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It’s time for us to welcome in 2024!  

The wins and growth from the singers in our studio this fall were incredible.  

From leads in shows, to big solos in concerts, to getting accepted to dream colleges for voice, to winning vocal scholarships, to feeling more prepared and confident in auditions, to HUGE improvements in vocal technique & sound, you have accomplished more in our studio this fall than ever before. 

I’m so proud of you!  

Below is a friendly reminder studio policies for the 2023-2024 school year.  Thank you for reviewing it.  It includes updated dates the studio is closed, and everything you need to know about sheet music, billing, updated make-up lessons, cancellations, transferring lessons, and anything else policies-wise. 

There’s a section about audition & performance preparation that I ask you to please read together with your singer.  This fall I had several singers come in under-prepared for their auditions and I realized I need to educate everyone more explicitly about audition preparation.  

You’ve already gotten the confirmation email from the official studio schedule listing all of your lesson dates from January thru June.  In that email, there’s a button where you can add all these dates to your calendar all at once, just so you know! 

Studio-Wide Closure Dates

Winter Break: Friday, 12/22 through Sunday, 1/7

Lessons resume on Monday, 1/8

Monday, 1/15 – Martin Luther King Jr. Day

Thursday, 1/18 – My 40th Birthday!!!

Monday, 2/19 through Sunday, 2/25 – February Break

Monday, 4/15 through Sunday 4/21 – April Break

Monday, 5/27 – Memorial Day 

The last day of weekly lessons for the season is Thursday, 6/6

These studio-wide closures are all reflected in your term length/# of weeks in the term for your lesson day. 

Summer lessons begin Monday, 6/10

BILLING

Your enrollment for the 2023-2024 season/school year follows a twice-a-season payment schedule. 

The two dates we’ll do billing for the fall & winter are: 

Wednesday, August 30, 2023

Monday, December 11, 2023

We’ll use the card on file.  To look back at what it is, simply search for the subject line, “Your Sarah Hawkey Studio receipt” in your email.  If you need to update it we can connect in person or over the phone to get it up to date. 

MUSIC BINDER aka your “BOOK”

Singers need a 3-ring binder in which to keep all the sheet music we‘re currently working on. Please bring these materials to each and every lesson.

MAKEUP LESSONS

You have two (2) makeup lessons for the winter/spring 2024 term.  Makeup lessons are for anything from illness to a concert, anytime your singer needs to miss their regular lesson. These must be used during that term’s current calendar.  For example, if the lesson we need to make up is between January 8th and June 6th, 2024, the make-up lesson must be on the studio schedule before June 6th, 2024 and so on. Lessons and makeup lessons do not roll over to the future. 

MAKEUP LESSONS RELATED TO SHOW SCHEDULES *new*

Many of your singers are in shows and I know things like tech weeks happen, so this spring, we are trying out a system of pre-approved missed lessons that you get to make up if your singer is in a show.  These pre-approved makeup lessons will not count against their 2 makeups.  

When I asked our teen singers if they preferred to make up those lessons rather than miss them, those I asked said yes and I agree!  

Especially with important auditions & projects coming down the road singers need the time to prepare their repertoire.  So if your singer is in a show and you know they need to miss a lesson for tech week, please reach out to me privately. 

SCHEDULING YOUR MAKEUP LESSONS STARTS NOW

Please schedule makeup lessons as soon as possible.  We can literally start now!  I’ll first ask you to look at random days off & early dismissal days, so please have that info ready and then we will get cracking! 

EXTRA MAKEUP LESSON TO ACCOMMODATE MARCH BREAK FOR PRIVATE SCHOOL STUDENTS

Those of you in private school have a March break while the rest of us are here, and we will make those lessons up. That lesson won’t count against your makeups this term.  

TRANSFERRING LESSONS

Lessons are transferrable to another household member.  For example, if my regular student is unwell, a sibling may like to take their lesson that week.  This can be a fun lens into the amazing work of studying voice.  Please let me know ahead of that day’s 3pm EST start time so I am aware and can prepare for a new face & voice. 

CANCELLATION POLICY

Our cancellation policy for weekly lessons is 24 hours.  If you cancel your lesson with less than 24 hours of notice, the lesson is not eligible for a makeup lesson.

