Benefits of Music Lessons at the St. Joseph Arts Academy

Since 1993, the Jason Riley Guitar Studio has helped hundreds of students begin and continue on their musical journey. Now, with the evolution of the St. Joseph Arts Academy, we are the fastest growing school of music in northwest Missouri, soon to be offering private lessons in all popular instruments, as well as voice. We know you are busy and it can be very hard to find a reliable music teacher. That’s why we go above and beyond to find the BEST music teachers in the Midland Empire–so you don’t have to!

Our staff consists of experienced music teachers, capable of teaching all ages and levels. We are will soon be expanding to state-of-the-art, commercial facilities. We provide on-going support to our instructors to ensure we are always providing our students and parents with the best possible musical experience.

While you’re researching the best school for you, consider the benefits of becoming a St. Joseph Arts Academy student and find out why we are the Midland Empire’s number one choice for music lessons!​


1. While guitar and fretted instruments like Banjo, Mandolin, Ukulele and Electric bass have been our specialty in the past, we will soon be offering lessons for Voice, Violin, Cello, Drums and Piano– in one location.
This saves our students time and money, as one family can take multiple instruments on the same day. Other studios offer multiple instruments, but we are the only one to offer all of the most popular instruments in a high quality, convenient environment.
We welcome all beginners and all levels–no matter what your age! Adults- click here for more info!

​2. The most qualified teaching faculty in the area!
Academy Director, Jason Riley teaches as an adjunct professor of guitar at MWSU and Benedictine college. We are dedicated to finding the best teachers in the area so your student can have the right personality and the right teaching style that works for them. All our teachers must have teaching experience, a degree in music or extensive performing experience, and most importantly, a fun, motivating personality that you’re sure to love! No matter what your musical goals are, we want to help you reach them! Our goal is to inspire your student–and that’s the best teaching method of all!

3. The widest range of lesson times available, sure to fit any busy schedule!
SOON to be Open 7 days a week!
Monday: 9:00 am – 8:30 pm
Tuesday: 9:00 am – 8:30 pm
Wednesday: 9:00 am – 8:30 pm
Thursday: 9:00 am – 8:30 pm
Friday: 10:00 am – 6:00 pm
Saturday: 8:30 am – 3:30 pm
Sunday: 1:00 pm – 6:00 pm

4. A proven track record of excellence.
Every year, aspiring music teachers start their own studio, and a year or two later it’s closed. We have a proven track record of offering quality guitar lessons in St. Joseph, MO, year round. The Academy mission is teaching music lessons, trusted by hundreds of families for nearly 25 years.

5. Parents are welcome to sit in on lessons.
Instead of waiting in a music retail store showroom, or a cramped hallway, our clients can watch your child’s lesson while you wait.

​6. Fully stocked lesson rooms.
Our studio is stocked with everything you need for lessons, including amps and all modern teaching aids via technology. We have spent thousands of dollars on our studio for everything you need for music lessons!

7. Free, all inclusive recitals.
Every parent just wants to know how their child is doing and if they are really progressing. The best way for a parent to understand if their investment in lessons is really worth it is to have their child participate in a recital. In Spring and Fall, many of our students choose to perform in our biannual recitals. We hold these locally so you don’t have to travel far for a top-notch recital experience. Our recital location has a grand piano, so piano students are not playing on just a keyboard. Our sound system ensures a quality experience for all! Unlike other schools, there is no admission (Monster Concert excluded) or any related fees for these recitals.

​8. Professional customer service.
We strive to bring you the best customer service possible, 7 days a week. We are continually adding hours to ensure that we are able to assist you when you call or come to the studio! We will soon have a full time desk staff who are available at the front desk to assist you during ALL lessons, quickly and professionally. Excellent customer service is what sets us apart!

​9. Conveniently located on Ashland Ave in St. Joseph!
Due to its central location, our school is convenient and draws students from St. Joseph, Atchison, Smithville, Savannah, Weston, Dearborn, Elwood, Wathena, Maryville, Stewartsville, Maysville, Weston, Platte City and North Kansas City. We are easy to find, right off the Belt highway (BUS 169), with shopping and restaurants close by.

​10. Discount Cards
We are the only music school that offers student discount cards for our students, which saves you money all throughout the year. You don’t need to worry about finding and purchasing music books, instruments and accessories. All of our current students receive a student discount card that saves them money on all of their music supply needs. We’re here to help and save you the time it takes to find these items, so you don’t have to!

11. Picture Day
We are the only music school that offers a picture day for their students! Every year, we host a free picture day with a professional photographer. We want to celebrate your music and share that memory through pictures. Examples pictured on this page, throughout the website and in our newsletter! Adults are welcome too! Students can bring their instruments to the photo shoot and wear whatever they like.

​12. Medals, pins, certificates and awards to celebrate achievement.
We are the only music school in the Midland Empire that gives their students the opportunity to earn special color wristband bracelets (kids and teens love them!), medals, pins and certificates for passing musical tests. Do other schools offer trophies and certificates? A few. But none of them inspire their students with smiling faces by giving them full color, really cool “success” wristbands that they can show off to their friends.

More importantly, when our students have a test coming up, they practice more, their parents are proud, their teachers are proud, and everybody wins. We also specialize in music lessons for adults. We don’t think learning music should be boring–it should be fun!

13. Make Up Classes
Missed a lesson? Out of town? No problem. Just sign up for our weekend classes. They never expire, and you can come when it’s convenient for you.

​14. Early morning and lunch time lessons for homeschoolers, retirees, college students and working professionals.
Since we are the largest school in the Midland Empire, we are able to be a ‘full service’ music school. This allows us to offer lessons as early as 9 a.m. and we see many students between the hours of 11 a.m.- 2 p.m. If you are a homeschool parent, retiree, college student or working professional who has a flexible schedule, take advantage of our early morning and lunch time lesson spots.

​15. Month to Month Lessons!
Our desire is to inspire our students with the love of music. We do this through teachers and music that our students love. Unlike other programs, we do not require semester minimums for lessons. You can begin anytime! To stop lessons, we just need 30 days’ written notice.

It’s easy to take the next step:

Lessons are first come, first served
so contact us today to arrange your first lesson!

Call us at (816) 974-7656

Offering quality piano, acoustic guitar, electric guitar, voice, bass, drums, violin, cello, mandolin, banjo and ukulele lessons in St. Joseph, MO.