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.

Black Friday

I am writing this blog on Thanksgiving Day. Tomorrow is Black Friday, a day when many Americans succumb to consumer frenzy and stampeding greed. I never think about shopping on Black Friday. I think about black ice and a semi-truck … Continue reading

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Confessions of a Surprised Prophet

It happens over and over again. I write something – a song or a poem – about how I’d like something to be. The entire time I’m making it, I hear my inner critic hissing its usual transmission of doom. … Continue reading

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Stepmother – Or Enough with the Fairy Tales Already!

For much of my thirties, I was a stepmother to a beautiful kid. We met when he was two. During our first evening together, we played a wild, improvised game involving magnetic letters, a monster in the freezer and much … Continue reading

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You Can’t Imagine

My 93-year-old mom has been going through a rough patch these past weeks. So have I. I’m her number one caregiver – or as she recently put it, “her best help and her best friend.” In the past year or … Continue reading

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Have It Your Way – Or Maybe Not

I’ve been involved in organizing a lot of events over my 26 years of self-employment. There are always glitches along the way – unexpected changes in plans, sudden illnesses, logistical questions and – in my home state of Minnesota – … Continue reading

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Song of Wonder and Darkness

A friend and I recently drove to Missouri to witness the total solar eclipse. Our story was a common one in many ways. We changed routes and plans based on cloud cover and missed much of the totality to a … Continue reading

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Elise Witt – Using Song in All the Best Ways

I met Elise Witt years ago when she came to Minneapolis to lead a singing workshop. In that afternoon together, I learned songs from her that I am still singing today. It was also the beginning of long, deep and … Continue reading

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