Academy Program

Academy Program Details

The Academy Program

The “Academy Program” is for private and tiny group classes with all students on the same instrument(s), for example, private or group piano lessons. Students in this program meet one-on-one weekly with instructors throughout the year. The lessons follow an arc for each Academic Season from Fall to the following summer each year. Most students enroll for a minimum of the Academic Season, and our most successful students enroll year-round with breaks for holidays and three weeks off in the summer. We welcome families and teach multiple genres and instruments. For brand new students, who are very new to their instruments, we recommend taking our “Newbie Notes” class that is part of our “Live Ensembles” Program. We highly encourage all students to enroll in both the “Academy Program” and the “Live Ensembles” program to benefit from private instruction and the experience of playing in ensembles. 

Musically Minded has a “People first, Music second” philosophy, breaking classical music training. This philosophy is a crucial driver for student development and success. For students to achieve their desired goals, build confidence, and enjoy the study of music, we intentionally position students to find sources of inspiration that enable them to capture a drive and passion for their music-making. We constantly ask them what they want to do and why they want to do it and then help them to discover pathways to achieve their goals. We are always interested in improving our instructional services.

Academic Season Educational Goals

Fall Semester (Early August through year-end)

There are two student performance events in Fall Semester, the Fall and Winter Recitals. The Fall recital is scheduled on the closest Saturday to Halloween, and the Winter Recital is scheduled for mid-December. At the beginning of this term, students set goals for weekly practicing, technique, performances, and more. Examples of goals may be to get through a level of method books, to learn all of the Major and Minor scales, to learn and build a list of student-selected repertoire, or to start composing, for example. Every student prepares for the performances and but may opt-out if it does not fit their personal goals. 

Winter/Spring Semester (Start of Calendar Year through the end of May)

There are two student performance events this Semester, the Spring and Year-End Recitals. The Spring recital is scheduled for March, and the Year-End Recital is in May. At the beginning of this term, students may reset their goals from the prior term. While students may have focused on holiday repertoire in the prior semester, for this semester, students have built a solid practice habit and working towards preparing for the year-end recitals, our most polished events of the year. 


  • Online: Many of our private 1:1 lessons are offered online at this time
  • In-Person: We have limited availability for in-person lessons at 6013 Lawton Avenue, Oakland, CA 94618.

General Information

Music lessons are available on most instruments at most levels. Although the Academy generally does not focus on one genre of music, our instructors can provide a genre focus. For example, you may want jazz piano lessons, Latin percussion, or classical voice. We have teachers who can provide lessons on specific genres.

Students may enroll in private lessons at any time. We schedule one lesson to see if it is a good fit. If it is, we enroll the student for one of three choices of terms:

  • Fall Semester
  • Spring Semester
  • Summer Session

We also have two terms for students who want ongoing lessons with no interruptions:

  • Academic Year (Fall + Spring)
  • Full Term (Fall + Summer + Spring)

Our Full term students are the most successful in the Academy as ongoing music study is the most successful path for the serious music student.

Lesson Types

  • Private Lessons – one on one lessons with an instructor
  • Semi-Private Lessons – two students share a lesson slot
  • Group Lessons – we offer customized group lessons for instruments for up to 3 students.

Enrollment Process

  1. Fill out application
  2. Go through the placement process
    1. Get paired with an instructor
      1. For private lessons – schedule and pay for one lesson
        1. If the lesson was a good fit, enroll for the term with that instructor. The tuition will be calculated based on the number of days left in the term for your lesson day multiplied by the per lesson rate for your lesson duration. We take that whole total and divide it into equal monthly installments to collect tuition.
      2. For Group Lessons – the administration will pair you with other students of similar age and level to start new small online classes. Try to be as detailed as possible in your response about availability in the application.
  3. Receive a detailed enrollment record and pay for the first installment. Purchase materials and get set up with your instrument and other equipment.
  4. Start your classes

Academy Instructors

Ben Green
Woodwinds Instructor
Ondine Young
Rob Finucane
Piano Instructor
Anna Orias
Piano Instructor
Mikako Endo
Piano Instructor
Rodney Garcia