Programs at the NAU Community Music and Dance Academy
Music at the Academy
Musical instruction at the Academy is offered in both private (one-on-one teacher and student) settings as well as larger, group settings. Read below to learn more about our various programs. As always, please contact us with any questions you may have.
Individual music lessons (non-Suzuki) Accordion Closed
The NAU Community Music and Dance Academy offers individualized instruction on almost every instrument. Teachers are available at three different levels:
- Intern teachers who are music majors at NAU
- Professional teachers who have received their master of music degree or equivalent professional experience
- Master teachers who serve as NAU School of Music faculty members, have obtained their terminal degree in music, or have equivalent professional experience
Private instruction improves knowledge and capacity of the instrument/voice and improves the degree to which students can contribute to his or her school and community ensembles.
If you’re interested in private lessons, complete the registration form or read more about the programs below.
Vocal instruction through the Academy is available to students age 6 and older. Interested students should contact the Academy vocal coordinator, Dr. Ricardo Pereira, to schedule a meeting during which the student’s placement with a teacher will be determined. After this determination has been made, the student may register with the Academy office. Private instruction typically concludes with the production of a vocal master class and recital at the end of each fall and spring semester in which students have the opportunity to share their talent and excitement for music with family and friends.
Piano lessons through the Academy are available to students age 5 and older. Upon registration, the student will be placed with a private teacher by the Academy piano coordinator, Dr. Michelle Wachter. Private instruction will culminate in at least one performance opportunity in recital in Kitt Recital Hall in which students get to share what they’ve learned with family and friends.
All other instruments
The Academy maintains teachers for private lessons on almost all classical instruments. There are not always teachers at all three levels available for each instrument but we can usually find a teacher and arrange for instruction.
Group music instruction
Learn more about our small and large group instruction offerings.
Academy Orchestra Accordion Closed
The Junior Academy string orchestra is designed to help students improve their reading and ensemble skills in a comfortable group setting. Students who are at the proper ability level in the Suzuki Strings program will attend this class as part of their Thursday afternoon group class block. Ensemble is open to non-Suzuki String students as well. Students in the ensemble class will develop skills to help them prepare for more advanced ensemble playing in future years. Kristina Beachell directs the string ensemble, which meets on Thursday afternoons. Students need to bring their own music stand to rehearsals.
Youth and adult fiddle Accordion Closed
Students will learn fiddle tunes by ear, as well as learn ornaments and bowing styles typically found in fiddle music. Each class will consist of listening, reviewing previously learned tunes, and learning new tunes and technique. Recommended for students ages 10+ with a teacher referral or audition. These classes are listed on the Group Music Registration form.
Youth and adult Chamber Groups Accordion Closed
Have you ever wanted to play in a quartet, trio, or collaborate with a pianist? Our Chamber Group classes would be a great choice for you. Recommended for students ages 10-18 and 18+ who know how to read music. The date, time, and location of rehearsals and coaching will be determined by the group at the first meeting. Chamber group rehearsals start the first week of September in the fall semester and the last week of January in the spring semester. These classes are listed on the Group Music Registration form.
Music Mind Games Accordion Closed
Music Mind Games is an instructional method of teaching musical concepts and theory to young children. The curriculum is designed as a support system for developing musicians ages 6-10 and parents while providing guidelines for teachers. By participating in Music Mind Games, students will learn to read music and develop skills necessary for understanding music theory and be able to:
- follow directions
- develop a quick and dependable memory
- work well in a group
- develop problem-solving techniques
- learn to develop respect for their teachers and fellow students
Students of all ages and abilities will enjoy learning, reading, theory, dictation, and much more in weekly Music Mind Games classes! Each student is encouraged to purchase a Puppy Packet so they can play Music Mind Games at home as well. Puppy Packets will be used throughout your child’s music education.
Note: Music Mind Games is considered part of the Suzuki Strings curriculum and meets on Thursday afternoons in various classrooms. Please refer to the Suzuki Strings group class schedule for complete details including starting date – classes will meet on weeks when “Group Classes” are listed.
Music Mind Games teacher training Accordion Closed
Music Mind Games is an instructional method of teaching musical concepts and theory to young children. The curriculum is designed as a support system for developing musicians and parents while providing guidelines for teachers. By participating in Music Mind Games, students will learn to read music and develop skills necessary for understanding music theory and be able to:
- follow directions
- develop a quick and dependable memory
- work well in a group
- develop problem-solving techniques
- learn to develop respect for their teachers and fellow students
Please call our office for future Teaching Training events.
