Everything You Need to Know About Music Lessons in St. Joseph, MO

 

Everything You Need to Know About 

Music Lessons!

A Guide for Student Musicians and Parents.

St. Joseph Arts Academy – 4th Edition (January 2021)Welcome to the St. Joseph Arts Academy…3

Academy Mission 3

Where Can I Take Lessons? 4

When Can I Take Lessons? 4

Who Takes Music Lessons? 5

What We Teach. 7

How Long Does It Take to Learn a Musical Instrument? 9

How Much Does It Cost? 9

How or When Do I Pay? 10

How Do I Enroll? 10

Why Do People Take Music Lessons 11

Recitals/Adjudications 12

Books/Materials 12

How to Practice 13

Expectations 14

Make-ups 14

Awards 15

Photo Day 15

How Does it Work (Drop Off, Pick Up) 16

Community 16

Resources 16

Conclusion 17

www.stjosephartsacademy.com

(816) 974-SOLO(7656)

info@stjosephartsacademy.com

“Everything You Need to Know About Music Lessons”

© 2021  All rights reserved. Music Accomplished.

Welcome to the
St. Joseph Arts Academy

Everything You Need to Know About Music Lessons

So you are thinking about starting music lessons.  Music is a wonderful part of the human experience and brings many benefits to our lives.  Learning to play music or providing lessons for a loved one is one of the greatest gifts you can give or receive.  

If you are new to music education or have never played an instrument, you may have some questions.  This booklet should help in answering some of the most common questions or concerns for those just starting out.  If you have any additional questions, don’t hesitate to write or us a call.  We are happy to provide any information you need in making the best decisions about getting going with your music lessons.  

Wishing you the very best on starting (or continuing) along the path of the advancing musician.

Jason Riley

Director – SJAA

jason@stjosephartsacademy.com

Academy Mission  

Our mission at the St. Joseph Arts Academy is to provide the highest quality musical instruction and performance opportunities to beginning and advancing students in the Midland empire.  We use our patience, enthusiasm and loyalty to encourage, inform and entertain others to happily share their skill and talents in love and gratitude to make the world a better place.

OUR MOTTO…

Music Accomplished!

Where Can I Take Music Lessons?

Most communities offer a variety of options for music lessons.  Depending on the size of your city, lessons are likely offered through college and university music departments, continuing education programs, local music stores, music conservatories and music schools as well diverse and varied instruction from private teachers in homes, school or church settings.

The SJAA is THE hometown music school in our area. 

We are conveniently located at 2027 N. 36 Street, St. Joseph MO  64506, just off the Belt highway with easy access to shopping and dining.

When Can I Take Music Lessons?

Many music teachers maintain very busy but limited teaching schedules.  Most are available during “after-school” hours between about 3 and 8pm during the week.  Some are often available on Saturdays too.

At the SJAA, lessons and classes will soon be offered 7 days a week.  We know our students and their families have complex and busy schedules also so we strive to be available for them as they need.  This will eventually include studio hours from 9am-9pm during the week, 9am-5pm on Saturdays and even 1-6pm on Sundays.

Scheduling your lessons at the SJAA is easy and convenient.

Write info@stjosephartsacademy.com, Call/Text 816-974-7656 or 

 REQUEST INFO at http://stjosephartsacademy.com/request-info/

www.stjosephartsacademy.com

Who Takes Music Lessons?

Music lessons are available to anyone with the desire to learn.  You are never too young or too old to begin or make new progress with a musical instrument.

Students – Music students can range in age from infant to retirees and seniors.  The youngest students often work along with parents in music courses designed for pre-K, like KinderMusik.  Actual lessons on most instruments can begin by the age of 5 or 6.  While the elementary, middle and high school years are a common time to study music in school or privately, college-age students and professional adults of any age can also advance in their musicianship through very serious approaches or more as hobbyists.

While some students may want to pursue the highest levels or musicianship, we do not expect that every music student should want to become professional musicians.  Our purpose is to help all students achieve their potential, reap the many benefits of music study and reach their personal musical goals.

Teachers – Like students, music teachers come with a wide variety of personalities, abilities and experiences.  Music teachers in our community range from accomplished students with just a little experience to accredited educators and college professors with doctoral degrees.

Being a great musician doesn’t automatically make someone a great teacher.  In our opinion, the best teachers have an expertise on their instruments, many years of teaching or performing experience and positive mental attitudes.  They are patient, encouraging AND they have a desire to teach and share music in the lives of others.

Our teachers at the SJAA are good, high-quality individuals, first.  Next, we seek out teachers with college music degrees or 20 years or more of performance experience.

We work hard to provide all our teachers with the resources they need to be successful with their students and that includes on-going continuing education and teacher training.  Our teachers have the best available approaches and methods for teaching and getting results for our students.

www.stjosephartsacademy.com

Parents – Parents, grandparents, other family members, friends and guardians play very important roles in the success of music students.  Besides transportation to lessons and  making payments, these care-givers on the home-front monitor practice, give encouragement when things get tough and show support in concerts and recitals.

Parents and adult mentors validate the importance of music lessons for their students, helping students view their study and instrument as a priority and something extremely valuable to them, the family and the whole community.

We wouldn’t be able to have the success we’ve had with our students without these wonderful, loving and encouraging parents and extended family supporting our young musicians every step of the way.

Director – SJAA director, Jason Riley is a professional musician and teacher.  With degrees in classical guitar performance and commercial music, he has toured and performed with national and international artists throughout the U.S and Europe.

Jason has a number of albums to his credit and has produced and played on countless others as a sideman.

As an instructor, he has operated his own private guitar studio for nearly 30 years and has taught for Benedictine College, Missouri Western State University and has been a featured clinician in many guitar festivals and camps.

Besides guitar, Jason has taught private and group classes in multiple styles for bass, banjo, mandolin, ukulele and harmonica.

Jason’s wife, Jolie is also a wonderful musician and educator with the St. Joseph School District.  The SJAA is the natural extension of their aspiration to offer something truly special and needed to young artists and musicians in our area.

What We Teach 

We teach aspiring and advancing musicians how to play musical instruments (or use their voice) in traditional, creative and technically appropriate ways.  Our studio was founded as a master private teacher studio with an emphasis on guitar.  As an example, our guitar students have always learned the most important elements required to be successful with the instrument.  Including but not limited to…

Music Reading

Scales

Chords

Technical Exercises 

Traditional Repertoire

History and Interpretation

Musicality

Theory and Fretboard Logic

Ear-training

Performance Skills and Etiquette 

Lessons for all instruments include the same basic foundation while concentrating on the idiomatic approaches that arise with any individual instrument.  

Students can take lessons on the most popular “Western” instruments that you find in the school band, orchestra, jazz bands, church praise teams, string bands and choirs.  Again, including but not limited to…

Piano

Guitar (acoustic & electric)

Violin

Viola

Cello

Bass (electric)

Drums/Percussion (coming soon)

Banjo

Ukulele

Mandolin

Voice & Singing

Harmonica

Trumpet
Native American Flute

We also specialize in EARLY CHILDHOOD MUSIC classes and offer lots of fun Art classes and other music clinics and special events for all ages.

Great teachers for more rare instruments might be more difficult to find in our area.  We strive to connect interested students with the most qualified teachers even if it means referring them to teachers outside of our community.

Students also learn in a variety of musical styles.  Duke Ellington famously said “There are only two kinds of music, good music and the other kind”.   It is part of our mission to share and foster an appreciation of all kinds of music.  Learners are inspired to play by the music they love.  Often that is the music they are most familiar with, songs they hear on the radio, in movies or in church.  

Students should play the music they love and be introduced to new music at the same time.  We focus on standard repertoire in classical, jazz, rock, blues, country and popular music.  This also includes many sub-genres such as baroque, swing, heavy metal, delta blues, bluegrass or hip-hop.  Students and teachers may also agree to specialize or focus on specific styles for any number of reasons that might include preparing for a show, a concert or an audition. 

There are also a number of teaching methods that would be in use.  One of the great benefits of one-on-one learning is the ability to tailor methods to an individual’s learning style.  We are all unique and we all learn differently.  

A great teacher is one that can identify best approaches and practices along with their student.  They guide and encourage and help them implement best music learning strategies based on the strengths of the individual.  

Methods would include music reading and rote learning (learning through demonstration).  Some students are strong visual learners while others have a strong auditory sense or prefer to read things from the page and implement.  For others, group learning is best.  

While not all teachers or studios offer awards or recognition, at the St. Joseph Arts Academy we have a reward system in place for accomplishment.  We give the students the incentive to achieve, to move up and to grow in their musicianship in a number of ways.  Certificates, medals, pins, special commemorative items, even gift cards are used as rewards for completing books, receiving honors or performing in recitals and concerts or in special recognitions like our “Student of the Month”.

www.stjosephartsacademy.com

How long does it take to learn a musical instrument?

