Full/first half registration is now closed. Second half registration (5 week class) is open, deadline is March 18th!

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Designed for beginners and developing learners, Music Academy classes are tailored for adults to make music in a fun, no-pressure environment!

We currently offer group classes on guitar, piano, and voice!

These recreational music classes meet on JMU campus and are open to JMU faculty, staff, students, and adults of the local community. 

Classes are offered in full sessions or half sessions depending on theme or instrument. For more details, read below.

Register for a Spring 2024 Music Academy Class

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Beginner Vocal Class

Voice class students sitting in classroom and smiling at cameraMeeting times: 

  • Beginner Class: Mondays, 6:00-6:50pm in Music Building Room 142
  • Intermediate Class: Mondays, 7:00-7:50pm in Music Building Room 142

Session Options:

  • Full Session ($253.00): January 29-April 15* (no class March 11)
  • 1st Session ($128.00): January 29-February 26
  • 2nd Session ($128.00): March 4-April 8 (no class March 11) - only open to those who registered the first session

*April 15 class date is makeup for inclement weather date if needed.

Register HERE

Instructor: Denise Schulz

Beginner class details: Everyone can sing! Would you like to improve your singing voice in a fun and safe environment? This Beginning Level Group Singing Class will concentrate on some of the basic lessons of singing (respiration, phonation, articulation, and resonance) and how these make up the whole of each person's individual sound. Using easy vocal exercises, commonly known songs, and some suitable songs suggested by the participants, we will feature learning in a positive environment while highlighting good vocal practices and better breathing.

Intermediate class details: Would you like to improve your singing ability and have fun? This Intermediate Group Singing Class will emphasize not only the basics of singing (respiration, phonation, articulation, and resonance) but also some next-level techniques, such as singing dynamics, increasing your vocal range, vocal register balance, and vibrato. Along with vocal exercises and familiar folk songs, participants will suggest songs for the class to sing together. 

Recent Testimonials:

"The class was an enjoyable experience. I learned techniques that really helped me to sing better. Denise is a patient and knowledgeable instructor!" - Cheryl B.

"I liked everything about the vocal class. We learned techniques to improve the quality of our singing voices. Loved the songs selected, loved having the handouts, loved singing in unison and in rounds in class. Denise, the teacher, was knowledgeable, personable, and approachable. I was surprised to learn that I am a second soprano... never knew! Great investment in my time and money! Thank you for the fun class!" - Molly M., Fall 2022 vocal participant

"This class was an excellent intro to the voice as an instrument and it was fun singing with a group! Looking forward to more!" - Terri M., Fall 2022 vocal participant

Piano Class

Piano students at keyboardsMeeting times: 

  • Beginner Class: Fridays, 12:00-12:50pm in Music Building Room B77
  • Intermediate Class: Fridays, 1:00-1:50pm in Music Building Room B77

Session Options:

  • Full Session ($253.00): February 2-April 19 (no class March 8 or 15)
  • 1st Session ($128.00): February 2-March 1
  • 2nd Session ($128.00): March 22-April 19 - only open to those who registered for the first session

Register HERE

Instructor: Natalie Doughty

Recent Testimonial:

"I loved going to piano class each week to explore different ways to interact with piano and the music itself. Natalie is a great leader and was attuned to each students' needs! I am grateful to be able to play piano in different ways—especially through improv!" - Alyssa D., Summer 2023

"I signed up for the JMU Music Academy because I don't often get to express my artistic side working as an analyst. I had fun getting to know my classmates and exploring piano in a relaxed and friendly environment. I enjoyed the freedom within structure our instructor provided us, and her inclusion of learners of all levels. One takeaway of mine is to not be afraid to try new things musically for fear of it not being "right." The important thing is to have fun." - Nate B., Summer 2023

"The class was a great refresher on piano skills and a new experience to play in a group setting. Natalie's enthusiasm was contagious and she was very good at adapting the music to all levels." - Dorothy D.


Guitarist practicingMeeting times: 

  • Beginner Class: Fridays, 10:30-11:30am in Music Building Room B71
  • Intermediate Class: Fridays, 11:30am-12:30pm in Music Building Room B71

Session Options:

  • Full Session ($253.00): February 2-April 22 (no class March 15)
  • 1st Session ($128.00): February 2-March 1
  • 2nd Session ($128.00): March 8-April 12 (no class March 15)

Register HERE

Instructor: Ben Scott

Class details: Guitar classes will go over important skills on the guitar including correct strumming, picking, chord shapes, and wil incorporate multiple songs from different genres. People of all skill levels are welcome! Participants are welcome to bring their own guitar or we have guitars on site for those who don't have their own. Guitars can also be rented from The Tuning Fork or Tiller Strings in Harrisonburg, VA. 

Recent Testimonial:

"The Music Academy guitar class met my expectations in being very beginner friendly. We learned the basics of guitar and different chords and received several different songs to practice. I had a really great time and loved the group atmosphere! The instructor, Ben, was great at communicating different things from guitar basics to music theory and encouraged us to ask questions. He was very knowledgeable, personable, and approachable! He made sure we were not discouraged if something was particularly challenging and taught us a lot about different aspects of playing guitar. Learning to play an instrument is challenging, but Ben was very encouraging and answered our questions well. I look forward to practicing and improving my skills and am very grateful that I got this experience within JMU's Music Academy! I would definitely recommend this class to other people who want to start learning how to play guitar." - Lilly M., Fall 2022 guitar participant

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Natalie Doughty

Natalie Doughty
Piano Instructor/

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