Welcome to Wolf City Voice
VOCAL Checkup - The starting point. We meet to discuss your goals and dreams, what you feel is missing from your technique and how I might help you.
HOUR Long Sessions - One hour per week, unlimited email access, discount on the video exercise sessions.
NEW! Half-Hour Sessions - Half hour per week, unlimited email access, discount on video exercise sessions.
All sessions offered in person and online.
Wolf City Voice Studios
To hear my some of my students sing go to the Students page.
In my studio we start with a solid, safe and strong vocal technique.
Never fear your audition again. Gain strength and versatility.
Walk in the room with a rock star repertoire.
I train singers to act and actors to sing. I use a solid, safe and classical technique to build a strong base. From there we work on repertoire and finding your truth for each piece.
I have taught presentation, voice and acting for over twenty years.
My students enjoy careers on Broadway, in Regional and Community houses all over the country.
My students learn to sing without fear, with confidence and joy and besides all of that:
They sound AMAZING! They are believable and brilliant onstage.
My background is onstage: I sing, dance, write, act and tell great whopping tales upon request.
I have a master's degree in Educational Theatre from NYU Steinhardt.
Wolf City Voice is now GLOBAL. You can take lessons with me over the internet. Don't let distance keep you from taking class.
To start your journey now:
Testimonials from former and current students.
When I found Michelle, I lacked confidence. With a good ear for pitch, and a love of the stage, I had hopes to perform professionally, but needed a boost. My endeavors in musical theatre were largely successful with Michelle as my coach. She instilled a confidence in me that led to paid work as a singer. We strategized on the types of stage shows that I was right for. After making lists of both what I dreamed about and what I was capable of, she helped plan my attack by building my repertoire of songs, and coaching me on audition technique. From there, I started to be cast consistently in the Los Angeles musical theatre scene. Michelle took good care of me through all my emotional ups and downs, and when I came to her concerned that I couldn't belt certain high notes, she coached me to use a mix to achieve a strong sound that didn't hurt my vocal chords. With many months of practice, I started to sound more like the actresses who were heard on all my Broadway cast albums. Even more confidence followed! - Katherine Stein
Michelle is an amazing performer and teacher. Not only does she have exceptional gifts to share on stage, but she is exceptional at developing those gifts in others. Whether she is acting, singing, or teaching, Michelle is a star and helps the best in all of us shine. - Cory T Hibbs
In my first lesson with Michelle, she assessed my voice style, vocal range, and provided me with a list of songs/roles to use for auditions. Not only was I getting voice lessons, but also a successful audition book that showcased my voice and personality type. Michelle has been extremely helpful in teaching me proper vocal technique, correcting old habits, and even gave me vocal exercises to use on my own outside of lessons. Her exercises and techniques have helped my voice remain healthy when having to commit a long run of shows. My range has improved as well. Michelle also approaches vocal lessons through the lens of an actor, not only focusing on vocal technique but shaping a song to reflect the character and circumstances of a piece. In doing so, she has prepared me for professional auditions and provided me with the tools to be a successful performer. I have also been able to shape my resume under her professional guidance and, as a result, have booked work. Michelle teaches not only as a vocal/acting coach, but truly a mentor. - Chris Lindsey
All I can say is, hands down, Michelle is one of the best voice teachers I've ever had in my life, and I don't give that title to just anyone! Having been a singer for many years, I've had numerous voice teachers, each coaching and training me in various styles and techniques... opera, musical theatre, jazz, etc. Michelle was different than those other teachers, however. She was able to correct all of my past insecurities, limitations, and bad habits that held me back for years and focused on bringing out my own unique voice and talent. Michelle helped me with my breathing, and showed me the real and correct way to belt, along with successfully mixing a belting and classical sound together. No matter what your focus as a voice student may be, (professional or amateur), Michelle will give you the right tools to help you reach your full potential as a singer. -Abby Siskind
Ms. Michelle Hakala is a voice guru who exceeded my expectations by providing me so much more than just simple voice lessons. While any voice teacher usually navigates you through the “hows” and “whats” of singing, Ms. Hakala does much more: She customizes her training to each of her students individually, to make every lesson as personalized as possible to your specific needs. She works on every intricacy— from breathing, to bad habits, to posture— in order to strengthen every detail that can give you the strongest voice possible. Her training is not rudimentary, but rather focused on goal setting, which helps you notice clear and tangible improvements overtime. She selects material to sing that is not only applicable to your voice, but also applicable to you, as an actor, who might fit a specific kind of role that she sees you capable of performing—as a result you are challenged to expand your boundaries and expand your range. I can trust that she will provide me with the most solid kind of coaching that will make me prepared to endure any grueling audition or demanding performance. Ms. Hakala takes her trade very seriously, and as you’ll continue to work with her, you’ll find that her knowledge of voice comes from many years of academic practice, professional experience, and scientific research; thus making her a very valuable advisor to have and a very reliable teacher to work with. I highly recommend Ms. Hakala for her excellent voice coaching.
– America Garza
Michelle had an astounding influence on my vocal skills and technique. When I came to her, I had a pretty good voice but didn't have any formal training. I quickly learned that while my natural voice was decent, I had absolutely no technique and even worse breath support. I breathed like a dancer, not a singer. Michelle helped my retrain myself to breath correctly while singing to achieve the maximum breath support and vocal stamina. I had a good voice, but didn't have the tools to control it. Michelle gave me the tools to not only control and improve my voice, but also to extend my range and repertoire. Before Studying with Michelle, my range was limited. I struggled to hit high notes because I was unable to control my breath. I am not able to rattle the rafters with my high notes. There are many wonderful things about Michelle's teaching. First and foremost, she creates a wonderful learning environment. I felt safe, nurtured and free to make mistakes-- something very important in a performance based class. Trust me. She truly cares about her students and tailors each lesson to our specific needs (both in general and on that particular day). In addition to her warm, safe teaching style, her experience as an actor and performer is a tremendous asset to her teaching. With her, you not only get a vocal coach, but also an acting coach-- no extra charge! Michelle teaches her students to live the lyrics they are singing-- to portray the meaning to the audience. I learned to connect to the song on a deeper level. This skill has helped me in numerous auditions since studying with her. Without her I would not be where I am today with my career as a performer and performing arts educator. She helped me discover the voice I never knew I had and helped me gain confidence in my abilities as a performer. She is hands down the best vocal coach I know! - Rachel Deep Verdi
I took voice lessons from Michelle in my junior and senior years of high school. When I began taking lessons from her, I was a musical-obsessed stage manager and techie in my school's drama department but I was trying to be recognized as an actress to no avail. After just a few months of working with Michelle, I was cast as the lead in our school's annual musical - a feat which our director claimed was largely due to my musical training! Though I am no longer pursuing acting, I still think about her training in my every day life - how to keep my voice healthy and strong while using it to its fullest potential. Not only is Michelle an incredibly talented singer and a wonderful teacher, she is also a beautiful person who makes everyone around her comfortable and at home in themselves. Her style of teaching encourages finding your voice literally and figuratively, which for me was extremely empowering. Michelle is a wonderful person and an excellent mentor for students of all ages. I sincerely recommend her services. -Colleen Wilson