Welcome to the Academy of Music and Dance

We believe that all people, from toddlers to adults should be given the gift of enriching their lives through music and experiencing the pure JOY of dance with only low-pressure performances! Our knowledgeable teachers and staff are highly committed to assisting every student bring out the innate talent within themselves.

Established in 1992 in East Brunswick, NJ, as Music Factory Learning Center we began as a small community music school on the second floor above a deli, teaching private music lessons. In 2005, we expanded into a brand new shopping center in Spotswood, NJ, changed our name to Academy of Music on Main Street, as well as added ensembles and an early childhood music program. We grew to 600+ students as of Spring 2008. Most recently, we added dance classes and music therapy programs to better serve families. We are excited to announce our new name as of 2014: The Academy of Music and Dance.

The Academy of Music and Dance offers music and dance lessons, including guitar lessons, vocal lessons, piano lessons, drum, bass, violin, viola, cello, flute, saxophone, trombone, French horn, as well as ballet classes, jazz, tap/jazz/ballet, and hip hop classes. Our teachers work with students of all level of ability including students who are typically developing and students with special needs. Located in Spotswood, NJ, we serve students from the Middlesex County area, including Monroe, East Brunswick, and Old Bridge.

Click here to view our 2015/2016 Calendar

Special Talent ProgramsSpecialTalent
Offerings for Children, Teens, and Adults
with Developmental Disabilities.


Music Lessons

Private lessons are offered on piano, guitar, voice, drums, bass, violin, viola, cello, flute, saxophone, trumpet, trombone, French Horn, and more. We have found that private one-on-one instruction allows students to progress at their own pace and gain the best understanding of musical techniques. We take care to make lessons rewarding for students of all ages and levels.  Students can start private lessons any time of the year or month so there is no need to wait to get started.  A variety of styles are taught such as pop, jazz, rock and classical.  Contact our school office to see which times and days are available.

Contact us at 732-251-3050 or via our Contact Page.

Unsure if you or your child are ready for private music lessons?

Trying to decide which instrument to study?

Don’t have an instrument?

No worries! Just give us a call for a free consultation and we can help answer all of your questions.



Dance Classes

Come join us to experience our dance program!

Classes begin the week of June 27th, 2016.

Monday 2:30-3:15 Preschool Creative Dance 3-4 yrs
3:15-4:00 Ballet/Tap 5-7 yrs
4:30-5:15 Preschool Ballet 3-4 yrs
 5:15-6:00  Jazz Hip-Hop 8 yrs+
Tuesday 2:30-3:15 Preschool Ballet 3-4 yrs
3:15-4:00 Lyrical Ballet 8yrs +
4:00-4:45 Hip-hop 4KIDS 5-7 yrs
 4:45-5:30  Lyrical Ballet 5-7 yrs
5:30-6:15 Jazz Hip-Hop 8yrs +
 Wednesday 2:45-3:30 Tiny Tappers 3-4 yrs
3:30-4:15 Lyrical Ballet 8yrs+
 4:15-5:00  Theatre Dance 8yrs +
5:00-5:45 Jazz Hip-hop 8yrs +
 Thursday  3:00-3:45 Preschool Creative Dance 3-4 yrs
  3:45-4:30 Ballet/Tap 5-7 yrs



Hip-hop 4KIDS 5-7 yrs


Lyrical Ballet 5-7 yrs


Classes begin the week of September 12, 2016.

Dance Class Descriptions:

Pre-School Ballet (3-4yrs) This 45 min classgently teaches listening skills and Ballet technique by using fun props and beautiful classical music. Children will learn how to conduct themselves in a formal dance class and how to dance ballet with a developmentally appropriate dance curriculum.

Elementary Ballet I and II Elementary Ballet classes will be grouped in ages 5-7 (I) and 8-11(II). Dancers will learn vocabulary as it pertains to their level. Classes will include barre, floor technique, music recognition, creative dancing and beginning choreography. Classes are 45 min.

Ballet I and Ballet II/Pre-Pointe (12yrs and up): Students in Ballet I learn barre and floor technique, music recognition and more advanced choreography.

NOTE: Students continue in Ballet II with an extensive barre technique, center work and choreography, as well as a pre-pointe class. This includes knowledge of muscles, how to use them to dance and to prevent injury and knowledge of the pointe shoe. Pointe technique will increase as the dancer improves. Advancing to pointe is the decision of the teacher.  Classes are 1 hour.

