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Lexington School of Music Columbia Arts Academy Facebook
3630 Rosewood Drive
Columbia, SC 29205

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711 East Main St. Suite A2
Lexington, SC 29072
Columbia Arts Academy Twitter


Our students were featured on the front page of
The Columbia Star!
Check out this article on our Pets Inc benefit concert:

The Musical Ladder System!
ONLY at the Columbia Arts Academy
and Lexington School of Music!

Tyler G Wins A Musical Ladder Award
Molly E Wins A Musical Ladder Award
Piano student Tyler G. for completing his Musical Ladder “Rock Star” test! Here he is sporting his new wristbands and certificate. Great job Tyler! Piano student Molly E. completed her Musical Ladder “Vivace” test! Here she is sporting her new wristbands and certificate.
Great job Molly!

As Director I’m always trying to think of ways that we can improve the experience that we give to our students.

Gene Simmons from KISS always said “Without the fans, we are nothing.”

And I have always said “Without our students, we are nothing.”

So for the past 12 months, I’ve been working hard on developing the “Musical Ladder System”. I am confident in saying that we are the only music school in Columbia and Lexington that gives their students the opportunity to earn special color wristband bracelets (kids and teens love them!), trophies AND certificates for passing musical tests. Do other schools offer trophies and certificates? A few. But none of them inspire their students with smiling faces (see pics above) by giving them full color, really cool “Musical Ladder” wristbands that they can show off to their friends.

More importantly when our students have a test coming up, they practice more, their parents are proud, their teachers are proud, and everybody wins. You can only get the Musical Ladder here.

We just started this new system so please talk to your teacher asap about how YOUR child (or yourself if you’re one of our adult students (and we have many) about how you can get tested and receive the great awards coming to you!

Marty Fort

Musical Ladder Poster


Co-Teachers of the Year!
Ashlee Poole & Evan Simmons (part 2)

Ashlee Poole Teacher of the Year
Evan Simmons Teacher of the Year

We’re happy to announce the 2013-2014
Co-Teachers of the Year:
Voice Instructor Ashlee Poole
and Drum Instructor Evan Simmons.

The reason we have “co-teachers” is that the votes were so close it was a tie!

At the Columbia Arts Academy & Lexington School of Music we think all of our teachers are great. But each year, some teachers really go over the top and it’s evident in their work that they’re giving it their all.

So enjoy part two of this interview with Evan and Ashlee:

Q. Your students always put on great recital performances. What do you do to get your students ready to succeed on stage?

Ashlee: The first step to having great recital performances is choosing the right piece of music. The student should enjoy their piece, it should fit their vocal abilities, and it should contain something that the student can learn and never forget. The second step to having great performances is the preparation of the piece. This requires both myself, as the teacher, and my students to work together. I will provide students with all of the information they need to successfully perform this piece during lessons, it’s what the students do with this information that will determine its outcome for performance. Perfect Practice Makes Perfect!

Evan: The main goal for me is to try to prevent any surprises onstage. I make sure the students understand that playing onstage is an entirely different (and more exciting!) experience than playing in the classroom. In the weeks leading up to the recital, we’ll rehearse everything about the recital, from the moment they walk out onstage until they’ve sat down afterwards. If the logistics and preparation are there, we can just relax and have fun while we’re playing at the recital.

Q. In addition to being a great teacher, you’re also in a great local band. What is the name of your band and what kind of music do you play?

Ashlee: I am currently involved with a lot of choral music as a graduate student of choral studies at USC. I am a member of the Graduate Vocal Ensemble and a Graduate Assistant for the University Chorus.

Evan: I’m in a few local bands, including Magnetic Flowers, People Person & Happiness Bomb. The styles are all in the rock n roll family, but range from indie-folk to punk to sludge metal to whatever goofy idea a band member has in rehearsal. The main thing for me is to try stay diverse enjoy the collaborations.

Q. If you could give one piece of advice to any teacher who wants to be the 2014-2015 teacher of the year, what would it be?

Ashlee: My one piece of advice to any teacher who wants to be teacher of the year in 2014-2015 would be to provide your students with what they need and what they want.