Music & Movement Accordion Closed
Music & Movement is a class that helps your youngster ages 3-5 learn (or continue) to love music! In Music & Movement, we learn about music from around the world by seeing and playing many different instruments. We experiment with drums, jingle bells, rhythm sticks, maracas, and other instruments. Hearing musical stories and dancing with scarves and balloons makes actually learning about music and music vocabulary fun!
Music & Movement classes meet on Thursdays. While the classes are offered a la carte, they are considered part of the Suzuki Strings curriculum so please refer to the Suzuki Strings group class schedule for complete details including starting date – classes will meet on weeks when “Group Classes” are listed.
Toddler Music and Dance Accordion Closed
Toddler Music and Dance is a class designed to foster musical play between you and your toddler (ages 1-3). Using simple musical instruments, songs, movement, and stories, this class brings the magic of music to children. Exposing children to a variety of colors, sounds, and textures at an early age creates neural connections, or pathways, between the cells in their brains. These connections help children with all aspects of school, including math and reading. Listening to music is good, but participating in musical activities with your child is a gift you can give your child to last them a lifetime.
The Toddler Music & Dance class meets on Thursdays.
Reading music classes Accordion Closed
Learn to read music! Music reading class is for students with backgrounds in all different instruments. The focus will be to have a better understanding of reading notes, how to apply this knowledge to your instrument, and gaining a basic understanding of music theory. The valuable information learned in this class will help the student throughout his or her musical lifetime. Classes start the first week in September for the fall semester and the last week of January for the spring semester. These classes are listed on the Group Music Registration form.
Dance at the Academy
Our certified ballet instructors follow the Royal Academy of Dance method beginning at the Primary class level for all ballet dancers. Ballet dancers may have the opportunity to take part in productions throughout the year, including Festival of Science, Flagstaff Symphony Orchestra’s The Nutcracker, a spring performance, various other collaborations, and competitions.
The Academy also offers various jazz, Pilates, and stretch & conditioning classes to further develop various facets of dance.
All classes are held in one of two studios located in the Ponderosa Building.
Dance class descriptions
Learn more about our dance instructional offerings below.
Royal Academy of Dance Accordion Closed
The Royal Academy of Dance (RAD) is one of the world’s most influential dance education and training organizations. RAD promotes knowledge, understanding, and practice of dance internationally and seeks to accomplish this through promoting dance, educating and training students and teachers, and providing examinations to set standards and reward achievement.
RAD aims to be recognized internationally for the highest standards of teaching and learning, as a leader in continuing professional development in dance, and as the preferred professional membership body for teachers of dance, supporting and promoting them at every step of their career, encouraging their innovative contributions to dance and education throughout the world.
The RAD has a long history of improving dance teaching and education standards. It was founded in 1920 as the Association of Operatic Dancing of Great Britain to ensure high standards of dance teaching within the UK. In 1936, it was granted a Royal Charter and changed its name to the Royal Academy of Dancing. In 2000, it became the Royal Academy of Dance. The RAD’s Patron is Her Majesty, Queen Elizabeth II.
Today, the RAD has a presence in 79 countries, with 36 offices and approximately 13,000 members worldwide. RAD supports its membership base of professional dancers, students, teachers, benefactors, and friends through the knowledge, support, and technical expertise of the highly qualified staff and the social interaction of like-minded enthusiasts at conferences, workshops, courses, and summer schools.
The RAD offers an internationally recognized portfolio of examinations and assessments, which is designed to motivate and encourage students of all ages and levels of ability, through a systematic measurement of progress and attainment. Examinations are organized and administered by the RAD Examinations Board. Every year, approximately 230,000 candidates enter for RAD Examinations, Presentations and Demonstration Classes, and Class Awards.
The Panel of Examiners consists of approximately 200 examiners resident throughout the world. They all undergo rigorous training before being appointed and their work is monitored to ensure parity and reliability of assessment across the panel and over time.
In 1997, the Benesh Institute, the international center for Benesh Movement Notation, was incorporated within the RAD. The RAD’s link with the Benesh Institute has enabled technical material, including examination content, to be documented in notated form as well as in words, thus maximizing accessibility and accuracy.
In 1999, RAD created the Faculty of Education, dedicated to meeting the needs of the current and future dance teachers by providing dance teacher education programs and qualifications. Every year, qualified teachers graduate from one of the many programs offered and gain employment in one or more of the many contexts in which dance teaching takes place: private and public sector education, theatre, community or leisure industries.
In order to recognize and reward the achievement of students and their teachers in a public context, the RAD holds a number of national and international competitions, which are open to candidates gaining certain minimum marks for specific levels of examination. The flagship competition is the world-renowned Genée Early Ballet International Ballet Competition. Many young dancers who are successful in RAD examinations and competitions become professional dancers, holding prestigious positions in the dance world.