We encourage all of our students to be life-long learners.  Learning or playing a musical instrument could offer greater and greater rewards over many lifetimes.  Having said that… most students will learn the basics in about one year with proficiency coming with in just 4 or 5 years.  It really depends on the individual and even more on the amount of time and perfect practice they can invest in their instrument.  The student who practices 10 minutes a day for 5 years will learn quite a lot but some students will devote 2 hours a day or more.  Obviously, it’s about the time dedicated to effective practice over years.

A bachelors degree in music takes about 4-5 years to complete.  Most of those students have already played or studied for many years before even beginning the college program.  Serious or professional level players go on to many more years of dedicated practice and performance.

One of the greatest benefits to learning an instrument is that it can be a lifelong adventure.  

Athletes only play football for a few years and those school years are limited.  Musicians can enjoy music and their instrument their whole life through.  

Now that really is the gift that keeps on giving!

How much does it cost?

Lesson fees have a wide range based on where you are in the country.  In the larger urban centers like New York or LA, people pay more for everything (including music lessons) than we do in the Midwest.  Fees are also subject to demand.  

Some teachers are highly revered or in high demand.  They may only accept students based on audition or they may be a specialist teaching a rare instrument or style.  These expert teachers can command higher fees.  

At the time of this writing, a 30 minute music lesson in the US runs from about $20-75.  At the SJAA, we charge $24 for a 30 minute private session but we also offer hour sessions, ensembles and specialized classes.  Students who are really enjoying their instrument and the culture often take one or more private lessons and participate in ensembles as well.

www.stjosephartsacademy.com

How or When do I pay?

Lessons at the SJAA are month to month.  While some other private studio teachers may even allow week to week payments, monthly payments are the industry standard.  

Monthly fees for a 30 minute private music lesson once per week are just $94.  For your convenience, we use an auto-pay system that can be applied to your credit card or to your bank account.  Fees are collected at the first lesson of every month and guarantees your time slot for that month.  We do require a 30 day written notice if you need to stop for any reason (summer vacation, take a break, etc.) or discontinue all together.  

How do I enroll?

It’s easy to enroll!  

Simply call or text the Academy (816-974-7656) 

…request info at http://stjosephartsacademy.com/request-info/

…or drop us an email to info@stjosephartsacademy.com and we’ll get you registered.  

We’ll get your basic information and get you scheduled with a great teacher on your chosen instrument.

The registration fee is just $35 (mention that you’ve read this “Everything You Need To Know About Music Lessons” and we’ll register you for FREE!).

www.stjosephartsacademy.com

Why do people take music lessons?

Benefits of Music Education – There are number of reasons people choose to study music or learn a musical instrument.  Many are called just because of their love of music or they have an undeniable desire to learn to play.  It’s a kind of personal development that “improves” or aids a human being in so many ways.  

Studies have shown that music students are better at math and reading, they have better listening and communication skills as well as spatial awareness like hand/eye coordination.  

Let’s not forget important skills like patience, discipline, persistence and practice.

Many parents want their children in music for just these benefits.  Some wish they had been able to study when they were young and maybe didn’t have the opportunity.  They want to give something to their children that they didn’t have.

There is also a sense of community through being involved in music.  We all want to belong, to be accepted and to be part of “the gang”.  Joining a school band, the local orchestra, forming your own jazz quartet or singing in a choir connects you to others through the special activity of music.  

Every performer knows about the relationship between what’s happening on the stage and what’s happening inside the audience who are listening.  We are sharing of ourselves, our hearts and minds.  We are conjuring feelings and emotions in the ring of live performances.  

We are all there together in the moment.

We also see a lot of “non-traditional” students, older folks or retirees just starting in music lessons or maybe returning.  These people tend to be looking for something productive to do with their newly found “extra time” or they seek the mental challenges that music brings to keep their brains strong and healthy in their later years.  

Sometimes it’s just a bucket list item, something they’ve always wanted to do.  

Grandma’s and Grandpa’s do a lot of transport, encouraging, practicing and even paying for music lessons for the young musicians in their life.

Amateur and professional musicians who play at very high levels continue to take lessons too.  You are never finished in music.  You can always go further, learn more, take it to the next level.  These students are more after coaching similar to the high-achievers in any sport or business.  

It’s helpful to have another expert analyze your skills and give you a fresh perspective on something that might be holding you back or just help you stay motivated to be the best that you can be.

Recitals/Adjudications  

Performance opportunities and testing are an important part of the music learning experience.  At the collegiate and conservatory level, students give mandatory performances regularly and are tested in a formal adjudication at the end of every semester.  Many private teachers do not offer these opportunities at all.

At the SJAA, we offer recital opportunities nearly every month during the school year and have invitations to perform at community festivals and other events during the summer.  

We offer a formal adjudication every April along with our local music teachers association.  Students CHOOSE whether they want to participate in recitals and testing.  They are not mandatory.  

Not every student wants to perform but most do and many want to play every chance they get.  We encourage them to play at least one time in the fall and then another time in the spring or summer but quite a few get on stage at every opportunity.  

Parents and families love RECITALS and they make for some great memories.  

Practicing performing in recitals and in adjudication helps students deal with anxiety or nervousness.  It gives them something very specific to buckle down and prepare for as well as providing valuable feedback.  Feedback that might be from a judge about a specific passage or movement as well as feedback from teachers, parents and loved ones who just say “Way to go!” or “so proud of your accomplishment”.

Books/Materials  

Each instrument and level will require its own books, materials or other items specific to that instrument.  Most teachers use their own specific or even proprietary methods with their students.  They will have the books or other materials available for sale in many cases.  Other times, they’ll have a list of the necessary materials that you could get at the local music store or online.

As an example, besides their instrument, guitar students require a tuner, picks, guitar strap, footstool, notebook or binder and maybe even more specialized equipment like capos, amplifiers, pedals and cables for electric guitar.  A music stand is an important piece of equipment.

Most students will go through a series of books every year to an additional cost of about $10-50 depending on how fast they get through the material.  Collecting and keeping a variety of music books is a great way to build your own music library for review or reference down the road.  

At our studio, we have an amazing library of music books and musical magazine subscriptions for the use and constant advancement of our teachers and our students.

How to Practice

Success in music is based on practice.  The saying “practice makes perfect” is not necessarily the best advice in music.  We like to say “perfect practice makes perfect”.  In reality, it’s all about focused, perfect practice, over time.  You can’t cram for music they way you might pull an all-nighter for a test.  Studies show that’s a bad idea too.  

Every teacher knows the value of practice or what happens with a lack of it.  At our school, we adhere to the adage of the famous violin teacher, Shinichi Suzuki who said you only need to practice “the days you sleep and the days you eat”.  

Time spent in daily practice is also based on your level and your age.  Younger children shouldn’t be expected to practice as long as an adult professional.  The practice session is really basically the same for both though.  Doing the best you can for the time that you have allotted.  7 days a week is the best you can do but 6 is still great.  5 is very good in fact.  For best results, keeping it at 5 or more days is a good idea.  

Very young children just beginning might do just 10 minutes a day, a 16 year old with some experience might be doing 45 minutes with music majors and professionals doing many hours a day.  

There are a number of examples of virtuoso players who practiced and studied 6-10 hours a day over many years!  Again, our approach is that a student should practice most everyday, doing their best with the time they have and to keep that routine going over years to become proficient.

For more info, we’ve got another article specifically dedicated to practicing and practice techniques…

http://www.stjosephartsacademy.com/how-to-practice 

www.stjosephartsacademy.com

Expectations 

Learning music is not a casual enterprise.

 It demands a serious commitment of time, energy and money to be successful.  

We expect that music learners should love their lessons and have a great experience.  Learners should expect great advancements followed by plateaus.  This is the nature of the climb.  We make a lot of progress and things can flatten out until we reach the next hill to climb, summit and plateau again.

Learners should expect to do the work.  To practice.  Everyday mostly.  They should expect to feel uncomfortable or “out of their comfort zone’’ as this is where we grow.  We stretch.  We become better than we were before.

We expect a commitment.  Teachers and learners working together towards specific and tangible goals.  

We expect everyone involved to be seriously invested in the process of learning.

We expect to create reliable employment for teachers.

We expect that you will learn, advance, grow and achieve your musical goals.  You can do it.  

We know how and can be your guide along that path.  Let’s climb together.

Make-ups

Many studio teachers offer a “NO MAKE-UP” policy.  If you miss a lesson you are simply out for that week.  I even know of a very famous teacher who would decline a student if they missed ONE lesson.  If you had to miss a time slot with him, it was up to YOU to send someone else in order to hold your spot.  I’ve worked with conservatory department heads that insisted you dismiss or flunk students who missed more than one “unexcused” lesson.

This all may seem very harsh.  But it’s a great example of how seriously professional musicians take their work.  It is very unlikely that these folks ever missed lessons or took advantage of the time of their coaches or esteemed teachers.

