At CMA, we've been teaching kids and adults of all ages to play music since 2003. Our philosophy at Creative Music Adventures is unique, and if we're a good fit for each other your lessons will be productive and inspiring - for a long time. Here is some background about CMA and our core beliefs.
In 2003, I decided to build up a small teaching studio at my house until I reached 10 students. Many of these first students were castaways from friends who taught piano in the Seattle area. They often called me and said, "Michael, I don't know what to do with this kid or adult student. I think they have potential but they are driving me crazy because they don't fit in with what I typically do."
It became obvious within a few months that my little studio was for the misfits. We obviously failed at keeping the enrollment to 10 students. It was a perfect fit for students who didn't like the rigid and formal approach that a lot of teachers use. It was also a good fit for students who wanted more structure than the typically loose or unfocused approaches often used in jazz or pop-influenced lessons. We've found a way to have structure while encouraging creativity.
Over time, several like-minded musician/teacher friends joined the faculty at CMA to give our students a well-rounded and diverse experience.
CMA high-school students, Ariel and Devon, jamming on St. Thomas.
Fast-forward to today, those misfits have accepted over $1,000,000 in music scholarships to the most prestigious music schools in the country, travelled the world playing music, produced tracks for major-label artists and become inspiring teachers around the country. But all of that aside, whether they went on to the top-tier of their musical niche as a profession or just play for themselves as a hobby - I just wanted everyone to connect with the music on a deep level so their quality of life was positively and vastly affected because of their musical experiences at CMA.
CMA student, Collin, rocking out.
CMA is a school that teaches students more than just the notes.
Here are the basic core philosophies of CMA
- We believe that everyone can learn to play music in a meaningful way
- Much of our methodology involves finding each student's motivation - once a student is motivated, great things happen
- We look at CMA as a lab - we are always researching and learning about the latest brain science and education findings and applying that information to our lessons
- Each student should sound unique and have a unique experience
- All styles of music are valid and can be used to educate, motivate and inspire students
- Music builds community - sharing music at recitals, open mics, community events is an essential part of the music-making experience. These aren't high-pressure, stressful occasions. Our performance opportunities emphasize community over pressure.
- Learning skills needed to play with other people is important - music lessons don't have to be a solitary experience
Rachel and Oscar playing "Imagine" together.
When COVID-19 hit the Seattle area, our school was forced to quickly move online. In a strange way, it connected us more deeply to our core values. The online lessons were a revelation. We were able to use technology in creative ways that synced into our existing curriculum. In many cases, the motivation of students increased and they progressed at a higher rate than with in person lessons. To this day we're continually building on that success so that we can continue to help students learn online. In fact, there are students living around the US who are now taking lessons online at CMA.
CMA student, Bud, serenading us with "April in Paris"