Evan: Be aware of what’s going on! Be aware of new advancements in technology and music that your students will know about, even if you don’t. Also, be aware of how your students and their families are responding to lessons! If something isn’t going as well as it could, it’s your job to make it work. Also (maybe most importantly) be aware that you’re a very lucky person! You’re getting paid to share the joy and excitement of music with people! If you lose sight of your love for the experience, it’s awfully hard to do it the way it should be done.

Recital Time!

Columbia College Recital Hall • Columbia Arts Academy Recital December 7th 2013

Pictured above:
All set up and ready to go!
The Lexington School of Music stage set up at Columbia College for the December 7th recital!

Congratulations to all of our Lexington School of Music students who put on a great show at the
December 7th recital!

Columbia College Recital Hall Columbia Arts Recital Saturday December 7th, 2013

The crowd gets ready for the recital to start and the doors to open.

Great job students!

New Referral Program!

Columbia Arts Academy New Referral Program
iPad 4

We’re kicking off a NEW referral program:

If you refer someone to the Academy and they register for lessons:

-You will receive your choice of either a $25.00 retail certificate or a free lesson on any instrument.

-Your friend will receive the same.

-You will both be entered in a quarterly drawing to win free tickets to see Bruno Mars live at the Colonial Life Arena.
(The next drawing is 6/1/14)

We’ll post the latest results in the newsletters so tune in to see if YOU win! Check out the following page for the latest list of who’s in the drawing.

Please spread the word!

*Immediate family members and members of the same household are not eligible for the referral program, but are eligible for free registration fees and up to 40% off retail. Please contact the office for details.*

Referral Drawing Contestants!

Referral Drawing Contestants!

These friends of the Academy and Lexington School of Music have been entered in the next drawing to win free tickets to see Bruno Mars live at the Colonial Life Arena!

The drawing will be held June 1st, 2014

Nick L.
Amanda P.
Howard G.
Terri G.
Camryn J.
Madison N.
Julie M.
Nancy O.
Kellie S.
Jessica M.
Becky P.

There’s STILL time to get YOUR name entered into
the iPad drawing. Just refer your friends and we’ll take care of the rest!


We REALLY value your feedback about our teachers and schools. A lot of you sent in some great feedback about why you think your teacher is great. We wanted to share a few in the newsletters:

"We LOVE Max (guitar instructor at Columbia Arts Academy). He is impressive, knowledgable, professional and truly caring of his students. He has given my son a love of the guitar and a new gusto for life. He looks forward to Fridays more than anything in his week or weekend now. Max is patient and kind. He makes learning fun and easy. He is communicative with the parents and students. He is very positive and upbeat. Truly a perfect example of a teacher, instructor and a person. Please make sure he knows that we appreciate him and we hope that he wins the recognition that he truly deserves."

"Thank you SO much"

Christina Hendriks & Seth Brown

Did you read your newsletter this month?

Each month we pull the name of one of our students to win a $25 retail gift certificate.

This month’s winner is NIKKI SANSBURY!

Congrats Nikki & please contact the office to pick up your prize.

Important News From The Director You Need To Know

Please welcome the new students
who enrolled at our schools in February and March!

Ainsley C.
Alexandria B.
Alexis G.
Alisha M.
Alsion H.
Alyssa I.
Anna B.
April B.
Austin D.
Austin M.
Averie B.
Ben O.
Bill T.
Briana Y.
Carmen S.
Carter E.
Carter H.
Charlie A.
Claudia H.
Connor I.
Cora F.
Debra B.
Deiveek K.
DeSean S.
Dreama J.
Elaine S.
Eliza O.
Elizabeth S.
Emma H.
Sydney G.
Talinnian B.
Tammy M.
Teri M.
Tiffany D.

Emma S.
Eric B.
Evan S.
Evie P.
Gabe J.
Gary E.
Genna P.
Gerald J.
Grace H.
Graham D.
Guillermo C.
Hadyn J.
Hanna-Grace C.
Harley S.
Heiyaani K.
Henry W.
Isabella M.
Jacob M.
James N.
Jayne D.
Jesse R.
Jessica S.
Jonathon T.
Kaisley L.
Khaleb M.
Kimberly B.
Kristien A.
Kristina M.
Kylee F.
Samuel A.
Sarah W.
Sarai K.
Sayori B.
Sophia E.
Steve F.

