Over the years, I have seen Dr. Dan’s work on Youtube every now and then. He gives me the impression that he is very knowledgeable, experienced, and professional as a singer and teacher.
After finally sitting down to look closely and in-depth at his first online singing program – Voice Essentials 1, I am pleased to say that this is a very high-quality online singing program, and Dr. Dan is the real deal!
Voice Essentials 1 Review Summary
Product: Voice Essentials 1
Description: This is an online singing program produced by Australian award-winning artist and voice teacher Daniel Kay, a.k.a. Dr. Dan. This training program covers everything from the development of twang, belt, breath management, range extension, and other important technical aspects a beginning and intermediate singer needs to know and execute.
Best for: Beginning to Intermediate level singers
Product Rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars
First of all, who is Dr. Dan? Is he legit…
Yes, of course!
First of all, Dr. Dan’s vast experience as a professional singer differentiates him with most of the voice teachers online.
First of all, I do not think good voice teachers have to be great singers themselves – as long as they’re proficient in executing and demonstrating what they are teaching, and they are knowledgeable with vocal pedagogy, they can be great teachers.
Having said that, it doesn’t hurt to be a great singer if you’re a voice teacher. And that’s totally the case with Dr. Dan. Listen to a clip of him singing:
Not bad at all, huh? Thumbs up to voice teachers who walk the talk and are not afraid to showcase their voices to their students.
An honest truth nobody talks about is that – many voice teachers are afraid to show people their own singing, either because they have been teaching too long and have lost their stage presence, or they just can’t sing. (Believe it or not.)
There’s a motto that Ken Templin says in his youtube videos – “The proof is in the singing.” That’s the case with Dr. Dan. Not only is he a very knowledgeable voice teacher with over 20 years of experience, he is also a professional singer for 25 years.
A good thing to consider when you are choosing a singing product.
So, just how good is this program? You’d be surprised…
The first thing I noticed about Voice Essential 1 is that it is a very professionally produced product.
I have bought, studied, and reviewed many of the online singing programs over the years. I have to say – many of them are poorly produced. By that I mean the design of the training platform, user interface, and training curriculum, as well as the quality of the video productions.
Before I jump into the actual training method of Dr. Dan, I have to say that this program has the one of the highest-quality video production out of all the online singing programs.
Video quality affects training quality
You might think that’s not the most important part of a training program. What’s important is – can he teach? In my opinion, aesthetics is very important for today’s online products.
It’s human nature to be attracted to visually beautiful things.
If the quality of a video lesson is so poor that it’s boring to look at, what’s the possibility of you going through the entire training program?
I suspect that Dr. Dan hired a professional crew to film all of his video lessons.
Not only are the videos high-definition quality, they are carefully scripted and professionally planned video productions that includes B-rolls, computer graphics, creative fonts, etc.
On top of all these, the teacher Dr. Dan himself is a great presenter in front of a camera, with clear diction, comprehensive delivery, great camera presence, and…a great voice to demonstrate!
In plain language, the video lessons are NOT BORING! They are easy to understand and, believe or not, fun to watch.
Click the button below to watch the entire first module of Dr. Dan’s Voice Essentials 1 for free.
What’s inside Voice Essentials 1? An in-depth look!
Voice Essentials 1 consists of ten major training modules. Each module has a very specific area of vocal technique for the students to practice and develop.
Training materials in each module includes the following materials:
Each module starts with a text introduction explaining the topic and technique that students will be working on, followed by simple practical task survey for students to voice their opinion about weekly program.
Then comes the video lesson taught by Dr. Dan himself. The videos are the biggest highlights of each week’s training.
As I mention earlier, Dr. Dan has a very charismatic camera presence. His delivery is very concise and clear. The videos are edited with great rhythm and creativity – extremely fun to watch, which helps students stay engaged.
At the risk of sounding redundant, let me show you some of the creative b-rolls he uses to demonstrate his points. The frequent use of b-rolls creates a very good effect, because we don’t have to watch him talk in the entire video lesson.
Professionally Designed Lesson Sheets
After the video lesson, students will be given a downloadable PDF lesson sheet further explaining the concept of the lesson.
The lesson sheets are only one page in each module, but they are very nicely designed to help the students understand the technique they are working on each week.
Downloadable Audio MP3 Exercises
Another highlights of every weekly training module are the downloadable audio MP3 exercises. Every module contains 1-3 audio exercises for the students to practice. In these audio recording, Dr. Dan will be guiding students through the exercises, so they can practice with better efficiency.