Make up policies are diverse as teacher are diverse.  Some are very flexible with available times others have extremely full schedules which simply don’t allow for make-ups.

If you have to miss a lesson, advance notice is always the best option.  Let your teacher know that you will be missing.  This will allow them to make the space available for another student (maybe even you) that is looking for an alternative slot that week.

For many years, as a single teacher studio, our policy has been “48 Hours Notice” for a missed lesson.  We may not be able to offer a make up but you would not be charged.  Now with managing and paying multiple teachers, this has become impossible.

If your teacher has to miss a lesson for any reason, you will not be charged for that lesson.  We credit your lesson to the next months payment.

We are in the process of implementing a more fluid system of make up lessons.  Students and families will be able to schedule their make-ups in advance for Saturday group sessions throughout the year.  You can schedule them any time.  “In Advance” is encouraged as space is limited each week.  

We want to provide the easiest solution and the extra value in time spent with a great teacher for your music lesson investment.

Awards/Rewards  

Learning music and playing an instrument has many intrinsic rewards in and of itself.  At the SJAA, we like to celebrate, honor and recognize our students’ specific milestones and achievements.  We award and reward musical accomplishments with certificates, pins, wrist bands, trophies and even gifts.  Whenever a student finishes a specific level, certain books, performs in recital or is honored in any way, we want to recognize that achievement and share our pride in them.  

Each month we select one student who has achieved something remarkable as “Student of the Month”.  These students receive an additional gift as well as being announced on our website, Facebook page and in our newsletter.

Students and families who refer new students to our Academy receive additional rewards for their referrals.  Free lessons, free books, iTunes, Amazon or East Hills Gift Certificates are all favorite choices of our students.

Photo Day

Just like in sports and dance, our music academy offers students a photo day once per year.  Students and parents have the opportunity to get a professional photo taken with their instruments or even an action shot!  Young students especially grow very quickly and these photos are great keepsakes of the memories and milestones we make in our musical seasons.

www.stjosephartsacademy.com

How does it work?

Drop off, pick up, waiting room

Most lessons begin on the hour and half hour.  Students should arrive on time or just a few minutes early.  Parents are always welcome to sit in on the lessons.  Always or anytime!  They are also welcome to drop students off to run errands and then pick them up after the lessons.  We strive to have comfortable waiting area and clean restrooms for folks who prefer to sit and wait.  

As a workplace for music staff, students and teachers, we want to you to feel welcome and comfortable in our studios.

Community 

It’s a simple fact… Music brings people together.  We are blessed in that our region has so many talented players, dedicated teachers, lovers of music and encouraging supporters. 

We are a family.  

Studying a musical instrument and participating with the SJAA make you part of an extended family.  Our students have peers and mentors to encourage them and to keep them accountable.  There is always someone you can lean on, gain inspiration from, ask questions of and just friends to hang out with.  

We’ve got your back.  That’s what real community is all about.  That’s what it means to be a family.

Resources

The St. Joseph Arts Academy is your local resource for all things musical.  We are here to help the aspiring musicians in our community find the support they need and deserve.  If you have any other questions or concerns about your music lessons, please don’t hesitate to call or drop us an email.  We are here to help.

The book “Help! My Kid is Taking Music Lessons” by Anthony Glise is another excellent resource for parents with children in music lessons.  On Amazon: http://a.co/9fLuU1N

www.stjosephartsacademy.com

Conclusion 

Learning a musical instrument is a serious endeavor.  It definitely takes a commitment of time to be successful not to mention an investment with your dollars.  Having the right teachers, mentors or coaches is a vital part of the process in learning that can actually save you time and frustration.  These trained professionals can put you on a guided plan towards your musical goals and oversee your progress every step of the way.

It is our heartfelt belief that music study has important effects on the individual.  Music brings people together and makes the world a better place to live.  

We want everyone to play!  

The skills a person learns through playing an instrument have positive effects in nearly every other aspect life.  We are here to encourage and support YOU!

Thank you for the time to read “Everything You Need to Know About Music Lessons”!  We hope it’s provided the information you truly needed (and maybe some you didn’t know you needed) to make the best decision about music lessons for yourself, your family or friends.  

We hope you’ll join us!  Please consider referring your friends or family members to the Academy.  We greatly appreciate your referral.

Thank you for encouraging the musicians of all ages in your life.  It’s never easy to learn to play an instrument.  But, it brings such value to the individuals, our community and the world.

In support of YOUR music,

Jason Riley

Director – St. Joseph Arts Academy

jason@stjosephartsacademy.com

(816) 974-SOLO(7656)

www.stjosephartsacademy.com

info@stjosephartsacademy.com

“Everything You Need to Know About Music Lessons”

© 2021 All rights reserved. Music Accomplished.

www.stjosephartsacademy.com

 

At the St. Joseph Arts Academy We Offer…

Private Music Lessons

Bass

Guitar (Acoustic & Electric)

Piano
Voice & Singing

Strings

Violin
Cello

Ukulele

Drums
Trumpet

Early Childhood & More!

Group Classes

Intro to Guitar

Ukulele

Early Childhood

Art Classes

“Create Your Own” Classes

Special Events

Birthday Parties

Maestro Series

Clinics

Masterclasses

Recitals

Concerts

Adult Events

www.stjosephartsacademy.com

Event Space for Birthday Parties in St. Joseph Mo

Looking for a great spot to celebrate a birthday with friends and family that won’t break the budget?

The St Joseph Arts Academy is available to rent for your special event.

We have a large space with tables and a kitchenette area for serving treats and refreshments.

Available for Adult and Children’s events of all kinds.

Options could include a musical or art activity for you and your guests led by one of our own SJAA staff.

Space includes clean bathrooms, folding chairs and tables, double sink and large counter top, farm-style table, mini fridge, Big Screen TV and sound system for Karaoke or a dance party.

Available by reservation.  First Come.  First Serve.  Space is available most friday evenings, saturday afternoons/evenings or all day sunday.

info@stjosephartsacademy.com or Call (816) 974-7656 to reserve your date.

https://stjosephartsacademy.com/birthday-parties-event-space/

Fill out the form below for more information or to reserve your event date with the SJAA.

Plan your Event TODAY with the SJAA!

Offering quality acoustic guitar, electric guitar, piano, voice & singing, bass, drums, violin, cello, banjo, mandolin, ukulele lessons, toddler music, pre-school music & art classes in St. Joseph, MO.

Serving the communities of St. Joseph, Atchison, Smithville, Savannah, Weston, Dearborn, Elwood, Wathena, Maryville, Stewartsville, Maysville, Weston, Platte City, North Kansas City, Country Club MO, Amazonia MO, Avenue City MO, Troy KS, Easton MO, DeKalb MO, Rushville, Agency MO, Gower MO, Oregon MO, Union star, Faucett MO, Dearborn MO, Plattsburgh MO & Mound City MO

St. Joseph Arts Academy
2027 North 36th Street
Saint Joseph, MO 64506
(816) 974-7656
info@stjosephartsacademy.com

www.stjosephartsacademy.com

Looking for great live music for your special event?
www.jasonriley.com
Looking for the best live band for your special event?
www.socajukebox.com

Music Lessons Near Me St. Joseph MO

When seeking music lessons near me in St. Joseph Mo you can trust the expert instructors at the St. Joseph Arts Academy.

We offer high quality, private lessons in guitar, piano, drums, voice, ukulele and have an excellent strings programs with violin and cello.

Occasionally,  students will ask for lessons in mandolin, banjo, harmonica and electric bass and we can accommodate those instruments too.

The Academy offers other special clinics and group classes in guitar and ukulele.  Our annual Maestro series offers masterclasses and other presentations from a visiting guest artist.

Our early childhood music program is one of the most important things we can do for our community.  Music classes for babies, toddlers and pre-schoolers advance the brain and social development for our littlest learners and get them started with the life-long benefits of music early.

So whenever you are looking for music lessons “near me”, we hope it will be easy to find the St. Joseph Arts Academy online here or at the Academy Facebook page.

https://www.facebook.com/stjosephartsacademy

Offering quality acoustic guitar, electric guitar, piano, voice & singing, bass, drums, violin, cello, banjo, mandolin, ukulele lessons, toddler music, pre-school music & art classes in St. Joseph, MO.

