Arts Center opens its fall music classes


For parents looking for extra-curricular school plans, the Black Mountain Center for the Arts offers a range of classes that include music for all ages. Registration has begun, and class size is limited with group lessons.

The Junior Appalachian Musicians (JAM) program offerering group lessons for students in the third through ninth grades (or ages 8-14) teaches traditional mountain tunes on fiddle, banjo and guitar. Professional musicians breaking students into smaller instrument groups guide the classes every Wednesday in old-time traditions. Homeschoolers are welcome.

The arts center hosts Buncombe County JAM classes beginning Sept. 6 and lasting for 14 weeks. JAM is supported by the N.C. Arts Council, a division of the Department of Cultural Resources, with funding from the National Endowment for the Arts. Tuition is $140, payable in two parts.

On Mondays, Alicia Almaguer teaches private piano for all ages. She varies her teaching based on student’s inclinations from the classical approach to a more modern chord-based approach. A Montreat College grad, Almaguer has been teaching since 2004. She also offers Wunderkeys piano for preschoolers (ages 3 to 5).

Award-winning Celtic harpist Sue Richards performs around the world when she’s not teaching at the arts center. She offers private lessons throughout the year on Tuesdays. On Sept. 19, she is offering a free class to those who want to experience the resonance and beauty of the instrument. Call the arts center to register.

Kylie Brown teaches private voice, guitar, trombone and flute lessons on Wednesdays. She is an accomplished multi-instrumentalist and vocalist who received her degree in music education with a concentration in bass trombone and studied instrumental conducting in graduate school. She directs choirs, summer camps and musical theater throughout the region.

Brown is now offering Play! a six-week interactive group class from 2 to 3 p.m. starting Sept. 20. She will teach 3- to 6-year-olds to discover beat patterns, develop pitch recognition and express creative movement through guided listening. Play! uses the “First Steps in Music” curriculum to further musical development through song, dance and use of instruments.

To register or learn more, contact the Black Mountain Center for the Arts at 669-0930 or The arts center is at 225 W. State St.