Value Add Viewing – Bonus Videos
In addition to the main video lesson each week, each module has a value add viewing section, in which 2-3 more videos are provided for further in-depth explanation of each week’s lesson.
Dr. Dan explains his concepts in details in these bonus videos. These are not required viewing, but for students who wants to find out more about the theory behind each lesson.
Below is one of the bonus videos – very professionally produced as always.
Towards the end of each weekly module, there is a quiz to test the knowledge of the students to see if they really understands the concepts of each lesson.
The quizzes are 4-5 multiple-choice questions that are actually fun to take, because they offer a little cognitive challenge to the singers’ brain.
In my opinion, singing is not a feeling thing – that’s the end product. During the training process, the singer has to rely more on the analytical side of the brain to practice singing.
Practical Tasks – Homework!!!
At the end of each module, Dr. Dan gives students homework by listing the practical tasks for the students to complete during the week.
Dr. Dan lists these practical tasks in details as to what exercises to practice and how long and how frequent the practice sessions should be.
That would complete each individual training module.
One of the most well-designed singing program online
By now it’s not difficult to see that this singing program is one of the most well-designed singing curriculum on the internet.
I have seen many singing programs online. This is not one of those program with boring videos of the instructor talking all the way through until you get sick of their face. Nor is this program filled with a bunch of cheap mp3 recordings.
Voice Essentials 1 is the whole package that combines video lessons, audio mp3 exercises, PDF lesson sheets, quizzes, and others mentioned in this review.
In addition to all of these, I almost forgot to mention that students could upload their singing clips to the Voice Essentials 1 private Facebook group, so they can get feedback from the community.
What about Dr. Dan’s singing method? Is it safe, legit, and healthy?
While I am just starting to know Dr. Dan while researching for this review, I can give you a brief analysis about his singing method.
From the topics that are covered in this course, it’s probably fair to say that Dr. Dan leans more towards the “Mask-singing” or “Forward-placement singing” school of vocal method.
While I do not quite belong to the same school of singing as Dr. Dan, I do respect different singing methods and accept many as branches of the traditional school of singing.
Although the forward-placement method has more of a shrill sound to my ears, it is one of the singing methods that I studied as a music major in college and have benefited from.
The forward placement method has the following strengths:
Twang training – Another thing I love about this program
While forward placement and twang have their similarities, they are still a little bit different.
Dr. Dan teaches twang to help students get a more focused sound quality with less effort. Twang gives the voice brightness, focus, and power.
I’m so glad that Dr. Dan teaches twang as early as Module 2, because it is one of the quickest ways for students to experience immediate improvement and result in their voices.
Other most important aspects of vocal training are addressed in the course, such as belt, range extension, breath management, and others.
Although the topics are major areas to tackle in the field of vocal technique, Dr. Dan gives small snippets of the technique for you to work on in a way that is fun and entertaining.
Voice Essentials 1 is filled with great materials for you to study and practice, but you will not be overwhelmed because of the way it is designed and presented – very user-friendly and easy-to-understand.
Oh, come on, there’s got to be some negative things about this…
I try to be as fair as I can to present to you both the positive and negative sides of every product in my reviews.
There are one or two minor things that I feel can be improved in this program. And I’m going to share them with you.
1. Voice Essentials 1 is better suited for beginners and intermediate students.
Dr. Dan made designed this program to be very comprehensive and simple by breaking down very complicated vocal concept into simple terms, so students could understand and practice easily.
However, if you are an advanced singer like me, this product is probably not the right one for you. I would rather recommend Robert Lunte’s vocal program The Four Pillars of Singing. You can read my review here.
2. The lessons and exercises tend to be a little too easy and general.
I understand that Dr. Dan is trying to make this program as comprehensive as possible for all students to benefit from, but I feel that even beginning students could be challenged with a more difficult vocal workout.
This is just my attempt to nitpick negative things about this very high-quality program. There you have it. Time to wrapped things up!
Finally, is it worth it to invest in this program? My Conclusion…
For an incredible low price of $197, you get to own the entire course of Voice Essentials 1.
To be honest, I think Dr. Dan set the price a little low, which might result in people erroneously thinking the product is not that good.
I hope this review has been helpful for you to make a better decision on whether or not to invest in this singing program.
To Great Singing,