my teaching style

learn about how I teach and what lessons are like once you’re in the studio!
Sarah Hawkey Voice Studio - Voice Lessons in Westport, CT Voice Lessons in Fairfield, CT

This line by my favorite poet Mary Oliver is what I’m helping my students explore:

“Tell me, what is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life?”

-Mary Oliver

goodbye, obstacles!

I’ve devoted my life to mastering the art of singing, and here’s what I’ve learned along the way: 
My job as a voice teacher is to get every obstacle out of the way so my students can perform at their personal best and sing with their whole hearts.  
I help my students unlock their potential as singers & young artists.  I hold a vision for what their talent can become, and help them find a free expression of their unique gift as singers & young artists.

I’d love to connect with you!  

Sarah Hawkey Voice Teacher Westport, CT
Sarah Hawkey Studio - Voice Lessons in Westport, Wilton, Weston, and Ridgefield, CT

my pedagogy

What is pedagogy, you ask?  

good question!

Pedagogy a fancy way of saying how I teach voice – which includes my teaching philosophy for acting, song and character interpretation, and most importantly – my approach to teaching healthy, age-appropriate vocal technique. 
Vocal technique is the holy grail of singing. Without technique, literally nothing else is possible. 
Technique is the foundation of singing. Just like a house, if your foundation isn’t solid, the floor will eventually cave in. It’s the same in singing.
Without a technical foundation, a singer can’t realize their dreams because their vocal capabilities will be limited.

but what is technique anyway, Sarah?

It took me years to understand what everyone in Conservatory was talking about when they talked about technique.

Here’s my simple explanation:

Technique is simply HOW a singer creates sound.  

Just because my lineage is classical doesn’t mean I teach opera singers. In fact, none of my students are classical at the moment, but they’re learning knockout technique that supports whatever genre they love to sing.
The whole point of a singer mastering technique is to get their voice out of the way, so they can actually focus on the text, the character, the scene… and not be thinking about their singing at all.  

wanna work on your technique?


my voice teacher secret sauce

aka: how i learned to be a world-class voice teacher
Voice teachers have a “pedagogical lineage,” which is like a voice teacher family tree.  We carry on the approaches of master voice teachers to the next generation of singers.  
My lineage is Italian & French bel canto, along with a contemporary American approach to technique.  
My mentors are the renowned voice teacher Steve Smith when he was at Juilliard; the famous teacher Daniel Ferro & his mentee Peter Castaldi who carried on the lineage of the Italian bel canto school; and Braeden Harris, a technical genius who carries on the pedagogical lineage of his French bel canto teacher.

Techniques & resources that have shaped my teaching style:

Body-Mind-Breath Connection

In 2015 I did my yoga teacher certification (RYT-200) which led me to a deeper understanding of the breath & sharpened my understanding of how the energetic systems of the body work in concert with the physical body and breath. It seamlessly integrates into my work with singers.

Voice Teacher, Sarah Hawkey, in her voice studio in Weston, CY

Acting Technique in Song

My go-to acting technique book & method is Larry Moss’s Intent to Live.  In it, he outlines how to develop a character based on the text, given circumstances, objectives, super-objectives & tactics. This is the method I use with students to help them learn how to become a singing actor.  

Movement on Stage

My favorite stage movement techniques are Viewpoints & Laban, which can also be used in any song or scene.  When students are ready, we dive into these two approaches.  

Let’s connect!

I would love to hear about your singer!

If you’re seeking a friendly and fun voice teacher for your young singer in Fairfield County, CT—Weston, Westport, and Wilton—I’d love to connect with you!

Together, we’ll embark on a transformative journey, shaping your child into a confident & expressive young artist.