The Singer’s Gym offers training and tools to experience full connection, vitality and spontaneity in the practice and performance of vocal music.
The Singer’s Gym is a workshop dedicated to inspired, connected singing.
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 performance. While we do not work on vocal technique, the workshop always produces a marked improvement in the intensity and quality of each singer’s sound.
Our working method is group oriented. While each singer is given individualized attention, all learn from observing one another work.
We also conduct specialized workshops at colleges and universities. In 2022 we are introducing “Community Sings”—events where everyone is invited to join in a lively hour of singing old favorites.
The Singer’s Gym is a not-for-profit (501c3) organization, founded in 1996, and we have trained over 800 singers to date.
“I’ve had great voice training, but the Singer’s Gym added a dimension to my singing that I only dreamed of. I always knew I loved to sing, but now I have that experience at auditions and onstage. This is a very unusual workshop and I recommend it highly.”
– Kristin H
Ben Bernstein, PhD (coach, director) is an acting teacher for singers, a stage director, an opera composer and a performance psychologist. Trained by Viola Spolin, he was Gian Carlo Menotti’s assistant at the American Opera Center in New York. Ben has staged premiere productions of new operas and has coached singers throughout the U.S. and abroad. He has conducted master classes and directed at the Sundance Institute, the San Francisco Opera, the Juilliard School, the American Opera Center, and has been a presenter at conferences worldwide. He speaks nationally on the subject of stress and performance. As a composer, he received commissioning grants for his one act opera, The Man in the Mirror, which had a successful premiere at the American Handel Festival in Seattle. His award-winning settings for The Song of Songs have been performed around the U.S. His three books, Crush Your Test Anxiety, A Teen’s Guide to Success, and Stressed Out! for Parents have received international attention. His ongoing blog, “Be Your Best,” on the Psychology Today website regularly receives thousands of hits.
Darryl Cooper (coach, accompanist) is currently the Music Director and Vocal Coach for Opera Studies at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas. He most recently conducted Orpheus in the Underworld and Dido and Aeneas for UNLV Opera Theatre. Previously, he was the Assistant Music Director of the Opera Program at the San Francisco Conservatory of Music, where he worked for over twenty years as a pianist, coach, and conductor. Darryl is also on the faculty of the American Institute of Musical Studies in Graz, Austria, and has previously been a member of the opera and coaching faculties of the Boston Conservatory, Boston University Theater Institute, Crittenden Opera Studio, Chautauqua Opera, Bay Area Summer Opera Theater Institute, and an Artist-in-Residence at Brandeis University Mr. Cooper has prepared numerous professional and workshop opera productions in the Bay Area, New England, and Italy. In addition as well as Jerome Robbin’s West Side Story Ballet for the San Francisco Ballet. He is an active recital partner, and has been heard on WGBH Radio, Boston.
Mark Morash (coach, accompanist) is currently serving as Head of Music and Chorus Master for Calgary Opera in Calgary, Canada. Prior to that, he was Director of Musical Studies for the Opera Center of San Francisco Opera for over two decades. There, he conducted for the Merola Opera Program, the Adler Fellow Showcase and Western Opera Theater. He also led performances of A Streetcar Named Desire, La Serva Padrona and Trouble in Tahiti for Opera Santa Barbara, Rigoletto for Opera Colorado, and Don Giovanni and The Turn of the Screw for the Lincoln Theater in Yountville, CA. As a collaborative pianist, Morash’s performances have taken him throughout Canada, the USA, as well as to Japan and Russia. Artists with whom Morash has appeared include Leah Crocetto, Melody Moore, Elza van den Heever, Quinn Kelsey and Michael Schade. He has accompanied numerous emerging singers in San Francisco Opera’s esteemed Schwabacher Debut recitals, and has done master coach residencies for Pacific Opera Victoria, Hawaii Opera, and for the Kia Ora and Malvina Major Foundations in New Zealand.
The Singer’s Gym offers a four session workshop for professional opera singers. It is open to ten singers who are chosen by audition. Singers who have taken this workshop are invited to join follow-up “specialty workshops”. For more information, click here.
Specialty workshops for singers who have been through the basic four session workshop include: the Audition Intensive; Overcoming Nerves; Mastering Shakespeare. Click here for more information on the Nerves Workshop.
Special workshops are offered from time-to-time for singers who specialize in popular styles: jazz, rock, blues and country.
An open workshop for people who want to sing. If you want a fun, lively and supportive environment to sing this workshop is for you.
The Singer’s Gym regularly offers classes and workshops for other presenters such as: • Local and regional chapters of NATS (National Association of Teachers of Singing); Resident Young Artist program at opera companies; Conservatory and university vocal programs; Studios of individual voice teachers. For information on The Singer’s Gym for Young Artist programs click here.
If you would like more information or have questions about our programs please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Watch the Singer’s Gym in Action
The Singer’s Gym had a livestream benefit on October 24, 2021. Watch Mark Morash and Ben Bernstein as they coach two singers in the “Gym” method. The event was recorded and lives on YouTube.
“The Singer’s Gym teachers combine years of invaluable professional experience and they bring their compassion, insight and humor to sessions that achieve positive results.”
– R. T., tenor
The Singer’s Gym, Inc is a 501(c)(3) charitable organization. Your donation is entirely tax deductible.
We depend on our donors and supporters to keep our programs of quality high and our fees low. This makes our work more accessible to performing artists who often struggle to make a living.
Your donation will help support tuition fees, studio rental, and a whole range of administrative costs (phone, postage, website, etc).
“The Singers’ Gym has helped me find and release my true voice. I’ve managed musical feats I never thought I could pull off and found musical depths I didn’t know I had.”
– T.L., Soprano
“In The Singer’s Gym I had the experience of actually loving to sing. After completing the workshop, I brought this energy into my auditions and they completely changed. People were listening, and I got jobs!”
“I’ve had expert vocal training. The Singer’s Gym has given me the tools to bring it to life. I no longer am preoccupied with my sound. I’m immersed in what I’m singing. And I’ve never sounded better.”
“The Singer’s Gym is like no other training I’ve experienced. The Gym gave me the opportunity to let go of concentrating on my voice and instead using it in the service of the music and words. It’s a joy to simply sing, and feel it all come together.”
“For years I was hung up about not having had acting training. In an audition or role I always felt I was being artificial. The Singer’s Gym changed all of that. Now, when I’m singing, I feel very free, and I love it.”
“I’m most impressed by The Singer’s Gym expert teachers. They take you through a process of discovery in a very lively, supportive, non-judgmental way. For the first time I felt like I was truly making music.”