Studio Bleu is proud to announce our vocal and theater arts programs!
Kim Rishi has always loved music and theater and that love has led her to bring on Tina Smothers as our theater arts and vocal director at Studio Bleu. Meet our theater arts and vocal director..... Tina Smothers is a sought after soloist, vocal coach, and theater instructor. She has been teaching voice for over 15 years and has taken lessons and training for over 18 years. She is comfortable teaching both contemporary and classical voice and she herself excels at both. She herself has won numerous awards and competitions including being a finalist in NATS and a Top Michigan Vocalist. Tina has been a sought after vocalist for many charity events and also major and minor league baseball games. Ms. Smothers has been sought after to do workshops for churches, schools, show choirs, and more. Her students have gone on to win many local competitions, have made it on American Idol, and have also been seen on shows like Rising Star and MTV’s Copycat. She is a songwriter who has helped write and co-produce numerous songs for other singers and her students. She is also a sought after vocal coach for recording sessions throughout the country and has worked with country, pop, r & b, gospel and opera singers. In addition, Tina has also been in numerous shows growing up and has always been active in theater productions. She is excited to also be bringing her knowledge of theater in our new theater arts program here at Studio Bleu!
Throwback Thursday to last years summer production of The Little Mermaid Jr! So much fun! Sure miss all these faces.... #throwback #thursday #littlemermaidjr
Looking at some theater terms that some of you may not know.
Sitzprobe: A German word that describes the first time the performers sit and run through the full score with the orchestra. Time is taken to incorporate the two elements until the Music Director is satisfied.
How many of you have heard the term sitzprobe before?🤔
As singers, we’re very sensitive about the way our voices feel. Even the slightest change in the strength, tone, or comfort of the voice is detected by a singer and can lead to an array of concerns about vocal health. But so often when students report problems with their voice, such as vocal fatigue, hoarseness, difficulty singing, and a rough, gritty feeling, they haven’t given much thought to the two single most important factors to maintaining a healthy voice: sleep and hydration.
1. Have you REALLY had enough water today?
Let’s be honest – the answer is probably no. But understanding why hydration is so important to maintaining good vocal health may encourage you to drink that extra glass of water.
Have you ever seen a video of vocal cords at work? If not, go to YouTube and do a search for a “laryngoscope.” One of the first things you’ll probably notice about the vocal cords is that they are slippery and wet – they have to be, in order to vibrate freely and create a smooth, healthy sound. How do you think the sound and feel of your voice would change if your vocal cords weren’t quite as hydrated? Well, think about your skin when it becomes dried out. Instead of appearing supple, smooth and glowy, it becomes tight, uneven, and dull. The same is true of your voice. Hydration works from the inside out – replenishing your entire body so that your tissue is healthy and flexible.
Remember – hydrating the voice is not like applying a topical medication! You can’t just take a big drink of water right before a long performance and expect that your cords will stay hydrated. To hydrate our vocal cords we need to hydrate our entire body – and that means drinking lots of water each day. Individual needs vary, but it is recommended that you drink at least half your body weight in ounces of water each day.
2. Did you get enough sleep?
Think of it this way – your voice is a muscle, just like any other in your body. Each time you lift weights, do yoga, or go for a run, do you notice that additional tone right away? Probably not, unless you imagined it, because your body first has to go through a reparative process in which it rebuilds the muscle tissue
Fun Friday- what is your favorite summer time dessert? Mine is Strawberry Shortcake! We picked strawberries 🍓 in Michigan and then made biscuits to have shortcake 🥰 #summer #treats #summertime #vacation
A little Throwback Thursday to one of our first years of vocal groups. We were performing at @thezoneusa and raising funds and awareness for Childhood Cancer @ising4acure 💛💛💛#ising4acure #ourfight #memories #throwbackthursday
Word Wednesday!!! Mixed Voice
The ultimate goal is to be able to blend and easily switch between your head voice and chest voice. This is your mixed voice.
Being able to successfully navigate between your head and chest voice will help you:
Create your own sound that is best suited for you
Perform music that doesn't rely too heavily on only chest or head.
Flexibility is always a good thing.
