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3630 Rosewood Drive
Columbia, SC 29205

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Lexington, SC 29072
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Should Your Child Major In Music?

Part 1 by Marty Fort (Director of the Columbia Arts Academy)

Parents often ask me if their child should become a music major in college. In 2008 I finished my Masters in Guitar Performance at USC and in 1997 I completed my Bachelor of Music in Guitar Performance from the University of North Carolina School of the Arts. I’ve definitely put in my time in the Academic side of music and have formulated some strong opinions regarding what is gained and what is not gained from this experience. When a parent asks me this, it usually means that their child is 17 or 18, college is looming and a major needs to be considered.

The child not really knowing what they want out of college, does know that they love to play music. In their minds, being a music major would be fun as they could play a lot more music and it would be an easy way to get through college versus studying math or science for example. Unfortunately this is an unrealistic expectation. Music studies at the college level are intense.

Johnny may love to rock out on his Les Paul and learn Metallica riffs at the Academy but no college in South Carolina, allows you to take rock guitar lessons in a music school. I was one of the first if not only professors to teach rock guitar at the University of South Carolina Upstate, where I taught guitar courses from 2005-2007. If you are going to major in music, you must be able to pass classical or jazz audition requirements and now is the time to start working on such a goal. 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 at the college level, 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 styles. 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 a 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 second and final installment of this article in the March news- letter when I talk about what music majors actually study in college and how it could affect your decision to become one.

Piano student, Nikolai, with his instructor, Lisa Churchya as he earns his Apprentice Award.

Refer Your Friends and Win Great Prizes!

Thanks to everyone who referred their friends to the Academy this Fall!

Congratulations to Bridget W. for winning two free tickets to see Varekai at the Colonial LIfe Arena!

You can view the video of the drawing here:


Refer your friends to the Academy and if they sign up, we'll enter you AND your friends into our next raffle
so you both can win great prizes including tickets to see Journey and the Steve Miller Band at the Colonial Center. We'll also give you a $25.00 retail certificate to say thanks AND we'll give your friend one as well!

Thank you so much for your referrals.

Congratulations, Cameron!

Congratulations, Cameron M. for making the lead role in Dutch Fork's Production of "You're a Good Man, Charlie Brown!"

He studies with instructor Jay Hawes.

Student of the Month

Clayton T.

1. What instrument do you play?

I play the piano; I am interested in taking singing lessons; and how to play the drums and the guitar.

2. How long have you taken lessons?

I have been taking lessons for two years with the Lexington School of Music.

3. What’s your favorite song?

Pharrell Williams “Happy.”

4. What do you listen to at home?

I like to listen to Gospel and Christmas songs.

5. What are your other hobbies, besides music?

My hobbies are traveling, Martial arts, reading, Cub Scouts, toy cars, video games, tv, and going to the movies.

6. Favorite Food?

My favorite food is chicken, fries, and Sprite.

7. What is the coolest thing you’ve learned in your lessons in the past three months?

How to play Swan Lake in one piano lesson (LSM: That is pretty cool!)

Please welcome the NEW students who enrolled at our schools in January!

Nia H.
Imani H.
Claude P.
Ethan S.
Heyes E.
Felipe R.
Alison B.
Caroline D.
Bryant H.
Auden S.
Enzo H.
Jen W.
Zoe P.
Sofia O.
David C.
Savannah M.
Bryan S.
Jamel H.Anthony B. Celeste C. Loretta D-C.

Thomas G.
Emma W. Gracie F. Rion W. Aiden W. Amy C. Keturah C. John D.
Mims H. Samantha M. Cheyenne L.
Ava-Mia M.
Joshua M. Gage H. Bryce S. Wendy F. Pam G. Chloe S. Emma S. Darnell R. Mac T.

