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Offering group recreational music classes on piano and guitar to JMU faculty and staff and adjults in the local community.  Our classes meet for an hour once a week for 12 weeks, beginning the week of January 14, 2019.

  • Learn the basics of the piano and how to read music
  • Play folk, light classics, and easy jazz.
  • Compose a song
  • Learn in a relaxed friendly environment
  • Limited space – 14 per class
Spring 2019 Music Academy Classes
Piano Day 2018

Registration: Click here to register for one of our classes.  Course fee is $250 and includes book and materials. For more information, contact Natalie Doughty at

Checks only payable to James Madison University, includes books and materials.  Please mail to: Natalie Doughty, JMU Music Academy, 880 S. Main St., MSC 7301, Harrisonburg, VA 22807


"I registered for the class really not knowing what to expect and I don’t want it to finish! One of my interests was learning to play using chords and after just 12 weeks, I can play several songs using a guitar chord book at the piano.  In addition to refreshing my sight-reading skills, I learned that improvising is fun and anyone can do it!  It really was a creative, non-pressured environment and I learned more than I ever thought I would." - Janice G.

"I thoroughly enjoyed taking group piano lessons.  My wonderful teacher was very patient and kind!! It was also fun to interact with other people that I had not met before.  We became friends and we had a lot of fun.  I found myself looking forward to classes each week!" - Towana M.

"My two semester participation in the piano classes of the JMU Music Academy were very rewarding. I rediscovered my long lost love of playing in an atmosphere that is professional and non-threatening.  I was amazed at the amount of information that was covered in a once-a-week class as well as the high quality of instruction." - Cynthia T.

"My experience with the adult piano course has met above and beyond my expectations! Learning the piano has always been on my bucket list and I’m so glad I finally took this step. I’ve learned so much in just a few short weeks. I went from not knowing how to read a single note to being able to actually read sheet music along with learning 3 different hand positions, chords, and musical terminology. I can’t believe I’m playing songs written from Chopin, Bach and Mozart! I enjoy my peaceful time practicing at home. I’ve always admired those musicians that can de-stress and get lost in their music. I can finally have that 'me' time!" - Patti C.

"I found the Music Academy group lessons to be fun, informative, and collaborative—we learn from and support each other!  As a result, I have regained my motivation to learn and play the piano, and I would unhesitatingly recommend the program to anyone, young or old, who aspires to develop their own musical interests!" - Steve P.

Piano Instructors

Tonya Menard

Natalie Doughty

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