Sara began singing before she could talk, and has worked professionally since the ripe old age of three. Voicing commercials, as both a voiceover actress and singer for advertisers including McDonalds, AT&T, Staples, A&W, De Dutch Panekoek House, among others, Sara grew up as comfortable in the studio as on her living room couch.
Sara began working in the studio at the age of three, and playing live on the bar circuit at the age of 18 in various bands and duos. Not only does Sara sing, but she also plays bass, guitar, keyboard/piano, percussion, flute, and violin. She grew up singing in the amazing Vancouver Bach Choir Children's Choir and Youth Ensembles, singing in the Children’s Chorus, the Youth Performance Choir, and eventually Sarabande, as well as the adult Vancouver Bach Choir. Sara also sang with the Elektra Women's Choir and the stunning Capilano University vocal jazz group, Nitecap. Sara cannot begin to express the depth of learning that she gleaned from her years of choral and ensemble singing.
Growing up, her mum, Corlynn Hanney was a well-known, expert voice teacher, and Sara picked up a few things. She even took formal lessons from dear old mum while attending Capilano University's Bachelor of Jazz program as a Vocal major. Then, just to make sure the bases were covered, she studied with a few other phenomenal teachers over the years as well, including Arlene MacIntyre, Shannon Gunn, Joani Taylor, Sandra Head, Nikolai Kolesnikov, and Jennifer Scott. Sara draws heavily on her own training in her teaching. She also instinctively is able to pinpoint the technical issues holding a singer back, and address those specifically, with good humour and grace.
Sara teaches very technically. Personable and warm, students find her easy to talk to and relate with. And when it comes to the music, Sara is all about good technique. It starts with breath work, and continues from there. Vowel and sound placement, muscle use/relaxation, and performance connection are all elements that get revisited regularly in Sara’s teaching. Some of the exercises used to free up the voice may seem kind of silly at the time…but she’ll never ask you to do anything she won’t do too. So if she’s asking you to do something that feels ridiculous, like lie on the floor, hang upside down, impersonate Gene Simmons, or sing it like a cat, feel free to throw it back at her and say, “You first!”
And yes, all of those things – and more – will happen. Guaranteed. So will lots of laughter….and progress on your voice.