Gary Catona has worked with some of the best names in the business to help them improve and build their voices with his incredible talent. We got the opportunity to speak with him about what he does, how he came up with “Voice Building” and what he is working on next.
KRISTIN: How did you get into being a voice coach/builder? You had to be interested in singing before deciding to teach, right?
GARY: My original interest was to become an opera singer, but misguided vocal teaching forced me to develop my own system that I called “voice building” – a vocal-muscle building process that differs radically from what I was taught. Once I realized the revolutionary nature of my process, I felt a “calling” to spread it throughout the world by teaching it.
KRISTIN: You describe yourself as a Voice Builder. Can you explain that a little?
GARY: As a voice builder, I operate on the sport’s analogy: Singing is a kind of sport and a singer a kind of athlete and following this model becoming “vocally fit” – building vocal muscles – should be the point of any form of voice teaching. Other approaches don’t work directly on building vocal muscles but instead focus on so-called diaphragm support and breathing, mask singing, breath control, throat relaxation – all of which are useless at best and harmful at worst. Why? Because they breakdown the muscular support of the voice (located in the throat).
KRISTIN: You have worked with some of the most well-known and talented artists in the business. Can you give us an idea of what you do with them? We always just assume these artists are naturally, insanely talented.
GARY: All singers, no matter how gifted, should always try to go improve. And all students begin in the same place despite the level of their talent. It’s like bodybuilding: All people who train use similar exercises no matter how naturally physically endowed a person may be. I have worked with many of the most brilliant singers in modern music and it’s always the case that they have a great deal of under-realized potential no matter how amazing their abilities.
KRISTIN: How is the feeling for you when you work with an artist and then see them perform and everyone raves about how amazing their voice sounds and the control they have, etc.?
GARY: I feel a great sense of pride and joy knowing that I played a part in bringing into the world more beauty and excitement.
KRISTIN: You also do vocal rehabilitation. What is that part of your job like?
GARY: It’s one point to build a singing voice, but giving someone his or her own voice back is something else all together different. Imagine not being able to communicate with your voice and then having it back! It’s truly a mind-blowing experience to hear that happen.
KRISTIN: Recently in an interview, Ed Sheeran mentioned he isn’t naturally as talented as we assumed and he took a lot of lessons and worked with a coach. As a vocal coach, you don’t just work with people who are already great singers. You can work with people who want to become great singers, right?
GARY: Yes, many successful singers did not begin that way – but worked hard to master their craft. And I have worked with many beginners who became exceptional.
KRISTIN: How does one come to be able to work with you?
GARY: My website is: garycatona.com
KRISTIN: You also have put out a DVD collection of your teachings… Why do you recommend it and this system?
GARY: The Ultimate Voice Builder (https://ultimatevoicebuilder.com) is an excellent tool to help anyone – professional or beginner – to build his or her voice. It has all the basics of voice building. And the reviews have been great.
Gary Catona can be followed on his website above and check out his DVD collection, The Ultimate Voice Builder, at the above listed link. We look forward to more great music coming from those he teaches his craft to!