If you want to approach improving your skills through scientific lessons, then Cathy Vard is the one for you. But is her course actually worth the money? You’re going to find that out today.
Let’s skim over the pieces of information online about Cathy. According to her profile, she’s been a professional singer and vocal coach for more than 35 years in Ireland. She’s not your run of the mill singer, by the way. Cathy achieved triple platinum together with her sisters, Wendy and Lisa. The three are in the same band, and they are renowned wedding singers in Dublin.
They often appear on radio and television shows. They already toured the world as a group. Cathy often goes solo as well. It’s nice to have that experience, I assure you.
As a solo singer, Cathy had undergone multiple pieces of training in prestigious schools and was mentored by high profile personalities in Ireland. Some of the schools she attended were:
You might not be familiar with her if you’re from the US unless you already have done some research on the best vocal coaches on the web. Despite the humble wordings in her profile, I know well that she already has the ‘license’ to pass on her knowledge to the new generation of aspiring singers.
How to Sing Better: The Course
She only has one course in Udemy, and it’s titled, How to Sing Better. It’s priced at $9.99 (it’s on a massive discount, so the price may vary up to $100). The course contains 20 lectures, and its total length is 1 hour and 27 minutes. Not bad for the current price it’s in. Now, let’s check the content.
Note that the alternative method to get this course is to get it directly by buying it from her course website titled PlatinumSinging.com. The price is around $97 (with a seemingly permanent discount). This makes the Udemy version a better deal.
Her main message is that a singer is his own instrument. And it’s not limited to your lungs, diaphragm, vocal folds, or your head. Every organ and limb in your body plays specific roles as part of the singing instrument, which is you.
She stresses out that practice, warm-ups, and even experience won’t help you out much in improving. You need to learn about the basics of how your body works to produce the best singing voice you can possibly possess. I believe it’s a tad extreme, but I think it’s a strict fundamentalist approach, which is not bad per se in singing. Nonetheless, this can help you sing even if you have a bad voice.
Now, she immediately established the pacing of the lessons. Most coaches don’t do that. And when I reviewed one that did, I was a bit disappointed. Instead of specifying the pace into a video a day, she simply instructed that each video is a prerequisite of the next one.
It’s a small thing, but it’s a massive plus for me. Anyway, another unique thing Cathy did was to treat her introduction video as the actual introduction for her lesson. She didn’t push anything market-y or try to sell herself or her course. She presented what you can expect and was already preparing you for the real thing.
Now, we’re over with the surface materials provided to us made to lure people in. Let’s talk about the content.
She split the course into seven sections. They are:
- Singing Physiology: It’s an anatomy class that focuses on each part of the body’s role in producing sound.
- Breathing: A primer to breathing techniques and exercises. Cathy will also familiarize you with the muscles and organs related to breathing.
- Posture: She tells you the proper stance and body position to enable you to sing better with ease.
- Mind: It’s mostly about what your mindset should be when performing.
- Emotion: She talks about how to sing with impact and passion.
- Anxiety: The lesson revolves around stage fright.
- Warm-Ups: It’s about regular routines you should do to prepare yourself for an upcoming performance.
The last part of the course is just video-guided vocal exercises you can download. By the way, here’s a sample of what you’ll get from the course.
Her videos are clean and straightforward. She teaches the lessons in front of a solid white background. She has a lovely accent, and she tried her best to avoid speaking in a fast manner. I know that people in Dublin speak lightning fast. Not really fast, but the way they say words is fascinating… but sloppy? And I don’t understand most of their slang. In short, I really appreciate the adjustments she made for her international audience.
The lessons are accompanied by simple, overlaid images to help students absorb the lessons faster. Also, most of the things she says are often backed by studies. You will often find her citing her sources for most of the claims she says. If you plan to take videos while you sing and achieve quality result like her video, you might want to check out Zoom’s audio/video camera.
Nitpicks I Want to Share
I was hooked with her ‘philosophy.’ Unfortunately, I might have been carried away by her words. I thought that she would really discuss every part of the body and how they can contribute to singing. I did learn a lot of new things like women do have Adam’s apples, too. This information can greatly help women singers understand how to blend vocal registers easier.
The presentation was sterile. I understand that it’s a bit of a technical course, but it wouldn’t hurt to crack a few jokes or witty lines here and there.
Fundamentals wise, she got you. This is ideal for those who’re just starting. I am assuming that because of her intensive formal training, her approach to teaching would be basically the same as how she was taught.
But it’s not a bad thing. Every video is filled with information, and there are no fillers. It’s all meat and potatoes. It’s a bit dry, but it will definitely fill you up. Gobble it up now by going here: Cathy Vard’s How To Sing Better.