We had the good fortune of connecting with Susan Hanlon and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Susan, do you think college was worth it?
This is such a great question for those of us in the music industry! I absolutely feel that college not only made a huge impact on my life, but also made my career as a voice coach possible. Attending The University of North Texas offered me many unique musical experiences, wonderful networking opportunities and taught me many valuable skills. During my time in graduate school, I discovered my love of voice science and it completely changed the direction of my life! As for the cost, I consider myself very lucky to have attended such a competitive music school that also was a public university. It was definitely worth the expense to attend school and I am grateful that I was afforded this opportunity. I was fortunate to be able to take out loans and I received various scholarships along the way. As I help my students seek out their own academic paths, we always discuss the costs verses benefits of attending college for music study. Schools have become much more savvy these days in teaching entrepreneurial skills as part of the curriculum, which enables graduates to apply for many non-music related positions as well as their area of study. By increasing marketability through adding entrepreneurial courses, students gain many employment and life skills when attending college.

Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
I love my job! I get to work with singers of all abilities, ages and musical genres. I work with each singer to bring out the best in their voice, their musicianship and their performance skills. It is such a joy to see my clients grow and improve and discover their own voices. I get excited for them when they book gigs, release music, nail an audition or break through a personal barrier! The journey of building my vocal studio has been a steady progression. I approach my role in the studio as a partner to each singer. It is my job to lead them down the path of exploring what their voices can do and where growth and development can occur. I prefer to work as their team member and guide them to try new exercises and techniques to improve their skills. I offer a personalized plan of study for each singer that may include technical vocal work, lyric delivery work, stage presence study, recording studio coaching, performance coaching and offering performance opportunities.

Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
Ooh! This is a fun question! I have several favorite spots in Dallas. I am a huge fan of coffee shops so I would absolutely have to stop by some of my favorites: Opening Bell in Dallas (so we would have to check out live music too), XOXO in Downtown Plano, Caffe Promenade in Allen and Spoons in Mckinney. If we spent an afternoon in Downtown Plano, we could look at all the cute shops, visit ArtCentre of Plano and browse the show and then eat at Urban Crust. I love Klyde Warren Park and their food trucks so we would have to spend a day down there visiting the DMA and Nasher. Sunday nights I love checking out Lockjohnsons Playground at Louie Louie’s Piano Bar in deep ellum, so we would make an evening of that. The Porch has great food and cocktails and then it could be fun walking around the shops down there. I know this is a bit north, but I love hanging out at Legacy West and Shops at Legacy too!

The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
Shout out to Terri Hamilton (choir director in Plano) for showing me that I would love teaching voice 16 years ago! Shout out to all the fabulous musicians and educators that I have the pleasure of working with each day! Shout out to Dr. Stephen Austin at UNT for showing me the joys of voice science and vocal pedagogy! A huge thank you shout out to Amy Harris and Dr. Lesley Childs at UTSW Clinical Center for Voice Care for being such a supportive voice care team! I of course have to include a shout out to my husband and my parents for their constant support of me and my business ventures!

Website: www.susanhanlonvocalstudio.com
Instagram: @susanhanlonmusic
Linkedin: https://www.linkedin.com/in/susan-hanlon-ferrer-1a37047/
Facebook: www.facebook.com/susanhanlonvocalstudio

Image Credits
Elle Logan, Photography MC6 Creative, Photography