January 25, 2021

Update From Director Marty Fort!

Watch the update video or read the transcript below!

Hey everybody, it’s Marty Fort, director of Columbia Arts Academy, Lexington School of Music, and the Irmo Music Academy and I’m here with another video update. We appreciate your feedback that you’re enjoying these updates. We’re going to keep doing these throughout the pandemic to let you know what’s going on at the schools, and the latest and greatest.

One of the things we’re very excited about is everybody’s seeing the vaccines are starting to go out and I realize there’s a long road ahead of us, but I just wanted to stress the positive. That’s my job as director is to stress the positive, look for the light, and look for the future and that’s what we’re going to do. We’re very excited and encouraged about that news-very happy that’s in motion.

I also would like to talk about our new pledge. I created a pledge; I typed it up. I had everybody that teaches here, works in our office, and even myself, I signed it, and what the pledge says is we pledge as a team and as a school and as an institution to stay safe. To say 6 feet apart, to wear our masks, to use hand sanitizer, to wash hands, and we have even outdoor lessons. How cool is that? So you get to use those if you want them. But we’re pledging to stay safe and to keep each other safe throughout this and not get slack - we’re going to finish strong.

Part of finishing strong is we’re getting new PPE. We now have wall thermometers which have been a big hit. We got them for adult size and children size. So please check your temperature when you come in. These are really cool masks. I love these. These are made by the Broadway relief project. These are singer masks, they’re resonance masks. They really work for anybody, but it’s just easier to hear and people are using these when they’re singing National Anthems, choir, that kind of thing. So we’ve got these in stock in the office. They’re only 25 dollars but they’re great, especially if you’re a singer or anybody easier to hear you if you speak for a living like I do. The resonance masks are really cool to check out.

We also, of course, have our free for you our clients, Columbia Arts Academy School of Music, Irmo Music Academy hand sanitizer for our customers. That is free for you, our customers.

Of course, we still have free masks on hand, and if you’d like to get one that’s fancy we have our custom Columbia Arts Academy logo mask ready to go for you.

Parents, you’ll be very excited to know we’re bringing back the practice champ challenge wrist bands. The way this works is, get with your teacher, ask them what the criteria is but if your child practices enough, they can get one of these great wrist bands. It’s great way to get them incentivized - Get them excited about practicing. It’s not a participation award, they have to earn it. They have to practice enough. So get with your teacher, ask them about the practice champ challenge and your child can get this wristband. It’s very popular.

We’re also doing new zoom rooms for practice. So free for you, our customers, we have proctors. We have different times. So when you’re at home and you want to go try and practice, they can log in for free for current students and practice along with our proctors in a practice session as part of the practice champ program. We’re very excited about stepping up our game, getting everybody practicing more. Ask your teacher about the practice champ challenge (which is part of the musical ladder system), which I’m very excited after a long couple years we finally got not, 1, 2, 3, 4, but 9 patents from the U.S. patents and trademark office. We’re very excited about that for the musical ladder system patents. Next time you’re in, check out our patents awards on the wall.

I’d like to give a big welcome to all of our new students. If it’s your 1st time with us, welcome. So excited that all 3 locations, every single day that new students have been signing up at Columbia, Lexington, and Irmo. Welcome, we’ve got plenty of students from ages 4 to 84, and be sure if you’re new to us to get a copy of my book, The Ultimate Guide to Music Lessons. This is a number 1, Amazon bestselling book and this is free to our customers. It’s got lots of great information on our family safety plan, what to expect from practice, how recitals work, instrument specific stuff. So be sure to grab your free copy at the desk if you’re a current student or if you’re interested in lessons and watching this, come by we’ll give you a free copy too so you can learn about how we can help you.

It’s Christmas time and back by popular demand, we’re excited to bring back our stuff the stockings special. This is a done for your stocking. It has lots of great stuff in here for your loved ones. Only 99 dollars. It’s worth 174 dollars. It’s got a free lesson certificate in it, free registration, retail instrument specific stuff, note cards for piano students, drum sticks for drum students, guitar stuff for guitar students, candy, chocolate, pencils. It’s just awesome, awesome gift and it’s ready for the tree.

So here’s the deal, come by any of the music schools by December 23rd at 5 PM to pick up yours. We have them here. They’re ready for you but it has to be by December 23rd at 5 PM at any of our 3 locations.

We are so excited about 2021 about the return of live music. We’re going to be at the Koger Center for the Arts in March and in October in the large orchestra room, and I’m so excited for all of us. We’re hitting the road. Our students and teachers are going to be performing in Cleveland, Ohio at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. How cool is that? If you want to get your child to perform or yourself at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, make sure to contact the office so we can give you more information so you can say Hello, Cleveland!

I want to end by giving 3 big thank yous. Students, number 1, thank you. You are the heroes of 2020. You’re the ones that stood by us. So thank you, thank you students for taking lessons with us in person and online. We were hybrid before hybrid was cool, and offered Skype. We’ve done it for years. We’re going to offer it after, so it’s always your choice whether you want to come in person or online. We’re excited to see everyone back more and more in person. Just thank you students for being with us. You are the heroes of 2020 and we greatly appreciate you.

I want to thank all of our teachers. They’ve been working so hard to do virtual recitals, virtual lessons, in person lessons, they’ve made it work. They’ve done an A plus job. So teachers thank you, thank you for all you’ve done and onto better things in 2021.

And of course, a huge thank you to our office team. Our office team is working tirelessly to get everybody where they need to be with their lesson reminders, with their Zoom log ins, with the musical ladder portal, with the virtual recitals, and of course, the in person lessons. Alyssa, Marissa, Katelyn, Sara, Rebecca, Amanda, thank you for all the hard work you’ve done this year - could not have done it without you.

So God bless you and Merry Christmas and here’s to a great 2021 and making music with you at the Columbia Arts Academy, Lexington School of Music, and Irmo Music Academy!

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