Micah Barnes is an in demand Voice, Performance and Career coach whose Juno & Emmy award winning clients are topping charts across North America. Micah is the regular "Vocals" columnist for Canadian Musician Magazine and on faculty coaching performance at Seneca College for the Independent Performing Singer-Songwriters program. A former member of International A Capella act The Nylons, his Singers Playground Workshops have helped support thousands of artists in Los Angeles, New York and across Canada in building more powerful vocal performances and realizing their career goals!

Singers Playground Mailing List

Latest News

 MICAH BARNES MASTER CLASS Oct 28th in Toronto and Nov 3rd in Hamilton!

 Message me at micah@singersplayground.com for details and registration! ! 

Social Media 101 

A Few Words On Social Media 

I deal with a lot of artists who are resistant to using social media- (which is always indicative of something larger in terms of their arguing for comfort and safety and not being willing to experiment!) 

Social media platforms are a way for us to tell our story, build a community around our music and be engaged with the world. But they do ask us to clarify who we are, what we stand for and what we want in our careers! 

Curated with our own sensibilities our social media…

Read more

Building A Showcase Set: Practical Tips Part 2!  

 

 What Kind Of A Ride Are You Taking Us On? 

Once you have created a basic sketch of your showcase set sit back and take the time to ask yourself some important questions. 

*What kind of a ride are you taking the audience on? 

*What emotional experiences are you asking them to join you on? 

*What do these songs tell the audience about who you are and your identity? 

IF it becomes clear that the songs are all similar in tempo you will want to consider switching some of the songs in order to build…

Read more

Building A Showcase Set: Some Practical Tips (Part 1)  

 

Giving an audience of industry folks a snapshot of who we are as artists is a daunting task.  However I challenge you to do the hard work of distilling your world down to a short set of 5 or 6 songs. Its a very useful exercise that will teach us a whole lot about what we have to offer our audiences. 

Don't worry about getting it right the first time. The "perfect" showcase set is a rubicks cube that will take time and lots of trial and error to figure out! 

WHAT KIND OF PARTY IS THIS? 

Some…

Read more

Talking On Stage or "Help! I Don't Know What To Say"!  

Talking On Stage or "Help! I Don't Know What To Say"! 

After all the practice we do to prepare the music most of us are caught in a terrible bind when we hit stage and suddenly have to talk to the audience between songs. As good as our musical performance may be, if our stage craft doesn't include preparation for the conversation with the audience we have left a huge part of our performance up to chance. And that usually leads to feeling awkward, saying stupid stuff we didn't mean, long wandering intro's…

Read more

Top 5 Tips for Singers from Vocal Coach Micah Barnes 

Top 5 Tips for Singers from Vocal Coach Micah Barnes 

 Tip #1   The most important secret to being a  good singer is in working your breathing.  If you can breath without tension then there will be no "difficult" note or challenging song that will be outside of your ability to sing it.  Breath is always the answer. 

 Tip #2   Your job as a singer isn't to impress anybody with your voice but instead to make a powerful relationship with your audience. We're not interested in high notes or lung power, we…

Read more

Developing Our Own Material: (Being Willing To Suck!)  

Developing Our Own Material: (Being Willing To Suck!) 

We're not all composers. But we all know a good song when we hear one. Maybe thats what stops us from taking those first awkward steps towards developing ourselves as songwriters? The first couple of songs we write can feel tentative, unformed and generally leave us feeling like we'll never become songwriters, with our first attempts unfinished and unheard.  Thats normal and a natural part of learning a new skill set, it's really challenging to compare…

Read more

FINDING A MANAGER: (LOOKING FOR BIG DADDY TO SAVE US!)  

FINDING A MANAGER: (LOOKING FOR BIG DADDY TO SAVE US!) 

Taking responsibility for our career is scary for artists. Most of us don't have the skill set, we only have the desire.  This business asks us to be the best singer we can be, the best writers the best live performers etc. And thats a LOT of stuff we have to get GREAT at before we are ready for the world stage. Most of us don't want to include business skills in that package. It just seems to hard, too daunting and too difficult.  So we get stuck…

Read more

FINDING THE PERFECT PR PERSON (OR WHERE DO THE UNICORNS LIVE?)  

 

 The one thing that everybody agrees on in the music industry is that there is no ONE publicity person who is good at everything. 

A lot of established PR people only have relationships in the dying world of old school media where journalists are losing their jobs and print space is declining every day. Some PR folks have terrific relationships with media but can't write a proper press release to save their life. Some are fantastic at expanding your footprint on social media platforms but can't…

Read more

What to Expect From A Producer 

Artists want their problems solved. Producers are problem solvers. However most artist have a pretty steep learning curve about what a producer can and can't do! Lets talk about the different jobs a producer fills. 

1) The “sound “ of the recording is usually shaped by the engineer BUT the producer can help put that in motion. I always recommend artist bring examples of the recordings that have the "sound" you are looking for! 

2) A producer should be able to help shape the artistic direction of the…

Read more

5 Things to Think About Before Choosing A Vocal Coach! 

 

The singer’s relationship with a coach is a potentially life changing one. It’s not just about getting better at hitting your high notes. A good voice coach works with a singer on their most intimate fears and deepest challenges, digging down into the places we are scared to go to on our own, so it’s very important that we be able to put our absolute trust in our coach. 

Where Do I Find A Vocal Coach? 

The best approach is to ask other singers who they have benefitted most from working with, keeping in…

Read more