TAP (pre-school-3-4yrs, 5-7yrs and 8yrs and up): Tap is all about making rhythm. Dancers will learn syllable recognition, Tap technique, muscle isolation and how to tap with and without music. They will also experiment with making their own rhythms as they learn their technique. Classes are 45 min.

Jazz/Hip-Hop (5-7yrs and 8yrs and up): Jazz/Hip-Hop teaches coordination, musicality, rhythm, and muscle isolation. Children begin to put together combinations and use muscle memory to repeat simple choreography. Class will consist of jazz technique, warm up, across the floor and learning combinations. Hip-Hop is an extension of Jazz. Students will learn the basics of Hip-Hop and break dancing. Appropriate and current music makes this class a hit with this age group. Classes are 45 min for 5-7yrs and one hour for 8yrs and up.

Modern (8 yrs and up):  Early Modern dancers were called pioneers. They wanted to use their Ballet training in new, and boundary-less ways. Modern dance is an extension of Ballet. Students will learn technique from Jose Limon, Martha Graham, Lester Horton, Doris Humphrey and Alvin Ailey. Classes are 45 min.

Lyrical-Ballet (5-7yrs): This class will fuse classical Ballet, Pre-Modern and Jazz dance technique creating a style that is expressive, athletic and fun. Dancers will love taking their dance technique to the next level while preparing for a Modern class.  Classes are 45 min.

Creative Dance:Children will learn gentle dance vocabulary as it relates to their age. Dancers will also learn listening skills and gross motor skills as it pertains to non technical movement. The use of props and instruments makes this class a delight. Classes are 45 min.

Theater Dance (11yrs and up):A Jazz technique class with elements of Ballet and Modern to train young dancers. Broadway & movie musical’s choreography styles will be explored in each class. Dancers will learn how to create choreography and learn elements of audition technique. Musical choreography from Annie to A Chorus Line, make this class dancing fun. Classes are 1 hour.

*Classes subject to change due to enrollment.*

Dance Attire:

All Ballet and Tap classes ~

Black or pink leotard with pink tights, skirts are optional (no tutus), pink ballet slippers.

Ballet I & II/ Pre-Pointe: Black leotard and pink tights, pink ballet slippers. No skirts or tutus.

Tap: black or pink leotard with pink or black tights or any color leggings, black tap shoes.

Boys: White t-shirt with black athletic pants or shorts. Black ballet slippers for ballet or black tap shoes with black socks for tap

Modern and Lyrical Ballet classes: Black or pink leotard with black or pink footless or convertible tights and “Dance Paws.” No Ballet slippers and no skirts.

Boys: White t-shirt and black athletic pants or shorts, dance paws or bare feet.

Creative Dance classes ~

Black or pink leotard with black or pink footless tights or any color leggings. Skirts are optional (no tutus) Ballet shoes or bare feet.

Boys: White t-shirt and black athletic pants or shorts, black ballet slippers with black socks or bare feet

Jazz/Hip-Hop and Theater Dance classes~

Any color leotard and tights or a fitted tank top or t-shirt with leggings. Cotton dance/cheerleader shorts with tights may also be worn over leotard. Black jazz sneakers or jazz shoes are required. NO regular street sneakers are allowed.

Boys: White t-shirt with black athletic pants or shorts. Black Jazz sneakers or jazz shoes with black socks

All dancers: No baggy t-shirts, offensive t-shirts, jeans, cut off shorts or jeggings are permitted. Only dance attire will be permitted.

Dance Schedule:


4:30-5:15 – Preschool Ballet (3-4yrs)

5:15-6:15 – Jazz/Hip-Hop II Intermediate (8yrs+)

6:15-6:45- Private Lesson


5:15-6:00 – Elementary Ballet I (8-11yrs)

6:00-6:45- Jazz/Hip-Hop (5-7yrs)

6:45-7:15- Private Lesson


5:00-5:45 – Preschool Ballet (3-4yrs)

5:45-6:30- Elementary Ballet II (8yrs+)

6:30-7:30 – Jazz Hip-Hop I beginner (8yrs+)


5:00-5:45- Lyrical Ballet (5-7 yrs)

4:30-5:00 – Private lesson call for appointment

5:45-7:30- Private Lesson

Registration is open now. Classes fill quickly. Call us at 732-251-3050 to reserve your spot now!

