Frequently Asked Questions about Music Academy

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

Our in-person classes are multi-tiered unless otherwise specified, meaning that all content and activities are layered to fit multiple levels of participants. Our online piano programs are designed by level (from beginner 1A to late intermediate 3B).

The Music Academy piano classes are typically themed depending on the season and the interest. In the past, we have done "Holiday Favorites" and "Film Scores." If you have any suggestions, please send them our way!

Regardless of theme, we cover basic chording and theory, some musical notation and kinesthetic concepts, improvisation, and various repertoire.

Our classes are very friendly and laid back. Group participation is highly encouraged as well as discussion about how to learn.

During the formal academic semester, our classes run 10 weeks. During the summer, we offer special 5 week courses, unless otherwise specified.

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. 

Our Instructors

Natalie Doughty

Natalie Doughty
Piano Instructor/Administrator


 Jonah Barnett
Guitar Instructor


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