About The Singer’s Gym

Mission Statement

The Singer’s Gym is dedicated to inspired, connected singing.

We offer professional and non-professional singers the environment and tools to experience full involvement, spontaneity and vitality in the practice and performance of vocal music.


What We Do

The Singer’s Gym provides an original training for singers and for people who want to sing. We work to deepen the singers’ art by focusing on four aspects of singing: the score, space, character and relationships, and how these all come together in performance. Our work brings a great liveliness and spontaneity to the singer’s interpretation. Though we do not work on vocal technique, we always hear definite improvement in the quality of sound when a singer is more connected in these four areas. We offer different workshops: for opera singers, for jazz/pop singers, and for non-professionals who want to sing.

Our working method is group oriented. While each singer is given individualized attention, all learn from observing one another work. This method is enhanced by having groups that are heterogeneous: singers with years of training and stage experience work side by side with singers at the beginning stages of their professional work.

We also conduct specialized workshops at colleges and universities, and at the San Francisco Opera, offering Master Classes for the Merola Program and Adler Fellows.

The Singer’s Gym is a not-for-profit (501c3) organization, founded in 1996, and we have trained over 300 singers to date.


Brief History

The Singer’s Gym was founded in 1996 by Ben Bernstein, a nationally recognized performance coach, with a Ph.D. in applied psychology and extensive experience in music as a performer, composer and acting coach. Dr. Bernstein’s purpose in starting The Singer’s Gym was to provide a workshop for singers to gain the tools they need to bring more connection and vitality to their singing. He extended an invitation to Kathryn Cathcart to join him in creating the Singer’s Gym. Ms. Cathcart was then Director of Musical Studies at the San Francisco Opera Center and is currently head of the Opera Workshop at the San Francisco Conservatory of Music (see bios).

Bernstein and Cathcart started providing workshops for opera singers in the fall of 1996.

Over the past eleven years they have offered the Singer’s Gym training around the Bay Area, and have been invited to give Singer’s Gym workshops and master classes for the Merola Program and for the Adler Fellows at the San Francisco Opera; for the Music Department at the University of California at Chico, the Redwood Empire Chapter of the National Association of Teachers of Singing, and for the Peninsula Teen Opera Program.

Bernstein and Cathcart have trained over 500 singers, voice teachers and coaches in Singers’ Gym workshops.