Serving the communities of St. Joseph, Atchison, Smithville, Savannah, Weston, Dearborn, Elwood, Wathena, Maryville, Stewartsville, Maysville, Weston, Platte City, North Kansas City, Country Club MO, Amazonia MO, Avenue City MO, Troy KS, Easton MO, DeKalb MO, Rushville, Agency MO, Gower MO, Oregon MO, Union star, Faucett MO, Dearborn MO, Plattsburgh MO & Mound City MO

St. Joseph Arts Academy
2027 North 36th Street
Saint Joseph, MO 64506
(816) 974-7656
info@stjosephartsacademy.com

www.stjosephartsacademy.com

Looking for great live music for your special event?
www.jasonriley.com
Looking for the best live band for your special event?
www.socajukebox.com

Early Childhood Music Classes

SJAA MUSIC Classes

Early Childhood Classes ages 1-3 called “Early Music Academy”

6 weeks for $99, 30-45 minutes, 4-8 students AND parents (6 during COVID)

Goals: participate, “singing” voice, gross motor actions mimicked, react to music through movement, learn high/low, learn fast/slow, learn music abcs, craft (playdough/drawing)

DESCRIPTION: Does your young one bounce and sway when they hear music? Do they “sing” for you? This class introduces music in a fun and active way to increase exposure in young children in an interactive format with their parents jumping in on the fun! Sessions do not repeat content and can be taken for consecutive sessions.

 

Session 1: SATURDAYS       11am                Emily

 

 

Questions to ask: Can your child sit unassisted? Can your child hold objects confidently? Does your child “sing” along with music? Does your child struggle with separation anxiety?  Has your child been in a class setting before? (this would determine if a 3 is ready for next level)

Tools to use: scarves, jingle bells, egg shakers, rhythm sticks

 

-Opening Song: Hello Song (can you clap your hands/stop your feet/turn around/all sit down)

-Ending Song: Goodnight *name* from Music Man “We’ll see you here next time/We hope you come again”

Classes will be themed for each week.

 

Toddler Music Classes called “Music Fun Academy” ages 2-4

6 weeks for $99, 45-50minutes, 4-10 students AND parents (6 during COVID)

Goals: pitch match within medium range some notes, repeat back 4-8 beats of rhythm correctly, gross motor holding instruments and making a beat, fine motor actions mimicked, can start to sing along; know high/low, fast/slow, music ABCs

DESCRIPTION: Has your child had experience in other classes and now they want to explore music? This class incorporates different elements of music to build a solid foundation for lifelong appreciation and learning of music. Parents can watch or participate depending on each child’s ability. Sessions do not repeat content and can be taken for consecutive sessions.

 

2: MONDAYS                10am                Erin

2: TUES                  6:00pm             Erin

 

 

Holiday classes  ($20)                     10am will include sleigh bells, Christmas and Hanukkah songs and books

 

ALL Classes: Welcome Song, chat, Movement Song (free movement/freeze dance/march), Action Song/Fingerplay, Book, Instrument play Song/Exploration, Education Song, Beats/Rhythms, Repeat Song, Closing Song & CRAFT

Each Session: 3 Movement Songs, 3 Action Songs, 3 song books, 1 composer book, 2 instrument books, 1-2 weeks exploring world instruments, occasional make and take an instrument home, stick work for beats, 2 education songs, 3 repeat songs

Tools to use: Scarves, rhythm sticks, shaker eggs, jingle bells/tambourine, maracas, sandpaper blocks

 

PRE-School aged Classes called “Super Music Academy” ages 4-5

6 weeks for $99, 45-50minutes, 4-10 students and parents (6 during COVID)

Prerequisite of Music Fun

Goals: can memorize whole songs and rhythm, pitch matches most notes, can make a steady beat

 

2: TUES                  7:00pm             Erin      *these could be super art*

3: TUES       7:00pm             Erin

Music class rotations for school year: SIX Sessions total

ALL Classes: Welcome Song, chat, Movement Song (free movement/freeze dance/march), Action Song/Fingerplay, Book, Instrument play Song/Exploration, Education Song, Beats/Rhythms, Repeat Song, Closing Song & CRAFT.

Each Session: 3 Movement Songs, 3 Action Songs, 3 song books, 1 composer book, 2 instrument books, 1-2 weeks exploring world instruments, make and take an instrument home, stick work for beats, 2 education songs, 3 repeat songs

Tools to use: Scarves, beat sticks, shaker eggs, jingle bells/tambourine, maracas, sandpaper blocks

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

St Joseph Arts Academy • (816) 974-7656

Now Hiring GREAT Teachers! Request info here.

https://stjosephartsacademy.com
http://www.jasonriley.com
http://www.socajukebox.com

The Write Notes – July 2020

Dear Students and Families,As July winds down, I know we are all thinking about “Back to School” and fall schedules.  Only one thing is really certain.  It’s going to be a different kind of fall semester.

We are still making some big decisions at our house about how to make the best of things.

I’m proud to say (that with the support of our students, families and SJAA team) the Academy has truly made the most out of every possibility during Covid-19.

And we are not letting down.  It will continue to be safety first around here.  Our protection plans, safety and cleaning protocols are constant, continuous and on-going.  We remain fluid to any needed changes and in tune with local and state guidelines.

While most students and teachers are back for in-person lessons, our waiting rooms are still officially closed to keep contacts down.  We are still offering online lessons.  We know that in case of any emergencies we could make online transitions quickly and without missing a beat.

AND… we are getting a lot of work done and having some fun too!  SJAA students ALWAYS have something they are working towards.  Live stream and in-person recitals and rescheduled summer festival performances, Summer practice challenge, Songwriting Festival, coloring contests, clinics and more.

The SJAA simply keeps working, improving our spaces, seeking ways to serve our families highest needs and creating an incubator for all things musical, creative, positive and encouraging in St. Joe.

Check it out below!  Lots of “good news” here.  Some important info and fun stuff too.

Thanks for sharing the SJAA with your friends and family.

Here’s to a great “Back to School” season.  We are here for you.

Thank you!

jason and SJAA
816 294 4856 (personal cell for call or text)

jason@stjosephartsacademy.com

Join or Share us on Facebook/Instagram
Celebrations!

Ashlyn Ford Live Stream Concert – Our very own Miss Ashlyn Ford will be performing as part of a special online concert series presented by our friends at Lanham Music.  She’ll be singing and strumming guitar & ukulele on a variety of great music. Watch the stream live from the Lanham’s Facebook page at 6pm on Friday August 7.

Summer Coloring Contest! – Our July coloring contest page was created especially for us by our 2019 winner, Anna C.!   Thanks to everyone who participated in bringing a little color to the Academy this summer.

Congratulations to Cash A. selected to win the $25 grand prize!

It was a tough decision with so many great pages.  Love the work by our “honorable mentions”.  They are all winners!

Emma L., Felicity M., Maeby B., Hank J. & Gwen J!

Summer Practice Challenge

Just 2 Days Left!!!

This summer, SJAA coaches have been talking EXTRA to our students about practicing.  Pretty much every week, year ’round.But especially during THIS summer “break”.


Students who complete the Challenge until July 31 will be rewarded with a special SJAA lesson journal and cover, gift certificate, recognition and other fun prizes.

We are also offering $25 Grand Prizes to top practice hours by age groups…
Early Elementary K-3
Later Elementary 4-6
Middle School
High School
& Adult

The student with the most summer practice hours will win a $50 gift certificate.
Should any student exceed 60+ hours of practice this summer (professional practice level), they will receive a $100 gift certificate!

Fill out this practice log daily (or create your own) or login in to your student TeacherZone account and use the practice timer for accurate reporting.

Practice Log

Keep it up until July 31!

SJAA NEWS

St. Joseph “Cello” Academy – Taking new registrations for Cello beginning in August.  Strings are one of our most important specialties at the SJAA.  We are super excited to have Jennifer Lochhead joining our amazing team of string pros as a dedicated Cello specialist.  info@stjosephartsacademy.com

The Arts are Blooming! – We are getting a Mural!  Thanks to our friend and amazing muralist, Josh Hamilton for sharing his work with us on our Academy wall.  Still a work in progress but it’s already inspiring our students, our neighbors and our community.

Student Portraits – Thanks to Ty at Tyler Osborn Studios for the photography and delivery of these extraordinary prints of our students from photo day 2019.  True pieces of art, professionally matted and beautifully framed, they are now hung (carefully) in our classroom and waiting spaces.  We love them.

Welcome to our Newest Students!

Bailey, Mariah, Jacey & Brooklyn!

GROUP CLASSES @ the SJAA

Early Childhood Music Registration

Register now for Fall “ECM” at the SJAA.

Saturday classes at 11am from Aug. 8 to Sept. 12

Limited space available.  Ages 1-3 years

jason@stjosephartsacademy.com or call (816) 974-7656


“Uke-Box Heroes”

“Hang Loose” with Jason Riley & Become a “Uke-Box Hero”!

FREE Ukulele Class and Jam session for ALL ages.  Includes materials but must have your own Uke.

Saturday, Aug. 8, 1pm.

jason@stjosephartsacademy.com or call (816) 974-7656.

Limited space available.

“Intro to Guitar” Group Class

Join Academy Director, Jason Riley in getting started on the right foot (finger) with your guitar playing in this fun and accessible class.
$99 includes (6) 1 hour session and materials.  Must have your own guitar (or inquire about a rental).
Thursdays at 6pm, Aug 6- Sept 10.

jason@stjosephartsacademy.com or call (816) 974-7656

Limited space available.

