Thursday, November 15, 2012

Review of Vocal Coach Singer

Can you sing? If so, you're way ahead of me! I mean, I sing in church, sure, and I sing to my kids (lullabies when they were younger, songs in and for school now). I can carry a tune, but no one could ever accuse me of having sweet dulcet tones.  There is talent in my family, though.  My older sister has a beautiful voice.  My father has been singing his whole life, from glee club in college to Archdiocesan choir today (that's the official choir of the Archdiocese of Galveston-Houston; it's an audition choir).  Thanks to my Dad, my elder kids are getting piano lessons and I *really* want them to be able to sing while they play (a whole different skill set!). Sadly, I don't have the talent to teach them to sing.

Enter, The Vocal Coach Singer.  This comprehensive training program brings two professional singing teachers straight to your home.  Through a series of exercises and lessons, both you and your children can learn to sing!

What is included in this all-encompassing program? Bear with me. Vocal Coach Singer includes all of the following (straight from the horse's mouth...or the website!):

7 Training CDs:

  • Getting Started
  • Complete Breathing
  • Complete Warm-Up
  • Complete Tone
  • Complete Expanding Your Range
  • Complete Diction
  • Complete Performance

4 Workout CDs:

  • Daily Workout High Voice 1 & 2
  • Daily Workout Medium/Low Voice 1 & 2

Plus these great educational tools:

  • Guidebook – Full-size Instructional Guidebook to Ensure Success
  • Printable Lead Sheets – each exercise in our course, plus track lists
  • Personal Singer's Journal (Getting Started Journal & Workout Journal) to Track Your Progress
  • Vocal Coach Song Evaluation – Evaluation form to enable you to make more intelligent song selections

In my case, I didn't receive the CDs, but rather I downloaded MP3 files.  The more things I can store on my computer, the happier I am!

Although Vocal Coach Singer does not come with lesson plans, it is fairly easy to follow.  The CDs (or MP3s) seem to follow in a natural progression (the one listed above).  You can go as slowly or as quickly as you see fit.  The Guidebook explains things like posture and taking care of your voice, but doesn't really explain the "nuts and bolts" of the program.  Again, that is not a detriment, but it is something to be aware of. Homeschoolers looking for a traditional music curriculum might be taken off guard, but those looking for bona fide singing training will likely be delighted.

The MP3 files vary in length. Some are only a couple of minutes long, while some are up to five or six minutes long.  Chris Beatty conducts most of the lessons, but Carol Beatty often asks questions or clarifies things, much as a parent might do if she were present for the lessons.  Both are pleasant and easy to listen to.  

As I indicated, there is great flexibility in this program.  While it comes with a journal to record what you do each day, songs you practiced, questions you have, etc., I didn't have my 11 year-old daughter use the journal.  As we progress through the program, I foresee her using it, but to start, I just wanted her to familiarize herself with the breathing and the exercises.  I didn't want this to seem like "school", per se.  I wanted it to seem more like dance or piano - an extracurricular activity for her to enjoy and benefit from.

She has done both with Vocal Coach Singer.  Although I was going to use the program with my younger kids, too, I honestly don't think they're ready for it yet.  Some of the breathing exercises are, to their immature ears, funny.  Think Lamaze-style breathing sounds.  From my perspective, though, I have learned so much about how a singer uses her whole body to create sound.  I even think that I might be sounding a little better - and we're not done with the program yet! It's amazing how posture, control, etc. make such a difference in the final sound.  As long as you are not truly and honestly tone deaf, I absolutely think this program will make you a better (and, in my case, more confident) singer.  My daughter needed far less help than I.  She sounds beautiful, but I think that she has a lot more voice hiding beneath her shyness.

Vocal Coach Singer is available for $119.99 for the CDs or $99.99 for the MP3 downloads.  When you compare that to the cost of private singing lessons, you realize that this product is an incredible value! My family is really excited to continue learning with Vocal Coach Singer.  To see how other families felt about this product, visit the Crew blog.

Disclaimer: I received Vocal Coach Singer free in exchange for my honest review.  I received no other compensation.


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