JMU Music Academy is now offering online guided piano instruction packages this upcoming Spring!


 Spring 2021 Offerings - Level 1A (Beginner), Level 1B, Level 2B


Virtual Packages include:
- 10 instructional videos
- 2 individual sessions with the instructor
- Instructor Feedback
- E-Materials



 Registration: $250
Instructor: Natalie Doughty


Register here!


Questions? Email

Piano Packages Descriptions:
Level 1A Our starter level for beginners. Begins with off-staff letters and how to orient yourself/navigate the piano with basic 5 finger patterns. Mostly hands separate work, working towards basic note and rhythm reading, some chording of pop tunes, elementary music concepts.
Level 1B: For continuing beginners who don't need to review basic note placement and are comfortable with simple hands-together playing. Discuss how to hone hands-together playing and on-staff music reading. Improv includes more interesting chord progressions and keys.
Level 2A: Appropriate for those comfortable with basic note reading and hands-together playing. Emphasis begins to be placed on value of learning by pattern or figure over a single note. Develop intermediate music concepts through exploration of various repertoire and lead sheets from popular tunes.
Level 2B: Deeper intermediate musical concepts explored beyond note-playing, improvisation, expansion of lead sheets and repertoire. Focus also includes how to interpret and understand music by looking at shape, range, and relationships within the music. Discuss technique and physical and kinesthetic senses while playing.



"After I retired, I decided to give piano another try, having a not-very-fulfilling or productive experience in my youth. I signed up for JMU Music Academy. What impressed me was how interested Natalie, our instructor, was in trying to figure out what my special abilities and interests were. I found myself enjoying and looking forward to class every week. Every class consisted of sight reading, playing melody with chords, and improvisation. There was something for everyone! Natalie has the unique gift of being able to inspire and motivate; her feedback always constructive and yet gentle. A whole new world has opened up to me, thanks to her." - Anne H., Retired JMU Professor Emeritus


"I have been having so much fun playing! I am so thankful for the Music Academy virtual lessons. It has been very empowering. It's so nice to feel like I can play again! Thanks for all you've invested in teaching us!" - Cedar J., Virtual Participant, Fall 2020


"As a former piano student during childhood, JMU Music Academy offered a perfect fit to resume playing piano as an adult. After two semesters, including both in-person and virtual instruction, I was able to build immensely on my beginner foundation in sight reading, music theory, and technique. The instructor, Natalie Doughty, provided engaging lessons that were attainable yet challenging enough to keep me motivated to continue learning and playing. The group format also created a fun, welcoming environment to learn with and from peers. I highly recommend Music Academy as a solid foundation to jump right into the rewards of playing piano!" - April T., Virtual Participant, Fall 2020


"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.

Our Instructors

Tonya Menard

Natalie Doughty
Piano Instructor/Administrator

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