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Artists in the Playground

Testimonials

Dedication. Expertise. Passion.

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"Micah has had my back since I was 12 years old. There is no meaningful part of my career that I haven’t looked to him for advice and I don’t expect that to ever change. Having such a dedicated and loving mentor such as Micah has been an invaluable part of my life and my career. He helped me get over being terrified of playing on stage and feeling comfortable in my own voice and still a really important part of my life to this day.”

J.P. Saxe (Arista)

2020 Grammy Nominee for
SONG OF THE YEAR!

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''Micah has helped me tremendously to find my own voice as a singer. His instructions were clear, intentional, and catered to exactly what I needed to work on. When I first took a lesson with Micah, my voice was all over the place. I started out looking for better control, pitch, and overall technique, which is exactly what I got. After spending only a few weeks practicing, I was able to see a noticeable difference not only in my singing, but also in my stage confidence.''

Myles Castello

Warner Music Canada

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“Micah is quite simply one of the most inspiring, exciting teachers, and people, I've ever met. I cannot say enough good things about this man! He always approached our work together with patience, empathy and exploration. There was no rush to results. It was all process and discovery. He was supportive throughout and also challenging. He helped me find truth and authenticity in my voice. I had been terrified of singing for a very long time, and he made me absolutely fall in love with it. I felt creative and free. I learned so much about acting from his work. He helped me feel how impulses in both acting and singing spring from the same raw truthful place. He is always present, always open, and is so generous with his passion for what he does. I would feel very lucky to get to work with him again”

Tatiana Maslany

2016 Primetime Emmy Award

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"Micah’s coaching helped me learn to trust myself and my instrument. He’s helped me overcome the crippling perfectionism that used to block me from authenticity on stage & professionally with my work in rIVerse. Micah is helping me learn to be OK with being vulnerable,(it’s actually my new superpower!)  Our work together helps me connect emotionally with the material and the audience & without THAT there is nothing!"

Zak

rIVerse

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"Micah Barnes as a singer is a sight to behold. A truly authentic voice that reveals the heart of a even more wonderful songwriter. And that's just Barnes the artist. Then there is the matter of Micah Barnes the master teacher. The one who reaches right inside you, and guides you to help yourself quickly find the fear that is stopping the flow. He knows how to zone in an appropriately sensitive way so that you can let go and acknowledge your own authentic voice. This gifted teacher lets himself be of service to others. So....In Micah I trust. To Micah I go.”

Lorraine Segato

4 Time Juno Award Winning Artist

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"I am a big believer in vocal maintenance and development, and Micah Barnes delivers. There is no doubt that my performance has improved under Micah's guidance. Improved vocal confidence, increased stage stamina, and reduced tracking time in the studio are all concrete results that I have seen from just a few sessions. I've worked with a lot of producers and performance coaches but these sessions have by far been the most effective training sessions that I have had the pleasure to be in. 10/10 would recommend to any vocalist, regardless of current ability."

Dustin Bird

Open Road Records/Canada

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"Micah is not only the most devoted vocal coach I have ever met, but also the most emotionally intune and wonderfully empathetic teacher you could ask for. He helped me recover after having surgery to remove my tonsils and he did so with such custom care with a steady goal of healthy rehabilitation top of mind. He was able to take me from starting all the way from a terrifying ground zero so the strongest and healthiest my voice has ever been. I am able to stop reaching for notes, stop pushing for power and access my body and mind both in warm-ups and on stage to help me effortlessly hit my highs! Anyone who works with Micah should call themselves lucky as they will always feel like they are his #1 priority."

Sally Shaar - Monowhales

Chart Topping Alt-Rock

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"Micah Barnes is one of the best vocal coaches I have ever had the pleasure of working with. His adoration for music, his vast knowledge of amazing vocalists and his dedication to inspiring singers is infectious. He knows exactly how to bring out the very best in you while simultaneously pushing you above and beyond your familiar limits"

Dione Taylor

Juno Nominated Blues Artist

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"Years ago, as an Artist pivoting my focus towards becoming a Performance Coach, Micah became a critical mentor. He has been a constant voice of encouragement, advice, validation, and support in my life and career. As a coach himself, I've seen singers in his Masterclass release 20 years of vocal tension and uncertainty in 10 minutes of supremely experienced guidance from Micah - all while he sight reads piano. That's just incredible!”

