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Our Teaching Philosophy

Our instructors make it a priority to get to know each student on a personal level and to become familiar with his or her personal musical needs and goals. Different students require different teaching approaches. The Murfreesboro Academy of Music offers students the option to select the learning style that is best suited for them.

Learning music is not just a matter of having a qualified teacher, but also having an environment that is focused on music education. At the Academy both students and teachers take lessons very seriously. Students at the Academy are motivated by hearing peers who are at different levels, and by being exposed to a variety of musical instruments.

Getting started with music lessons is easy. Lessons can start anytime and often we can get you started the same week!

  • Instrument Technique 40%
  • Ear Training 10%
  • Music Theory 20%
  • Musicality 30%

Private Lessons

Piano & Keyboard

Piano Icon

The Murfreesboro Academy of Music offers piano lessons for students of all ages and abilities from beginners to very advanced students. We offer every style of piano lessons from classical to jazz and pop. We offer both traditional piano and Suzuki piano instruction. We have students who want to play just for fun and students who wish to pursue music as a career. We have multiple piano Instructors available so we are able to match students with a teacher that works best with their particular age, ability and interest. We start piano lessons at any age from 5 onwards. For our advanced students we have teachers with Piano performance degrees in who can teach advanced repertoire and prepare students for university entrance.

Guitar & Bass

 

Guitar IconGuitar lessons include acoustic, electric and bass guitar. The Academy’s excellent instructors are trained in many styles including rock, jazz, classical, pop and Spanish-style. The instructors know how to teach the proper theory and technique no matter if a student is interested in metal or classical. Typically a student should be at least 7-8 years old before starting guitar or bass lessons, due to their hand size, so younger students may need to start with a junior sized instrument.

Voice

voice-iconThe Murfreesboro Academy of Music’s voice lessons prepare students to sing all kinds of music from their favorite artist to classical arias. Our voice teachers have university training in music specializing in voice and sing everything from pop and jazz to opera. Voice lesson curriculum includes how to breathe properly, how to increase range, proper pitch, ear training and tuning, how to project and stage presence. Students will have several performance opportunities each year, including our summer and winter recitals. Many of our students also perform at local festivals and events.

Violin, Viola, Cello and Double Bass

Violin IconThe Academy’s strings program offers private instruction in violin, viola, cello and double bass. Our violin and viola lessons start as young as age 5. Most children will start with a smaller sized violin. Due to size of the instrument, most cello and double bass lessons start at 8 years of age or older. It is very important to make sure that children are sized properly. Our staff and instructors can assist with proper instrument sizing.

Mandolin

mandolin-iconThe Academy is the only facility in the area offering mandolin lessons. Mandolin lessons are included as part of the string program as mandolin is very similar to the violin. Many mandolin students also take violin lessons or begin on the violin before adding mandolin.

Drums & Percussion

drums-iconThe Academy offers a variety of drum and percussion lessons. Lessons are available on snare drum, drum kit, orchestral and mallet/keyboard percussion. Most students begin on the snare drum and progress to full drum kit. Typically students do not start drum kit lessons before the age of 8 as they need to be able to reach both the pedals and the cymbals.

Woodwinds

woodwinds-iconThe Murfreesboro Academy of Music offers woodwind lessons in Flute, Clarinet and Saxophone. Private woodwind lessons typically start from age 8 onwards. Earlier than age 8, a student typically does not have the lung capacity and strength to handle these instruments. For clarinet and saxophone students all instructors are proficient on both instruments so a student can start with clarinet lessons if they wish and switch to saxophone lessons without having to change instructors.

Brass

brass-iconBrass lessons are available for trumpet, trombone, baritone and tuba. Brass lessons are recommended to start at age 9 and older due to the requirement of a large lung capacity. Academy instructors can help students enhance their skills for their school band program or develop advanced soloists skills.

Songwriting & Music Theory

songwriting-iconMurfreesboro Academy of Music is the only lessons facility in the area to also offer private songwriting and music theory lessons. Whether you’re an experienced musician beginning to write original music or a high school student needing some theory tutoring prior to taking college music theory placement exams the Academy’s songwriting and music theory instructors can structure lessons to fit each students needs. Music theory lessons cover anything from basic notation, rhythm, and chord structure all the way up to college level topics such as orchestration, tonality, and jazz theory. Songwriting lessons cover a wide range of topics and styles. Students will compose original music and receive weekly critiques and expert help crafting their songs.

New Student Guide

Getting started with music lessons is easy. Lessons can start anytime and often we can get you started the same week. Murfreesboro Academy of Music does not require long-term contracts and lessons are treated as month-to-month with only a 30-day notice required for cancelation.