Vision: Leading the world in dance education and training, the Royal Academy of Dance will be recognized internationally for the highest standards of teaching and learning. As the professional membership body for dance teachers, it will inspire and empower dance teachers and students, members, and staff to make innovative, artistic, and lasting contributions to dance and dance education throughout the world.
Mission: To promote and enhance knowledge, understanding, and practice of dance internationally by educating and training teachers and students and by providing examinations to reward achievement, so preserving the rich, artistic, and educational value of dance for future generations.
Early ballet Accordion Closed
Tiny Tot – age 3 by fall of attending academic calendar
Introduces students to their first year of dance training. Coordination, rhythm, body awareness, and class discipline are emphasized through guided, creative, age-appropriate activities. Students are introduced to elementary ballet terminology, positions, and movements.
Beginning ballet – age 4 by fall of attending academic calendar
Full of age-appropriate movement, songs, games, and exercises. Classes consist of activities designed to increase children’s awareness, understanding, and control of their bodies in space and time. Exercises develop basic dance skills such as coordination, balance, spatial awareness and ability to cooperate and dance with others. Classes include practice in all loco motor steps and creative, expressive dancing to music.
Pre-Primary – age 5 by fall of attending academic calendar
Consists of the Pre-Primary set of dance exercises designed by the Royal Academy of Dance—which prepare children for beginning ballet—and the creative exploration of the four elements of dance: body, space, time, and effort. Children develop coordination, balance, control, and awareness of space, rhythm, and effort qualities. They also develop their abilities to learn movement combinations and cooperate and dance well with others. Classes include practice in all loco motor steps, expressive dancing to music, and the preparation of creative dances for a performance for parents during the last class of each semester.
Primary – age 6 by fall of attending academic calendar
The beginning of classical ballet technique is introduced in this class which includes the study of proper placement, partner and group work, and musicality.
Graded/Vocational ballet Accordion Closed
Grades 1-5 – at least age 7 by fall of attending academic calendar
A progression of ballet technique and performance qualities based upon the Royal Academy of Dance Grades Syllabus.
Pre-Pointe, Intermediate Foundations, Intermediate, Advanced Foundations, Advanced 1 & 2:
A more in-depth look and study of ballet technique, these classes may also include the study of Pointe work. Pre-Pointe is an optional class for female dancers in Grade 5.
Jazz Accordion Closed
Introduces and develops jazz dance skills and vocabulary for dancers who are new to the jazz dance form.
Develops jazz dance skills for dancers with some or little jazz dance experience. Jazz 2 accommodates students who are new to the medium as well as those looking to improve existing skills with a focus on specific jazz movement styles, including street jazz.
Jazz 3 builds on existing jazz dance skills for dancers with prior experience in jazz. Offers a challenge for those looking to refine their jazz dance style and technique. Broadens the jazz dance genre to include musical theatre, lyrical, and street jazz styles.
Hip hop introduces and develops hip hop dance skills and vocabulary to beginners and students with some experience.
Modern and Choreography
Modern dance skills are developed for beginners and students with some experience. Students as a class choreograph a dance they perform at the Spring Performance with the modern dance skills they learn through the semester.
Adults will enjoy learning jazz dance while also improving strength and flexibility. This class is for students who are new to dance, or those who have danced before and want to begin again. Basic technique will be covered and time spent stretching and improving strength, while also practicing various forms of jazz dance such as lyrical and street jazz/hip hop.
Pilates – age 14+
Based on the transformational work of Joseph Pilates, this technique strengthens the core muscles of the torso to improve ability and to prevent injury in every kind of physical activity. Floor work develops a better, more graceful posture as well as mind-body focus. The class includes gentle stretching and relaxation for a calming yet refreshing experience. Wear comfortable exercise or yoga-style clothing and bring a squishy yoga mat. Shoes are not required.
Adults will enjoy learning ballet while developing confidence, mental concentration, physical coordination, and grace. This class is for students who are new to ballet, students who want to dance but never had the opportunity, and those who have danced before and want to begin again.
Summer Dance Accordion Closed
Dance Around the World – age 5-9
Each week of Dance Around the World focuses on a different part of the world. Each week-long class is perfect for first-time dancers or continuing students and explore various dances performed around the world including traditional folk dances. Students get to do daily crafts that correspond with the various countries and put together a mini ballet based on a folktale from the country of the week to share with family and friends on the final day of class! Featured countries include: Polynesian Islands, Scandinavia, and Mexico & Spain. Dates can be found on the registration form.
Science Festival – entering RAD Grade 1+
Dancers should plan to enroll in fall.