Parker T. Royce R. Jamin E. Giann R. Elizabeth H.
Wayne O.
Nancy S. Mariah B.
Doga O. Tiyanna R. Alex M.
Angel F. Raekwon S. Wayne O. Lennon H. Kaitlyn C. Olivia R.
Lily W. Harrison F. Michaela N.


William F. KateY.
Jake B.
Jordan H. Lawson M. Conor G. Dianne T. Julian G. Charles T. Rajath S. Jennifer W. Rainer C. Gabrielle C. Morly G. Kenya C. Sophia H. Cora M. Emily Z. Morgan P. Sophie U. Blake G.
Benjamin D.

Khara C. Samuel H. Katie D. Charlie W. Mike M. Gwendolyn B. Surya S. Slade G. Ethan H. Emily A. Boyce C.
Alex G.
Elliott G. Connor P. Alessandra B. Matthew M. Barbara A. Linda N.
Patrick N.
Christian G.
Meridian M.
McKenzie A.

Is YOUR Teacher Sold Out?
Teachers With Waiting Lists.

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.


Evan Simmons • Sundays & Wednesdays: ONE SPOT LEFT.

Jason Summers • Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays: SOLD OUT.

Will Ashley
• Mondays & Fridays: SOLD OUT. Thursdays & Sundays: TWO SPOTS LEFT.


Lewis Taylor. • Mondays: TWO SPOTS LEFT. Wednesdays: SOLD OUT.

Brett Floyd • Mondays: TWO SPOTS LEFT. Wednesdays: SOLD OUT.

Garrett Glover • Mondays & Thursdays: TWO SPOTS LEFT.

Johannes Linnan • Fridays: SOLD OUT.

Lucas Johnson
• Wednesdays: TWO SPOTS LEFT.

Max Hardy
• Mondays & Fridays: TWO SPOTS LEFT. Tuesdays SOLD OUT.

Mike Schaming
• Mondays: SOLD OUT.

Wes Pellerin
• Mondays: ONE SPOT LEFT. Thursdays & Saturdays: SOLD OUT.


Chelse Lawson • Saturdays: ONE SPOT LEFT.

Lisa Churchya • Tuesdays: SOLD OUT. Fridays: TWO SPOTS LEFT.

Neil Ostenfeld • Sundays: ONE SPOT LEFT. Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays: SOLD OUT.

Nikea Randolph
• Mondays: SOLD OUT.

Peter Rich • Mondays: ONE SPOT LEFT.

Stephanie Bova • Tuesdays: ONE SPOT LEFT.

Michael Thomas • Mondays and Tuesdays: SOLD OUT. Sundays: ONE SPOT LEFT.

Megan Miller • Tuesdays: SOLD OUT. Wednesdays: ONE SPOT



Columbia Arts Academy Guitar Student Jane S Receive Her Apprentice Award for Passing Her Musical Ladder Test!

Piano student, Samantha F, as she earns her Song Bird award. She studies with instructor, Peter Rich.

Voice student, Karmen R, as she earns her Apprentice Award. She studies with Johnnie F.

Students at the Columbia Arts Academy & Lexington School of Music who pass their ‘Musical Ladder Tests’ get wristbands, certificates and trophies. Hundreds of students of all ages passed their tests and you can see the well deserved smiles on their faces. We are so proud of them!

Keep tuned to our Facebook page for daily updates on the latest winners. You might see someone YOU know! If you’re not a student yet, and your child is not getting to participate, please reach out to us at or or call our Columbia location
803-787-0931 and or Lexington location 803-996-0623

Marty Fort


Musical Ladder Poster

Sign up for Picture Days in May!

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 December & May, and are 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 803-996-0623
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: DOGS ROCK! Benefit Concert and Student Showcase

Sunday, February 22nd at Jillian’s in the Vista

Columbia Arts Academy Spring Break

Tuesday, March 31st through Saturday , April 4th

Lexington School of Music Spring Break

Tuesday, April 7th through Saturday, April 11th

May Recital Dates

TBA at Columbia College


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 803-996-0623
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.