Organ study at The Music Academy is offered for all levels: beginner to advanced. Private lessons are offered for students age 14 to senior adults who have studied piano. Lesson lengths can be 30 minutes, 45 minutes or 60 minutes in length once per week. Organ students are required to attend all weekly lessons and to participate in the monthly studio classes and the annual recitals (one in the Fall and one in the Spring). Students are highly encouraged to participate in the Royal Conservatory of Music Certification Exams. Students at the Music Academy are able to study this fine instrument through a donation of a Rodgers Organ (3 manual, full pedalboard) by Mr. and Mrs. Robert Norton of Maryville, TN.
Mrs. Jacquie Mitchell is a graduate of Oberlin Conservatory of Music where she studied voice, organ and piano. Mrs. Mitchell has studied piano since the age of 6 and was a student of Crossville's premier piano instructor, Molly Beach before being accepted into Oberlin Conservatory of Music in Ohio. She has studied organ since a student in high school, continuing her studies in college. She attended a Summer Organ Institute at Baylor University featuring Dr. Joyce Jones. She is an accomplished organist specializing in ensemble work and accompanying and has often been the guest pianist, vocalist and organist for area churches. Mrs. Mitchell has been teaching piano privately for the past twenty-one years and is a member of National Association of Teachers of Singing, and American Guild of Organists. She and her husband, Jim had a vision to begin a non-profit school of music in Crossville and along with a supportive Board of Directors, formed The Music Academy in Crossville, TN in August 1998. She has been an organist at area churches for the past 30 years and is also presently on staff at Central Baptist Church as Media Director and volunteers as organist/pianist. During the summer months, Mrs. Mitchell has served on staff at the Annie Moses Band Fine Arts Summer Academy held at Lipscomb University and was nominated for a Regional Emmy Award in 2015 for Assistant Director of Video for the Fine Arts Summer Academy filming by High End TV. Mrs. Mitchell has completed the Royal Conservatory of Music's (RCM) Elementary Piano Pedagogy Training and is working toward completing the Intermediate and Advanced levels and becoming a Certified RCM Instructor.
Music has been a part of my life since I can remember. I have studied music from a very young age and continue to be a life-long learner. The beautiful thing about music is that one can never stop learning – there is always something new to learn, a new goal to set. This has always excited me and keeps the wonder and beauty of music alive in my soul.
My goal as a teacher of music is to create a learning environment for each student that will foster a love of learning and give the student the tools to succeed and meet their goals. A safe place to welcome students is essential and families are always welcome in my studio.
My teaching style is one of encouragement and gentle prodding balanced with clear expectations of weekly accomplishments. I want to challenge students to become more than they are at any given time. By using their gifts and skills to reach new heights and goals with each musical piece, the student can discover more about themselves and their abilities. I feel that priorities and goals are important for both the teacher and the student. Goals expected in my studio are: correct technique; steady tempo; accurate rhythms and notes; scales; the ability to pay attention to details; sight-reading; ensemble playing; ear training; and the belief that musicianship tops just technique. I believe that learning all of the musical “roadmaps” (the written signs and language of music) and elements are an important part of every student’s musical education.
I evaluate each student’s learning style, interests, and skill level and then work with the student to create a specific plan of action to accomplish growth and improvement in many areas. Families are an important part of any musical education and I work with the families of young children to convey the concepts being worked on each week. I also work with the families to find the best teaching method for each student’s personality and learning style. It is important to find the right method – both instruction and materials – for each student to learn in the way that reaches them best. I have some tried and true methods as starting places, but I am always sensitive to each student’s needs and work to find the best methods and tools to help each one succeed in their musical studies.
There are some requirements for my students as I feel these are essential for the student to fully grow and improve in their skills. In addition to their weekly lessons, students are required to attend regularly scheduled studio classes where they will perform for their peers. Students are also required to participate in two annual recitals – one in the fall and one in the spring to showcase the best of their abilities at that point in time. I work with each student to find pieces to learn for these events that are within their abilities and the time frame allotted. I have no desire to push a student too fast or too hard but will encourage students to fully meet their potential. Auditions and competitions are also encouraged and worked on as opportunities arise.
My hope is that students in my studio will see a marked improvement in many areas at the end of each lesson year, and that they will find a love of music and learning that can be applied to many areas of their life for years to come. I invest in my students – in their talents, in their goals, in their skills – and it gives me joy to see them excel and soar. The light on their face when they have achieved a musical concept that they thought they could not do is priceless and what I strive for with each student.
The Music Academy is located at 2819 Highway 70 North, Crossville Tennessee 38571. Phone 931-484-6676.