Joy Academy Of Music
15 Benefits of becoming an Academy Student:
1. Piano lessons for ALL ages!
All beginners and all levels are welcome--no matter what your age!
We teach ages 4 to 104!
2. Learn the music YOU enjoy!
No matter what your musical goals are, I want to help you reach them! My goal is to inspire my students--and that's the best teaching method of all! After teaching full time for over 17 years I have found that the key is to emphasize true note reading and to make it fun! My students learn how to read and play anything! I also teach improvisation, chords, and playing by ear. If there is a specific song you want to learn but there is no music available, I will write it out for you by ear! Learn Classical, Pop, Rock, Jazz, R&B, Reggae, Country, Contemporary Christian, Gospel, Movie & Game themes, Dance Music, almost any genre of music from the very beginning!
3. We offer small group piano lessons in addition to traditional private lessons.
The best thing about small group classes is that they are fun! Small group classes (2-6 students grouped by age and experience) are a great way to learn music because there are so many great activities and games that, while helping to learn the elements of music, can also provide the social element missing from private lessons. I have found that a group atmosphere is often more beneficial and enjoyable for beginning to intermediate level students. In private lessons students progress at their own rate (which is usually slow). In group classes we progress at the rate of the fastest student. Students actually progress quicker in a group because they have more fun and are motivated by the progress of their peers. They also get to play exciting ensemble pieces, even as a beginner, which motivates their creativity. Sharing music builds confidence when it is just for fun in a casual, non-threatening environment. Our students have no problem playing for other people (they do it all the time!) Playing together out loud with a group also helps the students with learning to keep a steady rhythm, one of the most challenging parts of music (when playing out loud in a group they can hear right away when they get off the beat).
4. I teach from a one-of-a-kind method book that I wrote myself!
We use innovative methods and the latest technology to make learning awesome! Our two main goals are:
1) That every student truly learn to read music (the goal is to be able to walk into a music store, pick up a sheet of music and just play it). Our students read music like reading a book!
2) That every student HAVE FUN! If you have fun, then you will WANT TO PRACTICE. Motivation is built into our program.
After teaching for years out of almost every method book available, I found that my students technically played well, but if I asked them what staff note they were playing, they would say “it's a 2”, or “it's G Position”. I quickly found that almost every method book out there puts in lots of ways for students to “cheat” and to play songs without really learning how to read the notes (by using finger numbers and set hand positions). Also the music was often boring and didn't motivate the students. After I decided to write my own method book with really fun songs in every style and without all the ways to “cheat”, my students progressed quicker, had more fun, and TRULY LEARNED THE LANGUAGE OF MUSIC (in addition to making teaching loads more fun for me!).
5. A wide range of lesson times available, sure to fit any busy schedule!
2:00 p.m. - 9:00 p.m. Monday-Saturday
6. A proven track record of excellence.
Every year, aspiring music teachers start their own studio, and a year or two later it’s closed. We have a proven track record of offering quality piano and saxophone lessons in San Antonio TX, year round. Our full time mission is teaching music lessons, trusted by hundreds of families for over 17 years.
7. A comfortable waiting room for parents.
3 Comfortable waiting areas (one of them outside), leather chairs, sofa, TV/DVD player; free wifi, game room with Play Station and race car steering wheels/pedals; cold water dispenser, fridge, and homework area. Great for students and their families.
8. Fully stocked lesson rooms.
WE have a jam room with Full PA system, vocal mics, acoustic piano, electric guitars, bass, keyboards and drum set. We also have to of the line 88-key weighted digital pianos. We have spent thousands of dollars to make our lessons the best they can possibly be.
9. Free, all inclusive recitals.
Don't like recitals? We also have a fun and unique alternative: Making Music Videos! We make cool multimedia videos twice a year and put them on DVDs and YouTube. They make great gifts for family and friends!
10. Conveniently located on Callaghan in the heart of San Antonio.
Due to its central location, our school is convenient and draws students from San Antonio, Leon Valley, Helotes, Balcones Heights, Lackland AFB, Ft. Sam Houston, Brooks AFB, Alamo Heights, Stone Oak, Bulverde, Timberwood Park, Canyon Lake, Mico, Kirby, Converse, Live Oak, Selma, Schertz, Losoya, and more. We are easy to find, right off Callaghan and NW Loop 410, with shopping and restaurants close by.
11. Picture Day
We are the only music school that offers a picture day for their students! Every six months, we host a free picture day with a professional photographer.
12. Trophies, certificates and award wristbands to celebrate achievement.
We are the only music school in San Antonio that gives their students the opportunity to earn special color wristband bracelets (kids and teens love them!), trophies and certificates for passing musical tests.
13. Make Up Classes
Missed a lesson? Out of town? No problem. Just sign up for our make up classes. They never expire, and you can come when it's convenient for you.
14. Early afternoon lessons for homeschoolers, retirees, college students and working professionals.
15. Month to Month Lessons!
Unlike other programs, we do not require semester minimums for lessons. You can begin anytime! To stop lessons, we just need a 30 day notice.
Not only am I a full-time music teacher, but I also play piano and saxophone and sing professionally with local Jazz, Rock, Pop, Blues, Funk, Gospel, Celtic, Contemporary Christian and other bands all around town, in Austin, and at my home church. I JUST LOVE MUSIC! I think I am musically A.D.D.--if I stick with one style of music too long, I get bored, so I like to play and teach EVERYTHING! Every morning I get out of bed, I look forward to playing and sharing my love of music with others.
