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)

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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. 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.

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!

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 (for sight-reading on any instrument!) and (you guessed it!)


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!


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.


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


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.


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.

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

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
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.

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