Pick-Up Notes – April Newsletter

Pick-Up Notes
The Newsletter from the St. Joseph Arts Academy
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Dear Students & SJAA Families,

Learning to play music is a living, breathing process that begins with as the parent simply asking the child to play a song for you.

We are here if you need anything at all!

Thank you for the music,
jason and SJAA

Jason Riley – Director

(816) 294-4856 cell
St. Joseph Arts Academy
(816) 974-SOLO (7656)

Join or Share us on Facebook/Instagram

Update from Director, Jason Riley

Important Upcoming Dates


200th Student

We’re Going to Graceland!

New Students



We’ve now reached over 200 students!  Welcome Grace D. to viola with Andrew.  We are rewarding Grace with a free month of lessons and some other fun stuff for registering as our 200th student!
SJAA Piano students performed in the 40th Annual Young Monster Concert at Missouri Western last month.  It was all hands on stage (and as many pianos as would fit) for a great day of piano ensemble playing.  A rare opportunity that only happens once a year.  Congrats to the students and studios of Darren and Jolie!

Congratulations to our very own, Quincy M!  1st Prize in Fine Arts Composition for the 2022 University of Missouri’s “Creating Original Music Project (COMP)”!
(See Below “Student of the Month”)

Academy and Community successes in the 2022 All-District Music Contests.  Extremely proud of the hard-work and dedication shown by SJAA students in preparing for and completing their annual musical evaluations.  Thanks to all the coaches you go the extra mile in helping them be prepared to do their best.  High-fives and Congratulations to…
Jack W.
Ella D.
Hadley C.
Hadley M.
Quincy M.

Carista L.
Evan L.

We’ve now reached over 25, 5-star Google reviews.  So, thank you to everybody that put in their reviews.  We so much appreciate it, but we want to get to 50 reviews.  If you haven’t yet, please consider going to Goggle, giving us a review.  We’d love your feedback and thank you so much again for helping us get over 25, 5-star Google reviews.  https://g.page/r/CZvsJULwejcCEAg/review

Other Big News!

Private lessons spots are limited with our amazing coaching faculty at the SJAA but we still have room to grow.  Thank you for referring your friends and family to the academy!

Guitar Mania! – Only a few spots left for the upcoming Intro to Guitar class, Monday nights at 7.  6 weekly, 50-minute sessions with instructor, Jason Riley

Art Start – Welcoming Miss Diana Herrera to our the SJAA team!  So excited to have Diana here with us heading up the recent and continuing “Clay Mania!” Classes.  Finally, some new Art Class options ahead for the spring and summer as well as some limited space for individualized, one-on-one, private art lessons with a great coach.  Welcome Diana!

Strings Summer Camp – Excited to announce that the SJAA will be hosting a week-long, summer camp for strings and orchestra players.  The camp will be from 10am-noon, July 11 – 15 and will conclude with a special performance.  Contact us for more information.  Limited spaces available.  Scholarship applications available too!  Camp Directors – Claire & Daniel Gerhardt!

Graceland – Academy Director, Jason Riley recently attended the national music academy conference at Graceland in Memphis, TN.  Music school owners from across the US and Canada meet up to take part in seminars, workshops and discussions about the families and students they serve (JUST LIKE YOU!).  The SJAA is in great company and leading in the field.  The SJAA received the “Faith Action Belief” Award in 2021 and 2022 based on our growth and the number of opportunities we provide our community.  “Uh… Thank you very much” – Elvis.

Behind the Desk – You might be seeing some new faces or hear some new voices behind the front desk or on the phone.  Big THANK YOU to Anna C. (And Ben) for stepping up to cover the desk while Alicia take her maternity leave.  Not a small job and lots to juggle.  Thanks for stepping up and doing a great job for us all.

