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Academy Program

Our Academy Program provides individualized, one-on-one private lessons for students ages 3+ as well as a weekly Performance Class with peers in the same instrument and level, and Music Foundations virtual class, which consists of music theory and ear training.

The Academy Program is best for students and families who can commit to weekly lessons and supplemental classes and dedicate time at home to practice daily. Private lessons combined with consistent and diligent practicing and regular attendance at supplemental classes provide the best opportunity for progression and achievement. In the Academy Program, there is a strong focus on technique and artistic development, and students are encouraged to perform frequently.

Academy Program?

NJAOM’s Academy Program offers students access to world-class faculty. Our Academy Program instructors are dedicated professional musicians with advanced degrees from the some of the very best music conservatories in the world, including The Juilliard School, Peabody Conservatory, Indiana University, Cleveland Institute of Music, and Manhattan School of Music. All of our Academy Program faculty have years of experience teaching, and some are still active performers who have been featured in some of the most prestigious concert halls in the world. As a result, our Academy Program instructors are uniquely qualified to provide the very best music education for our most dedicated students.

Additionally, our faculty only teach the instrument in which they have expertise. At NJAOM, you will not find, for example, piano teachers also giving cello lessons, guitar lessons, and percussion lessons. Our instructors are serious and accomplished musicians who have high expectations for their students and are committed to helping them achieve whatever goals they may have. We believe in matching each student, from beginner to advanced, with a master instructor who will provide the proper training and guidance throughout their studies.

What to Expect

Enrolled students at NJAOM are expected to practice regularly, actively participate in their lessons, and exhibit dedication and eagerness toward learning and achievement on their instrument.

Parent involvement is also key to a student’s success. We find that families who are not fully dedicated to this method ultimately encounter stumbling blocks with their child, who generally does not progress with meaningful results, becomes frustrated with the perceived lack of ability to achieve, and many times chooses to quit.

For our young beginners, we require a parent to attend lessons to observe what is being taught, take notes, and then serve as their child’s “coach” at home to help set practice schedules and ensure that the tasks assigned by the teacher are completed properly throughout the week until the next lesson.

Parents and students who commit to this approach are greatly rewarded when realizing both short-term and long-term goals.


Our Academy Year consists of Fall and Spring Semesters and a Summer Session. Please click on the Calendar link at the top of the page for specific term dates.

Fall Semester

18 weeks +
Make-up Week

Spring Semester

18 weeks +
Make-up Week

Summer Session

Flexible lessons in
July and August


NJAOM offers weekly private, one-on-one instruction in the following disciplines:
  • piano
  • violin
  • viola
  • cello
  • guitar (acoustic)
  • guitar (electric)
  • percussion (drums)
  • jazz
In addition, we offer coaching in the following disciplines:
  • small and large chamber ensembles (trio, quartet, quintet)
  • collaborative piano
  • performance coaching (piano coach for string instruments)


Strings & Piano

We welcome students into our Strings (violin, viola, cello, guitar) and Piano studios from age 3 and up.

For students learning violin, viola, cello, and piano, we use the internationally renowned pedagogical approach called The Suzuki Method. For young students, parental involvement is essential to student success on their instrument of choice. (Read more about this approach at right.) 

For advanced students, we focus on a combination of advanced technique and depth and breadth of repertoire as well as chamber music to expand students’ comfort level and familiarity with a wide variety of periods from Baroque and Classical to Modern. Advanced students present a variety of concerts throughout the year and may choose to enter competitions in consultation with our faculty. Upon high school graduation, many of our advanced students choose to major in music at the conservatory level.

For young private students enrolled in violin, viola, cello, and piano, we ascribe to the philosophy of Shinichi Suzuki, who developed an unparalleled method — The Suzuki Method — to guide young students in learning music through a balanced combination of leveled achievement and ear development, alongside supplemental technical skill acquisition. Once students acquire the foundational skills to play their instrument, note reading is introduced in parallel to progression through the Suzuki repertoire.

The Suzuki Method is both a philosophy and a series of leveled books of repertoire that progress skill by skill, helping young students to focus in on key foundational elements of playing while expanding their repertoire. The repertoire is comprised of a wide range of classical repertoire, including composers such as Bach, Vivaldi, Beethoven, and Mozart.

As part of the Suzuki philosophy, parent attendance at private lessons and parent assistance during home practice are essential elements to ensuring a young student’s ability to excel in music. This process establishes a focused work ethic and lays a strong foundation for the advanced player’s challenges that lie ahead.

For older children and adult private students, a combination of Suzuki or similar methodology and a traditional, individualized progression work well to establish routine and meticulous attention to detail.

Advanced students focus on a combination of technical mastery and breadth of repertoire to refine their performance delivery and interpretation.

Percussion (Drums)

We welcome students into our Percussion studio from age 6 and up.

Beginner private percussion students at NJAOM receive instruction on fundamental stick handling on a variety of drums, coupled with music reading and rhythmic understanding. 

Intermediate and advanced students further develop technique on drums, drum set if desired, and marimba. An emphasis is also placed on sight reading and understanding notation in sheet music.

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Music Foundations

In addition to a weekly private lesson, Academy students also receive a weekly virtual Music Foundations Class.

Students across all instruments are grouped by level and meet online once weekly to cover crucial aspects of music theory, ear training, and music history. In this class, students are active participants and are encouraged to answer questions and interact with their peers.

This essential class provides students with firm working knowledge of musical notation, terms, structure, and other crucial aspects of playing and performing music.

Music Foundations classes are recorded for easy reference and access outside of class to review and reinforce concepts taught each week. Outside work may be assigned to help students bolster their understanding of the material covered in class.

Performance Class

As part of our Academy program, beginner and intermediate students studying violin, cello, guitar, and piano have an instructor-led weekly group performance class in which students of the same instrument and similar level play for each other, play together, and reinforce repertoire skills. String students also play as an ensemble in unison to perfect Suzuki pieces and work on following a leader to perform together.

This class enables students to build confidence in performance in front of peers, develop formal performance technique, and listen and given feedback to peers with the guidance of the instructor. It also allows students to develop strong friendships through their shared interest in music.

Once per month, advanced string students meet with their peers and one of our master faculty for a dedicated performance class on performance technique. Students perform in front of an audience and often use these workshops for simulated run-throughs in preparation for auditions or competitions.

Chamber Ensemble

Advanced string students, by invitation only, may join NJAOM’s premier chamber music ensemble under the direction of NJAOM Director and violinist/violist Christina Castelli.

This ensemble prepares and performs major works for chamber groups at a pre-professional level of playing, primarily in a conductorless format. This format challenges students to develop the crucial ability to follow and lead, hone their interpretive artistic skills, and form tight-knit bonds with other serious musicians playing at a high level.   

Non-string students at an advanced level may also be invited to perform with the chamber ensemble for specific performance opportunities.

Skills gained in this chamber ensemble will give students a strong advantage in future studies should they wish to major in music at a college or conservatory.


(ages 3-11)

for piano, violin, viola, cello, guitar, and percussion

of all disciplines who are prepared for intensive study on their instrument (by audition only)

Admission Steps


For Summer or Fall registration, click button at right.


Receive a response from NJAOM within 48 hours to discuss our program and your child’s needs.


Visit NJAOM for an observation (beginner students) or audition (students already playing).


Finalize scheduling and register.