Check out this interview with Academy Director Marty Fort and Assistant Director Marissa Posey on WIS Soda City Live talking about our summer lesson program and recent performances at Graceland, the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and our upcoming performance at Carnegie Hall July 2023!
The Columbia Arts Academy is South Carolina's largest music school, teaching over 1,500 students from ages 4 to adult. Whatever instrument you or your child wish to play, odds are we teach it: Piano, electric & acoustic Guitar, Drums, Bass, Mandolin, Banjo, Ukulele, Voice and Singing, & Violin all taught under one roof.
In order to keep our students, staff, and teachers safe, we have implemented the Family Safety Plan in our schools! This includes glass windows on lesson rooms to foster transparency between teachers and parents, full-time office staff so that students and teachers are never left unsupervised, requiring extensive background checks of all of our teachers and staff, security cameras in all rooms, and an open-door policy for parents, which means that they’re always invited to sit in on their child’s lessons. Learn more at FamilySafetyPlan.org.
The Columbia Arts Academy has won more awards than any other music school in the Midlands. Since 2003, it’s been the school of choice for more than 1,700 families. Students come from as far as Charleston to study at our three locations in Columbia, Lexington and Irmo.
We are the only school in Columbia, South Carolina that offers all of these popular instruments: All acoustic Pianos, Electric & Acoustic Guitar, Drum set, Voice, Singing, Bass, Mandolin, Banjo, Ukulele, & Violin in one location. We are also the only school in the Midlands that has installed $10,000 worth of LED monitors in each teaching room so that you can bring your iPhone, iPad, or any mobile device to give you the BEST music lesson experience in Columbia that no one else can offer.
We have 70 music teachers, all with either college training or professional performance experience. Our music teachers are dedicated to learning about your personal musical goals and helping you to achieve them. With at least three music teachers for every instrument, we are confident that we have the right teacher to meet your music lesson needs. In addition to their teaching credentials, our teachers have warm personalities, are extremely friendly and dedicated to teaching you the style of music that you want to learn in your music lesson.
We are the only music school in Columbia that offers music lessons seven days a week from early in the morning to late at night to accommodate your busy schedule.
9:00 a.m. - 9:00 p.m. Monday - Friday.
11:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m. on Saturdays.
1:00 p.m. - 6:00 p.m. on Sundays
Visit our testimonial page to see what our students are saying. Every year, aspiring music teachers start their own studio, and a year or two later it’s closed. The Academy has a proven track record of offering quality music, piano, guitar, voice, singing and drum lessons in Columbia, South Carolina year round. Our full time mission is teaching music lessons trusted by over 1,700 families for over fifteen years.
With over 3,000 square feet we have the most spacious and parent friendly waiting area in Columbia.
Instead of waiting in a music retail store showroom, our clients enjoy a spacious, professional parent's lounge with comfortable chairs, kids toys, Wi-Fi, magazines and bottled water service. We also provide large observation windows on every door so that you can watch your child's lesson while you wait. Or if you prefer you can sit in on their lesson anytime you like.
Our rooms are stocked with everything you need for music lessons, including amps, stereos, full drum kits with pads, keyboards, pianos and more. All you need to bring is your instrument. We have spent thousands of dollars on our studio to offer soundproofing and large observation windows.
Technology is also a big part of lessons at the Columbia Arts Academy and we have installed LED monitors in every classroom at both schools. The monitors have cables that can attach to iPods, iPads, or laptops. This allows students to have a modern and engaging lesson using music teaching apps, music software, Skype, and more. Feel free to "Bring Your Own Device" to your lesson in addition to your instrument! No other school in Columbia offers this technology.
One of the things that has really set up apart is our focus on providing lessons that are fresh, new, and engaging. There are so many great teaching apps out there now that we felt we had to update our teaching rooms with LED monitors. By doing so, our students have never run the risk of being bored by their lessons. It's a challenge to engage children or adults, but by integrating technology such as teaching apps from the iTunes store, GarageBand, ProTools, you name it, we're providing a cutting edge lesson experience in the Columbia area.