If you’re not familiar with it, we are always trying to improve time spent with our instruments, and being parents ourselves of young children, we know how it goes. The kids love stuffed animals. What do parents want? Parents want their kids to practice more. Of course, teachers want their students to practice more. What we’ve come up with is a new program called the “Practice Buddies”.
This is a flyer you’ll see with all the different Practice Buddies, but basically the way it works is this is all free for you, our students. After your child passes their first book test, they get their Practice Buddy of their choice. They come to the lobby, they can take the one they want, and the concept is they take it home, they bring it to lessons. At home, one of the tip for you parents is say, “Hey, go get your Practice Buddy. They’re going to be sad if you don’t play for them, go and play.” But, we’re really excited about this. I think it’s really going to motivate the kids to practice even more and get better at learning music.

Our protection plans, safety and cleaning protocols are constant, continuous and on-going.

It continues to be safety first around here.  Unvaccinated SJAA members are encouraged to remain in masks.  Our waiting areas are technically still “closed” for the time being and we remain diligent in our cleaning schedules and protocols.  The SJAA is dedicated to making any needed changes and in tune with local and state guidelines.  Stay home and request a virtual lesson if you are sick or quarantined.

Welcome to our Newest Students!

Blaze, Edgar, Braxtyn, Nicolas, Holly, Julie, Monica, Hope, Bauer, Wyatt, Zavan, Ranier, Ray, Alex, Evvie, Layton, Carter, Alice, Traeh, Breesa, Olivia, Kaden & Dylan!

Student of the Month

Our April “Student of the Month” is

Quincy M!

We are so lucky to have Quincy and his family with us at the SJAA.
Congratulations to our very own, Quincy M!  1st Prize in Fine Arts Composition for the 2022 University of Missouri’s “Creating Original Music Project (COMP)”!

From Quincy on his Composition…

“My piece is titled, “The March of the Cornstalks and the Soybean King of Westphalia,” and I’ll be the first to admit it is a bit of a mouthful. Many might hope to find the deeper meaning behind this piece, but I really wanted to focus on the visual element of the composition. I tried to imagine myself somewhere, and write down my consciousness onto the staff paper.

The first movement, titled, “The March of the Cornstalks,” is very militant-sounding.  If you’ve ever walked into a cornfield and become lost, you can imagine a cornstalk army.  Each cornstalk towers over you ominously and you run in each direction, but it all seems the same.  You are being pursued.

The second movement is melancholy, titled, “In the Court of the Soybean King.” Continuing on an agricultural journey, perhaps in my thinking this is connected to “In the Hall of the Mountain King” and “In the Court of the Crimson King.”  I visualize tiptoeing through a majestic castle to steal a crown from the “Soybean King.”  Throughout, there are interesting harmonies and repeated patterns in the bass, contrasting with changing intervals.

The last movement is titled, “Westphalia.” Westphalia is a region in Germany, and although I know very little about this place, seeing images of the spectacular rolling green hills is where I got the idea for this closing movement. Using sweeping arpeggios and Bach-esque runs, it offers the listener a chance to reflect on the journey of the music and the movements, envisioning a bright future ahead.”

Quincy is a Junior at East Buchanan High School. He has been involved with music for his entire life, an upbringing by his musical parents that has cemented his passion and appreciation for everything music. He is a multi-instrumentalist, first learning the piano at a young age and eventually branching out onto the drums, bass guitar, guitar, and now the upright bass. Quincy first started composing in early elementary school with the use of many simple compositional programs such as Garageband. Ever since then, he has had a love for producing and an innate want to understand how instruments interact and build on one another through the use of Digital Audio Workstations. He has plenty of experience being a live musician, playing with many of his classmates from band and community members, forging long-lasting relationships that continue to fuel his passions to this day. Quincy hopes to expand his musical horizons and songwriting abilities going forward, focusing on appreciating all different genres of music as well as being the most versatile and well-rounded musician he can possibly be. He plans to attend college in the future, majoring in either music composition or music technology.

Very proud of you Quincy!  Can’t wait to see and hear what you do next.