Luther Mallory

Performance Coach

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"Working with Micah has been so much more than working on my voice. We work on life! I have been on a mission of vocal rehabilitation which has included changing how I approach my craft and Micah has been incredible helping me shed my "survival technique" that I developed while I was struggling to keep up. We work together to gently rediscover my voice in an authentic and thorough way that has helped not only bring back my vocal flexibility but my joy for singing.”

Photo credit Graham Isador

Jeni Walls

Musical Theatre Artist, Director & Producer

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“Working with Micah has been one of the most life changing things in my career and my life. He is one of the few people I’ve met in the industry who truly saw me as an artist and believed in me. I began working with Micah at a time where I needed to understand on a deeper level who I was as an artist, and how to show up as that artist in the industry. He helped me bring out my true artist identity and guided me through the uncomfortable but necessary work for my growth as an artist and person. He has allowed me to step into my authentic self on and off the stage, and that has been my greatest challenge. If you ever get the chance to work with Micah, know you will always feel supported, and that you will always have someone genuinely good in your corner.”

Nancy Hope

Independent Recording Artist

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"Micah was recommended to me by a mutual friend and I went to see him for a session just before recording an album in Toronto in early 2018. I was always hesitant to see a voice coach. I was afraid that, because I’d had so little formal training, the process would require completely changing my technique and destabilizing the way I sang in order to learn new techniques. After the first session with Micah those fears were not only put to rest by his approach and his incredibly generous, warm and encouraging nature, but I was also shown the immense possibilities for me as a singer and an artist. I left inspired and changed and what began as a one-off session quickly developed into a weekly visit. Micah became a confidant, mentor and ally during a time in which the music industry, and life in general, was kicking my arse and he facilitated a process for me of finding my voice and my power, both as a singer and as a person. I have absolutely no doubt that I’m a profoundly more confident, dexterous and connected singer for working with Micah. I’ll always be grateful to my new friend and teacher and look forward to continuing our work, whether in Toronto or from further afield."

Liz Stringer

Milk Records/Australia

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"Micah was a guiding light on my last album project. He kept me moving ahead when the world had stopped. He is so intuitive and wildly supportive and can see the next steps clearly. His expertise as a strategy coach and consultant is invaluable."

Diana Kazakova

Performer and Producer - New York City

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"Micah is a performance whisperer. I would say "coach" but it doesn't quite cover the depth of his guidance. I started working with him when I was 16 and have since returned to his direction for over a decade. Sessions with Micah will challenge the limiting beliefs you have about yourself and your own potential. He actually cares about your personal measurement of success and is willing to work with you to achieve it. He's inspired me to be vulnerable and trust my authenticity throughout the years and needless to say, he's inspired my career in a huge way!”

seyblu

Recording Artist Canada/UK

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"Micah is not only a coaching genius, he is my mentor, my sounding board and one of my greatest supporters. He deeply cares about my growth as an artist and me as a young adult trying to navigate the music industry. Micah Barnes is a gem."

Trey Joshua

Hip Hop/R&B Recordings Artist

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“Micah is so fabulous, not just as a mentor but as a person! He’s insightful, motivational and has a wealth of experience to learn from. I have grown as a performer, and there are still times in a moment of self doubt before hitting the stage his sage advice rings in my head. I smile and then showtime!”

Donita Large

Chart Topping Indigenous Artist

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"With your guidance and understanding I became more than a singer. Somewhere in that process a door into my heart had been opened & it gave me a strength and tone that was more powerful than anything I had understood before. You’re more than a vocal coach….you teach people how to spiritually tap into their voice…You’re a vocal Shaman! :)"

Marshall Dane

Country Recording Artist (5 Time Nominee for CMAO Male Artist Of The Year)

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“Micah did something no coach I had worked with had done before.  He worked on my soul.  He taught me the importance of giving yourself to your audience, whoever it may be.  When I get on stage and perform now, I am a different performer.  I am willing and able to give myself to whoever is watching, because I know who I am, and I'm confident in that. He also called me out when I didn't do the work, something that not a lot of people in my life had done prior to him  He came into my life when I was arguably at my lowest, and after three years of working together, I am at my strongest.  Being a woman in the music industry has its challenges. He allowed me to demand attention, to not be afraid to say no, to ask questions and to never make myself smaller so someone else could feel bigger.  Those are things that I needed in every part of my life, both personal and business.   Micah, I could go on and on.  You not only made me the strongest vocalist I've ever been, but you also healed me, and for that I am eternally grateful.”