Do what you love, love what you do...
Frequently asked questions
What is your typical process for working with a new student?
If they are a transfer student from another teacher, or have taken lessons previously, it usually takes a few weeks to get to know their strengths and the areas they need help with. Many of my transfer students have never learned to read music proficiently or how to count rhythms and keep a steady beat! This is mostly due to the lack of good method books out there (most of the method books available put in finger numbers and hand positions which allow students to cheat and learn to play songs without actually learning how to read the notes!). Fortunately all of my students, whether they are complete beginners or if they have had previous experience, will quickly learn the language of music, AND have fun doing it!
What education and/or training do you have that relates to your work?
I have been teaching professionally full-time for 17 years. I began studying classical piano at the age of 7, and saxophone at the age of 11.
I have performed with symphonic and chamber orchestras, jazz big bands & trios, rock bands, vocal & instrumental soloists, and solo concert piano in a wide variety of styles. I love to take requests, and read and play by ear in almost any style of music.
I have a degree in Piano Performance from the University of Texas in San Antonio. I have won numerous awards in performance, including Outstanding Soloist at the Southwest Jazz Festival and Outstanding Musician at the UT Longhorn Jazz Festival, but I consider my greatest achievement to be my students.
I love to share my love of music with kids and adults, and I own and run a successful music studio. I am the second cousin of country legend George Strait.
Do you have a standard pricing system for your lessons? If so, please share the details here.
Call me to try a free lesson! Lessons are $90 a month for small group lessons, which includes one 40 minute lesson per week. Private lessons are $110 a month for one 30 minute lesson per week. One hour private lessons are also available.
How did you get started teaching?
I studied piano pedagogy extensively and received a Degree in Music at the University of Texas at San Antonio in 1997. I started teaching full-time in 2000 at four different private schools here in town. Throughout the years, I have taught at 6 different private schools and two different churches in San Antonio. I now teach exclusively at my studio and my home church.
What types of students have you worked with?
I teach piano and saxophone lessons to students from Pre-school age to Adult. I offer small group lessons for beginner to intermediate students, and private lessons for intermediate to advanced students. I once taught an 88 year old beginner, which was great fun!
Describe a recent event you are fond of.
I have taught some of my students from 1st grade all the way until after they graduated from college!
What advice would you give a student looking to hire a teacher in your area of expertise?
Tired of the same old boring Piano Lessons? Try PianoForte Music, a totally different learning experience! Using the latest technology to make learning AWESOME!
*The emphasis is on FUN & TRUE NOTE READING
*Every lesson is like a JAM SESSION with a live band!
*Play the songs YOU want to learn
*End EVERY LESSON with a fun game
*Less pressure & more motivating
*Learn ANY song (I will transcribe it!)
*Classical, Jazz, Pop, Rock, Country, Dance, Movie & Game music, Praise & Worship and more!
*AFFORDABLE (only $90/month)
*CONVENIENT (central location)
*Flexible schedules PRE-K TO ADULT (ages 4 to 104!)
Piano lessons are first come, first served,
so call us today to TRY A FREE LESSON!
What questions should students think through before talking to teachers about their needs?
HOW TO FIND THE BEST PIANO TEACHER:
So you want the best group or private piano teacher in San Antonio TX--what now? There are so many piano instructors out there with so many different approaches. How do you choose the right piano lessons? How do you know what the right fit is for you or your children?
THE TEACHER MUST BE CONSISTENT
Learning to play the piano is like learning a new language. We all learned how to speak and read a language, most at a very early age. How did we do that? Consistent practice, repetition, and spending as much time as possible around others who already spoke the language. Piano instruction is the same. Piano is definitely a discipline. 90% of the required time is not spent at the lesson, but at practice outside of piano class during the week. My father used to tell me "anything worth doing is worth doing right". It is not all about how long you practice, but HOW you practice. The reason most people are not successful at piano is because their teacher does not truly teach them how to read music, but allows them to cheat and take shortcuts to learn a song. Actual note reading rather than learning by position finger numbers or muscle memory is not properly emphasized. Add to that the fact that almost all of the commonly available piano method books out there also allow (and encourage) students to take shortcuts, and it becomes all the more important to find a piano teacher who will instill the correct habits from the beginning.
THE TEACHER MUST BE KNOWLEDGEABLE
If you ask a kid or adult piano student today what their favorite style of music is, you will either be greeted with silence ("I can't choose, there are just so many"), or with a very long answer ("I like this, and this, and this..."). The majority of people today listen to a wide variety of music. That is why it is important to find a piano teacher who has studied and is well versed in many different styles of music. Classical music is great for developing proper technique, speed, agility and fluidity. Jazz, Rock, Gospel and Blues are great for learning to improvise and play by ear. Whatever your favorite style, it is important to find a piano teacher has the knowhow to teach you the skills you need to be successful.
THE TEACHER MUST BE FUN
Most people who study beginner, intermediate, or even advanced piano lessons do not plan to become a concert pianist, or even major in music. Most people learn music to have fun, and if it ceases to be fun, they will quit. The fact is, the longer you stick with piano lessons, the exponentially more fun it becomes. That is why it is so important to find a piano teacher who truly has a passion for music and enjoys teaching, and who is able to instill in their students that passion by making piano fun, even as a beginner.