SFA Music Preparatory keyboard class

Fall class registration for music instruction through SFA’s Music Preparatory Division is underway. Lessons begin Aug. 17.

NACOGDOCHES, Texas – Registration is underway for fall classes in the Music Preparatory Division of the Stephen F. Austin State University School of Music.

The fall roster for youth includes lessons in piano, violin, cello, viola, voice, Music Theory Adventures and Piney Woods Youth Orchestra, among many others. Lessons may be available for other instruments upon request. Lessons begin Aug. 17. Music Prep also offers programs for adults in piano and strings.

As the world continues to struggle with the economic and emotional effects of a worldwide pandemic, music remains one of the best coping mechanisms for stress and uncertainty, according to Alba Madrid, the new director of Music Prep who took over the division in June.

“We understand that music provides an outlet to express a wide range of emotions which ultimately helps to enrich our lives in a number of ways,” Madrid said. “Children have the need to connect now more than ever, and what better way to connect with others than through music. I have witnessed firsthand, through my many years of teaching, the healthy relationships our students have with their friends in their music community. They share the same passion, interests and values.”

Because of the economic effects of COVID-19, lower tuition fees for private lessons and other programs will be offered this fall. Scholarships are available to students based on need and commitment.

“We are working to expand our scholarship funds through grants, donations and sponsorships to help families that have been negatively impacted by the pandemic,” Madrid said. Deadline to apply for a scholarship is Aug. 15.

Madrid said appropriate Centers for Disease Control and Prevention safety protocols, including wearing face coverings, maintaining social distancing and following sanitizing procedures, will be followed. Students, parents and teachers will have the flexibility to decide on lesson format: face to face, virtual or a hybrid structure.

A new String Project will be piloted in the spring. The nine public school districts with in Nacogdoches County and some surrounding districts will be invited to participate. String Project students will have the opportunity to learn to play a stringed instrument at a low tuition cost as part of an after school activity. The project will be grant and community funded.

Registration for private and group instruction can be completed online at sfamusicprep.com or by calling (936) 468-1291. Prices range from $20 to $180 per month, depending on frequency, type of lesson and lesson length.

The Music Prep House is located at 3028 Raguet St. Office hours are 1 to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday. Madrid can also be reached via email at madrida@sfasu.edu or musicprep@sfasu.edu. Parents can also find program information on Facebook and Instagram.