NJAOM offers two types of programs for music instruction.
Students in both tracks have a rare and unparalleled opportunity to study with world-class instructors.
Private Instruction Track
This track provides individualized, one-on-one private lessons and offers the most tailored instruction for students. This program is best for students and families who can commit to weekly lessons and dedicate time at home to practice daily. Private lessons combined with consistent and diligent practicing provide the best opportunity for progression and achievement.
We accept students (child and adult) of all levels of experience, from beginner through advanced. Some children are capable of beginning weekly private lessons at age 3, but most children are able to concentrate for the duration of a 30-minute lesson by age 5.
Private lessons at NJAOM offer students access to our world-class faculty. Our 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 faculty have years of experience teaching and are active performers who have been feature in many of the most prestigious concert halls in the world. As a result, our instructors are uniquely qualified to provide the very best music education for our students.
Additionally, our faculty only teach the instrument in which they have expertise. At NJAOM, you will not find violin teachers giving voice lessons, piano teachers giving cello lessons, or guitar teachers giving piano 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. 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. 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.
All prospective students (or parents if student is a child) must attend an information session prior to registering for private instruction. This will enable us to provide you with detailed information about our philosophy, approach to teaching, and student/parent commitment needed in order for the student to excel in our program. Information sessions times and registration links can be found on our Registration page.
Our Academy Year is divided into two terms: Fall Semester and Spring Semester. Our Fall and Spring Semesters each have 18 weeks of lessons plus a Make-up Week/Bonus Week. We also offer a Summer Term, which spans July and August.
Please click on the Calendar link at the top of the page for specific term dates. We offer 30-, 45-, and 60-minute weekly private lessons, and for select instruments, enrolled students will also receive weekly performance class instruction in a group setting.
DISCIPLINES OF STUDY
NJAOM offers weekly private, one-on-one instruction in the following disciplines:
performance coaching (piano coach for string instruments and voice)
THE NJAOM APPROACH TO TEACHING
Strings and Piano
We welcome students into our Strings (violin, viola, cello, double bass, guitar) and Piano private instruction program from age 3 and up (9 and up for bass).
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. Parent attendance at studio lessons and parent assistance during home practice are key elements to ensuring a young student’s ability to excel in music. This process will establish a focused work ethic and lay 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.
We welcome students into our Voice private instruction program from age 7 and up.
Beginner and intermediate voice students at NJAOM receive a strong foundation in classical voice training, including breathing techniques and core pitch training. Advanced students expand their repertoire with a focus on articulation and expression. In addition, they may explore multiple genres of music to expand their range and depth of interpretation.
We welcome students into our Woodwind private instruction program from age 8 and up.
Beginner and intermediate private woodwind students (clarinet, saxophone, flute) at NJAOM receive focused studies on technical fundamentals, coupled with note reading and rhythmic understanding. Advanced students develop musical interpretation through controlled breathing and advanced technique.
PERFORMANCE CLASS INSTRUCTION
Students who are enrolled in select private instruction (violin, viola, cello, and piano) will also receive weekly performance class instruction, which is assigned to each private instruction student based on ability. Private instruction students whose goal is to perform and share music with others can obtain necessary skills to play together and provide thoughtful musical comments through ensemble classes. In performance class, these students often play in unison to perfect review pieces and work on following a leader to perform together, or listen to peers play in a workshop setting in which the instructor offers comments and welcomes input from all students. Intermediate and advanced private students, upon invitation, may collaborate with peers to hone their performance skills through chamber music and orchestral studies at our affiliate NJ Young Artist Ensembles, and through solo performance classes with peer critique.
Group Instruction Track
This track consists of our popular Pre-Studio Group Classes for ages 3-6, and our new AIM Program for ages 7+.
PRE-STUDIO GROUP CLASSES
The NJ Academy of Music offers group classes for our youngest students (ages 3-6) who could benefit from a structured introductory music class prior to committing to private lessons for a specific instrument. Group instruction allows our students to explore and learn musical concepts in an enjoyable interactive setting.
Our classes are lead by one of our master instructors, so every child in our program, whether taking private lessons or group classes, has the opportunity to learn from our award-winning faculty. Group classes are geared as stepping stone to taking private lessons in a chosen discipline, and our instructors will guide and advise you when your child is ready for that transition.
WHAT TO EXPECT
For our youngest students, group instruction provides a first opportunity to learn about music and its fundamental structure. Pre-studio Class is a tiered NJAOM program for ages 3-6, in which students begin to develop an understanding of rhythm and sound and learn more about various musical instruments. These introductory courses are ideal for very young students who are not yet committed to a discipline.
Pre-Studio classes are offered during our Fall and Spring Semesters as well as during our Summer Term. Class descriptions and times can be found on our Registration page. You may also enroll via this link.
AIM (Accelerated Introductory Music) GROUP CLASSES
AIM (Accelerated Introductory Music) is a launchpad for students interested in starting an instrument but not quite ready for the commitment and expectations of private lessons.
The AIM program is designed specifically for students in Grades 2+ (ages 7 and up) who have no prior playing experience, and allows them to become acquainted with an instrument and learn basics through instruction in a group environment without as great a commitment as private lessons.
This class is also ideal for elementary school students who want to get a head start prior to joining their school orchestra or who need instruction to be able to “catch up” and join their school orchestra the following year. Class sizes are kept small so that each student will receive some individual attention during each class.
Enrollment in AIM gives students access to our master teachers and provides an introduction to playing a string instrument properly. Currently, we are only offering instruction in violin through our AIM program.
WHAT TO EXPECT
Students will learn proper set-up, including posture, instrument handling, bow hold, finger placement, bow technique, intonation, and rhythm. Students will be taught introductory pieces by ear (via the Suzuki Method) and learn play individually as well as in a group. At the end of the term, the instructor will make recommendations for students to either continue in AIM or to graduate to the private instruction track.
The AIM program is designed to be utilized for a maximum of 1 year (and students may opt to switch instruments at the start of a new term). After a maximum of 1 year in the AIM program, students who are committed to continuing with their instrument will be encouraged to move on to private lessons, as individual instruction offers the optimal path toward the most successful playing.
NEXT STEPS AIM will resume in Fall 2018
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NJAOM's 2018-19 Academy Year enrollment opens July 23 for current families and on July 30 for new and returning families. Plan ahead and avoid waitlists by attending an information session! SIGN UP TO ATTEND AN UPCOMING INFORMATION SESSION!