#MusicAccomplished

Student of the Month

Our July “Student of the Month” is…

Taylor C.!!!

We are so lucky to have Taylor and her family with us at the SJAA.

Besides studying voice with Mrs. Emily, she loves all things theater.  She just recently finished performing a leading role in the Adams Family and stepped into a position in Frozen Jr at the last minute.  She rocked them both. Taylor would like to be on Broadway someday!

We’ll celebrate Taylor with a 5-Below gift card for her!

Thank you, Taylor for referring your friends and family to the Academy.

Congratulations!!!

To be considered for Student of the Month, be sure to talk to your teacher about all your musical and extracurricular activities, share pictures and refer your fellow musicians to the academy.

Come by and take a selfie with our “fireworks” window theme (where “Hamilton” is not throwing away his shot!) for the Community Commerce Quest presented by the Missouri Business Podcast.  “Tag” the SJAA Facebook page and the MBP for a chance to win vacation trips to amazing locations.
SJAA’s Upcoming Recitals 

7/31 – Summer Practice Challenge Deadline

8/7 – Ashlyn Ford in Concert, Lanham Music, 6pm

8/8 – “Uke-Box Heroes, 1pm, SJAA

8/19 – Silver and Gold Banquet, 11:30 – 12:30, Meierhoffer Community Room

9/19 – Hawkfest, 130pm, Coleman Hawkins Park

9/20 – 2pm SJAMTA student recital, MWSU

9/26 – “Bluegrass Battles Hunger”, TBA Coleman Hawkins Park

10/11 – Photo Day @ SJAA, times/venue TBA

10/24-25 – “Mall-o-ween” 2pm Halloween-themed SJAMTA student recital

11/15 – 2pm SJAMTA student recital, MWSU

12/5 – “Mall-a-thon” 10am-4pm at East Hills Mall (SJAA time slot MORNING TBA)

12-19 – Beethoven’s 250 Birthday

2021

 

2/20 – TBA SJAMTA Monster Concert

3/7 – 2pm SJAMTA student recital, Violin Masterclass, 3pm TBA, MWSU

4/10 – SJAMTA Evaluatives, MWSU

4/11 – 2pm SJAMTA student recital, MWSU
3:30 SJAMTA Honors Recital at First Presbyterian

TBA – Robidoux Resident Theater presents “School of Rock”

SJAA Specific Events in BOLD

HATS!

We’ve got our first order of SJAA ball caps with our new logo!  In Red, Black, Tan & Navy.  Just $15!

Books!Is your student ready for new books? We carry a very limited supply of instructor approved titles. Talk with your teacher about your next books and we’ll get them ordered.

Who are these masked guitar ninjas?  You can almost hear the “Covid County Country Shuffle” ringing in the summer breeze.
Taking our precautions but still having some fun!

Auto-Payments

Thanks to all for registering for convenient auto-drafting from credit cards or your bank account.  So glad to be able to offer this for our families.

https://stjosephartsacademy.com/auto-payment-authorization/

Lesson Policy
– Is here and copies are at the studio…
https://stjosephartsacademy.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/01/SJAA-Lesson-Policy-19.pdf

Thank you for reading -“The Write Notes” –  
Monthly Newsletter from the St. Joseph Arts Academy!
It’s been a great month.

Thank you for encouraging the advancing musicians in your life and in our community.

We are making the world a better place through music.

Here’s to YOUR music success!

Jason Riley
Director
jason@stjosephartsacademy.com
8162944856 (personal cell)
Here to help! Call or text if you need anything at all.

{| o }===:::
Facebook
Website
Instagram
Referral Program – We have a great family of students and teachers at the SJAA.  We are extremely discerning in selecting the very best coaches and students when growing our family.  We want great students just like you.  The SJAA is now able to offer a FREE lesson for referring new students who register for lessons.  Thank you for referring your friends and family to be a part of our SJAA family.

Does Your Teacher Have Openings?

Jolie – Full
Terry – Full
Frank – Mondays, 330 & 5
JC – Mondays, 3 & 730
Andrew – Tuesdays 1230 & 430
Emily – Mondays 4 & 630,  Tuesday 530
Monica – Mondays 430, Wednesday 630
Brent – Tuesday 5, Thursday 6

Mary Jo – Tuesday 4 & 530
Will – Monday 5 & 630
Jason – Full
Jennifer
– Cello Coming Soon!

 SJAA Classes/Courses – Guitar, Piano, Violin, Cello, Voice, Uke, Drums, Early Childhood, Group Guitar

TeacherZone is our on-line platform for our students and our teachers.
https://teacherzone.com

Free Wi-Fi – SJAA password “MusicAccomplished”

Academy Mission

Our mission at the St. Joseph Arts Academy is to provide the highest quality musical instruction and performance opportunities to beginning and advancing students in the Midland empire. We use our patience, enthusiasm and loyalty to encourage, inform and inspire others to happily share their skill and talent in love and gratitude to make the world a better place.

OUR MOTTO…

Music Accomplished!

Copyright © 2020 St. Joseph Arts Academy, All rights reserved.
You are a preferred member of the SJAA!

The Write Notes – April 2020

Dear Students and Families,

With several more weeks of quarantine behind us (and potentially still ahead of us), we remain grateful to everyone doing their part to knock this thing down.  From everyone on the front lines to all of our friends and families who are choosing to “stay home” for the benefit of all.

Our SJAA studios have been very quiet but I know our houses have not.  The music has given us all, teachers and students, an opportunity to share, to keep growing and some needed emotional and spiritual comfort.  It’s wonderful to have something positive to focus on.

In many cases, it’s been necessary for others to follow the “downward spiral” to cancelling everything, to wait and see or just put things on hold.  Together with your family, we’ve all chosen to realize an attitude of possibility.  The demands of our students’ radiant potential are simply so strong they can’t be overlooked or set aside.

Thank you for your commitment to the advancing musicians in your family and to all in our academy family.  It’s been amazing to see everyone stepping up and working even harder towards our opportunities to show their work and share their music.

We are strengthening our bonds through music, even at a distance.

Thank you for your continuing support of the arts in our community and of our entire SJAA family.

Looking forward to the days when we’ll all be back together under one roof.  We’ll play some music, TOGETHER.

Thank you!

jason and SJAA

If you have any questions or concerns please feel free to message me directly at…
816 294 4856 (cell)
jason@stjosephartsacademy.com

Join or Share us on Facebook/Instagram
Our SJAA Covid-19 Protection Plan

Since mid-March, the SJAA has been open for ONLINE LESSONS only.  Our commercial building has been receiving continued improvements but with little to no public traffic.

Preparations are underway for when we do re-open our spaces.

Social-Distancing – In most cases, our spacious studios make it possible for students and teachers to easily remain 6 feet apart.  We will have clearly marked Covid-19 Safety Plans in place outlining any restrictions, protocols or best safety/health practices (ex. limited to student and 1 parent).

The SJAA expanded throughout our entire building giving us over 2000 square feet to spread out in, a total of 8 studios, a large classroom, 2 new waiting areas and  2 new sinks for hand washing.

Cleaning Schedule – So proud of the way our staff and members always keep our spaces clean and tidy.  Our families should notice, more than ever, that our academy is always clean.  Our cleaning schedule has been adjusted to each lesson (cleaning teaching surfaces and pianos), hourly activities (inspections, door handle cleaning and bathrooms), daily/nightly cleaning activities with checklists for quality control.

Students and teachers would be expected to wash hands well or use hand-sanitizer before and after lessons.  All are welcome to continue use face-masks for as long as they feel necessary.  And, if you are sick… Stay Home.

We take your health and safety seriously.

Our policies and processes will evolve with any and all changes in the health and business environments.

Thank you.
St. Joseph Arts Academy

SJAA Updates –
Shelter in Place – While we are all eager to get back to our routines, “out of the house” and see each other in person again, the SJAA will remain ONLINE only through the month of May.  If it works out that we can safely open doors and return earlier we will for all who are comfortable doing so.  The safety of our students and teachers is our first priority.

Spring Music Contests –  It’s not to late to jump in!  This weekend is the deadline for video submissions.  Like a college jury, students would submit 2 videos of 2 pieces in differing styles and 1 video of the scales (maybe chords cadences too) required by the key of the pieces.  No sight-reading or paper test.  https://stjosephartsacademy.com/music-contests/

Participating students will receive an evaluative critique of their performance, certificate of completion and judges will select a best performance from each for an online broadcast of an online recital.  May 16 recital “Music Moves Us” broadcast date.

Application Form or send a note to jason@stjosephartsacademy.com to sign up.

SJAA Songwriting Festival– Calling all composers and songwriters!  Submit your original music (vocal and/or instrumental pieces) for feedback from an international cast of judges and you could win fabulous cash and prizes.  Get creative, hone your craft and let’s celebrate YOUR music!  Video submission are due by June 1.  (Music can be sung or performed by the composer or by another player if necessary.)  More details TBA.

