What I think about Gary Catona and his Voice Builder program

I first encountered Gary Catona’s work about roughly 10 years ago, and I was immediately intrigued by what this man has to offer to the vocal training world.

My first impression about this man was that this is not an ordinary voice teacher.

In fact, he calls himself a voice builder instead of voice teacher or vocal coach, which is the first time I was introduced to the concept of Voice building.

Also, I thought this man was pretty old school vocal gentleman who really reminds of voice teachers from the old Italian singing school.

He dresses nicely in suit jacket but often wearing classic jeans to go with it, which adds a little modern feels to his old school gentleman style.

In this post I would like to share with you some of my general thoughts about Gary Catona’s work and what he is bringing to the vocal training world.

Gary Catona review

What is Voice building? Why does it matter?

I didn’t use to believe you have to build a voice for singing.

Being trained in the Mix school (or SLS), I was taught to work with the voice that we already have and try to maximize it and beautify it by adjusting the vocal tract.

Gary Catona was the first one who introduced the concept of Voice-Building to me through his work – the Voice Builder app and e-book A Revolution in Singing.

Gary Catona review
Gary Catona review

Voice building implies that the singing voice is an instrument that has to be built, sometimes from scratch.

The fact that everyone is born with a voice to speak with doesn’t cut it for professional singing.

You need to build those vocal muscles in order to sing, kind of like a runner building the leg muscles to run and compete on the track.

Have a weak voice? Maybe you need to build your voice…

Over the years of me teaching students, I didn’t quite understand why some students, a lot of them female Asian singers, are not able to sing with power and edge. 

No matter how I try to “mix” and adjust their voices, the most they could do is sing just a little bit louder during the lesson with all the vocal tricks I was throwing at them. 

However, my work with them was ineffective overall. Their voices did not grow a bit in the long run.

After experiencing what Gary Catona called Voice Building myself, I understood that some voices are weak because the vocal muscles are weak.

Even if you have a pretty decent voice already, imagine how your voice could grow if you start your own voice building program.

What’s cool about Gary Catona’s Training System

Gary Catona has developed his own very unique training system and put out products that could help singers who are interested in voice building.

I have bought and trained with his vocal training app Voice Builder years ago and thought it was a rather interesting experience.

The app is designed with detailed and intricate visual aids of a human face showing you the facial expression for you to mimic while practice the exercise to build your voice.

Gary Catona review

Personally, I feel kind of weird to be following the app to practice my voice, because I’m a singer that need to understand the details behind to trust and do the practice.

Gary Catona does a have a vocal training DVD Ultimate Voice Builder I have yet to try. I’ll share with you my thoughts on it once I do find the time to check it out.

Fortunately, the App and the DVD are very affordably priced for most of us.

I did finish reading his 400-page ebook A Revolution in Singing, and I was fascinated with his understand and knowledge of vocal pedagogy and singing history, mostly from the Italian tradition that dates all the way back to the Schola Cantorum back in the middle ages and the Castrato singers.

I only read about those in my graduate studies in music school and have never heard modern voice teachers and vocal coaches talk about them. Gary is the first one.  

Of course, being knowledgeable about vocal history and science doesn’t necessarily make someone a great voice teacher.

Singing is really about sensation on the singer’s part. As long as you can get the feeling while you sing, you’re good to go!

What I don’t like about Gary’s Training system…

You notice that Gary’s ebook is titled A Revolution in Singing.

Whenever I hear the word Revolution or Innovative, I will take more caution, maybe raise a red flag.

The main reason is that singing is not a new art form. The most effective singing methods have all been developed. We just have to find them.

Gary Catona has developed his own vocal training system – The Catona method, designed for voice-building.

I love the fact that Gary promoting and helping people with voice building. 

It’s just that building a voice is not that easy.

You really need a good trainer to guide you through the voice building process, or it might be a little dangerous to do it on your own.

While Gary’s vocal products are great, he really doesn’t have his own complete online training course like Singing Success or The Four Pillars of Singing, in which students are trained very extensively in a detailed fashion at an affordable one-time purchase.

It’s obvious that Gary’s main focus in his career is teaching in-person lessons. 

A lot of his clients are big name celebrities, which means he is really expensive.

Gary Catona review


A couple of years ago, he told me over email that his rate was $250 per voice building session.

How many of us can afford that?

My overall conclusion about Gary Catona’s Vocal Training

It’s great…but most of us can’t study with Gary privately.

The most we can afford is buying his Voice Builder training app and DVD, but I think it’s going to be really hard to train your own voice with just that.

It’s probably going to be like trying to become a bodybuilder by reading a book or watching a DVD.

So, I love Gary’s teaching on Voice building. I think it’s a very legit concept and approach.

But, I wished Gary would put out a complete training program like Robert Lunte’s online singing course, so more people will benefit from his teachings.

Anyway, that’s all I have for Gary Catona! Leave a comment if you have anything you want to discuss.

Happy Singing,


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  1. Thanks Rex

    i have waited some time to see a review about Gary Catonas Method.
    I have got the app for my iPad and i found it very convenient.
    Although i do not know how far this app will bring my singing to develop and extend, but it makes fun to practise.

    May i point out another voice/vocal teacher which interests me very much.
    It is Tara Simon!
    There are lots of impressing videos on youtube and she is offering 2 courses,
    which seem to be of great worth.
    Have you heard of Tara or even some experience with those courses?
    Or maybe a reader of your reviews can highlight that a little more?
    thanks for your effort bringing different methods into light!

  2. I’m looking forward to more reviews of singing courses which focus on “voice building” instead of “voice discovery” (which is ok, but it will get you only so far).
    Sadly I don’t think there are many of them.

    1. Toni,

      Thanks! I think the traditional singing methods are all voice-building methods, but it’s easy to start yelling and screaming with those on the high notes, which is why SLS emerged as a response in the last century.


  3. Hello, could you analyze the Cheryl Porter Method course. It looks very good but it does not look for beginners although Cheryl is a great singer I don’t know how she is as a teacher.

  4. I have used Gary Catona app and found it great very powerful and value for money.
    I think there may be some subtle things that if not followed or that click under his instructions it may not work as well for everyone if your not getting what he needs you to get.
    I have had trouble getting hold of his other products

    1. Paul,

      Gary definitely has something of value to offer to the singing community. It is worth looking into.


  5. Hi, I was interested to invest my time and energy with Gary Catonas approach. You write “You really need a good trainer to guide you through the voice building process, or it might be a little dangerous to do it on your own”. Can you please elaborate what the danger might be before I embark on that journey?

    1. Ben,

      It depends on your level of vocal knowledge and experience with vocal training. You can still try Gary’s training program and you might get results. I tried it on my own and I didn’t really understand the theory behind each exercises. I’m the kind of singer that needs to understand the theory before I do it, because I don’t want to hurt my voice.


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