Kalamazoo Music School’s New Performing Artists Program Offers an Innovative, Holistic Approach to Learning Music

Kalamazoo Music School KMS

Kalamazoo Music School Launches New Performing Artists Program

Kalamazoo Music School
324 N Rose St, Kalamazoo, MI 49007

Private music lessons can be boring.

Traditional music instruction invites students to visit with teachers and return home to practice alone. This model of instruction does not invite collaboration or creativity and often leaves students feeling isolated from their musical peers.

When local musicians Ashley and Benje Daneman created Kalamazoo Music School, they knew that their vision for music instruction was different.

With their new Performing Artists Program launching in 2022, their school offers a one-of-a-kind music program in Kalamazoo.

Kalamazoo Music School

Co-founders Benje and Ashley explain:
“In this integrated musical arts program, your child builds their skills sequentially from Pre-K through 12th grade, with each year laying a solid foundation for the next. Your child gets the tools to develop into a musician who fully expresses themselves creatively, all while thriving in a community of like-minded players!”

How the Performing Artists Program is Different

Kalamazoo Music School’s new Performing Artists Program offers a new, more comprehensive approach to teaching music through both group and private lessons.

This program is offered for Pre-K kids through high school, in six different stages based on age.

Kalamazoo Music School

In the Performing Artists Program:

• Students have two connecting points weekly. 1 private lesson AND 1 group performance class.
• Enrollment is limited. There are only 5 openings per grade from 5th to 12th grade and 10 openings each from Pre-K to 4th grade.
• Music variety is valued. Students learn the most impactful songs of the last 100 years in multiple genres while understanding their cultural and social contexts.
• Students perform in 3 large stage concerts. Concerts are held in December, March and June.

Kalamazoo Music School
Summer Showcase 2021

Program Spotlight: Explorers (Ages 4-7)

If your child is entering preschool through second grade, Explorers is where your child’s music education will start with Kalamazoo Music School.

Students in the Explorers stage will learn the piano in private lessons, while also learning singing, ukulele, and percussion instruments in their group class.

2022-2023 Explorers Program (October to June)

• 35 weekly 30-minute private piano lessons
• 33 weekly small performance classes
• 3 stage concerts (w/video)
• 1 beginning piano method book
• 1 dedicated practice binder
• Access to rewards, prizes + encouragement with the KMS Practice Challenge
• Fun activities to inspire creativity + build friendships
• Professional photo shoot in April
• Welcome gift of KMS swag

Meet the KMS Founders

Co-founders and co-directors Benje and Ashley Daneman are both professional musicians with a passion for bringing jazz and creative music to others.

The couple met while pursuing their masters degrees in jazz performance at the Manhattan School of Music in New York City and made Kalamazoo their family’s home in 2016.

Kalamazoo Music School Owners


The Danemans’ vision has transformed into a supportive, inspiring school for musicians in Kalamazoo, and parents couldn’t be happier:

“The directors, Benje and Ashley Daneman, are amazing. Our son is about to be a senior in high school and the instructors and directors have even helped with advice on college plans, visits, auditions…If you’re looking for the best program for growing musicians of all ages in southwest Michigan, you just found it.”
-Jen B

“My daughter has been attending Kalamazoo Music School for 2 years and she could not love it more. Our experience began in person with lessons on the piano, but as time went on the faculty noticed my daughters passion for learning the guitar. They helped guide us into the decision of switching to the guitar and my daughter was so happy she did…I would recommend Kalamazoo Music School to everyone who is looking for a great all around experience, in a friendly and family oriented atmosphere.”
-Charles B

Students Learn from Highly Trained, Professional Musicians

Ashley and Benje Daneman know that the right teacher can make a big difference in a student’s experience and therefore do not make staffing decisions lightly.

All faculty members are professionally-trained, creative, caring instructors with well-rounded musical backgrounds that can serve a wide variety of student interests. 

In addition, all instructors have a minimum of a bachelor’s or master’s degree in music education/performance or qualifying teaching experience and professional performance careers.

And did we mention there are more than a dozen of them? KMS prides itself in offering a large, diverse team to educate its students.

Kalamazoo Music School understands that not everyone learns the same way, and it shows in their approach to teaching. Their programs aim to teach the basic “hard stuff” while also nurturing the natural love of music. This approach produces the boldest, most versatile artists.

KMS Specialty Programs

Kalamazoo Music School also offers two specialty programs, focusing on jazz ensembles and singing:

Jazz and Creative Institute welcomes beginning through advanced players to join a small jazz group or a large jazz orchestra.

Realizing there was no “home for Jazz” in Kalamazoo, JCI was created in 2017 by starting a youth jazz orchestra.

Voice Lessons with Tiny Voice Box

Tiny Voice Box covers everything singing and songwriting. Singers seeking to be soloists can work on vocal performances or specialize in songwriting. Instruction starts at age nine and is offered both in person or virtually.

“Our son showed interest in vocal lessons and we are SO glad we found Kalamazoo Music School!! The have helped him find “his voice” both literally and figuratively as a person, bringing confidence to his everyday life.”
-Angela V

What if I Just Want Private Lessons?

Private Lessons are still offered by the talented staff at Kalamazoo Music School. Students can enroll in private lessons for piano, guitar, voice or drums in 30, 45 or 60-minute weekly sessions.

Take a School Tour

Kalamazoo Music School’s building’s design matches its welcoming vibe.

Located in downtown Kalamazoo at 324 North Rose Street, near the Kalamazoo Valley Museum/Community College, this convenient location provides access via public transportation and offers plenty of nearby parking.

Step inside and visitors will find multiple studios and an inviting reception area.

Use the waiting room to catch up on homework or have a snack
Group piano lessons room
Voice lessons room

Learn More About Kalamazoo Music School

The Kalamazoo Music School offers quality music instruction through individual, group, in-person and virtual lessons:

Lessons Intel
• Ages: 4 – Adults
• Instruments: Piano, Guitar, Voice, Songwriting, Drums, Ukulele, and Bass
• Lessons Offered: Performing Artists Program and Private Lessons

Schedule + Fees
• School Hours: Sunday – Thursday: 12:00 PM – 8:00 PM
• Tuition: KMS offers all-inclusive tuition with no performance or event fees. See here for current pricing.

Perks (All included with tuition at no additional cost)
• Dedicated practice binder to stay focused and track progress
• Rewards, prizes + encouragement all year long through the KMS Practice Challenge
• Free, professional photography of students at the annual Spring photoshoot

KMS student from Spring photoshoot

Kalamazoo Music School

324 N Rose Street
Kalamazoo, MI 49007
(269) 350-4311

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