Free “Intro to Ukulele” Lesson – Want to try the Uke or get great “quick start” or review?  We sent out lots of these 1 hour video lesson/materials links last week.  If you are interested just drop Jason an email and we’ll share it with you for FREE!
jason@stjosephartsacademy.com

New classes/clinics – Online and hopefully, on-location courses are coming soon for summer.  Taking suggestions for the classes you’d like offered by the SJAA.  Registrations and info TBA.

“Hawkfest” – The June Jazz and Blues festival has been rescheduled to Saturday, Sept. 19.  SJAA students will open the day.

Online Resources – Big Thanks to TeacherZone, Zoom, FaceTime and google duo for the possibility to do our lessons online with relative ease.  We are also recommending the FREE trial at Sightreadingfactory.com (for sight-reading on any instrument!) and Musictheory.net (you guessed it!)

Celebrations!

Coloring Contest!

We moved our 2nd annual Coloring Contest from Summer to Spring
(Hey, why not?)
We loved seeing all the original, careful and fun versions of this years page.  Selected artists received gift cards and a little recognition for their work.
Congratulations to Sydney L. for her work in being selected
for the $25 Visa Gift Card!


Free Face-Masks

Thanks to the generosity, care, time and talents of Sharon Barlow (Academy Mom!), we were able to donate dozens of Face Masks to our fashion-forward SJAA community.  Certainly, some of the coolest you’ll see and music themes.  Thanks Mom!

Got something to celebrate?  Please keep us up-to-date on the accomplishments, special events and activities in our students lives so we can celebrate them!

#MusicAccomplished

Student of the Month

Our April “Student of the Month” is…

Basil Riches!!!


We are so lucky to have Basil and his family with us at the SJAA.

Music Honors! – Guitarist, Basil Riches of Atchison, KS received a “1” rating for his rendition of “O Son De Ar” at the 4-H Atchison County, KS Club Day contest.  Way to go, Basil!
We’ll celebrate Basil with an iTunes gift card for him!

Thank you, Basil for referring your friends and family to the Academy.

Congratulations!!!

To be considered for Student of the Month, be sure to talk to your teacher about all your musical and extracurricular activities, share pictures and refer your fellow musicians to the academy.

Best Quarantine Home Schooling Solutions

Outsource the teaching

Working from home?

A fun game for all!  Empty those sock drawers.

SJAA’s Upcoming Recitals 

2020

4/25 – SJAMTA Evaluatives (CANCELLED)
4/26 –  2pm SJAMTA student recital (CANCELLED)
3:30 SJAMTA Honors Recital at First Presbyterian (CANCELLED)
5/1 – SJAA Evaluative Audition Submission Deadline
5/16 – SJAA “Music Moves Us” Online Recital, TBA
5/XX – SJAA Ribbon Cutting, Open House (TBD)

5/21 – Recital at Living Community, 7pm (TBD) (Rescheduling)
7/15 – Silver and Gold Banquet, Word of Life Church, 1245pm

9/19 – Hawkfest, 130pm
10/11 – Photo Day @ SJAA, times/venue TBA

SJAA Specific Events in BOLD

Books!FREE shipping on in-stock books to SJAA students who need to “Level Up” in their reading materials during quarantine.

Auto-Payments

Thanks to all for registering for convenient auto-drafting from credit cards or your bank account.  So glad to be able to offer this for our families.

https://stjosephartsacademy.com/auto-payment-authorization/

Lesson Policy
– Is here and copies are at the studio…
https://stjosephartsacademy.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/01/SJAA-Lesson-Policy-19.pdf

Thank you for reading -“The Write Notes” –  
Monthly Newsletter from the St. Joseph Arts Academy!
We made some memories this month, didn’t we?

Thank you for encouraging the advancing musicians in your life and in our community.

We are making the world a better place through music.

Here’s to YOUR music success!

Jason Riley
Director
jason@stjosephartsacademy.com
8162944856 (personal cell)
Here to help! Call or text if you need anything at all.

{| o }===:::
Facebook
Website
Instagram
Referral Program – We have a great family of students and teachers at the SJAA.  We are extremely discerning in selecting the very best coaches and students when growing our family.  We want great students just like you.  The SJAA is now able to offer a FREE lesson for referring new students who register for lessons.  Thank you for referring your friends and family to be a part of our SJAA family.

Does Your Teacher Have Openings?

Jolie – Full
Terry – Full
Frank – Mondays, 330 & 5
JC – Mondays 630
Andrew – Tuesdays 2:45 & 4
Emily – Mondays 430,  Saturday 1030
Monica – Mondays 430, Wednesday 6
Brent – Tuesday 530, 6, Thursday 3, 5 

Jason – Monday 4pm
Mary Jo – Tuesday, 430 & 530
Will –  mondays 4 & 430
Sarah – Saturdays

 SJAA Classes/Courses – Guitar, Piano, Violin, Cello, Voice, Uke, Drums, Early Childhood, Group Guitar

TeacherZone is our on-line platform for our students and our teachers.
https://teacherzone.com

Free Wi-Fi – SJAA password “MusicAccomplished”

Academy Mission

Our mission at the St. Joseph Arts Academy is to provide the highest quality musical instruction and performance opportunities to beginning and advancing students in the Midland empire. We use our patience, enthusiasm and loyalty to encourage, inform and inspire others to happily share their skill and talent in love and gratitude to make the world a better place.

OUR MOTTO…

Music Accomplished!

Copyright © 2020 St. Joseph Arts Academy, All rights reserved.

The Write Notes – March 2020

Dear <<First Name>>,

Let me start with a lot of gratitude.  We are having some seriously challenging times at home and globally.  There is just a ton of concern and unanswered questions about how and how long it will take to get back to our routines.  I’m grateful to our city leaders and to our friends and neighbors for taking the unsettling but necessary precautions to make this better for everyone.

In less than a week, educational institutions made a huge shift to online learning.  I am truly amazed that these massive changes happened so quickly and with such low friction.  Is it perfect?  No.  But it’s a great example of our ability to pull together and simply get things done when the time is NOW.

SJAA students, teachers and families are no exception.  Over 98% of our students made the switch immediately and adapted very quickly to a new way of lesson delivery.  Change is never easy and we still have some challenges to face.  That’s how we learn and grow.

Extremely proud of the way everyone is stepping up to demonstrate that willingness, that commitment to continued learning and growth.

Practicing, learning and playing music are more essential now than ever.

Grateful we have each other and can share this journey together.  It will be transformative, a reminder of what’s most important and an opportunity to demonstrate the best in ourselves.

Stay happy and healthy.  We’ll see you (virtually) in the weeks ahead and looking forward to having everyone together back at the Academy soonest.

Thank you, <<First Name>>!

jason and SJAA

If you have any questions or concerns please feel free to message me directly at…
816 294 4856 (cell)
jason@stjosephartsacademy.com

Join or Share us on Facebook/Instagram
SJAA Updates –
Shelter in Place – Remains in effect for our city through this week.  All lessons and classes will be online only for at least a few more weeks.  St Joseph Public Schools are out until April 24 so it may be that the SJAA will follow suit.  No official decision but maybe presume that will be the case though April and we’ll roll with the punches and changes as they come in.

Evaluative Adjudication – Sadly, our students have lost every opportunity to demonstrate their best work.  Local and state music contests, recitals, spring concerts and most recently the SJAMTA evaluative audition, ALL CANCELLED.
The SJAA can fill this gap with an SJAA evaluative audition online.  Like a college jury, students would submit 2 videos of 2 pieces in differing styles and 1 video of the scales (maybe chords cadences too) required by the key of the pieces.  No sight-reading or paper test.

Participating students will receive an evaluative critique of their performance, certificate of completion and judges will select a best performance from each for an online broadcast of an online recital.  May 1 deadline for submissions and a May 16 recital “Music Moves Us” broadcast date.

SJAMTA evaluative usually costs $15 to members.  SJAA evaluative will be FREE to members.  Not Mandatory but maybe the only opportunity students will have to demonstrate their continued hard work this spring.

Application Form or send a note to jason@stjosephartsacademy.com to sign up.

Songwriting Contest – Working on this with more details to come.  Similar to above but original songs or instrumental compositions submitted by video.  TBA

New classes/clinics – Coming soon for summer.  Registrations and info TBA.

Welcome to our Newest Students!

Braeden, Mary, Jackson, Larkin, Maeby, Brooke, Taylor, Cory, Myles, Sabre, Charlie, Elizabeth and Coen!

Celebrations!

Music Honors! – Guitarist, Basil Riches of Atchison, KS received a “1” rating for his rendition of “O Son De Ar” at the 4-H Atchison County, KS Club Day contest.  Way to go, Basil!

Drums! – Our new Drum studio opened this month with Will Doyle (master percussion/recording).  Limited spaces available for drum lessons.

New Teachers– Welcome to our newest team member, Mary Jo Lewis (master piano)!