Your mixed voice isn't something that just happens. If singing was naturally easy for everyone then our favorite musicians wouldn't be as special. You have to practice at it.
Don't forget to relax, massage, and warm up your facial muscles. The same way an athlete stretch before a game, you need to take care of your vocals.
Your voice is a muscle, so adequate exercises, rehearsal, and time is needed to reach the goals you set for yourself.
Tip Tuesday!! (A day late sorry!!)
Hydration for Singing
Singers need to take extra precautions, because your entire body is your instrument. With excessive use, vocal cords can be easily damaged, as they are made of extremely delicate tissue.
If you allow yourself to become dehydrated, your voice may suffer. Whether we are speaking, singing, or humming, the sound is created by the vibration of our vocal folds. Mucus protects these vocal cords, and staying hydrated ensures that everything is working properly. If you are even slightly dehydrated, your vocal fold tissues may become dry and even permanently injured.
However, simply drinking water right before a performance is not good enough! In order to keep your vocal folds truly hydrated, you need to be drinking water throughout the day. Keeping hydrated will also help to keep your throat and mouth lubricated, making speaking and articulation easier as well.
Signs of Vocal Dehydration
If you are using your voice professionally, or even as a casual singer, you should be able to recognize these signs of dehydration:
The need to clear your throat often
Dark yellow urine
You require more effort to use your voice
Benefits of Hydration for Singing
When you keep properly hydrated, you are setting yourself up for good voice quality. Most experts recommend drinking 8-10 eight-ounce glasses of water daily to ensure this.
What to Watch
Certain things can cause dehydration, as well. Here are a few to watch out for, as they may reduce your body’s fluids:
Caffeine and alcohol intake should be decreased, as both act as diuretics.
Air conditioning and heaters tend to dry your secretions. Using a humidifier during sleeping hours to offset these effects may be helpful.
Dry climates, especially in the winter months, are dehydrating to your body. If you are in a dry environment be sure you are keeping hydrated with adequate water consumption.
Some medications can dry out your vocal cords. Try to avoid medications such as antihistamines and decongestants.
Milk and sugary beverages, as well as carbonated beverages, may cause thickened mucus secretions.
Once you fully understand how to stay
Fun Friday! Ms. Tina got enough likes, comments, and shares on her Facebook to dump ice water on Mr. David’s head!
Throwback Thursday- this was from one of the first years Miss Tina started teaching and our vocal students came together to sing a song at Recital 💜
Word Wednesday!!! Head Voice
Regardless of how this phrase comes across, the sound does not actually come from your head. Your vocal cords are still very much at play here.
However, when a singer starts reaching up to those higher notes, they may feel the sound and vibration in their head.
Therefore, it is described as the head voice.
It is necessary to develop a head voice for your upper range. With the exclusion of occasional belting, higher notes will utilize your head voice.
However, using your head voice can be tricky. It won't initially be as powerful or natural to you like your chest voice; you need to fully support your airflow.
Forming a strong head voice that helps you seamlessly reach those notes out of your chest voice's reach is immensely beneficial to a vocalist. Once you have reached a level of comfort in your head voice, you will be less likely to strain your voice attempting a higher note.
So what if you mix your head voice and chest voice? Come back next week to find out....
For Tip Tuesday here are 10 questions to ask yourself when getting into character for a musical, play, or even a song.
1. Who am I?
2. Where am I?
3. When is it?
4. Where have I just come from?
5. What do I want?
6. Why do I want it?
7. Why do I want it now?
8. What will happen if I don't get it now?
9. How will I get what I want by doing what?
10. What must I overcome?
Music Monday!! This week we would like to highlight one of our hardworking students Andrew! Andrew has been an active member here at Studio Bleu! We are so proud of him and how he had grown!
We are so excited to have @itsjelaniremy with us tomorrow for a Zoom Masterclass! Jelani is currently starring as Eddie Kendricks in Broadway’s Ain’t Too Proud. Past credits include Simba in the Broadway, National Tour and Vegas company of Disney’s The Lion King, as well as Disney High School Musical and High School Musical 2, Parade, Cabaret, and the off Broadway production of Smokey Joes Cafe. Didn’t sign up? That’s okay! Message us today because we have just a few spots remaining for tomorrow’s class! #masterclass #jelaniremy #excited
Here’s the answers! How did you do????