What do Students learn in lessons at The Murfreesboro Academy?

Our instructors make it a priority to get to know each student on a personal level and to become familiar with his or her personal musical needs and goals.

We do not treat every student the same in terms of what and how we teach.

A seven year old having their first guitar lesson will have very different needs than a fifty year old taking up piano for the 2nd time after having had lessons as a child. Teachers work with each student to make a plan that will fit their needs and musical preferences. At the first lesson your teacher will ask you about your favorite types of music, and set goals to help accomplish whatever musical aspirations you have for yourself or your child.

What styles do you teach?

All Academy faculty members are accomplished in many styles of music and able to teach all styles from rock, pop, jazz, country, blues to classical.

How young is too young? Starting at the right age.

Adult students may start any instrument at any time. Their success is based on a willingness and commitment to practicing. The Academy teaches many beginner students in their 60’s and 70’s.

For children, starting at the right age is a key element to the success of their lessons. Age requirements are also recommended due to physical requirements of specific instruments. Some teachers or lesson facilities will tell you “the sooner the better.” However, if a child begins music lessons too soon they may become overwhelmed and the last thing you want to do is turn a child off to music just because they had one unpleasant experience. Sometimes with younger children if the child waits a year to start lessons they progress much faster. Children who are older than the suggested earliest starting age usually do very well. The following are suggested guidelines:

Piano/Keyboard

At the Academy 5 years old is the youngest age that we recommend starting children in private piano lessons. By age five children have begun developing longer attention spans and can retain material with ease.

Guitar & Bass

7 to 8 years old is the earliest we recommend for guitar or bass lessons. Guitar and bass playing requires a fair amount of pressure on the fingertips from pressing on the strings. Children under age 7 generally have smaller hands and may find playing uncomfortable especially on the Bass.

Voice Lessons

10 years old is recommended as the youngest age for private vocal lessons. Due to the physical nature of voice lessons (proper breathing techniques, development of the vocal chords and lung capacity), the younger body is generally not yet ready for the rigors of vocal technique.

Violin, Viola, Cello and Double Bass

The Academy recommends violin and viola students be at least 5 years old. For cello and double bass students the minimum starting age is 8 years or older.

Mandolin

6 years old is the recommended earliest starting age for beginning Mandolin students.

Drums & Percussion

The average age of our youngest drum students is 8. This varies greatly depending on the size of the child. For drum set students children must be able to reach both the pedals and the cymbals on a drum set. Some younger students can begin on snare drum or a drum pad and then advance onto a full drum set when they are older.

Woodwinds

Due to lung capacity (and in the case of saxophone the size of the instrument), we recommend that most woodwind beginners are 8 and older.

Brass

Brass instruments require physical exertion and lung power. 9 years and older is a good time to start on a Brass instrument.

Choose a facility offering a choice of group classes or individual lessons.

Different students require different teaching approaches. Some students progress best with the peer interaction and class motivation of a group session. Other students prefer the focused concentration of an individual one on one lesson. The Murfreesboro Academy of Music offers students the option to select the learning style that is best suited for them.

Take lessons in a professional teaching environment.

Learning music is not just a matter of having a qualified teacher, but also having an environment that is focused on music education. At the Academy’s professional teaching facilities students will not be distracted by TV, pets, ringing phones, siblings or anything else. With typically only 30 minutes to one hour of lesson time each week, a professional teaching environment will produce the best results since the only focus is learning music.

Students at the Academy’s music school environment are also motivated by hearing peers who are at different levels and by being exposed to a variety of musical instruments. At the Academy both students and teachers take lessons very seriously.

Make practicing easier.

As with anything, improving in music takes practice. One of the main problems with music lessons is the drudgery of practicing and the fight between parents and students to practice everyday. Here are some ways to make practicing easier:

Time

Set the same time everyday to practice so it becomes part of a routine or habit. This works particularly well for children. Generally the earlier in the day the practicing can occur, the less reminding is required by parents to get the child to practice.

Repetition

We use this method quite often when setting practice schedules for beginners. For a young child 20 or 30 minutes seems like an eternity. Instead of setting a time frame, we use repetition. For example, practice this piece 4 times everyday, and this scale 5 times a day. The child then does not pay attention to the amount of time they are practicing their instrument, but knows if they are on repetition number 3 they are almost finished.

Rewards

This works very well for both children and adults students. Some adults reward themselves with a cappuccino after a successful week of practicing. Parents can encourage children to practice by granting them occasional rewards for successful practicing.

Most Importantly...HAVE FUN!

Music should be something that you enjoy for a lifetime. So, try not to put unrealistic expectations on yourself or your children to learn too quickly. Everyone learns at a different pace and the key is to be able to enjoy the journey.

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