With more than 40 years as performer and voice teacher, Tom McKinney has mastered the “Sing With The Ease of Speech Singing Technique.” He has utilized this technique with many award winning singers including Mario, Demi Lovato, Ray J, Solange, and American Idol finalists. Tom also served as the New Talent Development Vocal Technique Instructor for Beyonce and Mathew Knowles’ recording and publishing company, Music World, in Houston.
Today, Tom’s greatest satisfaction comes from teaching and developing the talent embodied in his students, by providing direction for those wishing to make a career in music and entertainment. Tom works closely with some of the most successful music producers, A & R managers, song writers, and record labels in the country.
With more than 40 years as a performer and voice teacher, Tom McKinney developed the “Ease of Speech Singing Technique.” Tom began singing at age 11, with Bill Schahn of Ft. Worth, TX., before training for many years with world renowned vocal coach, Seth Riggs, (LA.), and then Seth’s mentor, the late Keith Davis, (NYC). Tom has put his years of training to good use. He is a frequent guest lecturer, vocal and performance skill instructor in New York, Italy and Germany.
Recognition and accolades
Tom has garnered many awards and accolades as a performer and vocal techniques teacher. After many years with Seth Riggs’ Speech Level Singing Institute (SLSI), he attained the highest level of teaching proficiency and a place on the SLSI management team.
Tom won the coveted Carbonell award (3rd most recognized acting award in the US) for Best Supporting Actor in “A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum”, which was directed by Oscar-winning actor Jose Ferrer. Tom has also performed in various nightclubs in Las Vegas, NYC, LA, Houston and Dallas.
He won the Metropolitan Opera Soloist Award in 1971, going on to have an extended operatic career in Europe, the US, and many parts of the world. He has starred in more than 25 operas, 60 musicals, and numerous concert performances worldwide and has taken the stage with such entertainment icons as Milton Berle, Burt Lancaster, Vincent Price, Van Johnson, Burt Reynolds, Placido Domingo, Jose Ferrer and Beverly Sills, just to name a few.
Tom’s television credits include The Merv Griffin Show and Johnny Carson’s, The Tonight Show, and four seasons as the lead judge on Houston’s popular regional talent search, “Gimme The Mic!” (NBC). In addition, Tom continues to serve as a talent judge and coach for pageants, and college prep auditions. He was a National Judge for “America’s Junior Miss Competition” now known as “Distinguished Young Women of America”, in Mobile, Alabama, in 2007.
His knowledge and experience are supported by his affiliations with some of today’s top music industry professionals – people like Brett Manning, Vocal Instructor to many of the biggest names in Nashville, and judge on the CMT Show, “Can You Duet”. Tom has top music industry contacts such as record label execs, managers, agents and publishers in NYC, LA, Chicago, Atlanta, Miami and Nashville.
What’s going on now
Tom and his wife and partner, Colleen, opened the Tom McKinney Vocal Studios, in Orlando, Fl., in 1997. Today, they have locations in Houston and Dallas, Texas in addition to teaching via world-wide via Skype. Together, they formed Rising Star Talent Development to mentor and groom aspiring artists with the aid of a network of industry professionals. Tom also served as the New Talent Development Vocal Technique Instructor for Beyonce and Mathew Knowles’ Recording and Publishing Company, Music World, in Houston.