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Singer's Gym

The Singers Gym offers training and tools to experience full connection, vitality and spontaneity in the practice and performance of vocal music.

Ben Berstein

Ben Bernstein


A live-streamed event

Watch and listen to professional opera singers 
being coached, live!

  Ben Bernstein,
opera composer, director and
performance psychologist
and Mark Morash,
conductor, accompanist and formerly
Director of Musical Studies
at the San Francisco Opera, coach two professional
opera singers with you
as the audience.

Mark Morash

Mark Morash

Ben Berstein
Mark Morash

The Singer’s Gym is a workshop dedicated to giving singers the experience of being fully connected when they perform. We focus on vitality, spontaneity and connection—to the music, the libretto and to each other—when they sing. While we do not work on vocal technique, every singer who has been through “The Gym” sounds better!

Founded by Ben Bernstein and Kathy Cathcart, we have trained over 500 singers since 1995 and have been invited to work with the singers in the Merola and Adler Fellows programs at the San Francisco Opera.

The Singer’s Gym, Inc. is a recognized 501c3 non-profit. All donations, large and small, are welcome and are fully tax deductible. 

If you wish to make your donation by check, please make it payable to
“The Singer’s Gym”
and mail it to
The Singer’s Gym, 2081 Center Street, Berkeley, CA 94704

Please join us. 

To watch the event click here.

Download Benefit Program
This program is to be printed double sided on one sheet of paper, and then folded.

About Us

The Singers Gym is a workshop dedicated to inspired, connected singing.

We work to deepen the singersart 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. 

The Singers Gym is a not-for-profit (501c3) organization, founded in 1996, and we have trained over 800 singers to date.

The Singers Gym fills a need that is met nowhere else in the Bay Area. It allows singers to explore, grow and try out new things in a supportive environment.”
– A.R., mezzo soprano

Our Staff

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 Menottis 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 is currently the Music Director and Vocal Coach for Opera Studies at the University of Nevada Las Vegas. Previously he was the Assistant Music Director of the Opera Program at the San Francisco Conservatory of Music, where he worked for over 20 years as a pianist, coach, and conductor. He 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, he prepared Jerome Robbins West Side Story Ballet for the San Francisco Ballet. He is an active recital partner, and has been heard on WGBH Radio, Boston.

We are pleased to announce that The Singer’s Gym will be mounting online workshops starting May 2021.

Opera Workshop
The Singers 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”.

Specialty Workshops
Specialty workshops for singers who have been through the basic four session workshop include: the Audition Intensive; Overcoming Nerves; Mastering Shakespeare.

Popular Styles
Special workshops are offered from time-to-time for singers who specialize in popular styles: jazz, rock, blues and country.

Community Workshops
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.

Mobile Workshops
The Singers 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

If you would like more information or have  questions about our programs please contact us at

The Singers 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 Singers 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!”
-S.B., Soprano

“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.”
-Z.M., Baritone

“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.”
—B.Z., Bass

“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.”
—S.P., Soprano

“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.”
—V.I.,  Alto


Please be in touch!

If you would like more information or have  questions about our programs please contact us at 


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