Kalamazoo Music School’s Founders Create “The Music School We Wish We Had Growing Up”

Kalamazoo Music School

Find Your Supportive Music Community at Kalamazoo Music School

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, 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. Their school would build relationships and inspire budding artists to love music.

They would offer student showcases, karaoke night, open mics and jam sessions to create a community among students and their families. They would create the music school they wish that they had as children.

Co-founder Ashley Daneman explains:

"Through private music lessons and group opportunities, we nurture students' individual creativity alongside their need to belong and connect with others. Our students develop the courage and confidence to be seen and celebrated for who they are!"

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 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

The 3 S’s of Instruction at Kalamazoo Music School

Kalamazoo Music School has a winning formula in its instructional approach: Study + Solidify + Share.

This comprehensive program teaches voice or instrument skills, promotes collaboration with peers, and enables students to showcase their talents through performances.

1 – Study

Students begin by studying privately every week, or by joining a class or ensemble. KMS teaches all ages (five years through adults), all skill levels and most musical genres.

Kalamazoo Music School offers instruction in piano, guitar, voice, songwriting, ukulele, drums, bass and violin/viola. They provide a dedicated practice binder to stay organized and track progress.

KMS also makes studying fun through the Student of the Month Program and Summer Practice Challenge.

Kalamazoo Music School
Students earn prizes during the Summer Practice Challenge

2 – Solidify

Students solidify their knowledge through working with others in group classes or being responsible for their parts in ensembles. They also discover new friendships and sometimes form their own bands with peers.

KMS believes that music was never meant to be learned alone in your house; they host events and playing opportunities including karaoke night, jam sessions, open mics, ArtHop performances, and more.

3 – Share

Kalamazoo Music School students experience many different performance opportunities to help share what they’ve learned and receive the support of many others on the same journey.

They host two live shows each year in January and July and two in-studio video recording opportunities in October and April to document and easily share a high-quality recording of students’ progress.

Kalamazoo Music School
Summer Showcase 2021

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 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.

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

Take a School Tour

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

Located in downtown Kalamazoo at 310 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, vibrant studios, a waiting area and a young children’s play area.

Kalamazoo Music School
KMS uses multiple studios on-site for lessons
Kalamazoo Music School
Use the waiting room to catch up on homework or have a snack
Kalamazoo Music School
Future musicians are welcome here too with this kid-friendly space

Learn More About Kalmazoo Music School

The Kalamazoo Music School’s video highlights its quality music instruction through individual, group, in-person and virtual lessons:

Lessons Intel
• Ages: 5 – Adults
• Instruments: Piano, Guitar, Voice, Songwriting, Drums, Ukulele, and Violin/Viola
• Homeschoolers: Daytime lessons are available

• Weekly Lessons (30, 45, or 60 minutes)
• School Hours: Sun – Thu: 12:00 PM – 8:00 PM, Fri: 12:00 PM – 4:00 PM, Sat: 10:00 AM – 12:00 PM
• Lessons available 7 days/week

Costs + Fees
• 30 min: $130/month + $25 registration fee
• 45 min: $195/month + $25 registration fee
• 60 min: $260/month + $25 registration fee
• Fine Print: KMS offers all-inclusive tuition. Enroll monthly (no long term contracts). No semester minimums. No performance or event fees.

Perks (All included with tuition at no additional cost)
• Lessons available 7 days/week
• Dedicated practice binder to stay focused and track progress
• 2 Student Showcases every year (January + July)
• 2 “Vault Video” professional recordings with student performing in KMS’s studio (October + April)
• Free, professional photography of students with instruments at annual Spring photo shoot
• Rewards and encouragement via Student of the Month Awards

Partner Info

Kalamazoo Music School Logo 2021

310 N Rose Street
Kalamazoo, MI 49007

FACEBOOK | (269) 350-4311

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