A little Throwback Thursday from 4 years ago! Clefhangers and a Vocal Explosion headed to NYC to sing! Such a fun experience and a bonus was seeing Demi Lovato in concert!!!! #throwback #vocalgroups #fun #missthis
Chest voice refers to that lower, thicker, and warmer tones. It also reflects the register that we normally use speaking.
When you sing using your normal speaking register, or close to it, put your hand on your chest, and you will feel a vibration. If you have good airflow and are not straining, you should develop a warm tone that doesn't waver or crack. Lack of air flow can cause a low and gravelly sounding tone.
Along with the vibrations you feel, if properly using your chest voice, you will be using the entire mass of your vocal cords.
Issues in terms of being able to use the chest voice often come with a lack of energy. To achieve the depth necessary with your chest voice, you cannot be timid. A significant amount of effort, power, and airflow must be utilized for the sound to resonate correctly.
If you're singing and a few higher notes come up, and you try to "push for it" in your chest voice, your voice may break, lose its tone, or fall flat.
Vocal Behaviors to think about for keeping your voice healthy...
💜Avoid coughing and throat clearing.
💜Avoid loud voice use. This includes shouting, screaming, excessive crying, and loud laughter. Be aware of pushing your voice in noisy environments which can cause significant muscle tension. Also be careful to not whisper. Whispering is not healthy for the vocal folds.
💜Avoid overuse. Know the limits of your voice! Rest your voice before vocally demanding events.
Music Monday!! Today we would love to highlight Lydia Rouse! She is such a hardworking talented young lady and we thank her for all she has done! We love you Lydia!!
Super excited for our Masterclasses this summer! Make sure to DM or email us to reserve for spot!
Music Monday! Today we would love to highlight Lydia Rouse!She is such a hardworking talented young lady and we thank her for all she has done! We love you Lydia!!
Summer Posting schedule! Can’t wait to kick this week off!!
Vocal group auditions!! Make sure to share and repost so we can have a great start to the season!
Another amazing Master Class q and a session with the gorgeous, talented and super sweet Laura Osnes. We can’t wait to work with you again! Thank you so much for taking time out of your schedule to be with us today! @lauraosnes
Such an amazing night with the amazing Jelani Remy. Thank you for much for spending the evening with some of our Into the Woods cast and helping us get our creative juices flowing....
So much fun working on COVID Jingles with you tonight....
We can’t wait until next time!
[06/09/20] Music Monday!! Love these kids!!
[06/06/20] Music Monday delayed! We are so sorry! For some reason this wouldn’t post but we wanted to make sure to share these talented kids today!
Right now we are looking into the very near future....
So excited for our Into the Woods cast to get to work with both Jelani Remy and Laura Osnes next week.
What a great way to end a very difficult time.
These kids have been super stars and have worked so hard. ⭐️
Their drive, humbleness, and understanding make me excited about the future if we have exceptional humans like them leading the way....
A little throwback to when we had Ashley Brown, Spencer Micetich, and our own Josiah Smothers come in for our master class when they were in town for the Finding Neverland National Tour.
Studio Bleu Dance Center Vocal and Theatre Arts
We hear you and we see you. In respect of what has been happening Studio Bleu Vocal and Theater Arts will be going dark Tuesday, June 2nd. #blacklivesmatter
Song Sunday! Post on your story of yourself singing a song from your favorite musical. Make sure you tag us @studiobleuvta
Sometimes you meet two very talented and unique students and you get to watch a friendship form that is so special you can’t help but smile. We have loved watching Josiah and Nick grow closer the past few years and become best friends and practically brothers. This past year has been hard since Nick was diagnosed with cancer. Josiah wanted to put into words something special for Nick and this song is what came of that. A huge thank you to Todd Wright for helping Josiah find his voice and write this song for his best friend. #shalinstrong Josiah Smothers
Future Friday!!! Check out our story to find the "guess next years shows" template. We would love to see your guesses! If you get them all correct you will win a season pass!
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