Pick-Up Notes – Spring Newsletter

Pick-Up Notes
The Newsletter from the St. Joseph Arts Academy
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Dear Students & SJAA Families,As we embrace the vibrant colors and blooming melodies of spring, we eagerly look forward to the exciting season of summer. I wanted to take a moment to share with you all the wonderful reasons why summer is an exceptional time to embark on a musical journey or continue to make the most of the extraordinary musical opportunities that await.

Summer provides us with an ideal environment for growth and exploration. With longer days and a more relaxed schedule, students have the chance to fully immerse themselves in the world of music. Whether you’re a beginner or an advanced musician, summer offers a unique window of opportunity to dive deep into your musical studies and make remarkable progress.

One of the key benefits of summer music schedules is the flexibility they provide. Without the demands of schoolwork and extracurricular activities, students can dedicate more time to their music lessons and practice sessions. This focused commitment allows for accelerated learning, as well as the ability to set and achieve specific goals. Additionally, with fewer distractions and a less hectic pace, students can truly embrace the joy of making music and develop a deeper connection with their instruments.

Summertime at the SJAA brings an array of exceptional musical programs and events. Our academy will be hosting a series of fun events with renowned guest musicians and facutly, allowing our students to learn from the best in the industry. These special opportunities not only enhance technical skills but also provide valuable insights and inspiration.

From ensemble performances to collaborative projects, our special events foster teamwork, creativity, and a sense of camaraderie among our students. They offer a chance to forge lifelong friendships and create lasting memories through the shared love of music.

Lastly, summer performances provide an extraordinary platform for our students to showcase their talent. Our academy is always represented in concerts, and community events throughout the summer, offering students the chance to perform in front of diverse audiences in diverse locations. These performances not only boost confidence and stage presence but also provide a sense of accomplishment and pride in one’s musical abilities.

So, as parents seeking enriching summer activities for your child or as adults looking to reignite our passion for music, you are in the right place at the SJAA this summer.

Let’s make the most of the incredible opportunity to make music, grow as a musician, and be a part of a vibrant musical community. Let the summer melodies guide you on an unforgettable journey of self-discovery and artistic expression.

Let’s Make Some Great Music This Summer!

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
Referral Contests!
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!

Refer a friend or a family member to the SJAA for private lessons and you’ll be registered for a drawing to WIN a PRIVATE Pizza or Ice Cream PARTY at the SJAA!

Share our referral card as a GIFT FROM YOU and they’ll get FREE registration ($35.00) and their First Lesson FREE ($25.50) when they register for lessons. ($60.50 Value!)

AND… you’ll both be registered for the quarterly referral contest for a chance to with a PRIVATE PARTY at the SJAA!

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!


Attention: Pianists, Singers, Songwriters
(or anyone interested in blues, jazz or gospel styles)
Roddy Barnes Live!
RSVP – Limited Seating Available. Call/text/email for your spot.

The incredibly talented Roddy Barnes will be performing live at the St. Joseph Arts Academy on June 11 at 3pm. Renowned for his captivating musical style, Roddy seamlessly blends the rich sounds of blues, jazz, gospel, and the vibrant spirit of New Orleans into a captivating performance. His mastery of the piano, combined with his soulful vocals, creates an immersive and unforgettable experience for all who have the pleasure of listening. Prepare to be swept away by the melodic tapestry woven by Roddy Barnes as he brings his unique blend of musical genres to our SJAA Recital Room.



Summer Fun

Win a Private Party

30 Day Practice Challenge


“Future Stages” Kauffman Center

Roddy Barnes LIVE

Early Childhood Music

Referral Contest Winner

Student of the Month!


New Students

Updated Calendar of Events


Do you LOVE your Teacher?
Summer is right around the corner – don’t lose your lesson time! If you would like to stay enrolled and keep your current lesson time, you do not need to do anything!

Take advantage of our options this summer!
(reschedules, virtual lessons, group make-ups & pre-recorded lesson options)

At the Academy, we are currently at 95% capacity, with some instruments and teachers completely sold out.

