Knowledge is power. Learn all you can. Here are some coaches and teachers that can help you improve your songwriting and performing. It certainly isn’t a complete list of all the good ones – just a few that Barbara knows personally and trusts completely.

Voice       Guitar      Songwriting


Rene Grant-Williams – 615- 259-4900 – one of the coaches the labels send their artists to. Barbara has  studied with her and vouches for the fact that she is amazing. She is very expensive and in demand, but also has other teachers trained in her method who are less expensive and easier to get appointments with.

Janet Kenyon – this former faculty member of Belmont University went out on her own in 2003 and has worked with a steady stream of clients including Rodney Atkins, Melinda Doolittle, Josh Turner and Jana Kramer.

Kim Wood Sandusky – 615-327-2523 – used often by the major labels to coach their artists.

Phoebe Binkley – 615-832-4199 -she’s been teaching for many years and could charge a lot more, but cares too much to price herself out of the range of aspiring singers. She understands the music business and can give career advice along with the vocal lessons. I studied with her personally and grew a lot under her gentle guidance.

Susan Anders – 615-353-7869 – a masters degree teacher who has worked with many signed artists including Lady Antebellum’s Hillary Scott. If you can’t make it to Nashville you can take lessons from her through Skype.


Denny Sarokin   – The people I know who have taken from him love his gentle, supportive instruction. If you can’t take from him personally you can learn a lot from his “Licktionary” DVD.

Ellen Britton – email – She has backed major artists on the road and is a great performer in her own right. She has a

Gary Talley  – A former member of The Boxtops, Gary has developed special methods for working with songwriters and has a DVD and workbook you can purchase. He is also available for lessons online.


Barbara Cloyd –  One of Nashville’s most respected and sought-after teachers, Barbara offers one-on-one consultation, classes, workshop and long-term mentoring tailored to your needs. Barbara’s alumni include Barry Dean, Joe Leathers, Dustin Lynch, Jon Nite and the Henningsens.

Songwriting and Music Business – an online community led by songwriter Amanda Williams. Join to get excellent and accurate information to grow in your craft and career.

NSAI (Nashville Songwriters Association International) – A years membership includes 12 critiques from the song evaluation service. (That’s worth the $200 right there.) They also offer in-person and on-line mentoring, and their workshops are first rate.  – It’s and online school run by pro writers with a variety of excellent teachers and mentors. It’s only $25.95/month and there is no long-term committment. Once you sign up you can take as many classes as you want for no extra charge. They also create opportunities for songwriters to network with each other online.

Jason Blume – Jason no longer does song critiques personally but has an excellent staff trained to give honest, insightful feedback. His workshops at BMI are excellent and free.

Global Songwriters Connection – a multi-faceted mentoring service by former NSAI membership director Sherree Spoltore. Sherree knows songs and knows the business and uses her boundless positive energy to encourage and inspire songwriters.

Rick Beresford – You can spend time one-on-one with this faculty member of Belmont University and NSAI Song Camps.