!"

Kelsie I
Resides: Nashville, TN
"Molly is a wonderful instructor, who is very patient and kind. All lessons were very well prepared and conveyed to my child in an easily understandible manner. I would recommend her to all age groups. Thank you Molly!"

Leonor P
Resides: Nashville, TN
"Molly is a gret vocal instructor who cares about your wants and needs. She knows what she is doing and is very clear in her instruction. Love it!"
 
Jessica G
Resides: Nashville, TN
"Molly is amazing. She is so honest and extremely knowledgeable about the vocal mechanisms. I feel like improvement occurred within one lesson!"