General Music Academy FAQs

These classes are open to any adults on the JMU campus and also community members of the greater Harrisonburg/Rockingham area. 

Our group classes are very friendly and laid back. Group discussion and participation is led by our friendly instructors. Every week, instructors will go over content and explain content relevant to pieces and the songs the class is working on.

During the formal academic semester, we offer full (10 week) registration or half registration (5 weeks). In the summer, special programs may be offered, length dependent on topic. 

Having an instrument at home is extremely helpful but not absolutely necessary. For our guitar classes, we have guitars that can be used for in-class use. Local guitar rentals can be found at The Tuning Fork and Tiller Strings (Harrisonburg, VA).

For pianos, check local music stores for the option of renting: Gary's Pianos or Whitesel Music (Harrisonburg, VA). There are also local practice options on campus - contact us for details!

Group playing is very different than solo playing and develops collaborative skills such as listening, communicating, and performing together. For this reason, we invite you to give our classes a try by attending the first class as a trial (our registration deadlines are typically after the first day of class for this reason.)

Alternatively, you can schedule a short trial meeting with our instructor to discuss further. 

Community members (non-JMU staff/affiliates/students) who register for our classes will be given special instructions for virtual parking permit access. Campus visitors will be able to park in designated parking lots for the length and time of the class registered for. 

We recommend our participants park in the Warsaw Parking Garage next to the Forbes Center. 

Classes meet on the JMU Campus, in the Music Building on the Quad. More details about specific class meeting place will be emailed to you by the instructor upon registration.

Music Academy generally offers group music classes during the fall and spring academic semesters. During the summer, a special session may be offered depending on instructor availability and class demand.

Guitar Class Music Academy FAQs

Yes, many students pick up a guitar for the first time in this class! It is a welcoming environment, and we all try to learn together at the same pace.

Yes! Multiple students have chosen to bring in electric guitars, with or without amplifiers. All the information learned in class translates to electric guitar.

Popular/traditional songs that go well with the curriculum and the concepts we are working on. We also try to incorporate song suggestions from the class as much as possible!

During class time, we have guitars that are available for use, and many students choose that option. However, these guitars are for in-room use only, so practice at home must be done on a personal or rented guitar. Local guitar rentals can be found at The Tuning Fork and Tiller Strings (Harrisonburg, VA).

If you are not able to do the full 10 week session, you can enroll in the first or second 5 week session. If you join halfway through, it will not be a problem as we will go over many of the same skills from the first session. If the time/day does not work, feel free to reach out to our instructor to discuss other options.

Voice Class Music Academy FAQs

The Beginner Group Voice Class is well-suited to those who have never really sung, who have been told not to sing (by some "well-intentioned" person), and to those who want a safe and fun beginning singing experience.

The first five weeks of the Beginning Voice Class centers on learning the Four Singing Basics: breathing, phonation, articulation, and resonance while singing fun and familiar songs. 

The second five weeks of the Beginner Voice Class focuses on examples and exercises to practice a synthesis of all the Four Singing Basics through fun and familiar songs.

Class participants get to suggest songs for the class to sing together!

The Intermediate Group Voice Class is well-suited to those with some singing experience, either as a soloist (karaoke!) or in a choir/group singing capacity, and those who want to increase their vocal understanding and range through singing fun and familiar songs.

The Intermediate Voice Class reinforces singing basics as well as working on some more advanced singing skills such as dynamics, increasing vocal range, register balance, and vibrato.

Class participants get to suggest songs for the class to sing together!

Music Academy

Natalie Doughty

Natalie Doughty
Piano Instructor/

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