Winter/Spring classes begin the week of September 12, 2016

Rock Band Program

Rock BandFor ages 7-18, our Rock Band program is a great way for students to learn to play together in a fun and friendly environment. Bands perform at recitals and community venues, and our experienced, professional Rock Band directors strive to present a mix of “student selected” and “teacher selected” songs. Students are often encouraged to play on a secondary instrument as well as on their main instrument, expanding their knowledge and skills.

Rock Band students must also be in private lessons with us.

Want more information?
Call for a free consultation. 732-251-3050.

Little Mozarts

“Little Mozarts” Junior Classes for ages 2-4


These courses are music with a purpose and lay a fantastic foundation for  your child’s first introduction into their musical journey. While singing,  dancing and exploring and exploring appreciate “hands on” instruments, your  child will be learning direction, rhythm, beat, movement and more!

 *Now enrolling for our Winter 2016 music & dance Classes. Classes begin: September 12, 2016 .  Email or call for more information. *

“Little Mozarts Fall 2016 Schedule”

Jr Mozarts Ages; 2-4
Saturday, 9:00 am-9:45 am

Little Mozarts Ages; 4-6

*Level I

Friday, 4:30-5:30
Thursday, 6:00-7:00
Saturday, 10:30-11:30 am

Level II

Tuesday 6:00-7:00 pm
Saturday, 11:30 -12:30 am

Level III
Wednesday, 5:00-6:00 pm

*New: Dance Class available immediately after your Little Mozarts I Class! See Dance Schedule for Additional Classes.

“Little Mozarts” Piano Classes for ages 4-6

Little Piano

A beautiful introduction to piano. They will develop their rhythmic fluidity, steady beat, and pitch-matching skills AND learn basic musical concepts like high versus low, loud versus quiet, and basic note reading in a playful environment!  Limit 8 students per class.

Call for a free consultation. 732-251-3050


Orchestre non Conventionnelle

*Coming Soon!

Musical Theater Troupe

Performance development program that teaches children how to improve their performance, will be working on revues that include musical numbers, acting skits, solos, duets, etc.  The format will be a revue-like show that can be performed anywhere so the kids will be in repertory-like setting.  We are planning to be able to take this to other places to perform.

Children will:

  • Learn to work together
  • Learn to prepare a role or a musical number
  • Learn timing, movement, projection, acting as a singer and acting in general
  • Learn harmony, voice blending, sight reading.  We will also have guest instructors.
  • Tour four times

Rehearsals are Fridays 8:00-9:00 pm.  Rehearsals will begin October 23, 2015.

Registration is open now on a ‘first come / first serve’ basis. Call us at 732-251-3050 to reserve your spot now!

Special Talents

SpecialTalentOfferings for Children, Teens, and Adults with Developmental Disabilities

The Academy of Music and Dance is proud to be a Real Life Choices® provider. (ages 18 and up)

Real Life Choices Program

Through the Real Life Choices program, qualified individuals with developmental disabilities, and their families, can through care service providers like Easter Seals New Jersey — access personalized and self-directed services that are funded out of the New Jersey State Department of Human Services’ Division of Disabilities (DDD).

New Jersey’s DDD developed its Real Life Choices program in 2002 out of the desire to give a person and their family members a strong voice and the power to make their own choices, to offer flexibility to meet unique needs, and to enable accommodation to individual lifestyles through this family centered, individualized system by which they gain the supports needed by making empowered choices about required services. … Read more

Special Talents: Private Lesson and Group Programs (ages 2-102)

At the Academy of Music and Dance, our caring and patient staff love working with children, teens, and adults of all ages and abilities.

We are happy to provide individuals with developmental disabilities private instruction in music, dance and theatre, in a warm, friendly environment that fosters harmony and creativity.

Students may take classes on multiple instruments and dance styles in a choice of participation levels ranging from 30 minute individual sessions to 20 hours per week of structured curriculum.

We encourage children, teens and adults with special talents to participate in all group Band, Dance, Theatre Troupe and Recital Performances for unforgettable, inclusive experiences.


Music Therapy (children, teens, and adults)

Music therapists use a wide variety of techniques to help individuals improve their skills, mood, and/or stress level.

