Author Archives: Barbara McAfee

About Barbara McAfee

Barbara is a voice coach, singer/songwriter, keynote speaker, and author who merges lessons from 12 years in organization development with the transformational power of sound. Her book, Full Voice: The Art & Practice of Vocal Presence (Berrett-Koehler Publishers) was a #1 Amazon bestseller in Business Communication. The book is based on her 25 years as a voice coach, supporting people from many professions in learning how to access the full power and expression of the voice in service to their work and relationships. Barbara’s musical keynotes blend practical content, sophisticated humor, and thought-provoking questions on topics including voice, leadership, and engagement. She was “the band” for Margaret Wheatley’s Women’s Leadership Revival Tour, which visited 15 North American cities. She also appears with authors Parker Palmer and Peter Block. Barbara has produced seven CD's of mostly original music and is founder of the Morning Star Singers, a volunteer hospice choir in the Twin Cities. She lives across the street from the Mississippi River in Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA.

Day of the Dead — in August

On August 8, 1991 my father, Willis Robert McAfee, Jr., died in my arms after a very short illness with pancreatic cancer. I’ve written a lot about that experience in the intervening years — in this blog, song and poetry. … Continue reading

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The Joy of Structure – Peggy Rubin, William Shakespeare, and Bald Eagles

I’ve been accused of being a free spirit all my life….and with good reason. I treasure my freedom, revel in unscheduled days, and balk at things that confine my choices. It took a brilliant teacher and William Shakespeare to awaken … Continue reading

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Meditation Improvisation – I Found a Way

Those of you who read my blog regularly know that I am a devoted lap swimmer. My time in the pool (or lake) opens me to a kind of reflection and inspiration that can only come from repetitive activity that … Continue reading

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Clearing Out: The Musical

I was working with one of my voice clients yesterday via Skype. She was noticing that she wasn’t making time to sing or use her voice in her day-to-day life. I asked her what the next few days were holding … Continue reading

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The Church of Loud Crying

Like many of you I recently watched TV host Jimmy Kimmel speak about his newborn son’s heart defect. I was struck by how moved many people were to see a public figure – especially a white male comedian – weep … Continue reading

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Shower Room Temple

Playboy bunny Dani Mathers was recently sentenced for posting a photograph of a nude 70-year-old woman in the shower room at a health club. She is being punished for invading this woman’s privacy and for writing a vicious, body-shaming caption … Continue reading

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Death Songs

My friend Jeannie and I are at a Sweet Honey in the Rock concert in St. Paul, Minnesota. One of the group’s founding members, Ysaye Barnwell, steps to center stage and sings what she calls her “death song.” It expresses … Continue reading

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