Fresno Music Academy & Arts (formerly the Voice Shop) has been teaching music since 198 when Debi Ruud opened her first music school out f her home. Now, nearly 2 decades later, we are proud to have such a talented cast of professional musicians/teachers to carry on this musical tradition and with so many other lesson types:
Voice - Piano - Guitar - Drums - Violin/Fiddle - Mandolin - Bass - Harmonica - Musical Theater
Debi earned her degree in vocal performance from Fresno State in 1998. Not only has Debi been teaching privately for over fifteen years, she has also been singing professionally in the Fresno area for 25 years.
Debi has also sung in numerous top 40 and jazz groups, currently with the Joe Lenigan band and her own Jazz trio. She has been active in musical theater: Roger Rocka's Dinner Theatre, The 2nd Space and other independent productions, as well as being a very active part of the music ministry for many churches, currently she directs the choir at Bethel Lutheran. Debi's voice has graced many albums, including her own, Tell the World. and a Christmas album "At Long Last Christmas" recorded with Fresno tenor, Bob Bergthold. Debi also can be heard locally at weddings, funerals and other occasions. Her voice can be heard on countless jingles and commercials in the central valley:
Astrid is best known for singing on her top ten hit “Obsession” in 1986 with her band Animotion. She loves her job teaching students at the Voice Shop – sharing what she has learned over the years using The Seth Riggs method combined with her own discoveries. Her specialties are Pop, Rock and Musical Theatre and takes ages 7 to 70! She continues to perform locally at Roger Rockas, singing with local groups and still tours with Animotion.
Astrid has appeared on national TV:
•MTV and VH1 (4 music videos)
•American Bandstand (twice)
•Solid Gold (twice)
•Top of the Pops (UK)
•Hit Me Baby 1 More Time
•"Steele Justice" with Sela Ward (feature film)
Sarah Ann Sherwood is a classically trained singer who has enjoyed a wide ranged career of
music ensemble and solo performances. Ms. Sherwood holds a Masters Degree in Vocal Performance from California State University, Fresno
Ms. Sherwood has performed with Fresno Grand Opera in productions of Leonard Bernstein’s Candide, 2013, Giacomo Puccini’s La Rondine, 2013, and Gilbert and Sullivan’s The Pirates of
Penzance, 2010. She has also performed as a soloist for Fresno Grand Opera’s concert series’ in Broadway on Van Ness, 2013 and Christmas on Van Ness, 2010. Sherwood has also participated and performed in notable summer programs and vocal competitions. In July 2013, she participated in the Torggler Vocal Summer Institute at Christopher Newport University, Newport News, VA where she worked with Janice Siegel, founder of The Manhattan Transfer, and soprano, Costanza Cuccaro
Ms. Sherwood currently teaches private voice and at College of the Sequoias in Visalia, California. She has extensive experience in multiple musical genres such as Baroque, Classical, Art Song, and Romantic. She is knowledgeable in singing in French, Italian, and German. Ms. Sherwood also has experience with Musical Theatre. Her objective is to teach students the fundamentals required to develop their instruments and above all, to encourage, inspire, and strengthen each individuals artistry, growth, and musicianship. Ms. Sherwood’s hobbies and interests are cooking, painting, traveling and all things nerdy, especially Star Wars, Disney, and Harry Potter! She enjoys spending time and hanging out with her husband and baby boy.
Denise Norwood is thrilled to be a member of the FMAA team. She recently retired from several decades of full time performing as lead vocalist in a myriad of different bands (including Top 40, New Wave, Disco, Country, and Jazz). Denise has also performed in Musical Theater, and for over 20 years worked along side her husband, Mark Norwood, producing plays in the Reedley Opera House.
Denise welcomes students of all ages and skill levels and specializes in those who are extra challenged by shyness or anxiety. She takes great joy in using her skill and committed heart to provide a nurturing environment that inspires risk taking and ever higher levels of growth and creativity. Denise will work with you to set individualized goals...and honor the unique and beautiful partnership between student and teacher.