We offer Music Therapy sessions with a board certified music therapist for children, teens, and adults. Music therapy has been proven helpful and effective to improve all kinds of functioning including but not limited to:

–        memory

–        stress/anxiety

–        depression

–        behavior

–        fine and gross motor skills

–        social skills

–        speech

–        listening


Academy of Music and Dance is prepared to accommodate adults with one or more documented disabilities with varying degrees of:

·        Developmental delays

·        Intellectual Disabilities

·        Autism

·        Cognitive, neurological, and mental disorders

·        Visual and/or hearing impairments

·        Traumatic brain injury

·        Congenital anomalies

·        Paralysis and physical disabilities

·        Other medical disorders


Services are customized based on the participant’s:

·        Personal interests and desires

·        Level of ability

·        Goals for growth and independence

·        Level of personal care needs


Benefits to the Family and/or Caregivers:

·        Peace of mind knowing your loved one is safe and cared-for by well-trained, qualified and screened staff

·        In many cases, several hours of respite enabling caregivers to work, run errands, or tend to other personal matters



Heather Andersen or Sara Sorge

(732) 251-3050


Contact Us

We'd love to hear from you! Please use the form below to send us an email; come in, or give us a call.

404 Main Street, Suite C
Spotswood, NJ 08884
Phone: (Spotswood) 732-251-3050
Facsimile: 732-251-3052

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Your Message

Interested in teaching at The Academy of Music and Dance?  All interviews are handled in a confidential manner.  Please submit your resume via email jobs@academyofmusicanddancenj.com.

Our Hours:
Monday: 9am – 9pm
Tuesday: 9am – 9pm
Wednesday: 9am – 9pm
Thursday: 9am – 9pm
Friday: 9am – 8pm
Saturday: 9am – 3pm
Sunday: Closed

Renaissance Shopping Center: Dunkin Donuts, Kumon, Subway, UPS, Verizon, First rehab, Snap Fitness


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Melody Stevens

Melody Stevens is the owner of 2 arts education businesses, author, speaker, and entrepreneur. She is the CEO of The Academy of Music and Dance in Central New Jersey and the Founder/CEO of Mozarts and Einsteins Preschool in the Park Slope neighborhood of Brooklyn.

Taking Summer Music And Dance Lessons

Summer is such a beautiful time of year. The weather and vacation from school means there is so much more time for fun family activities, like going to the beach, or taking week-long road trips.


I often see that parents and children assume summertime means not only a break from regular school, but from dance and music school, as well. However, in my experience, taking summers off from lessons can be detrimental to a student’s abilities, while those who continue taking lessons over the summer improve by leaps and bounds.

Two to three months off from practicing means that hard-won skills and techniques developed over the other 9-10 months of the year will get rusty. So rusty, in fact, that when the student returns to lessons in September, it will take another two to three months just to get them back to where they were in June! That means that students who practiced over the summer are now four months ahead of those that did not.


No school, and no homework, means kids have even more practice time than they did in the school year, so they can move forward to new songs and new dance moves each time they come to class. What a boost to their self-esteem and confidence! Also, practicing, during any time of year, builds focus, self-discipline, memory and coordination, something kids won’t get from watching TV or being bored, which they might otherwise do if they’re not taking lessons.


It can be easy for kids to lose interest in something if they’re not exposed to it on a regular basis. Learning music and dance techniques are life-long skills that grow into valuable expressions of art and love that people truly cherish. Why risk throwing that away for the sake of 8 weeks of “taking a break,” a break many students never return from?


Academy of Music and Dance knows that summertime is important family time, and that schedules may change due to camp or vacations. That’s why we offer flexible summer scheduling, so that summer lessons fit easily into your busy summer plans! So whether you’ve been practicing for years, or want to try something new, Academy will make sure learning music or dance is fun and convenient for you.


How To Overcome Fear of Singing in Public

IMG_2218It doesn’t matter if you’re a professional opera singer or just singing along to the radio: singing in public is totally different from singing in your shower! Many young or inexperienced singers find it difficult to sing in front of more than just their bedroom mirror, and really have a fear of singing in front of a crowd.
If that sounds like you, relax! Stage fright is perfectly normal, and it means you care about your craft! Plus, there are plenty of things you can do to conquer your fear of singing in public.


For example, my daughter, Sarah Blasenheim, used to suffer from fear of public singing. In her own words, “What if I mess up? What will people say about me? It was scary to put myself out there, be vulnerable, and show people the real me.”