We are one of the only music schools in Columbia that offers free recitals with a grand Steinway piano in a first class professional recital hall and student recitals.
Every parent just wants to know how their child is doing and if they are really progressing. The best way for a parent to understand if their investment in lessons is really worth it, is to have their child participate in a recital.
In May and December many of our students choose to perform in our biannual recitals. We hold these at prestigious auditoriums such as Columbia College as they have a grand Steinway piano and world class acoustics. We even provide a red carpet and step and repeat banner to make it fun!
We are the only music school in Columbia that offers full time professional customer service for their students seven days a week.
Many music studio desks are staffed by the teacher/owner or more commonly an answering machine. We have three office team members who are available at the front desk to assist our clients quickly and professionally.
We are the only music schools 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 pictures to the right) by giving them full color, really cool “Musical Ladder®” wristbands that they can show off to their friends. The Musical Ladder® is our unique method of music education that you can only get here.
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 also specialize in music lessons for adults.
We are the only music school in Columbia that offers student discount cards for their students which saves them money all throughout the year.
The Academy also sells music books, instruments and accessories. All of our current students receive a student discount card that saves them money on all of their music supply needs. The student discount card can also be used at other local business including the Jam Room recording studio. At the Jam Room our music students can save money but still make a professional quality demo or recording project.
Since we are the largest school in the state of South Carolina, we are able to be a 'full service' music school. This allows us to offer lessons as early as 9 a.m. and we see many students between the hours of 11 a.m.-2 p.m. If you are a home school parent, retiree, college student or working professional who has a flexible schedule, take advantage of our early morning and lunch time lesson spots.
Due to its central location, our school is convenient to all areas of Columbia. Close to our school, you will find great shopping, dining and the quaint neighborhood village of Shandon. Our location is convenient to and we have many students from Northeast Columbia, Irmo, Lexington and Chapin.
We are the only music school in Columbia that offers a picture day for their students. Every Spring and Fall we host a free picture day with professional photographer Rob & Jon studio. This is a service that our student's parents love as they all want quality photos of their children (example pictured right). Adults are welcome too! Students can bring their instruments to the photo shoot and wear whatever they like.
The Academy does not require semester minimums for lessons. Every student here is on a month-to-month basis.
If you are ready to start, you have nothing to lose as we only want students who truly want to be here and we will not commit you to a long term contract.
Our students enjoy over 3,000 sq. ft. of Columbia’s most advanced music lesson rooms. Each studio is soundproofed and stocked with everything our students need, from pianos, keyboards and full drum kits with pads to amps and stereos. Parents can sit in on their child's lesson, watch through large observation windows, or relax in our spacious and comfortable parent’s lounge with WiFi, magazines, toys for kids and bottled water.
The ability to play an instrument or sing beautifully offers a lifetime of benefits. Music lessons also foster a student’s personal, social, and academic development. The Columbia Arts Academy has made substantial investments in our three facilities and elite faculty to provide an uplifting environment designed to foster creativity, confidence and joy.
If you’ve been told you are tone deaf or uncoordinated, I’m here to inform you that everyone can improve their musical skills. As a musician, songwriter and music professor, I've witnessed thousands of students transform their lives in ways they never imagined possible. We make it our mission to help Columbia students explore and develop their talents, wherever their curiosity and interests lead them.
Founder and President
Columbia Arts Academy
Every parent wants to know how their child is progressing. That’s why, twice a year, we present our Red Carpet recitals in professional recital halls equipped with a Steinway grand piano (at no added fee). And at our Annual Student Showcase, your child can perform at the Rosewood Crawfish or Jam Room Music Festivals. Bring your family and friends to share in the fun.
Since 2005, our program and students have been featured in the Free Times, WIS TV, WLTX TV, WOLO TV, and in a SC Educational Television documentary.
Sign up is easy and parent-friendly, with helpful staff at the front desk seven days a week to serve you. Because we only offer lessons on a month-to-month basis, there are no large upfront payments, no complicated contracts, no annual material or performance fees, and no semester minimums.
Lessons are available seven days a week, and scheduled once a week. A one-time registration fee is $25 (due only at time of registration).Request Info