Don’t lose your lesson time to someone else while you were on vacation!

We have had a busy summer season for years and expect this year to be our busiest yet! We operate year round and cannot hold lesson times for students who have withdrawn from lessons.
Many students return in the fall and are put on the wait list, or must book times late in the evenings to get their favorite teachers.
Our 2 PM to 7:30 PM lessons are the most sought after and are booked quickly over the summer. Many students who enroll in the summer choose to stay through the fall and winter seasons as well.

Don’t get stuck on a wait list, check out our options to reserve your lesson time starting now!

SJAA Chorale:
A Melodic Triumph at the NASCAR Race

“The kids sang so beautifully and then 40,000 people applauded and cheered for them!  If gave me goosebumps.” said SJAA director, Jason Riley.

On May 7, 2023, the talented young singers of the SJAA Chorale (director, Monica King) were bestowed with a special invitation to open the highly anticipated NASCAR race at the Kansas Speedway with their rendition of “God Bless America.” It was an exhilarating experience for the students, as they performed in front of nearly 50,000 live fans and a nationwide television audience.

Their voices intertwined beautifully, filling the vast expanse of the speedway with a stirring rendition of the beloved patriotic anthem. The power and emotion behind their performance resonated deeply with everyone present, stirring a sense of unity and national pride.

For the young singers, this was not only a remarkable opportunity to showcase their hard work, but also a moment of personal growth and triumph. The magnitude of the event and the live audience pushed them to rise to new heights, reinforcing their dedication and commitment to their craft.

To witness the SJAA Chorale captivating the hearts of the enormous crowd of racing fans was truly awe-inspiring. The joy and passion exuded by these young performers were infectious, serving as a testament to the transformative power of music and the unwavering support of their dedicated instructors.

The impact of this performance extends far beyond the race day itself. By representing their community and their academy with such grace and excellence, the St. Joseph Arts Academy Chorale has undoubtedly become a source of pride for their families, friends, and supporters.

This extraordinary opportunity to open the NASCAR race not only showcases the immense talent of these young singers, but it also highlights the invaluable role that the arts play in our society. It reminds us of the power of music to transcend boundaries, unite diverse communities, and uplift spirits.

As we celebrate the outstanding achievement of the St. Joseph Arts Academy Chorale, let us applaud their hard work, perseverance, and unwavering commitment to their musical journey. Their remarkable performance at the NASCAR race will forever be etched in their memories as a testament to the transformative power of music and the boundless potential within each of us.

We extend our heartfelt congratulations to the singers and their families and look forward to witnessing their continued success as they continue to share their extraordinary talents with us.

We are thrilled to announce that the SJAA’s “Panorama” Steel Pan ensemble and SJAA Showcase have been selected to perform at the prestigious Kauffman Center’s “Future Stages” event in Kansas City on June 11. This incredible opportunity is both an honor and a testament to the outstanding talent and dedication of our students.

The “Panorama” Steel Pan ensemble combines the rhythmic allure of the Caribbean with the precision and artistry of our skilled musicians. Their infectious melodies and vibrant energy make them a standout ensemble in the region. To have them chosen to perform at the Kauffman Center’s “Future Stages” event is a true testament to their exceptional talent and musicianship.

The SJAA Showcase represents the diversity and depth of talent within our arts academy. Comprising students from the guitar studio and vocal performance, the SJAA Showcase features solo, duo and smaller ensemble work.

To be selected to perform at the Kauffman Center’s “Future Stages” event is a momentous achievement for our academy and our students. It is a recognition of their hard work, perseverance, and unwavering commitment to excellence in the arts. We are immensely proud to have our talented performers represent the St. Joseph Arts Academy on such a prestigious stage.

The Kauffman Center’s “Future Stages” event serves as a platform to showcase the brightest young talent from across the region, providing them with an opportunity to shine in front of a diverse and appreciative audience. It is an event that celebrates the transformative power of the arts and the boundless potential within each young artist.