Lamar W.
Laney P.
Latrese B.
Lizzi M.
London O.
Luke C.
Maddison Y.
Madison C.
Mady R.
Maggie J.
Maria T.
Mary A.
Matthew C.
Maya D.
Maya L.
Natasha W.
Nicholas J.
Olivia B.
Olivia D.
Olivia H.
Olivia M Omarion F.
Pat T.
Rachel B.
Ripley C.
Robert B.Tim D.
Tonya H.
Tyesha D.
Tyler O.
Tyler V.
Will M.
William J.
William R.
Roger R.
Ronald S.
Sameer K.

Sign up for Picture Days in May!
Saturday and Sunday, May 3rd and 4th, 2014 at our Columbia location.
Saturday, May 10th at our Lexington location.

Columbia Arts Academy Piano Student
Columbia Arts Academy Guitar Student
Columbia Arts Academy Piano Student
Columbia Arts Academy Drum Student
Columbia Arts Academy Voice Student Columbia Arts Academy Guitar Student

Visit the Picture Day Gallery for our Columbia or Lexington school to view the latest pics!
Want to get your child’s picture taken for free by a professional photographer?

The next Picture days are in November and is open to all current Columbia Arts Academy/Lexington School of Music students and their parents! *Must be a CURRENT student to participate.

Call the office today to schedule your time! Columbia: 803-787-0931 • Lexington 803-929-7867
Or e-mail


CBS WLTX Channel 19 and WACH Fox 57 came by to film our rock band class students for the local news and you can watch a clip online here or click on the video below if you have Flash installed.


Be sure to check out the debut issue of the
Free Times Parent magazine.

There’s a great feature on the Academy, that includes interviews with our teachers and students.

You can check it out online at:

Important Dates!

Saturday, March 30th, 3 p.m.
Rock Band Showcase
Jillian's, Columbia SC

Spring Break

Monday, April 14th-Open only for students that missed their
lesson on February 11th due to the snow day.

Tuesday, April 15th-Open only for students that missed their
lesson on January 28th due to the snow day.

Wednesday, April 16-Open only for students that missed their
lesson on January 29th due to the snow day.

Thursday, April 17-Open only for students that missed their
lesson on February 12th due to the snow day.

Friday, April 18-Closed

Saturday, April 19th--Open only for students that missed their
lesson on February 13th due to the snow day.

Sunday, April 20th-Open

Sign up for Picture Days in May!
Saturday and Sunday, May 3-4th at our Columbia location.
Contact the office to sign up 803-787-0931
*Must be a current student to participate.

Sign up for Picture Day in May!
Saturday, May 10th at our Lexington location.

Contact the office to sign up 803-996-0623
*Must be a current student to participate.

Columbia Arts Academy
Spring Music Recitals
USC School of Music Recital Hall

Saturday May 17, 9 a.m.-9 p.m.
Sunday, May 18, 9 a.m.-9 p.m.

Lexington School of Music
Spring Music Recital

Columbia College
Sunday, May 11th, 9 a.m.-9 p.m.


The Academy is now open 7 days a week!

Take voice, guitar, piano, bass or drums on Sundays 1:00-6:00 p.m.

Call the office today to schedule your time! Columbia: 803-787-0931 • Lexington 803-929-7867
Or e-mail

to ask about available times.

CAA Director Marty Fort was selected by the State Newspaper
for the 20 under 40 award!
(See page 9 of the PDF below)

20 Under 40 for 2011

It's easy to take the next step:

Lessons are first come, first serve
so contact us today to arrange your first lesson!

Columbia: 803-787-0931 • Lexington 803-929-7867
Or e-mail

711 East Main Street, Suite A2, Lexington, SC 29072
In the Lexington Old Mill

3630 Rosewood Dr, Columbia, SC 29205
(Between Midlands Tech Beltline & Rosewood Elementary)

Offering quality guitar, voice, bass, drum and piano lessons in Columbia,
Northeast Columbia, Lexington and Irmo South Carolina.