Teacher Spotlight: Bülent Güneralp

Name: Bülent Güneralp

Instrument(s): Voice, Piano, Drums

Location: Arlington, Massachusetts (originally from Turkey)

Teaching Demo: 


I was introduced to opera by, and received my first vocal training from, my mother, dramatic coloratura soprano Aysel Tunalı in Istanbul, Türkiye (Turkey). Then, I studied with coloratura soprano Suna Korat (a national artist of Türkiye). I studied at The Istanbul University State Conservatory with Çiçek Kanter. I was invited to the US by conductor William Thomas, and continued my studies at Longy School of Music with Donna Roll. From there, I graduated from The Boston Conservatory, where I studied with Robert Honeysucker. As I continued performing, I developed my teaching studio in Boston. The first person who encouraged me to teach was my music theory teacher, Mine Mucur, at The Istanbul University State Conservatory, where I majored in voice/opera, and also studied piano with Nazan Akın. In my later conservatory years, I also played drums in The Istanbul State Theater Orchestra conducted by Önder Bali.

Professionally, I’m an award-winning artist and a trailblazing voice expert. The Times Herald-Record, New York, describes me as a “firm bass-baritone,” The Boston Musical Intelligencer as “dramatically and musically outstanding,” and The Appcompanist as “an incredible singer and teacher.” I am also a member of NATS (National Association of Teachers of Singing).

I have created The Vocathletic System, which is surprisingly simple, direct and effective. It explains the whats, hows and whys of vocal technique in a manner easily understood and immediately put into practice with unequivocal results. The system incorporates vocal and athletic principles, and applies precise execution skills to vocalization. For me, technique is never the ultimate goal, as it only serves expression.

I have helped singers achieve in a single lesson things they have not been able to accomplish even after years of prior vocal training. A litany of superb and enthusiastic reviews speak for themselves. My students come from diverse paths such as classical, opera, musical theater, jazz, American Songbook, pop, R&B, gospel, country, rock, heavy metal and public speaking.  I specialize in helping students of all ages and backgrounds discover and express their natural voice in the most efficient way possible, which they can apply to any musical genre or vocal field.

Greatest inspiration: 

My inner voice. 

Favorite place to perform:

I performed at well known places from Tokyo Opera City Concert Hall to Boston Symphony Hall. But the sanctuary of Quincy Point Congregational Church in Massachusetts is special for me.





Teaching Setup: 

I just use an iPad! 

What’s great about teaching on Forte?

Great quality of the platform, and the professionalism and friendliness of every member of the Forte team. 

Tell us a bit about your teaching style: 

I’ll focus on voice. 

I teach students of all ages, voice types and levels from beginner to professional. 

I believe that technique comes before genre. The main technical aim in the studio is to help students express their own, natural, pure, and style-free voice, which can be applied to any musical style or vocal field. Lessons typically include physical warm ups, breathing exercises, vocal exercises and technical work, visualizations, basic music theory and ear training, musical and repertoire work, diction work, characterization, and audition / concert preparation. However, all the training and technical mastery should serve to help the student sing from the heart, which may require a fresh look inside and even a journey toward what we really are, transcending both what we think we are and what others think we are. In this sense, the work I do with students may vary according to their readiness and willingness to progress at different levels toward voicing themselves with self-confidence.

The diverse and colorful conversations I have with students in the studio range from the vocal maxims of the great Italian master Giovanni Battista Lamperti to the Thrive diet of the Canadian triathlete Brendan Brazier.

In the introductory lesson I teach the fundamentals of my vocal system and I help the student to apply it to vocalization right away. With the next lesson I start teaching the Vocathletic workout. Ultimately lessons are split between technical work and repertoire work. I use Concone, The School Of Sight-Singing, with all students for technical and musical work. Sight-Singing becomes the byproduct of that work. I ask all students to read Vocal Wisdom, Maxims of Lamperti. With students who are interested in classical repertoire, the first book we work on is Vaccai. All students download the free version of Appcompanist for vocal exercises.    

Tell us what you like most about your experience as a music educator:

This is an amazing journey. Through the years, as I learned I taught, and as I taught I learned. So I’m grateful to all from whom I learned, and to whom I taught. This unheard-of vocal journey gave rise to an amazing transformation and a trailblazing vocal system. It’s a joy to share my experience and expertise with the world for inspiration and education. It’s my service to society. Those who are interested can read more on my website. 

A piece of repertoire I love to teach:

The Vocathletic workout incorporates all the fundamentals of my vocal system. It has been organically developing through the years. Students do it at the beginning of every lesson like a quick hello. It’s fun, compact and effective. This is an earlier version of it: 

A piece of repertoire I love to play:

I do the Vocathletic workout every morning. 

Voice – Eri tu che macchiavi from Un Ballo in Maschera by Verdi.

Piano and Voice – A fun piece I developed combining Étude Op. 10, No. 4 in C♯ minor by Chopin, and Non più andrai (in C major) from Le Nozze di Figaro by Mozart. 

Drums – I compose grooves and études regularly and play them daily. 

Fun fact: 


In the artist’s own words: 

As long as you ‘try to be’, you cannot see that you ‘already are’.

Everything you are seeking vocally is already in you, and my goal is to help you realize it.