Pick Up Notes – Summer Newsletter

Pick-Up Notes
The Newsletter from the St. Joseph Arts Academy
View this email in your browser
Dear Students & SJAA Families,The “One Teacher” Trap!

Throughout my years in the field, I have found that parents of music students occasionally fall into what I call the “one teacher trap”.

A music student will often have a single music teacher when they first start their musical journey.  Over time, illness and family demands may force the teacher to miss lessons here and there.  It is also not uncommon for teachers to relocate at some later date forcing you to find a new teacher.

When a parent realizes that their child’s regular teacher is temporarily or permanently unavailable, they may feel panic when their child is reassigned to a different teacher.

While it is certainly normal for a student and their family to grow close to a teacher overtime, I often tell parents that a new teacher can provide a fresh perspective on their child’s learning.  The wonderful thing about changing music teachers overtime is that students are given a new perspective, new advice and recommendations for their performance. They also learn to communicate with different people of authority and they are better able to adapt to new teaching styles.

When the time comes to change music teachers regardless of what the circumstance may be, I encourage you to view the situation as a potentially positive experience for your child. Think back to a moment in your past when a stable figure in your life that you were close and friendly with parted ways.

Perhaps you had a hair stylist or barber you quite liked who left the salon, or maybe you regularly enjoyed the sermons of a particular pastor who moved to another city, or perhaps you had a favorite sports coach who left your team.

It is natural to become attached to people we are familiar with and have spent time with.  Now, I urge you to think of the individual who replaced that person you were wants attached to. Many times we become even closer and more connected with the replacement. New people in our lives provide a boost of motivation that can be conducive to our personal growth and development.  Another pastor could have a different style that challenges and intrigues you.  A new sports coach can view your skill with fresh eyes and make helpful recommendations on your form, speed or training methods.  When it comes to music, a new teacher will have a new perspective that could be a better match for your child’s skill set and practice methods. The new instructor could foster a new enthusiasm for their instrument.

I once had an adult students attend one of my music schools who regularly visited the same teacher.  His teacher was not available one evening for their lesson so we arranged for the students to have a guest teacher. When the student arrived and was notified in the lobby that he would have a “substitute” for the day, he became upset, began yelling and stormed out of the school. He went home and wrote a lengthy email about how he upset he was that his teacher was unavailable, and he eventually left the school.

However, if that student had actually attended his lesson, he would have been pleasantly surprised.  We had arranged for the student’s guest teacher to be the teacher who had mentored and taught HIS OWN teacher many years ago.  The substitute had more degrees than the students regular teacher, had been teaching longer, and had more experience in the world of music.  In the end, the student may have enjoyed his lesson and gain some valuable information. Had he been open to the idea of change, something positive probably would have come of it.

I believe students should have at least three or four teachers throughout their lives.  Having the opinions of different people with different backgrounds will expose your child to a wider variety of information than if they were confined to the suggestions of a single teacher.

Thank you for allowing our faculty to work with your family and being an important member of our SJAA family!

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


Summer Practice Challenge


Future Stages at the Kauffman Center

Bela Fleck: My Bluegrass Heart

Custom Pick Holders

New Photographs from Tyler Osborn Studios

Welcome New Teachers

Who got Engaged!

Welcome New Students



AKMA – Molly, Ashlyn and Jason set out to provide some tunes for the recent (and first) Albrecht Kemper Museum of Art’s Local Artist Fair.  A great day of music and art with food, vendors and free admission to the museum.  A real gem in our community and we have strong ties to them.


“Hawkfest” – SJAA students performed recently for the annual “Hawkfest” Coleman Hawkins Blues and Jazz Festival in Coleman Hawkins Park.  Fiddle tunes, swing jazz, boogie boogie and latin rock rang out from the Gazebo stage on a HOT Saturday afternoon.  Big thanks to the Coleman Hawkins Jazz Heritage Society for being so dedicated to supporting and encouraging the next generation.


Future Stages at the Kauffman Center – On Sunday, June 12 the SJAA represented St. Joseph at the 6th annual “Future Stages”.  We took 25 student performers and teachers to perform in large ensemble AND in showcases.  It was an amazing day and we can’t say enough about the organization at the Kauffman.  SJAA ensembles were selected based on our audition videos from our work at the Missouri Bicentennial last summer.  Truly an honor for our students who work very hard, play and act so professionally to make a great impression on all who hear them.   Stay tuned for some great videos and excellent photography from our time there.  Congratulations, guys!

Bela Fleck: My Bluegrass Heart – The SJAA and the Kauffman Center recently provided 30 free tickets to this amazing event.  Ticket winners were drawn at random to witness an all-star performance of this Grammy winning work from “the king of the banjo”, Bela Fleck and co.  What a show!

