December 6, 2023

Update From Director Marty Fort!

Read the latest update from Director Marty Fort:

Happy July, Academy families!

Our students ROCKED Weill Recital Hall at Carnegie Hall earlier this month! In case you missed it, you can see the full photo gallery from our performance at

All of our students and teachers absolutely crushed it. A special thank you goes out to all our accompanists: Sara Ferguson, Emily Roepke, Jeff Davidson, Jason Summers, Patrick Baxley, Richard Shirah, Kevin Brewer, Jay Matheson. At some point, someone was going to play an Iron Maiden song at Carnegie Hall. Straight from Columbia, we delivered!

We are incredibly proud of all our students, teachers, and staff who helped us mark the 20th Anniversary of Columbia Arts Academy with this special performance at Carnegie Hall. It was the perfect way to celebrate 20 years of serving the Midlands.

As I mentioned, 2023 is an exciting year here at the Academy - It marks the 20th Anniversary for Columbia Arts Academy, the 10th Anniversary for Lexington School of Music, and the 5th Anniversary for Irmo Music Academy.

We'll be planning parties and celebrations throughout the year, so keep an eye out! As KISS says, 'Without our fans, we are nothing.' Students, without you, we would be nothing, and it has been our honor and greatest joy to make music with our musical families all these years. We want to celebrate with you!

In case you missed it, we have announced the dates and venue for our 2024 Winter Recitals, taking place at the magnificent W. W. Hootie Johnson Performance Hall! This beautiful 500-seat hall, located at 1014 Greene St, Level 1, is situated in the new Darla Moore School of Business building at the University of South Carolina.

Designed by the Raphael Viñoly Architects of New York, this architectural gem stands adjacent to the School of Music and Koger Center buildings, where our 2023 Recitals were held. Visit for the January recital dates and upcoming announcements regarding recital sign-up information!

Students, families, and teachers - thank you again for an amazing 20, 10, and 5 years of making music, and we are excited for the future!

Musical Ladder System® Achievements!

The Columbia Arts Academy, Lexington School of Music & Irmo Music Academy 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. It has been awarded multiple patents 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.

Welcome New Students!

Please Welcome the our new students who registered in July!


Labor Day | Closed

September 4th, 2023

Thanksgiving Break | Closed

November 21st, 2023 to November 26th, 2023

Winter Break | Closed

Dec 22nd, 2023 to Dec 31st, 2023

2024 Winter Recitals

Jan 19th, 2024 to Jan 21st, 2024

Jan 26th, 2024 to Jan 28th, 2024

W. W. Hootie Johnson Performance Hall

It's easy to take the first step.

Ready to start? You have nothing to lose.

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

$34.50 / 30 minutes

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).

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