This very special occasion serves as a reminder of the impact that the St. Joseph Arts Academy has in nurturing and inspiring young artists. It is a testament to our commitment to excellence and the unwavering support we provide to our students. We eagerly anticipate this extraordinary opportunity to showcase the remarkable talent and artistic prowess of our performers and continue to uplift the St. Joseph arts community.


30 Day Practice Challenge

Winner of the April 30 Day Practice Challenge is….
Aaron C!

Congrats to Aaron (piano with Mrs. Marina) who practiced nearly 30 hours in April!  We’ll Celebrate Aaron with a $25 Amazon Gift Card.

Every student who participated received some postive recognition and a gift card from the SJAA!

Keep up the good work!!
We do these in every month with just 30 days so our

Spring Referral Contest Winner!

Drum Roll……

Ethan M.!

He won a random drawing of over 30 Spring referrals to the SJAA.
We’ll share a $100 Visa gift card with Ethan!!!
Congratulations, Ethan! Thank you for referring your friends and family to the Academy.
Summer Referral Contest Starts…. NOW!

“1’s” Earned at SJAMTA Evaluative Auditions

Congratulations and “Great Work” to Miss Faith and Mr. Hudson on earning “1” ratings at the spring Evaluative Auditions at MWSU!  Like a college jury, the students performed 2 pieces (in different styles), demonstrated scales, took sightreading and theory tests for an impartial judge.  Both (guitar students of Mr. Jason) were then selected to perform in a “Honors Recital” the following day in Downtown St. Joseph.

“We Google’d You”

We’ve now reached over 35, 5-star Google reviews!  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 35, 5-star Google reviews.  https://g.page/r/CZvsJULwejcCEAg/review

Candy Contest Winners!

Anna C!
Connie D! (Hank and Gwen’s Nonnie)
Both made the closest guess (without going over) on the recent Easter Candy Jars.  This is a really fun game that everyone here gets very serious about.

Awards & Recognitions!

The amount of 1st Recital, Book Completions & Practice Buddy certificates, awards and recognitions is simply incredible this season.  Your students are working hard to accomplish their musical goals.  All get posted to our “Wall of Fame” on our Facebook Page.

Other Big News!


We are thrilled to announce an exciting new opportunity for all our current students and their families. By referring your friends and family to enroll for music lessons at St. Joseph Arts Academy, you will be entered to win a FREE, PRIVATE PIZZA or ICE CREAM PARTY for you and 15 of your closest friends! Imagine indulging in delicious, piping hot pizza or brain-freezing ice cream while surrounded by your favorite people in our academy’s recital space.

This is a fantastic opportunity to share the joy of music with your loved ones while enjoying some tasty treats. So what are you waiting for? Spread the word, and increase your chances of winning this fantastic event for your friends!


Limited supplies on the new t-shirt featuring our awesome, new school crest!  It’s like Harvard or Hogwarts but it’s all SJAA (While Supplies Last!)

Academy Welcomes New Team Members

Welcoming new team members Anna Maloney (Admin & Early Childhood), Zach Beaman (drums, Low Brass, Bass, Guitar), Adeena Nichols (Guitar) & Reaganne Kovac (cello)!
We have a very select team at the SJAA.  Very happy to have these great folks with us.

Welcome to our Newest Students!

Eric, Ashton, Karter, Dash, Jack, Ava, KatherineBella, Melody, Kaitlyn, Rebecca, Chloe, Jace, Titus, Sawyer, Edi, Cooper, Max, Yelena, Layla, Madden, Briley, Cody, Gabryel, Oliver, Donna, Brandon y Andreu, Addisen, Isabella, Natalie & Anastasia!
Early Childhood Music Classes Forming!


Student of the Month

Our May “Student of the Month” is

Christina Z.!

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

Besides playing the piano (she takes a ONE HOUR lesson with Mr. Verbick every week), Christina loves to draw and watch TV.  She was recently invited to participate in the all-state math competition, as a 4th grader!

