COCA Songwriting Intensive student at piano

NYC Actor, Singer & Broadway Vocal Coach Returns for COCA Summer Voice Intensives

We’re thrilled to have Michael Beatty, NYC Actor, Singer, and Broadway Vocal Coach, return as a teaching artist for COCA’s voice intensives this summer! Michael has been a guest teaching artist with our voice intensives for many years, helping vocalists to create, refine, and rehearse songs from a variety of musical styles.

We asked Michael to tell us about what students can expect from COCA’s voice intensives this year—and share a little bit about his latest work!

What excites you the most about returning to COCA and working with our young artists?

Michael Beatty Headshot
Michael Beatty

Michael: I always get excited about teaching at COCA! What I appreciate most is the high standard of talent and commitment from the staff, teachers, and students. It also excites me to work with such a diverse community of artists.

What do you hope to bring from your professional experience to working with students during the intensives?

Michael: I have been a professional performing artist for most of my life, and I have a wealth of experience to share with the talented students at COCA. I’m a hybrid artist and share a multidisciplined background particularly in the areas of singing, acting, songwriting, and recording. It makes me very happy to help young artists understand, embrace, develop, and honor their own unique strengths and talents in those areas.

What can students expect from the intensives you teach?

Michael: They can expect to work hard but also have a lot of fun. I design my curriculum to be physically and intellectually engaging. I teach Voice Intensive II: The Singing Actor with Dr. Phil Woodmore, and together we share a great enthusiasm for teaching students how to identify their unique potential as performing artists. I believe each performer has their own version of a “star quality” to share. It just has to be discovered and developed. In Voice Intensive II, we teach students how to connect a singing technique to an acting technique, a skill that allows them to express a deeper understanding of the emotional life of the song. It’s about telling stories with music and connecting in a meaningful way to an audience. In the Songwriting Intensive, we learn how to share personal ideas and stories through music. We express an emotional truth with a voice and/or instrument and then we capture it. It’s a very exciting process for young songwriters to create, refine, and rehearse their songs and then record them at Clayton Studios. It’s a lot of fun with a great takeaway!

Who should attend the voice and songwriting intensives?

Michael: Voice Intensive II is an advanced pre-professional course designed for students 14–18 that have already taken Voice Intensive I, have singing and acting experience and/or demonstrate an advanced level of ability. For example, a lot of our Voice Intensive II students have performed in productions at The Muny, The Rep, COCA, and Stages. The Songwriting Intensive is designed for budding singers, musicians, and songwriters 14–18 with a desire to further their songwriting, singing & music skills all while exploring the performance and recording process.

What first got you into music?

Michael: My love of music and my ability to sing! I knew from a very early age that I wanted to share my musical expression with the world.

How would you describe your music?

Michael: I would describe it as “Michael music” but in the world of Spotify and Apple Music it is called “singer-songwriter pop” music. However, I am very much a hybrid artist because my inspiration comes from many different genres of music. I like to share a personal story or experience when writing and singer-songwriters such as Bob Dylan, Joni Mitchell, and Elton John are the artists that are important to me and have influenced my writing style. I can appreciate, sing and write in many different styles such as rock/pop, electronica, folk and jazz. And when producing my own work I enjoy creating sounds and arrangements on my laptop and combining those elements with live musicians in a studio setting. You can listen to all of my music on Spotify, Apple Music, and Amazon, etc.

Tell us about your latest single release and upcoming work.

Michael: My latest single is called “Follow The Light” and it’s a song about losing a friend but learning how to move forward in life. I recorded it at Honey Jar Studios in Brooklyn with my producer and good friend Devin Greenwood. Even though it’s a song about loss it is uptempo and very hopeful. We just finished shooting a great video for it and that will be released along with the song. Lately I have been releasing a series of singles that will culminate in a full length album and will also be available as a vinyl record album.

Which song of yours has been your favorite and why?

Michael: “42nd St. Hymn” is one of my favorite songs. It has a timeless quality about it which I love. And it’s about my neighborhood which is the Hell’s Kitchen / Times Square area of New York City. Plus, it’s one of my most requested songs and that makes me happy. 

Voice Intensives with Michael Beatty

Songwriting Intensive

JUL 17–21 | 9:30AM–4:00PM | Ages 14–18 | $330

Work with professional singer-songwriter and recording artist Michael Beatty to create lyrics and melodies that tell a story and reflect your own unique voice. Identify the important elements of the songwriting, recording, and performance process. Develop the expressive “star quality” of your music from concept to craft to “capturing the moment.” As you hone your own personal songwriting style you also learn best practices for successfully sharing your music with an audience. Students create, refine, and rehearse their songs and record them at Clayton Studios.  

Voice Intensive II: The Singing Actor

JUL 10–14 | 9:30AM–4:00PM | Ages 15–19 | $330

This one-of-a-kind intensive is developed for vocalists who have completed the COCA Voice Intensive I and are interested in more advanced study. Utilizing songs that represent a variety of musical theatre styles, students integrate method acting technique into voice and scene work to better express a deeper understanding of the emotional life of the song. Students also learn effective audition techniques and identify repertoire that highlights individual strengths as singing artists. Students leave the intensive with two to three contrasting songs prepared for their vocal portfolio. This intensive is led by Michael Beatty and Phil Woodmore.

About Michael Beatty

Michael Beatty is a singer, songwriter, and actor based in New York City. He earned an M.A. in Performance Studies from NYU/Tisch School of the Arts, a B.S. in Communications Studies from Emerson College, and a Conservatory Degree from CTC Minneapolis. He attended the Boston Conservatory and has studied with members of the National Theatre, and the Stella Adler Studio. Michael’s body of work includes theatre and concert performance, national TV commercials, voice overs, commercial music, and five solo albums of original music. He has performed with rock bands and symphony orchestras, in coffee houses and concert halls, appeared Off-Broadway and toured Europe. He is also a distinguished teaching artist and performance coach whose clients include Broadway actors and singers, corporate executives, rock musicians, and young performing arts professionals. You can find Michael’s music on Spotify, Apple Music, and Amazon. He is a proud member of SAG-AFTRA, Actor’s Equity, BMI, and Performance Studies International.