Singing can be an extremely personal art. The emotions you’re conveying through song are based off of your own emotions, not to mention all of the hard work you’ve put into practicing your singing. As Sarah said, there’s a vulnerability to singing.

But Sarah grew out of her fear, mostly by performing more and more often, and by letting time soothe her fear. She now understands that “you should always perform for yourself and nobody else. Don’t worry what others are going to say about you, and just be in the moment.” Perform because you love performing, and your fear will disappear.


As Neev Mistry, a student and participant in the Rock Band at the Academy of Music and Dance, explains, everyone feels at least a little nervous performing in front of others. But he learned that in order to overcome that fear, he has to “keep practicing until [he] is happy with [his] performance.” Neev now understands that it makes no difference if he was “singing in front of a mirror or on a stage.” Always perform to your best ability, and don’t worry about the rest.

Neev’s advice to other young singers who may be a little afraid to go on stage? Do your best, and focus on the performance instead of the audience.


And, of course, “Keep calm and keep rocking!”

Think You Can Sing? Here’s How to Get on American Idol.

Central NJ is all a buzz with East Brunswick resident Jax Cole making the top 24 on American Idol. “We’re routing for her and think she has what it takes” says Melody Stevens, owner of Academy of Music and Dance in Spotswood, NJ. “She’s got the whole package. And, while Jax did study voice at the Academy for two years as a preteen, the credit truly goes to Jax and her father for Jax’s success.”

In recent seasons, two of Academy of Music and Dance’s teen students (coincidently East Brunswick residents) Karen Hardy and Jacqueline Giancola made it through the preliminary rounds of The X Factor and America’s Got Talent respectively. They both got to audition for the producers, but were cut right before going on TV.

Stevens says that from listening to these students’ experiences and more over the years, it’s clear that getting past the producers goes beyond the bare minimum of having the talent, training, and handing in the paperwork to book the first audition.

Here’s some advice:

MAKE SURE YOU ENTERTAIN BEYOND SINGING: Hardy, who auditioned for The X Factor, noticed that almost everyone the producers sent through had either a tragic story to tell (as in American Idol, Jax has her father and his experience with 9/11) or the producers let those with a quirky personality go through. Or, as with Giancola’s experience with the America’s Got Talent auditions, a gimmick can take you far.
Giancola sang opera (fully clothed) and was ultimately beat out by an opera singer who stripped down to a bikini.

LISTEN TO OPINIONS ON WHAT NOT TO SING: Hardy says that her teachers at Academy of Music and Dance were telling her that a song she wanted to sing wasn’t great for her. But, that was the song she wound up singing at her last audition. She thinks that might have been what did her in.

DON’T LET YOURSELF GET RATTLED: Stevens says that students have reported having to sing in the preliminary rounds of these auditions simultaneously with other auditionees, in booths separated from one another only by a curtain. Also, Hardy reported that a producer she was auditioning for took cell phone calls while she was singing for him. In addition, you might be standing outside in line in freezing cold weather, but you have to look like you’re having fun when the TV cameras come around. All of these things would be enough to rattle most people, but you can’t let them throw you off.

GET A LOOK: “Jax has got a unique image, including a cool hair style and a face tattoo” says Stevens. “This makes her visually memorable for people and gives her an edge.” Make sure you get a great image consultant who knows the industry and go from there.

Top Ten Tips for Caring for Your Voice

To singers, the voice is an incredibly important and valuable instrument, something that has to be cared for daily. Losing your voice as a singer is disheartening! It’s almost as if you’ve lost a part of yourself. And for professionals, an unhealthy voice can mean a loss of a job.

There are things you can (and should!) do to keep your voice healthy all year long, even during the midst of cold and flu. Here are our top ten tips for caring for and maintaining a healthy voice.