Way to go, Christina!  We are SO proud of you!!


We’ll celebrate Christina with an Amazon gift card!

Thank you, Christina 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.

SJAA ”Pet of the Month”!Our May “Pet of the Month” goes to …

the Miller’s dog, Sadie!  Thank you to the Miller family for sharing a photo of your sweet fur baby.  Each month, SJAA will select a pet to feature and a donation will be made to Friends of the Animal Shelter of St. Joseph and St. Joseph Animal Shelter in honor of all of our local pets in need. Share a favorite pic of your favorite pet and maybe they’ll be named the SJAA “Pet of the Month”!  Bring on those adorable snapshots!

Updated Calendar
SJAA 2023


5/6 – Christine’s Graduation Celebration, PRIVATE

5/7 – SJAA Chorale, NASCAR Kansas Speedway, 1pm

5/20 – Jada’s Graduation Party, 3-5pm PRIVATE

5/27 – Anna’s Graduation Party, 3-5pm PRIVATE


6/1 – “30 Day Practice Challenge” Begins!  Join for a chance to WIN $25 Gift Card

6/3 – AKMA Art Fair 10am-8pm  w/Brent Isom & Co.  11am

6/10 – Coleman Hawkins Blues & Jazz Festival, Downtown Gazebo, 2pm

6/11 – “Panorama” & “SJAA Showcase” Future Stages Festival 2023,

Kauffman Center, Kansas City, MO 1pm & 330

6/11 – Roddy Barnes LIVE at SJAA, 3pm-  Free Will Donation, RSVP required

6/14 – SJAMTA Board Meeting TBA


7/4 – Happy Independence Day!  SJAA Closed.

7/11 – “Silver & Gold Banquet” Word of Life Church, 12pm


8/20 – Imagine Eleven Back to School TBD


9/1 – “30 Day Practice Challenge” Begins!  Join for a chance to WIN $25 Gift Card


9/23 – Bluegrass Battles Hunger, Coleman Hawkins Park, TBA


11/1 – “30 Day Practice Challenge” Begins!  Join for a chance to WIN $25 Gift Card


12/25 – Merry Christmas!  SJAA Closed.


Thank you for reading -“Pick-Up Notes” –  
Spring Newsletter from the St. Joseph Arts Academy!
It’s always a great season 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.

It’s fun!  Thank you for that.

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

{| o }===:::

Monthly tuition for private lessons (30 minute weekly sessions) is $108.

Lesson Policy

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 you’ll be registered for a drawing to WIN a PRIVATE Pizza or Ice Cream PARTY at the SJAA!

Share our referral card as a GIFT FROM YOU and they’ll get FREE registration ($35.00) and their First Lesson FREE ($25.50) when they register for lessons. ($60.50 Value!)

AND… you’ll both be registered for the quarterly referral contest for a chance to with a PRIVATE PARTY at the SJAA!

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?

If you need a schedule change or would to be added to a waiting for a particular teacher, please contact our office and we can add you to the waiting list.  If you are not a student yet, there are still limited lessons spots available.

Andrew Holmes FULL

Brent Isom 5 Wednesday

Claire Gerhardt FULL

Darren Verbick 330 Tuesday

Isaiah Sterling 630 Friday

Jason Riley FULL

Jolie Riley FULL

Marina Gurnovich 630 Thursday

Monica King 7 Friday

Terry Brock FULL

Tyler Boone 930 Saturday

Anthony Glise 630 Monday

Zach Beaman 5 Thursday

Reaganne Kovac 4 Fridays

Adeena Nichols NEW OPENINGS Fridays

 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.

UNITED FIBER has come to the SJAA!
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!

Copyright © 2023 St. Joseph Arts Academy, All rights reserved.
You are receiving this email as a valued member of the SJAA, Current, Future or Former! We send special updates, news and offers here! Thank you – SJAA

Our mailing address is:

St. Joseph Arts Academy

2027 N 36th St

Saint JosephMO 64506-2241

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