New York City in-person lessons: Please note these lessons have a 48-hour cancellation policy simply because there are more logistics involved and I’ll need time to plan around any changes. If we are renting paid studio space, a small studio fee may be added — you will know in advance if that’s the case. 

SNOW DAYS

Snow Day Procedures: If you are student who normally comes to the Fairfield County studio for in-person lessons and schools have a snow day, it is highly likely we will move all lessons that day to our remote platform (we use Zoom) and you’ll receive a new confirmation email with a link.  

COVID PROCEDURES & ILLNESS

If you are having an in-person lesson and you suspect your child or someone in the household has been exposed to COVID-19, we will move to remote lessons until it’s safe to reconvene at the studio.  I appreciate your consideration to my health and the health of your fellow studio community!  

LESSON TIMLINESS 

If you are running late for your lesson, the lesson will still end on time. 

YOUR WEEKLY LESSON TIME

The lesson time we set up in August is your weekly time for the 2023-2024 season/school year.  Once the term begins, the studio will be 90%-100% full and it will be impossible to find a new time. Please prioritize this lesson time in your after-school activities calendar for the full school year as it will remain for the entire season of weekly lessons.

AUDITIONS & PERFORMANCE PREPARATION *updated*

If you have an upcoming audition or performance, please notify me as soon as possible prior to your next lesson, including any repertoire and/or audition materials we need to prepare. Print your music and cuts before your lesson, and send me any recordings and PDFs at least 24hrs before so I have time to organize them before our next lesson.  This will help us use your lessons as efficiently as possible toward your audition preparation, and help you nail your audition goals.  

Read this section to and with your child, teen, or tween.  Recite it.  Memorize it.  Write a song to it. Do whatever you need to do to internalize it.  Do not skip this essential information: 

If you have an upcoming audition or performance, please notify me as soon as possible prior to your next lesson, including any repertoire and/or audition materials we need to prepare. This will help us use your lessons as efficiently as possible toward your preparation, and help you nail your auditions and audition goals.

…let me say that one a second time for the folks in the nosebleed section…..

If you have an audition or performance coming up, I need to know ASAP!  Choose your audition cuts beforehand if you’re able so we can use our time efficiently.  Print your music, put it in your binder before your lesson, send me the PDFs, learn your rep, and come prepared.   

To succeed in an audition, don’t make the mistake of learning your music at the last minute or thinking you’ll make acting choices on the fly.  Memorize your music as fast as possible, this should take a day, maybe two.  Then practice it on your feet, making acting choices, working the technical challenges out, getting it in front of a mirror, a trusted friend, etc.  

Your natural audition jitters mean that everything else must be completely solid and rehearsed so you can be successful and confident and show your BEST in the audition space in spite of your inevitable racing heart.  

Never fall into the trap of thinking your audition will go better in the moment by thinking you’ll just figure it out when you get there.  This is how to sabotage your success, not ensure it!  

Those singers who were exceptionally well-prepared for their auditions this fall alone consistently booked THE LEAD ROLE in a show.  Well-prepared singers consistently got accepted to their DREAM COLLEGES, PROGRAMS & WON SCHOLARSHIPS.

The amount of care, attention, and preparation you do behind-the-scenes for any audition or performance is a direct correlation to the results of that audition, your self-confidence, and your self-esteem as a performer and young artist, and your resilience to have the ability to believe in yourself even when things get challenging or don’t go the way you hoped.  

Even if the result is simply that you feel proud of yourself and how you prepared or performed in the audition or performance and you don’t get the role you wanted or don’t get into the program, pride in yourself is a completely valid and concrete accomplishment and will bolster your future success & confidence the next time around. 

Thank you for sharing that section with your young singer.  I care so, so much about their success, their resilience, and their confidence!  

Auditions especially are extremely vulnerable, emotional, impactful experiences and singers need the bolstering so that these are positive experiences and not crushing ones.  

These experiences have a direct effect on their self-esteem and self-confidence so let’s make sure we set them up to have affirming experiences in that department!  

This entire letter is also on our website for you to refer to if you need a reminder about what the schedule looks like this year, or any of the studio policies.  Here’s the link: https://www.sarahhawkeystudio.com/studio-policiesI also included it in my email signature for easy access.

Here’s to another wonderful year of artistic growth for your child and music ringing through your rafters.  

The singers in our studio drive me, inspire me, and fill me with joy.  It’s an honor to serve you and your child!  

Sincerely,
Sarah