1. Drink a lot of water. Staying hydrated is key to allowing the vocal folds to vibrate against each other, which produces sound. Don’t allow yourself to ever get thirsty! Drink room temperature water throughout the day, every day. Also, add lemon, says Anna Stefanelli, voice teacher at Academy of Music and Dance. It stimulates saliva production.
2. Use tricks to create saliva. Let’s say you’re about to sing, but you forgot to bring water and you’re dehydrated! Bite your tongue, Stefanelli suggests, to create more saliva. Try it! It works!
3. Avoid alcohol before singing; it dehydrates you. Caffeine, too, works as a diuretic, and may dehydrate you. If you’re used to coffee and need something warm, go for an herbal tea (with lemon!).
4. Don’t smoke! I would hope that this was a given, as smoking is not only bad for your vocal chords but for your overall health. The smoke dries out and irritates the vocal folds and causes the smoker to cough, causing swelling of the focal folds. This can make your voice sound deeper or raspy. Smoking also reduces lung capacity, which is essential for proper breath control.
5. Before a performance, avoid dairy products, which can stimulate phlegm and interfere with clear singing.
6. Get enough sleep every night. A tired body means a tired voice, which means overall weakness in your singing, a lack of vocal range, and difficulty concentrating on performing your best.
7. Always warm up before singing. Athletes wouldn’t dare hit the field without doing a few jumping jacks and stretches; why would singers? Warming up with lip trills, scales, facial exercises and diction exercises prepares your body for full singing, not only that day, but it keeps your voice healthy and extends your vocal range in the long run!
8. Don’t scream or yell. This seriously irritates your vocal chords, and enough irritation can make you lose your voice.
9. Relax. Stress and anxiety can tighten up the muscles required for singing, like your neck, throat and shoulders. Loose, relaxed muscles are best for singing.
10. If your throat does hurt or you feel yourself losing your voice, don’t whisper, says Stefanelli. “Whispering harms the vocal chords by making them work harder to produce sound,” she says. And her number one piece of advice if your throat hurts and you’re losing your voice? “DON’T TALK!”

And if you’ve already lost your voice? Try Fisherman’s Friend (link to http://www.fishermansfriend.com/en-us/), Stefanelli suggests. They’re throat lozenges that she says singers swear by!

Why Boys Should Dance

While music classes are taken by young girls and boys alike, parents seem to only want to sign up their daughters for dance classes. When people think of ballet, they think of pink tutus and elegant women. But just because society thinks of dance as a girls-only club doesn’t mean that’s how it actually is, or how it should be.

Boys can really benefit from taking dance classes. For one thing, every woman loves a man who can sweep her off her feet on the dance floor! But for boys who are too young to appreciate that perk, there’s another reason dance lessons might pique their interest: Sports.

Football players are no stranger to dance classes. Steve McLendon, defensive tackle for the Pittsburgh Steelers, has been taking ballet classes since his senior year in college and continues to practice as an NFL player. He credits ballet for keeping him injury-free, which makes sense: ballet teaches you how to balance and increases your flexibility.

Not only that, but ballet dancers are strong. They need to be strong to lift other dancers, to properly execute turns, and to perform great jumps and leaps!

Ballet also increases mental focus, something every athlete needs if they’re going to assess a play and outwit the other team. From a very young age, dancers are taught to quickly learn difficult combinations, to focus on the task at hand, to anticipate what might come next, and to always carry themselves with poise and pride. In fact, these skills aren’t just beneficial to athletes, but to students and future leaders, as well!

Finally, dancing can be downright cool. Look at Gene Kelly and Fred Astaire! They were excellent dancers, and America absolutely fell in love with them. Take a look at one of their routines: (The good stuff starts around 2:20.)

Whether it’s tap, jazz, hip hop, or yes, even ballet, when given the chance, boys absolutely excel at dance, and from what I’ve seen, they love every second of it.

Buying Your First Piano

piano-dealersThe Academy of Music and Dance in Spotswood is here to help you with buying your first piano. Purchasing a piano is a major decision and I’ve often been asked by students and parents how to about making this purchase.

The first step in purchasing a piano is to decide what kind of piano to buy and to consider your options. Ideally, we recommend a full size acoustic piano because ultimately it is the best choice for learning keyboard, for sound quality and for technique. In addition, it usually inspires the student to play and practice more than an electric piano or keyboard. If you’re buying a new piano outright, for more information we recommend that you read the relevant chapters in “The Piano Book” by Larry Fine before making your purchase. This book can be found at the library, Barnes and Noble.

If you’re not looking to make an outright purchase, you could consider “rent with an option to buy”. The best place for this is Freehold Music in Freehold, NJ.

Buying a used piano is also a good option but you need to be careful. to learn more about this we recommend you read the chapter on used pianos in “The Piano Book” by Larry Fine. If you can get a used piano for free from a relative, friend or acquaintance this is definitely an ideal option.

