Columbia Arts Academy
Lexington School of Music
Monthly • February 2016


Thank you, Columbia and Lexington, for voting us Best Place for Music Lessons in the Free Times, Lexington Life Magazine & Lake Murray Life Magazine!


Our students and their parents are what makes us great!

Should your child major in music?

Should your child major in music?

Part 2 by Marty Fort (Director of the Columbia Arts Academy)

There are two reasons that I feel a student should major in music in college. The first is if they want a career as a teacher. If you are going to teach in a college you must have a degree in music performance or music education. If you want to teach in a high school, middle or elementary school, you must have a degree in music education and pass the state Praxis exam and become certified to teach music. If this is the route you want to take, you must be proficient in either classical or jazz as there is no “rock or pop” program at USC or any college in South Carolina for that matter. As an alternative, some parents mention the Berklee College of Music in Boston, but I feel that the school with 2,000 guitar students (versus 20 at USC) and the very expensive tuition, is not necessarily the best way to go for a lot of students. The second reason to get a degree in music is if you want to be a librarian. My wife is a media specialist librarian and there is a job market for students with music undergraduate degrees who go on to get a masters in library science.

However, many students when posed with these two options, say they don’t want to do either. They just want to play or get better at playing music. My suggestion for these students is to major in something practical such as math, english, history, etc and to minor in music. As a music minor you will still have a lot of music classes, it will be easier to gain admittance to the school of music and if you still have a burning desire to become a major, you can do so later in your studies. You will still need to get with your academy teacher and pursue classical or jazz audition requirements that are tough. They are available at the college web sites that you will want to audition for. You will also need to be a good sight reader and know some basic theory. If you can take a course in your high school on theory, that will assist you. Watch for the third and final installment of this article in the March newsletter when I talk about what music majors actually study in college and how it could affect your decision to become one.

Featured On Lexington!

Our Lexington location was featured on!

"A Moms Logistical Dream-An Unconventional Review"

Really cool article!


Congratulations to Christopher Gadsden Wells Scholarship Winner, Grace!

We extend our heartfelt thanks for the entire Wells family for their support
of music education for children in the Midlands!

Important Dates

Dogs Rock Concert & Benefit
Saturday, March 26th
at Pets Inc Outdoor Stage

Spring Break (Both CAA & LSM):
Sunday, March 27th - Saturday, April 2nd

Summer Recital
Saturday, June 18th
at Lexington Presbyterian Church
Friday, June 24th, Saturday, June 25th, Sunday, June 26th
at Columbia College
*Recital schedules wil be mailed in the spring*

Picture Days are Back!

We have teamed up with Rob & Jon Photography Studio for our current students to have exclusive days at their Irmo Studio to get their photos taken.
Saturday, April 2nd & Sunday, April 3rd
Saturday, April 9th & Sunday, April 10th
at Rob & Jon Studio

*Contact 803-787-0931 or 803-996-0623 for more information*

Pet of the Month

This wiggly four legged fellow lives with William and Beckett of the Columbia Arts Academy!

William studies guitar with Zach Toman and Beckett studies piano with Johnnie Felder.


For being our pet of the month, Dakota received a $25 retail certificate for his family to use at the Academy!

Are you interested in being the family of the month? We'd love to hear your Academy story. Please email us at

Meet our 1200th student, Lacy!

Thank you Columbia and Lexington for making us the largest private music school in South Carolina!

Piano Recital

You are invited to a recital of works for two pianos and one piano, four-hands on Monday, February 22nd at 7:30 PM at the University of South Carolina School of Music Recital Hall!

The free program features Mozart's D Major Sonata for piano, four-hands, William Bolcom’s “The Serpent’s Kiss”, and Brahms F Minor Sonata for Two Pianos, one of the most important (and difficult!) works in the repertoire.

Congratulations to Kenya, our Referral Contest Winner!

Every time you refer a friend to the Academy and they register, both you and your friend have a chance to earn great prizes! Last week we raffled off two tickets to the Carolina Panthers Playoffs in Charlotte. Congratulations, Kenya!


Everyone Wins!

Refer a friend to the Columbia Arts Academy and you & your friend will each receive your choice of:

Amazon Gift Card


Target Gift Card


Movie Passes

*Not eligible for immediate family members. Family members can receive up to 40% discount in retail. See office for details.

Visit our friends at the Little Gym

Season classes at The Little Gym are filling quickly, and we would love for you to join us! Give us a call today to reserve your child’s space to have some “Serious Fun!” The Little Gyms of Columbia and Lexington are always enrolling for children ages 4 months to 12 years. Mention Columbia Arts Academy or Lexington School of Music to receive your first annual family membership for free ($35 value)! Call today at 803-738-1115 to find the perfect program for your child!

Celebrating Student Achievement • The Musical Ladder System®

The Columbia Arts Academy and Lexington School of Music are the only music schools in the Midlands that gives their students the opportunity to earn special color wristband bracelets (kids and teens love them!), trophies AND certificates for passing musical tests with the Musical Ladder System®. It was actually created by academy Director Marty Fort, has a patent pending and is being used by schools nationwide. Do other schools offer trophies and certificates? A few. But none of them inspire their students with smiling faces by giving them full color, really cool “Musical Ladder System®” 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!

If you are interested in licensing the Musical Ladder System® for your music school, please send an email ATTN Marty Fort.


Pictured Above: Congratulations to Guitar Student Celeste for earning her Rock Star Award!
She studies with instructor Lucas Johnson.

Pictured Above: Drum Lesson Student Tyler with instructor Jason Summers as he earns his Song Bird Award! Congratulations!



