The founders of the Kalamazoo music school create “the music school we would have liked to have grown up”

Private music lessons can be boring.

Traditional Music Teaching invites students to visit teachers and return home to practice on their own. This teaching model does not invite collaboration, creativity and often leaves students isolated from their musical peers.

When local musicians Ashley and Benje Daneman created Kalamazoo Music School, they knew that their vision of teaching music was different. Their school would build relationships and inspire aspiring artists to love music.

They would offer student presentations, karaoke nights, open mics, and jam sessions to build community between students and their families. They would create the music school they would like to have 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 founders of KMS

Co-Founders and Co-Directors Benje and Ashley Daneman are both professional musicians passionate about bringing jazz and creative music to others.

The couple met while pursuing their master’s degree in jazz performance at Manhattan School of Music in New York City and made Kalamazoo home to his family in 2016.

The Danemans’ vision has turned into a supporting and 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 of teaching at the Kalamazoo music school

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

This comprehensive program teaches vocal or instrumental skills, promotes collaboration with peers, and allows students to showcase their talents through performances.

1 – Study

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

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

KMS also makes studying fun with the Student of the Month program and the Summer Training Challenge.

Kalamazoo Music School
Students win prizes during the Summer Practice Challenge

2 – Solidify

Students consolidate their knowledge by working with others in group lessons or by being responsible for their parts in ensembles. They also discover new friendships and sometimes form their own groups with their peers.

KMS thinks that music was never meant to be learned alone in your home; they organize events and gaming opportunities including karaoke nights, jam sessions, open mics, ArtHop performances, etc.

3 – Share

Students at Kalamazoo Music School experience many different performance opportunities to help them share what they have learned and to receive support from many others on the same path.

they host two shows per year in January and July and two studio video recording opportunities in October and April to easily document and share a high quality recording of student progress.

Kalamazoo Music School
Summer showcase 2021

Students learn from highly trained professional musicians

Ashley and Benje Daneman know that the 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, kindness instructors with a well-rounded musical background who 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 careers in performance.

And did we mention that there are over a dozen? KMS is proud to offer 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 nurturing the natural love of music. This approach produces the most daring and versatile artists.

KMS Specialty Programs

Kalamazoo Music School offers two specialized programs, focusing on jazz ensembles and vocals:

Jazz and Creation Institute welcomes beginners or advanced players to join a small jazz group or a large jazz orchestra. Realizing that there was no “home for jazz” in Kalamazoo, JCI was formed in 2017 with the launch of a Youth Jazz Orchestra.

Small voicemail covers all singing and songwriting. Singers seeking to be soloists may work on vocal performances or specialize in songwriting. Instruction begins at age nine and is offered 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

Make a school visit

The design of the Kalamazoo Music School building matches its welcoming ambience.

Located in downtown Kalamazoo at 310 North Rose Street, near the Kalamazoo Valley Museum / Community College, this convenient location provides access by public transportation and has plenty of parking facilities nearby.

Enter and visitors will find several lively studios, a waiting room, and a play area for young children.

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

Learn more about the Kalmazoo Music School

The Kalamazoo Music School video highlights its quality musical education through individual, group, face-to-face and virtual lessons:

Intel Lessons
• Ages: 5 – adults
• Instruments: piano, guitar, voice, songwriting, drums, ukulele and violin / viola
• Homeschools: day classes are available

• Weekly lessons (30, 45 or 60 minutes)
• School hours: Sun – Thu: 12 a.m. – 8 p.m., Fri: 12 p.m. – 4 p.m., Sat: 10 a.m. – 12 p.m.
• 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 courses. Sign up monthly (no long term contracts). No semester minimum. No representation or event costs.

Advantages (All included with tuition fees at no additional cost)
• Lessons available 7 days / week
• Dedicated workout binder to stay focused and track progress
• 2 Showcase Students each year (January + July)
• 2 professional “Vault Video” recordings with a student performing in the KMS studio (October + April)
• Free professional photography of students with instruments at the annual spring photo shoot
• Rewards and encouragement via the student of the month prizes

Partner Information

Kalamazoo 2021 music school logo

310 Rose Street North
Kalamazoo, MI 49007

FACEBOOK | (269) 350-4311

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