Lessons & Ensembles

CMA Youth Orchestras   |    CMA Performers   |   CMA Youth Choirs    |   Auditions

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Private String & Classical Guitar Lessons

The Community Music Academy offers weekly private lessons in violin, viola, cello, bass, and classical guitar from some of the best professional musicians and teachers in central Texas at a very affordable rate. Students are expected to practice regularly, to bring a pencil and all assigned music to lessons, and to perform in a Solo Recital at the end of each semester in which they are registered for private lessons. 

  • Registration for Private Lessons includes 12 lessons per semester.
    • 30-minute lessons = $300
    • 45-minute lessons = $400
    • 60-minute lessons = $500
  • CMA Private Lesson Cancellation and Makeup Policies: by registering for private lessons you indicate your understanding of and agreement to these policies. Please review them here.
  • Summer lessons, during the period from June through August, need not be taken on consecutive weeks, but you must register for at least 4 lessons. 

NEW! Small-Group Lessons

Small-Group Lessons are intended for members of the CMA Youth Orchestras, directly addressing elements of instrumental technique needed to continue improvement in musicality and advancement in the Youth Orchestra program. Small-Group Lessons offer a lower-cost but second-best alternative to private lessons. 

  • Enrollment is limited to 3-6 students; registration is first-come, first served. Classes with fewer than 3 registrants will be canceled.
  • Small Group Lessons are $150 per student, per 12-week semester. 
  • No performance required - the focus is squarely on improving technical skill and musicality. 

Spring 2018 Small-Group Lesson Offerings

  • Mondays from 4:00-4:45: Violin/Viola with Bobbi Mauldin, instructor
    • Meets at TLU Schuech Fine Arts - Room 130
    • Continued development of skills needed for Intermediate and Beginning Orchestras
  • Mondays from 5:15-6:00: Violin/Viola with Bethany Raynes, instructor
    • Meets at TLU Schuech Fine Arts - Room 140
    • Continued development of skills needed for CMA Performers and Intermediate Orchestra
  • Mondays from 4:00-4:45: Cello with Liz Massad, instructor
    • Meets at TLU Schuech Fine Arts - Band Hall
    • Continued development of cello skills for Beginning and Intermediate Orchestra


CMA Youth Orchestra 

The CMA Youth Orchestra program is open to all students and community members playing violin, viola, cello, or bass. All students participating in the Youth Orchestra program are expected to perform twice each year with their ensemble. 

  • Tuition is $100 per semester; $75 for additional siblings
  • Full scholarships are awarded to all students who have graduated from the CMA’s Lindenbaum Outreach Program Strings Classes
  • Tuition is waived for students taking private lessons through the CMA. 

Beginning Orchestra directed by Ben Thomason

Meetings: Two separate orchestras: Mondays from 5-6 p.m., or Tuesdays from 4:30-5:30pm, both meeting at TLU Schuech Fine Arts - Band Hall. You may register for whichever is most convenient to attend.

Qualifications: Graduate of Level I and II Outreach classes or 1 year of private lessons; limited knowledge of note reading, A and D major only at entrance. A positive attitude and the commitment to attend all rehearsals and performances.

Intermediate Orchestra directed by Bethany Raynes

Meetings: Mondays from 6:15-7:15 p.m. at TLU Schuech Fine Arts - Band Hall.

Qualifications: Can read all notes in first position fluidly, can read whole, dotted half, half, quarter, eighth, and rests, able to slur, hook, and play staccato/legato, has ability to follow leader and blend with group, knowledge of dynamics, can play C, G, A and D major. A positive attitude and the commitment to attend all rehearsals and performances.

The CMA Performers 

Directed by Eric Siu, the CMA Performers is a group of advanced, small string chamber music ensembles. The configuration and rehearsal schedule of chamber groups will be determined at the first meeting of each semester. Members of the CMA Performers are required to register for either private lessons or for small-group lessons. Private lessons need not be with CMA instructors, but we will confirm your enrollment with an outside teacher. Members of the CMA Performers are expected to perform in the community as opportunities arise, in addition to the CMA’s regular recitals. 

Meetings: Mondays from 6:15-7:15p.m. at TLU's new Weston Performing Art Center - Orchestra Rehearsal Hall - please note this is different than as announced in December 2017.

Qualifications: Can read and play in first and third position, can read all rhythms generally including dotted quarters and sixteenths, emerging vibrato, can play keys up to 3 sharps and 3 flats. A positive attitude and the commitment to attend all rehearsals and performances.

CMA Youth Choir

The CMA Youth Choirs are open to all school-age vocalists interested in developing their vocal skills and participating in the team music-making efforts of a choir. Young singers can expect to grow in the areas of healthy vocal production, music reading, confidence in performance, and in appreciation of excellent and diverse choral literature. The choirs, under the direction of Mrs. Shareen Vader, is open to singers grades 4-12, accepted on the basis of individual auditions. Please note there is a $10 Choir Music and Uniform Fee every semester for each student, due at registration. 

Intermediate Choir is for students in the 4-8 grade that require an intermediate approach to part singing, vocal production, music reading, and ear training. The Intermediate Choir will have opportunities to rehearse and perform with the advanced choir during the semester. The Intermediate Choir members can audition for a position in the advanced choir after the completion of one year.

Meetings: Thursdays from 5:30-6:30 p.m. at the TLU Chapel

Advanced Choir directed by Shareen Vader

Meetings: Thursdays from 6:15-7:30 p.m. at the TLU Chapel

Qualifications: Can match pitch, be able to sing and concentrate for 1 hour and 45 minutes, music reading ability is preferred but not necessary to be in the choir. A positive attitude and the commitment to attend all rehearsals and performances. Students must be entering the fourth grade to participate and/or graduated from the Training Choir program.


Youth Orchestra Auditions (for Intermediate Orchestra and CMA Performers)

Youth Choir Auditions (for Intermediate and Advanced/Mixed Choirs)

  • Students wishing to join for the first time or advance to the Intermediate or Advanced/Mixed Choirs from a lower choir must attend a brief audition. 
  • Students may elect to prepare a short song, but no specific preparation is necessary. Mrs. Vader will test each student's vocal range, pitch matching, and vocal tone quality. 
  • Please contact CMA Assistant Lynda Taylor to reserve an audition time: lytaylor@tlu.edu or call 830-372-6448
  • Upcoming Audition dates: August, 2018

Updated 1/29/2018

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