1. The most qualified music faculty in Austin
Great music education begins with great music teachers. Because Orpheus has developed an international reputation for excellence and innovation, teachers apply to teach for us from around the country every week. We study videos of their teaching, review their references and conduct multiple interviews to ensure that your child will be able to enjoy making music right from the start. We have 16 music teachers for you to choose from, including four guitar teachers, eight piano teachers, two violin teachers and two singing teachers (most of whom moved to Austin explicitly to teach for us) with at least a Masters degree in music and hundreds of hours of educational training beyond their degree. Our teachers provide great guitar lessons for beginners and piano lessons for kids. Why have our teachers gone to such lengths to study the art of teaching? Because they are passionate about teaching excellence. Our teachers have warm personalities, are extremely friendly and dedicated to teaching you in a way that will foster a love of music and lifelong musical skills.
2. A Multi-Sensory approach that develops a complete musician.
Students learn every song through hearing, singing, moving their whole body and engaging their mind in active discovery, resulting in a child who is both joyful and adept at music. This detailed approach (called the Kodaly method) has been developed by some of the greatest educators in the world and is being applied to instrumental study for the first time at Orpheus Academy of Music. Unlike a traditional approach (where students learn about notes and rhythms they have not yet connected with a sound) or a Suzuki approach (where students learn by rote and develop weak reading and analytical skills) the Kodaly approach develops fully engaged musicians who can do anything on their instrument from reading to improvising to playing music with friends – and do so joyfully because they completely understand everything they are doing.
3. A clear set of yearly musical goals that every child can achieve.
We use the Musical Journey Achievement Level System which promotes creativity and expression while maintaining rigorously high standards. Unlike other musical testing systems so common among traditional teachers, our approach emphasizes creativity and setting personal goals such as making a CD of their favorite pieces, or composing their own music. We are the only school in Austin to offer this system.
4. Multiple opportunities to practice performing music.
Students perform in a wide variety of different environments giving them deep confidence in their abilities. From weekly musicianship classes, to performance classes, collaborative concerts and summer recitals. Getting used to playing in front of others in a variety of low-pressure environments is the reason our students are consistently confident and excellent performers – having clear goals is why they are dedicated.
5. Integrated group class and private lesson experience
Students need the expert guidance that can only be achieved in a private music lesson; but they also benefit tremendously from musical interactions with their peers: That is why our students receive both. In our group musicianship classes students learn the essential musicianship skills of beat, rhythm, pitch, interval and harmony while also developing their ability to read and write music fluently. In any given class you will hear students playing piano, guitar and violin together while the rest of the class sings in beautiful harmony. This direct connection to music theory sets them up for their private lessons where they can perfect their technique and learn even more great music.
6. A wide variety of inspirational experiences
We understand that inspiration is the key to true musical progress. Students perform in regular, low pressure recitals, receive performance coaching in monthly performance classes, play for outside judges and form bands to play with each other. In addition to these experiences, we encourage every student to take home a book, CD or Video from our extensive library after every lesson.