Wednesday, December 16, 2015



OK, so your songs are the best they can be, your voice is the most open and relaxed it can be. Your body is energized and ready. You've got all your material memorized and the you've marketed your show effectively so that there is an audience coming.
Now comes the MOST important part…... 

Making a relationship with your audience. 
Without that all of your hard work is going to remain invisible. 
Because, as much as we may be impressed with you as a performer, we won't actually care on a personal level. Sure, we may tweet about you and take a pic or two at the show but we won't necessarily go home with your spirit imprinted in our consciousness. We won't become 'FANS FOR LIFE"!
And that my friends is the ONLY way you will have "won" your audience over. 

Good isn't good enough in todays market you need to be GREAT! 

We only fall in love with performers because we believe they are extraordinary. Superhuman if you will. But that means having MORE courage, MORE determination. and MORE focus than your average human being. Correct?

And THAT my friends takes some digging down and doing some really hard work on your part.


Making a relationship with an audience begins with knowing yourself, what your strengths and weaknesses are...and where you hold back…in life.
Because although  we use our voices to communicate the way a guitar player uses his guitar to make music in fact what we are actually  playing is our emotional life. 
If you aren't willing to be truthful your audience will be robbed of the essence of your songs. 
If you don't like confrontation that will show up on stage. If you are uncomfortable telling the truth about your feelings…If you are someone who is uncomfortable with vulnerability or perhaps uncomfortable showing self confidence, courage or strength, all of that will show up on stage. 

Making your inner life accessible to strangers night after night in venue after venue until it becomes "normal" to get on stage and allow your true self to be there is a process. Most of us stop that process once we are satisfied that we are able to "put a song across", but have we really created an intimate relationship with our audience? 

...Con't in Part 2

Micah Barnes works privately with singers at the SINGERS PLAYGROUND studio and in group workshops at The Winchester Street Theatre.  Next Toronto workshop is Jan 16th check for details!

Monday, March 2, 2015

The Whole Picture

For those of you who are still resenting anything in your career that doesn't have to do with the music..such as learning to better communicate through social media,  working at better understanding your brand and at finding a like minded community for your music, I have this to say….

 ..ALL of these activities are actually an integral part of your music making.

Music is communication. A campaign asking for funds through a crowd funding project is an opportunity to communicate who you are and what your music is about to a larger community of people. Audience building through "the ask" is now a staple of the well planned career. And you are still mad about having to use Facebook and Twitter or Instagram to build your fan base?  Hmmmmm...

             How badly do you want a career in this business?

In the old days we all thought designing, xeroxing and stapling up hand made posters around town was an honest part of a musicians gig. You wanted to play to a full room, so you could get your music heard, get booked back into the venue and get your name out there. The handbill was designed by you and was a way of communicating who you are.

Social media is an expanded and much improved delivery system for exactly the same effect. Whats the resistance about?

Those of you who don't understand how to build content for the web and have resisted it's possibilities are dealing with a bigger issue. You're not seeing communication in all of it's various incarnations as your job. And you are wrong. 

You are finding yourselves isolated because you desire an old system that doesn't exist anymore. How are you different than the fat cat record label guys who found themselves out of a job once the internet trained us to expect music for free and all the labels folded merged and/or downsized. 

Your old job has been redefined. Either grow with it or lose out to those who have figured out how to adapt!

These days musicians are asked to learn the whole picture. Its not enough to practice in your bedroom and garage, or simply post cover tunes on you tube and wait to be discovered. Our job is much more exciting and interactive. 

Yes perfect your instrument and your technique but also create a community around your music, or find the community that already embraces what you do!  Its as important to your job as singing in tune!

Your job as a musician is communication. If we told you there was a new instrument that would communicate the music you feel in your heart better and more accurately wouldn't you attempt to learn it? Of course you would. 

Well there is a new instrument that can communicate your music to a larger audience than you have ever dreamt possible. 

There will always be music. The folks who adapt to the new world are the ones that win in this new paradigm. Their music will get heard. Will yours?

Thursday, February 5, 2015

The Warm Up: Part One

Hey Folks! I answer a lot of questions from singers about how to warm up for a show.

The most frequently asked questions are:

1) How long a proper warm up should last?

2) What are the key elements of a good warm up?

3) How long before a performance should one warm up?

    These are all good questions and I'm always happy to discuss what preparation we can do to support our performances, so we're going to have a look at these issues in a series of blog posts.

Just a note: Some of the elements of a solid physical and vocal warm up are posted in a series of video's up on my website. Please have a look, these video's have helped thousands of singers around the globe approach performance with a deeper sense of peace and preparedness.

                             Peace and mental preparedness 
                     are the keys to a great performance folks!

In fact the most important function of the warm up is not actually the technical warm up of your voice, although that certainly is important, nor the physical warm up, as essential as that can be to supporting your performance. In my opinion the most important factor in a good warm up is that it is a ritual that focuses your mind body and spirit and allows you space to focus inward as you prepare to take the stage.

The life of a performer can be chaotic, full of last minute decisions, overwhelming fears and anxieties and challenges to the ego and one's sense of peace. How delicious that we are allowed a moment when it all must stop and make room for us to sit and breathe. To stop "doing" and to simply "be". A kind of clearing house for the psyche.

Therefore when people ask how long they should warm up my answer is usually "until you are peaceful". Now I recognize that this is a real challenge on a show day in the middle of all the crazy preparations of set list, stage clothes, comp list, travel to the venue, soundcheck etc.
 Therefore the "warm up" becomes even more essential, an island of peace and solitude in the middle of all the chaos.

Time is always tight on a show day and we will drop the warm-up unless it's scheduled like a rehearsal. So ask yourself. Aren't you worth giving yourself a chance at a relaxed easy time on your show day? Isn't your music worth getting behind and supporting? Isn't it time you did your best on stage instead of "the best you can do under the circumstances"?

          Schedule your peace of mind body and spirit daily!   
                .....And you will fly when you are onstage!

Private Sessions w Micah Barnes

Workshops in Torono, New York and Los Angeles

Official Singers Playground Website :