Update From Director Marty Fort!

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.

The Columbia Arts Academy, Lexington School of Music, and Irmo Music Academy are proud to be a part of the Safe Music Schools pledge to Stop COVID-19 and Save the Music! We pledge 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? 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.

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 you's. Students, number 1, thank you. 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.

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.

Here’s to a great 2021 and making music with you at the Columbia Arts Academy, Lexington School of Music, and Irmo Music Academy!

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 December!

Is Your Teacher Sold Out?

Many teachers have sold out. If you need a schedule change or would like to be added to a waiting list for a particular teacher, day or time, please contact any of our office staff team and they can add you to the waiting list. If you are not a student yet there are still limited lessons spots available.


2021 Spring Recitals | Week 1

March 20, 2021 - March 21, 2021

2021 Spring Recitals | Week 2

March 25, 2021 - March 28, 2021

Spring Break | Closed

April 3, 2021 - April 9, 2021

Summer Break | Closed

July 3, 2021 - July 6, 2021

Performance at The Rock & Roll Hall of Fame

Sat, August 7, 2021

Labor Day | Closed

September 6, 2021

2021 Fall Recitals | Week 1

October 16, 2021 - October 17, 2021

2021 Fall Recitals | Week 2

October 22, 2021 - October 24, 2021

Thanksgiving Break | Closed

Nov 23, 2021 - Nov 28, 2021

Winter Break | Closed

Dec 22, 2021 - Jan 1, 2022

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