40th Anniversary Monster Concert – The SJAA piano and guitar students joined SJAMTA for the 40th Annual Monster concert last month.  The sold-out show provides money for scholarships to middle, high school and college students for summer music camps, festivals and continuing course work.

Group Classes – With the expansion in our building we got some great new classroom spaces.  We started with some beginner’s guitar classes (child or adult) and early childhood (age appropriate classes from 8ms to 5 yrs) this month.  If you have friends or family that might be looking for musical experienceslike this, we greatly appreciate you sharing us with them.  Many more fun classes in the works!  Let us know if there is a class you’d like to see offered here.

info@stjosephartsacademy.com for more information.

Limited spaces available.

More to come!

SJAA Expansion Finally Complete! – We’ll look forward to having you here soon!!  Total of 5 new studios, additional pianos, 1 Large classrooms space, 2 waiting areas, reception area and kitchenette, bathroom, fresh paint, new flooring, LED lighting and additional hallways (AND we hung a piano on the wall!).

First Recital in our New Space – So honored to have Mr. Brock’s violin studio present our first ever student recital IN OUR VERY OWN BUILDING!  It has been a major work in progress to get our doors open and just really fun to have everyone there.  Thanks to Mrs. Foster, Mrs. Riley and Isaac Johnson for accompanying and congratulations to the performers and to Mr. Brock on their dedicated work.

#MusicAccomplished

Student of the Month

Our March “Student of the Month” is…

Myles Grimsinger!!!

We are so lucky to have Myles and his family with us at the SJAA.

Besides being SJAA’s premier drum student with Will, Myles is part of his middle school band as a percussionist.  The guy loves baseball and we are all hoping the season with his team “Smash” can hit the field together soon.    Myles is also part of a Dungeons and Dragon club with friends after school.

He just recently upgraded to a new drum kit and is excelling with it.

We’ll celebrate Myles with an iTunes gift card for him!

Thank you, Myles for referring your friends and family to the Academy.

Congratulations!!!

To be considered for Student of the Month, be sure to talk to your teacher about all your musical and extracurricular activities, share pictures and refer your fellow musicians to the academy.

The New “Social Distancing Elbow Bump” Emoji!!
SJAA’s Upcoming Recitals 

2020

2/8 –  Monster Concert  (piano rehearsals Jan 31, Feb 7)
2/29 – Teacher Appreciation Day
3/8 – 2pm SJAMTA student recital (CANCELLED)
4/18 – Academy @ the Mansion, 2020.  (TBD)
4/25 – SJAMTA Evaluatives (CANCELLED)
4/26 –  2pm SJAMTA student recital (CANCELLED)
3:30 SJAMTA Honors Recital at First Presbyterian (CANCELLED)
5/1 – SJAA Evaluative Audition Submission Deadline
5/16 – SJAA “Music Moves Us” Online Recital, TBA
5/XX – SJAA Ribbon Cutting, Open House (TBD)

5/21 – Recital at Living Community, 7pm (TBD)
6/13 – Hawkfest, 130pm
7/15 – Silver and Gold Banquet, Word of Life Church, 1245pm

10/11 – Photo Day @ SJAA, times/venue TBA

SJAA Specific Events in BOLD

Books!Is your student ready for new books? We carry a very limited supply of instructor approved titles. Talk with your teacher about your next books and we’ll get them ordered.
Auto-Payments

Thanks to all for registering for convenient auto-drafting from credit cards or your bank account.  So glad to be able to offer this for our families.

https://stjosephartsacademy.com/auto-payment-authorization/

Lesson Policy
– Is here and copies are at the studio…
https://stjosephartsacademy.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/01/SJAA-Lesson-Policy-19.pdf

Thank you for reading -“The Write Notes” –  
Monthly Newsletter from the St. Joseph Arts Academy!
We made some memories this month, didn’t we?

Thank you for encouraging the advancing musicians in your life and in our community.

We are making the world a better place through music.

Here’s to YOUR music success!

Jason Riley
Director
jason@stjosephartsacademy.com
8162944856 (personal cell)
Here to help! Call or text if you need anything at all.

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Referral Program – We have a great family of students and teachers at the SJAA.  We are extremely discerning in selecting the very best coaches and students when growing our family.  We want great students just like you.  The SJAA is now able to offer a FREE lesson for referring new students who register for lessons.  Thank you for referring your friends and family to be a part of our SJAA family.

Does Your Teacher Have Openings?

Jolie – Full
Terry – Full
Frank – Mondays, 330 & 5
JC – Mondays 630
Andrew – Tuesdays 2:45 & 4
Emily – Mondays 430,  Saturday 1030
Monica – Mondays 430, Wednesday 6
Brent – Tuesday 530, 6, Thursday 3, 5 

Jason – Monday 4pm
Mary Jo – Tuesday, 430 & 530
Will –  mondays 4 & 430
Sarah – Saturdays

 SJAA Classes/Courses – Guitar, Piano, Violin, Cello, Voice, Uke, Drums, Early Childhood, Group Guitar

TeacherZone is our on-line platform for our students and our teachers.
https://teacherzone.com

Free Wi-Fi – SJAA password “MusicAccomplished”

Academy Mission

Our mission at the St. Joseph Arts Academy is to provide the highest quality musical instruction and performance opportunities to beginning and advancing students in the Midland empire. We use our patience, enthusiasm and loyalty to encourage, inform and inspire others to happily share their skill and talent in love and gratitude to make the world a better place.

OUR MOTTO…

Music Accomplished!

Copyright © 2020 St. Joseph Arts Academy, All rights reserved.

How to Practice

How to Practice


One definition of practice is… “a repeated exercise or performance of an activity or skill so as to acquire or maintain proficiency in it” As in it must have taken a lot of PRACTICE to be such a good guitar player.

Doctors and lawyers are said to have a practice when carrying out the exercises and duties of their profession. I don’t really want my doctor to be PRACTICING on me as he’s cutting me open. I want him to PERFORM the perfect operation.

Practice can also be customary, habitual or expected procedures for something. This could be like a meditation practice or yoga.

As musicians, we really embody each of these definitions of practice in slightly different mindsets. The exercise needed to perform a technically challenging passage or even to get our muscle-memory together enough to play a basic chord and then chord progression. Music is also our field of study as in medicine or law, it IS our practice. Hopefully it is also a thing that we’ve made a part of our day to day programming that happens habitually. We don’t necessarily call it practice but I hope you’re planning to eat, sleep and brush your teeth today.

So what are things we should do to become a person of practice and what does it mean to practice well? What does effective practice look like? When are we done practicing?

It actually took me many years to discover and refine my techniques for effective practicing. I’ve tried a number of approaches that I may touch on here. My way doesn’t have to be your way. You should definitely explore what best practices are for yourself.

At its most basic, practice time set aside to do your best. There can be many things that can distract us from the task at hand or take our mind away from our most challenging work.

Perhaps you’ve had the experience of sitting down to practice a new piece and after a few minutes you’re noodling away on favorite licks, riffs or another piece entirely (usually all things you already play pretty well). You might even become so mesmerized in this that you actually lose track of time, not realizing that you’ve been just “playing” with your instrument for 20 minutes. Weren’t you supposed to be “practicing”? It’s ok to make some time just to noodle, jam or play for fun. Set your timer though and get back to work after that time is spent.

To be truly successful in your practicing you need to have a purpose or goal and be on a time schedule. We all have the feeling that we want to become “a better guitarist” but that is not what I mean by purpose. The purpose of your practice should be topical (learn a new scale fingering, accompaniment style or arrangement) and should be scheduled for a certain amount of time.

My personal practice usually involves a few topics. These are places in my playing where I’m trying to “grow”. I use many of these same areas and methods with all my students no matter the age or level of achievement. Topics include things like technique, scale and chord vocabulary, sight reading, pieces/songs/tunes, ear-training and memorization. There are many more I have included over the years again depending on what my purpose was at the time or where I felt I had some weaknesses. Theory, performance practices, history, improvisation and just time to listen to music are all things I’ve put time into. I want to grow in all these areas in deeper ways.

So let’s make some time to practice. Put it in your schedule. Write it on the calendar. A little time everyday. The famous japanese music mentor Shinichi Suzuki said you should only practice the “days you sleep and the days you eat”! I think that’s great advice. We all will miss a day now and again and that’s understood. You may want to set your weekly practice schedule up to include a “skip day”. That’s an important “practice” in some religious circles. Also, it can be a nice reward especially for younger students who really work hard all week.

The amount of time each day is not as important to me as just the “every day”. If you practice with a purpose everyday you will get better. A lot has been said in the past few years that it takes a FOCUSED 10,000 hours to become a master at anything. Free-throws, heart surgery, flower arranging, etc. You’ll be come the “master” faster by practicing 3 hours everyday as opposed to 10 minutes obviously. Mastery is the fruit of purposeful practice. No need to worry about the fruit. It will come at the right time and in the right season. Your practice is in taking care of the tree. Prune it and water it with the time you have today and schedule it again tomorrow. Do that and you’re doing the best you can.