Classes are available in various levels divided by age and/or RAD grade completed including open adult ballet classes. Classes are sold on a weekly basis and may be added at any time. Classes will not be prorated within each week.
Dance Workshops – completed RAD Grade 3+
Week-long workshops will expose dancers at various levels in their training to a variety of instruction including ballet, jazz, modern, lyrical, hip-hop, and Pilates. Intermediate workshops include one hour in the morning and one in the afternoon each day. Advanced workshops include 2.5 hours in the morning and 2 hours in the afternoon.
Ballet Intensives- completed RAD Grade 6+
Week-long ballet intensives include classes in combination with other dancers throughout the morning and afternoon of each day including ballet, pointe, repertoire, and variations each day with a final in-studio performance on the last day of each intensive open to parents, family, and friends.
Class make-up information Accordion Closed
Making up absences
It is mandatory for all students to attend all classes. However, in the event of illness, injury, religious holiday, or required school activity, classes may be made up during the semester of absence.
Classes may be made up by attending another section of the same class level or a class on level above or below the currently enrolled class level. Students are not required to notify the teacher ahead of time. A full schedule of class section meeting dates and times can be found using the dance class schedule.
View dress codes, schedules, performance information, and more!
- Class schedule map
- Class schedule by age and grade
- Dance handbook
- Spring Showcase performance week schedule
- Spring Showcase parent information
- Dance calendar
- Academy calendar
- Leotard and shoe exchange
- RAD Challenge 2019 – RAD Grade 4+
- RAD 2019 exam information and form
Dress Codes Accordion Closed
- All students with long hair should have it neatly tied back. Classic-styled “buns” are required for girls in ballet classes (primary level and above). Use a hair net to keep the bun tidy.
- No jewelry. No gum. If necessary, students will be asked to remove these hazards during class.
- Tiny Tot/Beginning Ballet/Pre-Primary: Choice of leotard, footless tights optional. No shoes. No tutus.
- Primary: Any light pink leotard of choice, pink socks or tights, and pink ballet shoes.
- Grade 1–5: Regulation navy, marine blue (light blue acceptable if dancers have old leotards but marine is now preferred), or lavender leotard (“Aimeel” style leotard available for purchase at RAD USA or if available through Leotard Exchange Inventory in the Academy Office), pink tights, pink ballet shoes and character shoes (available through RAD Enterprises, FreedUSA, or Dancesupplies). Grade 4 dance students do not need character shoes.
- Intermediate Foundation, Intermediate, Advanced Foundation, Advanced 1 & 2: Choice of leotard in a plain dark color, pink tights, pink ballet shoes, and character shoes. Intermediate Foundations students/parents, please make an appointment with Barry at Barry’s Dancewear for a pointe shoe fitting (fittings take about 45-60 minutes).
- Adult: Wear something comfortable that you can move in (e.g. jazz/yoga pants, sweatpants, t-shirt). Dancers may also wear a leotard and tights if they are comfortable doing so. Ballet shoes are preferred.
- Tiny Tot/Pre-Ballet/Pre-Primary: White T-shirt, dark shorts and bare feet.
- Primary: White T-shirt, tight-fitting black shorts, white socks, and white or black ballet slippers.
- Grades 1 – 3: White T-shirt, tight-fitting black shorts, white socks, white or black ballet slippers, and black character shoes.
- Grades 4+: Sleeveless leotard (ARN/S) OR short sleeve leotard (AARON) and boy’s stirrup tights (R317P) in navy (Grades 4-Advanced Foundations) or black (Intermediate-Advanced 2) all available through RAD USA; white socks, white ballet shoes. Grade 4 dance students do not need character shoes.
- Jazz I – III: Standard dance apparel–leotards or a tight-fitting bodice (tank top or t-shirt), tights and/or tight-fitting jazz pants or shorts. Black jazz shoes without laces (any brand is fine) are preferred though tan shoes will be allowed during class.
- Adult: Dancers should wear whatever they are comfortable and can move in (e.g. jazz/yoga pants, sweatpants, and a t-shirt). Jazz shoes are preferable.
Barre and Ballet Conditioning
- Loose fitting athletic or dancewear. Please bring your own yoga mat and foam roller.
- Standard dance apparel–leotards or a tight-fitting bodice (tank top or t-shirt), tights and/or athletic pants or shorts. Students may wear ballet/jazz slippers or sneakers. Sneakers must have clear or white rubber soles.
Modern and Choreography
- Standard dance apparel–leotards or a tight-fitting bodice (tank top or t-shirt), tights and/or athletic pants or shorts. Students will be dancing barefoot.