What makes a great music school

As we transition from a private guitar studio to the St. Joseph Arts Academy, we are thinking a lot about what it really takes to make a really great school of music. While our emphasis has been guitar, we are dedicated to promoting music education and the arts in our entire community.

We want music to be an important part in the lives of players of all ages. You are never too young or too old to pursue the benefits of music for yourself. Or to encourage in the lives of your loved ones.

We want the reputation of being a great (and trusted) school of music.

Here are few historical facts to back that up…

• Tested – Our teaching methods and materials have been used by 1000’s of students from the youngest beginners to College music programs to Adult professionals and hobbyists. We continually seek to refine and streamline our teaching process towards the maximum impact for our students in the shortest amount of time possible.

• Established – Our studio has been continuously and successfully operating in St. Joseph, MO since 1993 and in Atchison KS since 1996. We’ve maintained a full roster of students and a waiting list simply on our reputation and word of mouth referrals. Now, as we grow our business and advertise in more markets, the St. Joseph Arts Academy is the fastest growing school of music in Northwest Missouri.

• Proven – Our students have gone on to graduate from conservatory programs, own music stores, win scholarships, receive awards, win Missouri All-state Jazz Guitar seats, be invited to perform at Music Festivals, give regular recitals, lead professional bands, study abroad, compose and record their own music and some have gone on to work at Gibson Guitars, Musician’s Friend and in professional recording studios. Not all our students are expected to become professionals but we teach them all with the same expectation of musical growth, accomplishment and that they be good people too!

• Industry-leading – We have been the go-to source for amateur and serious guitar instruction in Northwest Mo for over 2 decades. By leading the college guitar programs in our area, we’ve directly influenced all aspiring professional guitarists in the region and beyond. We regularly present topics and coach students as a guest clinicians for guitar festivals, concert and clinics at other schools across the US as well as the “Red Socks and Guitar” Festival in Chartres, France.

• Secure – We are proactive about protecting all our students and their personal information. We will never sell or share your name, email or more private information with out your consent. All billing is kept private and secure in our system. We will soon be offering direct withdrawal payments from checking or credit cards to offer our families another level of convenience and security.

• Widespread – Well, not exactly. Our methods our proprietary and the level of attention to individualized instruction makes us a standout in the market place. We simply don’t do whatever everyone else does. We focus on the needs of the individual or the ensemble to maximize and inspire growth and goal accomplishment.

• Accepted – Our studio is accepted and participates fully as a productive music school in our community. We are a resource to musician and teacher throughout the region. We work hard to build and maintain musical relationships with other top studios, venues, retail and education businesses and organizations. We know everybody! And they know us.

• Easy – It’s easy to sign up and get started with your music lessons quickly. Just call the studio (816-974-7656) or email Jason (jason@stjosephartsacademy.com) to set up a day and time. We’ll establish a course of action to complete your goals or put you on the best possible learning path based on your age and interests. Lessons are Month to Month and we can work with your schedule.

• Discounted – Our studio regularly offers discounts and rewards to our students on registration fees, lessons, books, materials and other tools like strings, tuners and metronomes. By taking part in our referral, student of the month, evaluative and other music contests, students win FREE lessons, gift cards, certificates, trophies, medals, pins and other prizes.

• Everyone – Simply put, music is for everyone. We think everyone should play. Music is a big part of what makes us human. AND music has benefits for us all. No matter how young. No matter how old. I’ve heard people say “I think I’m tone deaf.” Let me tell you… that is not true. There is no such thing as “Tone Deafness”. If there were you wouldn’t be able to tell a dog’s bark from a car horn. Even professionals have had their own struggles in music that they have overcome. No matter where we are… We can all grow, we can all become better. Becoming stronger musicians makes us stronger in so many other ways. It makes us stronger in dealing with so many challenges that life can throw at us. It’s important. And it’s for everyone.

• Experienced – Jason Riley has over 25 years experience teaching in a private studio teacher, as a clinician and as adjunct professor of guitar at the college level. He’s also a professional performing musician with his own bands and as a sideman in many, many more. Jason has toured, performed, written and recorded with diverse acts in rock, jazz, classical, blues, bluegrass, country, prog and musical comedy.

• Certified – We are the only guitar instruction in the area that is trained and certified to teach young children through the Suzuki Guitar Method. Organizations include the Suzuki Association of the Americas, Music Teachers National Association and our local, St. Joseph Area Music Teachers Association.

• Efficient – Our teaching methods and practice strategies make your time spent learning music extremely efficient. We know time is our most valuable resource and that our students are eager to make progress as fast as possible. Part of what we do is teaching the efficient use of practice time and time management skills to reap the greatest rewards.

• Simple – Just because something is simple doesn’t mean that it’s “easy”. Simplicity is key. It can be very challenging to perform simple tasks well. These are the steps we take to mastery. Simple steps, done well and repeated toward you musical goal.

• Guaranteed – We stand by our students all along the way. Your satisfaction, enjoyment and progress is our most important mission. Learning music isn’t always easy. It’s not always super fun. Often it’s hard work. But it’s worth it. We’ll be with you through the good times and the tough times too.

• Public – Our studio is open to all beginning and advancing musicians regardless of creed, race, religion, age, sex or musical preference. We are here to build our community and to make our city and region a better place to live… through music! Everyone is welcome and welcomed here.