10 hours a day for 3 years = Your the master!
3 hours a day for 10 years = Your the master!
1 hours a day for 30 years = Your the master!

I will say that in my experience it takes at least 20 minutes of practice just to kind of stay at the place you left off yesterday. If you don’t use it (and use it again) you’ll lose it.

I use the timer in my practice (and a tuner, a metronome, books and music, a music stand, and a pencil but the timer is VERY important). It keeps you on task. If you are playing a game like basketball, that game is timed. You have a certain amount of time to play with a purpose of making points for your team, defending against the opposing team and doing your very best. Then there’s a buzzer that signals the end of play, maybe the 1/2, the 1/4 or the end of the game. The point here is that you did your very best, you kept your head in the game and now it’s over.

My music practice is very much like that. I start the time and work on an alotted task for a certain amount of time. This is usually very short, between 2-20 minutes per task. This has two benefits. One, I know that I have to do my best for a very short time. Not hammering away for hours, just minutes. Two, if I do get distracted or get off task and do some mindless noodling, it reminds me to come back to the project and work until the buzzer goes off. With my students, I even give them pretend “points” for perfect repetition of the material. One perfectly played scale = 10 points or 100 or whatever. They may have only 3 minutes to make as many points as possible. It’s a little mind game but it works really well, gets them to do their best and make as many perfect reps as the time allows.

Again, there are number of important topics that go into building musical proficiency. You might just pick a few each day to devote your time to. When that buzzer goes off or time is up, move on to the next topic and start the timer again. Depending on the amount of time you’ve set aside for practice, you could do more or less. Remember, less in more in many instances.

As an example, If we had an hour to practice, I would start with a slow warm-up for maybe 10 minutes. We could move on to scales for 10, Chords for 10, sight reading for 10 and maybe one piece we’re working on for 10 minutes. It wouldn’t have to be the entire piece, lots of times its just a few measures or specific trouble areas. Then you could take a little break. Lots of performing musicians take set breaks too!

If that was all the time you had for the day, you could be done and go on with your life. If you had additional time (perhaps another hour) I would start with that routine again and repeat it. If you have less time maybe on a very busy day, you could get a 10 minute practice in on just two or three really important ideas at 3-5 minutes each. Hey, we can all find 10 minutes even on a busy day, right? The important thing is that you’re FOCUSED, you’re doing it on purpose and you’re proving to yourself that you’re disciplined, dedicated and committed to your advancing musicianship.

If you’re making a lot of mistakes while practicing, you are probably going too fast or trying to practice too much. This is a common problem and it does take a lot of discipline to slow down and work on very small or short musical problems.

Truly effective practice is practice with a purpose. That purpose is different for everyone and adjusted to the topic you’re working on. You might have a goal to play a C major scale in 1/8th notes at 160bpm. You might want to learn a new jazz standard every week. You may need work on that one measure that always messes you up in that Bach prelude. Your purpose is to fix, add or increase in your abilities as they apply to your goals in music.

Here’s a few other ideas about what practice is and what it can do for you.

Practice is…

Motivational – The more you do it, the more you want to.

How we learn – Things seep in over time through repetition. We learn by doing.

Transformative – Makes things better through attention and intention.

Reducing Imperfection – Unlearning bad habits or replacing them with good habits.

The way to Carnegie Hall – “How do you get to Carnegie Hall? Practice.”

Infectious – A little can lead to a lot.

Love – It demonstrates your affection for what you are practicing.

To Overcome – Limitations and small expectations.

Making Mastery – 10,000 hours (Give or Take).

Confidence building – When you’ve put in the time to know what you’re doing and you know it.

Non-judgmental? – Do it when you feel good or bad. When it’s time to fight, you have to do it no matter what mood you’re in.

Persistence – No matter what happens, slow down, re-focus and just keep plowing ahead.

What you become – Like the doctor or lawyer, you are what you practice most.

Life Enhancing – Just do it, you’ll be glad you did.

A Teacher – It encourages us on the path of discovery. It shows you what it is and what it might become.

Truth – It’s where you find out what’s real for you. Where you are on the path.

Application – Using what you know, at the right time, when you need it.

For Champions and Masters – They all did it. I promise.

Not Easy – It feels like work sometimes, ok it is actually work.

Acceptance – Forgive yourself for not being automatically perfect. You’re getting closer.

Purposeful – Practice with a purpose in mind. Practice because you’ve got to. it’s the only way.

Cultivating – The tree that your fruit comes from.

An Inner Game – The only competition is within. The only real competition is in the mirror.

Tomorrow’s Victory – “Tomorrow’s victory is today’s practice – Chris Bradford, The Way of the Warrior.

Development – The garden grows best when it’s weeded and tended to. True in all things like love, forgiveness, patience and giving.

Preparation – To being and doing what you want to be and do.

Practice is… THE WAY.

Practice Makes Perfect?
Practice Makes Permanent
Practice Makes Possible
Practice Makes Possibilities
Practice Makes Patience
Practice Makes Partnerships
Practice Makes Playing Possible
Practice Makes Pathways
Practice Makes Progress
Practice Makes Proficient
Practice Makes Professional
Practice Makes Proof
Practice Makes Practical
Practice Makes Precedence
Practice Makes Prepared
Practice Makes Purpose
Practice Makes Perception
Practice Makes Performers

Summary – Whatever you can imagine or aspire to do, you can do that in music (or anything almost) through focused practice over time. I aspired to play music. I’ve never really felt that I had any great or natural talent to do so. Everything that I’ve accomplished in music and on my instrument has just been through hard work, smart work, time and persistence. In short, practice.

While I may never be a ballet dancer or professional football player because of my physical build (not that I’m inspired to become one). Through practice and study, I could learn the techniques, I could get better, I would grow.

It’s truly amazing what human beings can accomplish given enough time.

Special Offer – If you found this article helpful, please consider subscribing, drop us a note or consider joining us on the path to mastery. The St. Joseph Arts Academy is a resource for all things musical. We are here to support and encourage you along your musical path.  Now…

GO PRACTICE!

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How Can I Stick with Learning a New Instrument?

Hey, let’s face facts. Learning a musical instrument is fun and rewarding but it’s also kind of tough.

If it were easy, everyone would play an instrument.

Unfortunately, we know that it’s kind of a rare skill amongst the population at large.

Personally, I think everyone should learn to play something.  And they can!  The key is to understand that simple doesn’t always mean easy.  That anything worth doing requires effort, energy and attention.  To know that you might not always feel like practicing.  You might feel bored or frustrated sometimes.  But you know you are going to do it anyway.

There are certain things we all do.  We like to eat.  We like to sleep.

Hey, we are human and we do those things everyday because we need to.  Well, now we are talking about musicians.  Guess what they do everyday?

Musicians play music and practice it.  That’s just who we are and part of what we do.

Everyday.

The days we sleep and the days we eat.

For beginners, it is often tough to accept that it takes a lot of time and effort to become the accomplished  musician they dream of, but with the following tips, you’ll find it easy to stay dedicated in your music lessons.

Choose your instrument wisely.
When you’re first considering music lessons, follow your natural inclination toward a specific instrument.  Also, it is worth taking a wander around your local music shop.  Not only does this give you the chance to hold the instrument, but you can get demonstrations of every variety until you find something that’s right for you. If you don’t find yourself immediately attached to anything, you can always rent instruments – or try one that everyone has access to… with some singing lessons!

Learn music you like.
It’s all well and good to aspire to play the great classics that every professional has in their repertoire, but when starting off,  it is worth picking some pieces of music that mean something to you.  If you ask your teacher to help you tackle a piece you feel a connection with, you’re far more likely to want to carry on learning and attempting to play.

Learn with others.
Even though many of us opt for private music lessons with the hope of learning faster with more one-on-one time, it can actually be beneficial to learn with a friend or a family member.  This works especially well if you’re trying to encourage a child as young children love to be involved in what their parents are doing.  Group classes are a great way to get started and make some like-minded friends.  Especially important for the socialization of our littlest learners.

Music is NOT rudiments and scales?
Traditional music teachers will often begin by teaching scales, chords and other basics but these can get extremely tiresome after a few lessons.  Find a teacher that will start by teaching you based on YOUR musical goals and it might just keep you interested for when more structured rules and theories need to be learned.

Don’t be afraid to jam.
Even the most rehearsed and experienced musicians need some moments of letting go.  This is something you can easily achieve with a jamming session. Whether you’ve learned just one song or you have a whole repertoire, spontaneity not only encourages creativity, but it might open up your eyes to things you never knew you could play. Finally, jamming might reveal to you what you want to focus on in your lessons, which makes it easier to stay dedicated and work toward your goals.

 

www.jasonriley.com
www.stjosephartsacademy.com