New Photographs from Tyler Osborn Studios – SJAA added some new wall photography (courtesy of our amazing students and Tyler Osborn Studios.  Very artistic shots and prints that highlight the actual advancing musicians we coach.  Very Photogenic!!

Welcome our New Teachers – Welcoming Miss Hannah Dixon (violin/strings), Isaac Rivera (percussion) and Miss Sara Verduzco (percussion) to our SJAA faculty.  SJAA is very selective and discerning about who we have working with us and we have the best team EVER!


Tie that Knot – Congratulations to our own, Miss Monica who said “Yes” to Trevor.  They’re Engaged!

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!

Summer Practice Challenge – Summer is a great time to get a little (or a lot) extra playing time on your instrument and we want to reward you for your hard work.  Don’t forget to share you practice log (with practice hours) with your teacher by the end of June!  Grand Prize for the most hours practiced and a drawing for an additional prize for all who participate.  Keep going!!
Custom Pick Holders – Special gift to our academy guitarists in these super fun, custom made pick holders especially for the SJAA!  Thanks to Boston Daniels of Las Vegas for these super cool, 3-D printed designs JUST FOR US!

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!

Lane, Brett, Lily, Finnick, Misty, Dan, Owen, Emily, Andon, Emani, Timothy, Shaeffer, Ruby, Chloe, Koby, Colin, Lucy, Mary, Corena, Logan, Debi, Alexis, Bauer, Jexx, Remi, Macie, Emma, Grace, Molly, Breanne & Bailey!

Student of the Month

Our April “Student of the Month” is

Adam M!

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


Adam (seen here with his “Practice Buddy”) is an artist at heart. Besides his piano studies with Mrs. Marina, he can draw better than some adults. He’s also very happy to talk about his favorite video games and Pokemon.  Adam is truly a sweet, respectful and hard working boy.

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



We’ll celebrate Adam with an Amazon gift card!

Thank you, Adam 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 family are big supporters of our local animal shelter and have adopted our beloved amazing, four legged family members.  We know our students have important relationships with their own furry (or feathered) friends.  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
6/1 – “30 Day Practice Challenge” Begins!  Join for a chance to WIN $50 Gift Card

6/4 – AKMA Arts Fair, Albrecht Kemper Museum of Art, St Joseph MO, 1-4pm

6/11 – “Hawkfest” Blues & Jazz Festival, Coleman Hawkins Park, 4:15 -5pm

6/12 – Future Stages Festival 2022, Kauffman Center, Kansas City, MO

SJAA – (Call Time 1045  Show Time 1130)

Showcase – (Call Time 1145  Show Time 1230)

6/14 – Bela Fleck “Bluegrass My Heart” Kauffman Center, Kansas City, MO

6/14 – “Fabric Fun” Art Class,  Tuesdays, begins 530pm – 3 weeks



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


9/1 – “30 Day Practice Challenge” Begins!  Join for a chance to WIN $50 Gift Card

9/18 – SJAMTA student recital, Potter Hall MWSU, 2pm – “Play More, Practice Less” Clinic, 3pm w/Jason Riley


10/29 – “Mall-o-ween” East Hills Mall, Halloween-themed SJAMTA student recital, 2pm


11/1 – “30 Day Practice Challenge” Begins!  Join for a chance to WIN $50 Gift Card

11/13 – SJAMTA Patriotic-themed student recital, Potter Hall MWSU, 2pm

11/24 – Happy Thanksgiving! SJAA Closed


12/10 – “Mall-a-thon” 10am-4pm at East Hills Mall

12/25 – Merry Christmas! SJAA Closed



1/1 – Happy New Year! SJAA Closed


2/18 – SJAMTA “Monster Concert” Potter Fine Arts Theater, MWSU, 3pm


3/19 – SJAMTA student recital, Potter Hall MWSU, 2pm – Clinic, 3pm TBA


4/15 – SJAMTA Evaluative Auditions, Potter Hall MWSU

4/16 – SJAMTA student recital, Potter Hall MWSU, 2pm

– SJAMTA Honors Recital at 330


6/14 – SJAMTA Board Meeting TBA


7/4 – Happy Independence Day!  SJAA Closed.


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.

{| o }===:::
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?

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 630 Tuesday

Brent Isom 5 Tuesday

Claire Gerhardt

Dan Bliss 2 Monday

Darren Verbick

Emily Moss

Frank Nawrot 2 Wednesday

Hannah Dixon 530 Wednesday & Friday

Isaiah Sterling

Jason Riley

Jeremy Eaton 4 Monday

Jolie Riley

Marina Gurnovich 6 Thursday & Friday

Mary Jo Lewis Virtual

Monica King 430 Wednesday & Thursday

Terry Brock

Tyler Boone 7 Tuesday 6 Thursday

 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!

Copyright © 2022 St. Joseph Arts Academy, All rights reserved.
Posted in Uncategorized