A full size electric piano is practical for its portability, space and it’s ability to hook up to computer programs. However, as far as sound and touch are concerned, an electric piano does not compare to an acoustic piano. you definitely can choose for yourself, but for the price, we suggest a full size acoustic piano. Nevertheless, if you prefer an electric piano, we recommend a Yamaha Clavinova. It’s pricey, but it’s also possible to play early advanced pieces on it and the sound is superior to others we’ve tried.

Although we suggest that you purchase a full size keyboard, at a minimum, you will need a keyboard with at least 61 full size keys, is touch sensitive (plays louds and softs by touch) and has a sustain pedal hookup. We also recommend getting a keyboard stand. However, this keyboard generally does not serve beyond the first six months of playing. In addition, students often get confused as to where to put their hands when they play on a full size keyboard since it has an additional two octaves. If you do purchase one, make sure it is midi compatible so that you do switch over to a full size keyboard the old one will still have practical use.

Dance Open House Tuesday September 9th, 2014

logo academy of music and dance







Come join us to experience our new dance program.

Meet Jessica Linton – Dance teacher/director 

Ages 3 and up.

Demonstrations given throughout the day.

Take a photo in our “fun photo booth”.

Tuesday September 9th 5:00 pm – 7:00 pm

Dance attire optional for demo classes. Wear comfortable clothing to dance in.


Academy of Music and Dance
508 Main Street, Spotswood, NJ
email: academyofmusicnj@gmail.com


Meet our dance director, Jessica Linton

Jessica Linton Bio


Jessica Linton has been teaching dance to children of all ages for 23 years and counting. Jessica is originally from New York where she studied dance at The Alvin Ailey School of Dance, Steps on Broadway and became a Certified Creative Movement Specialist from the 92nd Street Y. She holds a degree in Performing Arts Dance, is a certified P-5 educator, and is currently on course to obtaining her degree in Early Childhood Education.

She has had the opportunity of being mentored in teaching dance to Pre -School children by Beth Bogush from The Alvin Ailey School of Dance,  who later went on to be the Choreographer for the Nickelodeon show; “The Backyardigans.”

Dancing has always been seen to her as a wonderful expression and an important part of a child’s growth and development. As a resident Artist in New York Schools, Jessica brought a movement curriculum to children in elementary, pre-schools and nursery schools throughout New York City and Westchester County. Children learned an integrated curriculum which enriched their learning.


For 4 years prior to relocating to Georgia for a military assignment, Jessica opened her studio; Linton Dance. Linton Dance gave children a quality dance experience and merged Fine Art and Dance together as one expressive language.  In Savannah, Jessica taught dance to a military community at Hunter Army Airfield. This experience afforded her the opportunity to teach aspiring dancers and dancers with special needs.
Jessica is thrilled to be the new Director of Dance here at Academy of Music and Dance. She will bring her love of dance and passion for providing children with a high quality and memorable dance experience to her new students. Dancers will learn that dance is fun, and with the proper technique, and performance training that they will receive, they will be successful and shine.


The Non-Musical Benefits of Music Lessons

Patience: The process of learning effective practice skills aids the child in developing patience


Confidence and Poise: Frequent performance helps the child develop confidence and poise that will be useful in dealing with many situations in life


Perseverance and Commitment: The demands of music study teach children to develop a commitment to projects and follow them through completion


Friendships: Music study provides opportunities for interaction with peers to establish new friendships


Coordination: The coordination of both small and large muscles is strengthened through piano and violin playing


Self-Esteem and Satisfaction: As musical skills are developed, students feel a strong sense of satisfaction in their progress and develop a feeling of self-esteem that transfers to other situations in life


Creativity and Self-Expression: Music study provides a forum for communicating feelings and using imagination for creative endeavors


Pride in Achievement: Students develop a sense of pride in their abilities through musical achievements


Concentration: The study of music fosters concentration that can carry over into learning other subjects


Fun and Relaxation: Playing an instrument and listening to music is fun. This skill can provide hours of entertainment and relaxation throughout one’s entire life



Curious about Music class for Your Young Child?

Watch this 2-minute snippet of Miss Shannon and our Little Mozarts students (ages 2-6) on their special day with Beethoven Bear and Mozart Mouse!

For general music and piano class descriptions, click here or call 732-251-3050 for more information.