Throughout my journey during my teenage and young adulthood years, the one thing that became persistent is that somebody is always teaching me how to sing. Things changed when I became a professional and retired from the glamour of singing on the world stage. But instead of being educated, I became the one teaching.
This is the biggest thing, which today’s subject for review has resonated with me. I truly respect people who invested their fun college days in observatories. Sure, singing almost every day all day is fun. But being under strict guidance from multiple mentors and professors, you can break apart from the stress.
If I only had it my way, I want to require all singing coaches to undergo formal education before they can put up courses online. But I know the world isn’t perfect and I can’t have this wish granted. So, it makes me glad that I’m going to review someone who passes a standard rarely cognized by many.
Here Comes Gabriel Burrafato
Unlike most of the coaches I’ve reviewed here on this website, Gabriel Burrafato’s popularity didn’t come from YouTube or Hollywood. Instead, people know him from his work on Broadway, through his concert aired on PBS stations, and his SkillShare course. You can also see him accidentally in some television shows playing minor characters. If you frequently watch musicals, you’ll quickly recognize him as the actor playing Legolas in Lord of the Rings.
Here’s a snippet from one of his online shorts, Stranger.
He has two online singing courses in SkillShare:
- Singing Made Easy: Level 1: Complete Vocal Training System
- Singing Made Easy: Level 2: Sing Like a Pro
His Courses in SkillShare
I’d let the cat out of the bag and say this: you don’t need a lot of convincing to subscribe to his course. There are multiple reasons you can trust this guy to actually teach you all the things you need to learn about singing.
First of all, he’s not a nobody or a random guy who created a course to make some quick bucks. Gabriel is a two-time award-winning actor and singer in Broadway. He does musicals, and I have great respect and admiration for people working in that field.
Second, he has a music degree from Canada’s Royal Conservatory of Music. While I would like to mention the list of alumni that became successful in the entertainment industry, most of them Canadian personalities. The only ones I recognize are Shania Twain and surprisingly and funnily enough, Sean “Val Venis” Morley, the wrestler from WWF/WWE.
Anyway, going back to the topic, we already have Gabriel’s resume jotted down and “street cred” out in the open. Now, let’s focus on his courses.
Going to His Singing Made Easy (Level 1) course in SkillShare, you’ll immediately know that a lot of people consume it. The course has more than 270 reviews, 7 out of 10 of those say that the course exceeded their expectations. While the remaining said that the course met their expectations. Note that only a few singing courses in SkillShare benefits from this kind of popularity.
In general, people view him as an engaging, helpful, and eloquent teacher. On the other hand, the guy’s down to earth and responsive. You can always leave a comment or question on his page, and you can rest assured that he will reply.
Singing is a Natural Ability
I was actually taken away by his introduction. He claims that singing is a natural ability of humans. I do agree with that one (more about it here), with the clause that not everyone’s going to be naturally good at it just like how some people can run fast while some run slow.
To prove his point about his claim, he talked about how babies can cry loud and for eternity. And that struck me. Yeah, why can they do that? How can they do it while maintaining a single tone, being loud, and sustain it for a long time? And they don’t even get tired of it!
And this happens forever until they get past their toddler years. The thought of it was hair raising as I fondly remember when I was so worried that my little baby daughter might explode from too much screaming. The funny thing is that, as we grow up, we start clamming up. As we age, our crying becomes more silent. I’m sorry, I was going off track there.
I checked out the rest of the lessons, and it was not disappointing. The dude has a chill aura and has a bit of an eccentric vibe. His voice soothing to the ear (and that’s just his speaking voice, mind you). The examples he uses are relevant and common, which makes it easier to digest some of the potentially complex parts of his lessons.
Some of the things he says can make you think a bit, and realize how simple singing can be. On the other hand, he eases his students to some of the technicalities through practice. He’s a firm believer in practice makes perfect, after all.
Presentation-wise, it’s decent. The videos are in high definition. The guy’s face is also easy on the eyes. I guess being both an actor and singer makes you well-suited to perform/teach in front of a camera. It’s not up-to-par with Usher’s MasterClass‘ videography, but it’s up there.
He also does one-on-one coaching. And if you’re living in LA, you can drop by in his studio, but I can only imagine that the cost will be up there. There’s an alternative, though. You can schedule one-on-one coaching sessions on Skype. I didn’t try to contact him, so I have no idea what his pricing is.
I truly can’t say anything negative about the man and his course. He’s not perfect, of course, but what I can say is that he is well suited for the job to teach how to sing. I’m not surprised. He’s been doing it for 20 years. He looks very young though. Maybe he started teaching during his high school days?
However, I do think that there are a lot of areas to improve upon. For example, most of his contemporaries, like Jacobs Vocal Academy and Eric Arceneaux, are on YouTube and are giving a handful of free content. I went on his channel and it only contains five or six uploads, and all of them are all about acting.
It would have been great if he created some snippets of his lessons to entice more people to get his course. But maybe he doesn’t feel he needs to do it since he’s already thriving without the extra work.
Next, he can really improve his website. Like, really? Also, it would be nice if he includes more videos and courses about singing. Sadly, he’s trying to juggle three coaching activities: acting, singing, and accent correction.
To Sum it All Up
If I only need to sum up his course in one word, I will say that it’s “legit.” He doesn’t rely on marketing gimmicks to attract students. Everything you will learn will be in-your-face lessons. He says that he developed a technique, but it’s actually the same traditional lessons modified to let serious aspiring and casual singers to easily digest the teachings.
Overall, I recommend Gabriel Burrafato and his course. You can’t go wrong with him, and his course being SkillShare makes his lessons much affordable compared to other pro coaches out there. Here’s a link that’ll direct you to his course: Gabriel Burrafato.