I have seen Roger Burnley on Youtube a couple of years back. At first, I didn’t pay too much attention to him as an online voice teacher, because he talks slow and puts me to sleep a little bit. As a result, I oversaw what he has to offer to the online singing community for many years.
Why am I mentioning this? I finally decided to take a look at what exactly is taught in Roger’s singing course. I was really surprised by the content that’s included in the course. I should have started writing this review a lot earlier.
I’m excited to share with you in this review an in-depth analysis on Roger Burnley’s Singing Made Simple training program.
Singing Made Simple Review Summary
Product: Singing Made Simple
Description: Singing Made Simple is a complete online vocal training program produced by Los Angeles vocal coach Roger Burnley.
Price: US$197 with payment options.
Best for: Singers of all level seeking to improve their singing technique and build a singing career.
Product Rating: 3.5 out of 5 Stars
Recommended: Yes and No
Who is Roger Burnley? Can He really teach singing?
Roger Burnley is a voice teacher, performance coach, and life coach based in Los Angeles, California. He was originally trained by the world-famous voice teacher and founder of Speech Level Singing Seth Riggs. However, from what I see in his training course, he has developed his own vocal method and system to train singers.
It appeared to me at first that Roger Burnley has a feel of Speech Level Singing in his teaching. But, after going through the whole singing course, I found that Roger Burnley’s training system does not resemble SLS at all. Roger has developed his own methodology for vocal training.
As to the effectiveness of his training, I get the impression from watching his video lessons that Roger Burnley is a popular voice teacher with a consistent student base. It is possible that students are getting results out of his training, but I have to say that I really have no way of verifying that.
As for Roger’s own singing, I do applaud him for showcasing his past performance from almost 20 years ago for students to learn from. Not a lot of voice teachers are willing to show their own singing to students for various reasons.
What is taught inside Singing Made Simple? A Unique Inside Look…
When I first got on Roger’s Singing Made Simple training platform, I was impressed by the extensive curriculum of the program. In the four main training modules, Roger takes you from the basic vocal training of singing theory, Roger’s own Top-to-Bottom method, vocal freedom, flexibility to the final application to songs.
Undertanding Your Voice
Basic vocal theory to Roger’s Top-to-Bottom method.
Roger takes students through exercises to release vocal tension.
After establishing vocal stability, Roger builds agility into the students voice.
Application to Songs
The most important final stage of applying the techniques to singing songs.
Inside each training module, there are very complete video lessons with audio training tracks for the students to practice after the lessons. I was very impressed with the extensive amount of video lessons in the training modules. Take Module 3 for example, there are more than 30 videos for training to build flexibility in the singers.
As I mentioned earlier, Roger’s talking style is a little slow for me, but the good thing is, he is so detailed and clear while he’s teaching that you will not miss any important concepts and tips in the training.
Another special thing about Roger’s video training is that he is featuring a student singer is most of his lessons to demonstrate his vocal concepts while he taking the student through his exercises.
I have not seen any other singing programs using student demonstrations as extensively as Roger Burnley. Since the feature student represents you, it does make the abstract the vocal concepts a lot clearer when he’s fixing their problems.
Is that it? We’re only halfway through. Now Bonuses…
What I really like about this course is that other than the routine vocal training, there are so much more offered in the Bonus training that its vast content is even as much as the regular training sections.
First, there is a section called The Music Industry Professionals Series in which he brings in top professionals in the industry to provide you with guidance as to how to build and maintain a singing career out there in the real world.
Second, I love the in-depth bonus training on performance skills, pro singer’s warmup, recording technique, songwriting training, audition workshop, and the extensive training on Licks and Trills mastery. This singing course literally covers almost all the technical areas you need as a singer.
Finally, one last thing that I really like about this course is that Roger occasionally holds group coaching sessions that I think benefits students greatly for an online singing course like this one, because you get direct feedback and guidance from Roger himself.
A big bummer is that the group coaching sessions are not held consistently in the past years. Nevertheless, you get to watch the recording of the group coaching sessions over the past few years on the platform, which is over 100 video recordings from real lessons.
Now, what I don’t like about this course…
As much as I like what I’m seeing in this course, there are some things I don’t like about about this singing program. And I’d like to share them with you here.
First, as a voice teacher and professional singer, I can’t fully endorse Roger’s vocal methodology. Roger teaches the Top-to-Bottom method with which you mentally think “high placement” of the voice in the pharynx level above the vocal folds, and as you ascend in pitch, you think deeper at the vocal fold level.
Roger says this method is designed to keep the swallowing muscle from cutting off the air by stabilizing the larynx. Fair enough, the larynx is supposed to be stabilized, but I’m not sure if this method is effective in doing that.
Second, I think that the training curriculum does not have a detailed enough structure. For example, in module 2, which is “Creating Freedom” – that’s a pretty big topic and issue to tackle. You then get 10 video lessons in which Roger has you do different vocal exercises to free up your voice.
For me, the training comes in “big chunks” and the vocal instruction is rather abstract and vague. Also, most of the video lessons have no visual aids to help students understand the key vocal concepts Roger is teaching, which does not help with clarity.
If you look at Robert Lunte’s training program The Four Pillars of Singing, he breaks down very complex and abstract vocal concepts into very clear and concise lessons in which he uses visual aids, physical gesture, and vocal demonstrations to have you understand his method.
Third, important areas of crossing vocal bridges, strengthening chest voice and head voice, and vowel modification are emphasized enough in this training. I do realize that voice teachers have different methodology and emphasis in vocal training. However, if these specialized areas of vocal training is what you’re looking for, this singing course is probably not for you.
The Pros and Cons of Singing Made Simple
After going so much in-depth into Roger Burnley’s Singing Made Simple program, I’d like to present to you the Pros and Cons of this course at a glance. So, here they are:
- Extensive amount of training content.
- Student demonstrations in most lessons.
- Professional and career training provided in bonus section.
- Opportunities to get direct feedback from Roger.
- Lick and trills mastery and songwriting training.
- Group Coaching calls from time to time.
- Vocal methodology might not be most effective.
- Curriculum structure could be more detailed.
- Vocal bridges, chest voice, head voice not emphasized enough in training.
Finally, My Conclusion for Singing Made Simple…
Roger Burnley has some really nice things to offer in this singing course. I love the extensiveness of the training in which Roger brings in top professionals for career coaching and all the awesome bonus training on songwriting and lick and trills, etc.
However, I do think that the fundamental vocal training in the main four modules are a little weak and the vocal methodology is not as effective as others such as Speech Level Singing, Robert Lunte’s TVS methodology, and other major schools of singing.
If you are looking for the most detailed and well-rounded online vocal training, I would suggest you check out Robert Lunte’s The Four Pillars of Singing. It is the most intensive, comprehensive, and effective online singing program in the online world right now.
But, different courses work for different types of singers, I do think that Roger Burnley’s course can still be effective for a lot of singers.
If you have any question, comment below and I’ll be happy to discuss with you.
To great singing,