Quincy has studied theory and composition with Dr. Nawrot and String Bass with Mr. Holmes (and attended our recent “Songwriting Festival” where he was a great help to the younger writers.)
We could go on and on…

We’ll celebrate Quincy with an Amazon gift card!

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


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.

“Everybunny” loves music. Happy Easter from the SJAA!!!

Updated Calendar
4/1 – “30 Day Practice Challenge” Begins!  Join for a chance to WIN $50 Gift Card

4/3-5 – Music Academy Conference, Graceland, Memphis TN

4/7 – “UKE-Box Heroes” Thursdays, Intro to Guitar Class begins 7pm – 5 week

4/11 – “Guitar Mania” Mondays, Intro to Guitar Class begins 7pm – 6 weeks

4/19 – “Clay Mania” Tuesdays, Sculpture Art Class continues 530pm – 6 weeks

4/23 – SJAMTA Evaluative Auditions, Potter Hall MWSU

4/24 – SJAMTA student recital, Potter Hall MWSU, 2pm

– 3:30 SJAMTA Honors Recital at First Presbyterian

4/26 – “Super Art” Tuesdays, Class begins 7pm – 6 weeks
5/14 – “Music Play” Saturdays, 11am begins 6 weeks (ages 2-4)
6/1 – “30 Day Practice Challenge” Begins!  Join for a chance to WIN $50 Gift Card

6/11 – “Hawkfest” Blues & Jazz Festival, Coleman Hawkins Park, 3-3:45pm

7/4 – Happy Independence Day!  SJAA Closed.

7/11-15 – Summer Orchestra Camp, 10am-12pm Daily

7/12 – “Silver & Gold Banquet” Word of Life Church, 12pm

SJAA Specific Recitals in BOLD


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.


Monthly tuition for private lessons (30 minute weekly sessions) is $98

Lesson Policy
– Is here and copies are at the studio…

Thank you for reading -“Pick-Up Notes” –  
Monthly Newsletter from the St. Joseph Arts Academy!
It’s Always a great month and they go by so fast!

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
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.  Thank you for referring your friends and family to be a part of our SJAA family.

Refer a friend or a family member to the SJAA for private lessons and we’ll give you a $25 gift card.

Share referral cards with your friends/family as a GIFT FROM YOU and they’ll get FREE registration ($35.00) and their First Lesson FREE ($24.50) when they register for lessons. ($59.50 Value!)

AND… you’ll both be registered for the monthly referral contest for a chance to with a $50 Amazon Gift Card.

AND… we’ll give you a $25 gift card for sharing the SJAA with your friends and family.

They WIN, you WIN and the SJAA WINS another great student JUST LIKE YOU!

Thank you for sharing the SJAA with your friends and family!

Does Your Teacher Have Openings?

Andrew –
Brent –
Claire –
Dan – Monday ONE SPOT LEFT
Darren – Wednesday ONE SPOT LEFT, Thursday ONE SPOT LEFT
Emily – Monday ONE SPOT LEFT, Saturday ONE SPOT LEFT
Frank – Wednesdays ONE SPOT LEFT
Isaiah – Monday ONE SPOT LEFT, Thursday ONE SPOT LEFT
Jason –
Jolie –
Marina – Monday ONE SPOT LEFT, Thursday ONE SPOT LEFT, Friday ONE SPOT LEFT
Mary Jo – Virtual spots available.
(limited spaces available)
(limited spaces available)
Terry –
Tyler – Thursday ONE SPOT LEFT

 SJAA Classes/Courses – Private music lessons in Guitar, Piano, Violin, Cello, Voice, Ukulele, Drums, Mandolin, Banjo, Electric Bass, Trumpet, Strings,  Early Childhood Classes, Group Guitar, Group Ukulele. Art Classes, Online Music Lessons & Adult Art Classes.

We also offer…
Discounts on music books & accessories, instrument rentals and rental space for birthday parties and special events.

TeacherZone is our on-line platform for our students and our teachers.

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.


Music Accomplished!

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