Vanessa Marie Carter

Nashville Recording Artist

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"COVID-19 brought my busy touring schedule to an instant halt. I had been flipping back and forth, touring in multiple countries for many years, but was suddenly forced to stay put in my home city for an entire year (and counting). What I didn’t know at the time was the hidden gift this down time would bring. I finally had the time to concentrate on my work with vocal coach Micha Barnes! I continue to work with Micah every week and he has completely changed the way I sing.  

 

With Micah’s help, I am now able to produce the sound I want, using proper technique. Within a few lessons he had improved my voice and my confidence in a big way. We were able to remove the tension in my process and create a free-flowing sound with a much bigger range.  Working with Micah helped me to fall in love with singing again – like singing for the sake of singing, as opposed to learning new material or prepping for a show. It is one of the main things that got me through this very difficult year."

Amy Nelson

Australia/Canada Chart Topping Country Artist

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"Micah came into my life as a voice coach; someone that I had hoped would provide me with practical tools to improve my technique. That, he did but I got so much more. Micah's intuitive nature and passion for the real, deep work is largely what has given me the vocal freedoms that I experience today. I consider Micah a mentor, a healer, and in some respects, a guru. Now I can express my gratitude every day through a new, powerful and versatile instrument that reflects the truth of who I am. I doubt I would have gotten here so soon without Micah Barnes"

Jess McAvoy

Recording Artist Australia/USA

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“A few years ago I went to Micah for stage performance guidance, and if I hadn’t, I wouldn’t be where I am today. Micah found ways to break me out of my shell, and allow myself to use every ounce of creativity available. He showed me how to connect to a song lyrically and emotionally, and through physical presentation. I am thrilled to say that he has strongly assisted in shaping who I am as an artist today!”

Avery Raquel

Canadian Recording Artist

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"I came to Micah when I wasn’t sure I could get back up on my feet as a performer.  
His goal was to develop the voice not in isolation, but as part of the entire body. He provided useful tools for fine tuning the voice and overcoming “bad habits” developed over the years. Best of all , he has taught me how to deliver the “story” which is the key ingredient in a captivating performance. In short, Micah Barnes has lifted me up, restored my confidence and  given me back my voice, bolder and better than it’s ever been. I am looking forward to releasing my first Jazz CD project and I owe so much to him, thank you Micah"

Mary Lou Sicoly

Jazz Recording Artist

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"In the first session I had with Micah he was able to nail down a major issue I’ve struggled with in my 30+ years of performing within the first minute. His intuition for vocals and matching the style of my vocals to my personality is amazing.

 

He was able to bring out the “Bob” that was just waiting for the right technique. 
We started with vocal coaching and organically went into career coaching and he has given valuable advice, even when it was not in my comfort zone…it does not sting at all when I say “Micah…you were right”.   


Micah is an invaluable resource and I have been hard pressed to find anyone with the kind of intuition that he harbors and shares so freely!”

Bob Donaldson

Alberta based Country Artist

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“Not only did Micah guide me to nail my background vocals, but they gave me the physical, mental, and emotional strength that would became the foundation of my career. ‘Power’ and ‘grit’ are now some of the qualities I am best known for, and people are often shocked I ever struggled with them. Micah also stressed the importance of growing my “community”, which is something that became the entire focus of my art (#chloelovesme), and which taught me more in a few years than I could learn in 10,000 hours of studying. I can’t overstate the impact Micah made on my life as an artist, or how grateful I am to have made such a dear friend. They are so much more than a vocal coach, they are a true mentor.”

Chloe Watkinson

Powerhouse Blues Vocalist

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"It’s no surprise to many to say that Micah Barnes is a highly skilled vocal coach, or a noted provider of sage advice on career advancement for vocal performers. The reason why I’ve attended countless workshops and private one-on-one classes with Micah over the years is because of his other attributes that place him a notch or two above. Micah listens and synthesizes. He is compassionate, concerned and possesses an innate curiosity and great enthusiasm for his students and their music. His passion and commitment is beyond abundant and that’s what I needed - and still need!  I’ve never felt more confident as a singer/performer. ”

Denise Leslie

Jazz Recording Artist

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"To listen that intently, that deeply, to ask those questions, to see what no one can see themselves-that is beyond masterful. You are a masterful listener, championer, challenger and communicator.”

Judy Librach

Life Coach - Broadcaster

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"I think that the work that Micah does is transforming. The feedback has been great. Trust him it really works.”

Heather Ostertag

C.M. Former President & CEO, FACTOR