Pictured above: Voice Lesson Student Lilly earns her Superior Award! She studies with instructor Megan Miller.

Be on the lookout in next’s month news and on our Facebook page for more great pics of our award winning students!

Feature Interview On SCETV Radio

Columbia Arts Academy's Musical Ladder System® has been bringing smiles to music students and their parents this year and the program has gone NATIONWIDE!

Check out more in this interview on SC ETV Radio

To learn more about how the system can help your child to get better grades, improved confidence, and self esteem and more, please email us at or

Please Welcome the OVER 100 NEW Students Who Enrolled In January!

Joseph S.
May R.
Chloe P.
Vedh L.
Jack W.
Charles W.
Amber M.
Everett A.
Ian C.
Frank N.
Ebtisam A.
Ryan L.
Sean A.
Aiden S.
Alex F.
Nakai B.
Caitlin B.
Phillip G.
Robert P.
Andrew S.
Amber W.
Alexander M.
Chloe K.
Sarah K.
David R.
Reyna P.
Robert B.
Mary Elizabeth B.
Hugh W.
Jessie D.
Norma M.
Malachi A.
Iyanna J.
Olivia R.
Zipporah D.
Denovan J.
Melvin B.
Preston R.
Richard G.
Kate O.
John Charles W.
Davis C.
Madison B.
David D.
Tianna J-T.
Eliza S.
Kylee F.
Mika A.
Emily G.
Burns H.
Margaret B.
Jazzie Y.
Carmen G.
Kathleen M.
Keba K.
Andrew L.
Anna S.
Abigail S.
Sofia C.
Kierston C.
Amelie G.
Nyla R.
Violet C.
Mason H.
Ziada F.
Emily S.
David S.
Saja C.
Serena C.
Tori H.
Nasir T.
Tamaya E.
Ziona T.
Trina J.
Catherine C.
Sierra B.
Avery N.
James S.
Kate B.
Wade D.
Erin C.
Annika B.
Jean C.
Sofia E.
Mabry P.
Michael C.
Sonia M.
Ken W.
Ernest G.
Silas E.
Sophie E.
MaKenzie A.
Emily H.
Corgan S.
Lance W.
Monda B.
Madison G.
Quentin M.
Rachel B.
Austin V.
Evan M.
Silas O.
Nikki D.
Addison P.
Hannah B.
Emma T.
Ethan B.
Hardy D.
Costena K.
Kenya D.
Ava U.
Maggie S.
Olivia S.
Belladonna S.
Catherine A.
Gwyn F.
Allie T.
Sawyer C.
AMber A.
Ava K.
Yosi M.
Tim I.
Mackenzie R.
Collin D.
Nicole D.
Ziyan W.
Riley T.
Riley S.
Madeline T.
Evelyn S.
Layla S.
Emily C.
Landon H.
Vasant P.
Talon V.
Noah H.
Mya G.
Morgan Faye H.
Matthew D.
Brianne G.
Mona B.
Tiffany S.
Abby Kate M.
James B.
Abigail B.
Madison C.
Eric F.
Jamily M.
Lacy S.

Is Your Teacher Sold Out?


Pictured above: Guitar Lesson Student Mark with instructor Alec Edelson.

Many teachers have sold out. If you need a schedule change or would like to be added to a waiting list for a particular teacher, day or time, please contact any of our office staff team and they can add you to the waiting list. If you are not a student yet there are still limited lessons spots available. To inquire about openings for February or March send an e-mail to or Or you can call the Columbia office 803-787-0931, Lexington office at 803-996-0623.

Brandon Christensen • Mondays 3-8pm: SOLD OUT.
Evan Simmons • Tuesdays 3-8pm: ONE SPOT LEFT.
Jason Summers • Mondays and Wednesdays: SOLD OUT.
Will Ashley • Mondays: Mondays: ONE SPOT LEFT Thursdays: ONE SPOT LEFT. Sundays: ONE SPOT LEFT.

Christian Sewesky • Wednesdays & Saturdays: TWO SPOTS LEFT.
Garrett Glover • Mondays : ONE SPOT LEFT. Fridays: SOLD OUT.
Lewis Taylor. • Mondays & Wednesday: SOLD OUT.
Thursdays: ONE SPOT LEFT.
Lucas Johnson • Thursdays: ONE SPOT LEFT.
Max Hardy • Tuesdays: SOLD OUT. Fridays: ONE SPOT LEFT.
Mike Schaming • Mondays: SOLD OUT.
Zach Bingham • Mondays: SOLD OUT. Tuesdays: TWO SPOTS LEFT.

Becky Morris • Wednesdays 3-8PM: SOLD OUT. Thursdays: ONE SPOT LEFT.
Chelse Lawson • Sundays: ONE SPOT LEFT. Fridays: SOLD OUT.
Jennifer Pollins • Mondays & Thursdays 4-8pm: SOLD OUT. Tuesdays: ONE SPOT LEFT.
Laura Smith • Tuesdays: ONE SPOT LEFT.
Megan Miller • ALL TIMES SOLD OUT.
Neil Ostenfeld • ALL TIMES SOLD OUT.
Stephanie Bova • Sundays: SOLD OUT. Thursdays: TWO SPOTS LEFT.

Contact the office for details.

Please contact the office for details regarding available lesson times:

3630 Rosewood Drive, Columbia, SC 29205

226 Barr Road, Lexington, SC 29072

Now Offering Sunday Lessons

We are now the only music school in the Midlands that is open 7 days a week!

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

Call us or email for a list of available times.

Did You See Us In The Free Times?


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:

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

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

Lexington School of Music
226 Barr Road
Lexington, SC 29072