Like many artists, Ryan Barber has a wide range of creative passions. The Seattle-
based musician, author, teacher, and composer is the founder of Mr. Ryan’s Music
and Books, a multi-faceted creative vehicle that enables him to combine his love of
teaching with his passion for music, art, and theatre.

Barber maintains a busy schedule of writing, performing, and directing musical
theatre, and an equally busy calendar of teaching after-school, pre-school, and
private lesson programs. These days, one of the most useful tools in his arsenal is
the versatile Mackie FreePlay Personal PA.

“I do a lot of sing-alongs and performances with the kids, and those can take place
anywhere, from a schoolyard to a park to a gymnasium or cafeteria,” Barber
explains. “The FreePlay is great as a small PA for the kids to sing along with – it’s
powerful enough to cut through the chatter of 20 or 30 kids, and incredibly

With classes and lessons at several schools in the metro Seattle area, Barber is
also a fan of the FreePlay’s portability. “The FreePlay is compact and lightweight.
When I arrive at a school to teach a class, I don’t have a lot of time to carry in lots
of gear and get set up. With the FreePlay, I can grab it and go, and still be able to
take all my other gear too.”

Barber, who has authored the children’s book, The Adventures of Mr. Mop, has also
composed its accompanying score and musical. He points to the FreePlay as an
ideal system for presenting musical theater. “I created a mix of the backing tracks
for the score, and streamed that from my iPhone through the FreePlay, and played
acoustic guitar and sang to the tracks,” he reports. “It worked great – I had my
iPhone on a mic stand and was able to control my mix as I was performing.”

During the summer months, Barber also conducts music camps, and sees the
FreePlay as a boon for those events as well. “With the FreePlay’s rechargeable
battery, it’s ideal for parks, campgrounds, and other locations where there might
not be an AC power outlet nearby.”

With the upcoming release of his book and accompanying CD in November, Barber
is already anticipating putting on a series of performances to promote the book. “I’ll
be doing street fairs and other public events,” he says. “That includes me reading
the book, playing the music, and singing the songs with an acoustic guitar and
backing tracks – FreePlay is perfect for all those things. It’s really an awesome
device for teachers, performers, presenters, and anyone who needs just a bit of
amplification. It sounds great, it’s easy to use, and it’s portable.”