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Fostering education, access, and inclusion for people of all ages with vision loss



Spring Semester Dates

Registration is now open for the Spring semester
First Saturday: Saturday, January 30th

First Weekday: Tuesday, February 2nd

Closed for Presidents' Day weekend on Saturday, February 13th
Closed for Spring Break March 29th to Saturday, April 3rd
Last Saturday: Saturday, May 22nd
Last Weekday: Friday, May 21st


Spring individual lessons

Pricing is offered for the entire semester of individual lessons. Individual instrument and voice lessons are offered including piano, guitar, percussion, voice, saxophone, clarinet, flute, recorder, Braille music, music theory, composition, and arranging.

  • 30 minutes (for ages 7 and under) $375
  • 45 minutes: $465
  • 1 hour: $620

Performance Ensembles: $100

  • Vocal Ensemble (with permission of instructor)
  • Jam59 (with permission of instructor)
  • VIPs (with permission of instructor)
  • The Rock Band (with permission of instructor)

Comprehensive Music Program for Young People (CMPYP): $480

The Comprehensive Music Program for Young People brings the FMDG mission of education, access, and inclusion to students 6-19 years of age who are blind or visually impaired. The CMPYP offers an array of classes covering music literacy, theory, history, dance, instrumental ensemble, and chorus. History and dance will be enjoyed together as a group via Zoom. Other lessons and classes will be scheduled separately and will be held in smaller groups or individually.

We strive to customize the experience for each student based on interests, needs, abilities, and age. Every student receives three music classes as part of the CMPYP Curriculum. Additional music classes and lessons will incur an additional free. The CMPYP offers the many classes listed above and more but the Core CMPYP Curriculum includes:

Theory/Braille Music Class

  • To develop musical literacy and notate music in staff or Braille format
  • To understand and apply music theory; intervals, scales, chords, and musical form
  • To meaningfully integrate concepts into the keyboard or guitar

Youth Chorus

  • To sing and blend in unison
  • To explore part singing
  • To discover and perform music from many cultures

Instrumental Ensemble

  • The fundamentals of wind, percussion, or keyboard playing
  • To play together in an ensemble setting and learn about rehearsal and performance processes
  • To learn and practice improvisation
  • To experience playing music from diverse cultures and in various styles

Special Five and Six-Week Group Classes: $120

History of Jazz

Teacher: Chris Petz

Fridays from 5 to 6 pm, February 12 to March 19

Jazz is the great American art form. The origins of jazz are still debated amongst scholars.  One theory is that jazz came from the pre-civil war voodoo rituals of New Orleans. Some cite Buddy Bolden’s  first band in 1985 as the beginning. Others argue it was not until the 1917 recording of Livery Stable Blues in by Nino LaRocca and his Original Dixieland Band. Jelly Roll Morton said he invented jazz in 1902. This claims and the history that follows will be covered in a lecture format. Audio examples provided by instructor. No prerequisite.


Alternative to the White Eurocentric Piano Repertoire

Teacher: Pablo Rodriguez

Thursdays from 4 to 5 pm, February 18 to March 25

In this workshop we will learn how to perform piano pieces from a repertoire different from the white Eurocentric canon. We will have fun playing Latin-American, Folk, Jazz, Rock, Urban, and Pop music, among many others styles. We will discuss key elements of music making such as historical contexts, cultural appropriation issues, and marginalized communities’ music traditions. Finally, by the end of this course, each student will perform or video record a short piece of his/her interest.

Students will need a piano/electric keyboard along with adevice able to play .mp3 files and YouTube videos. Backing tracks, braille scores, and large print scores will be provided before each session.


Visionary Musicians: Jacob van Eyck, Lennie Tristano, Rahsaan Roland Kirk

Teacher: Richard Thai

Saturdays from 4 to 5 pm, February 20 to March 27

“Visionary Musicians” travels through genres and periods to examine the pioneering blind and low vision musicians that have shaped the course of music history.  From composers and virtuosos, to educators and activists, the influence of these musicians is present and stronger than ever in the music of today.  Classes will include an oral introduction to each musician, guided listening and compositional analysis.  Supplementary transcriptions of music examples, parts and lead sheets will be available in accessible formats.  Participants are strongly encouraged to explore and experiment with the music transcriptions on their primary instrument.


Rodeo, an American Classic

Teachers: Dr. Dalia Sakas (FMDG Music School) and Dr. Jenny Seham (National Dance Institute)

Saturdays from 3 to 4 pm, March 13 to April 17

This six-week course will explore the historic American ballet Rodeo. Through this iconic work we will delve into the music of composer Aaron Copland who references familiar melodies and American folk tunes throughout the Rodeo score. We will also dive into the specific choreography of Agnes de Milles and her unique use of both tap and folk-dance steps within the ballet, replicating the riding movement and roping skills of cowboys. The class will be co-taught by Dr. Dalia Sakas and Dr. Jenny Seham. Students will receive a special package with additional class materials and information. No prerequisite required.


Jazz Vocals

Teacher: Nicole Zuraitis

Thursdays from 4 to 5 pm March 18 to April 29

Join Nicole Zuraitis, Grammy nominated vocalist, pianist, composer, and arranger for a special class focusing on jazz technique. The class will begin with a special performance by Nicole. This will be followed by an exploration of jazz standard repertoire, jazz singing styles, and scat singing. The class will culminate with a master class featuring student performers.


Conversations with Opera Heroines

Teacher: Michelle Trovato

Thursdays from 5 to 6 pm, April 8 to May 13

Each week during this special 6-week class we'll examine a new opera and a new heroine, exploring Carmen, Aida, Tosca, Susanna (Le Nozze di Figaro), Tatiana (Eugene Onegin), and Brünhilde (Wagner’s Ring Cycle)! Plot, history, and musical highlights from each of the operas from which these prima donnas derive will be covered. Guest performers and presenters will discuss each leading lady and give insight to how these characters come to life onstage.


Minimalism in Music and Art

Teachers: Juan Pablo Horcasitas (FMDG Music School) and Rebecca McGinnis (The Metropolitan Museum of Art)

April TBD

Join us for an exploration of Minimalism through a selection of visual artists and composers. This course will focus on the work of four living composers, Meredith Monk, Steve Reich, Philip Glass, and John Cage, along with examples of works of art in The Met's collection. By making connections between art and music, participants will enrich their understanding of this important movement that emerged in the USA in the 1960s and has influenced subsequent artists and composers. Through examinations of these works of music and art, students will learn vocabulary to describe the main characteristics of Minimalism including repetition, modularity, silence, and negative space.


Please call us at (315) 842-4489 for more information.

Cancellation and Make-up Lesson Policy

Cancellation Policy

The FMDG Music School reserves the right to cancel or change class offerings for any reason, such as insufficient enrollment, or unavailability of the instructor. In the event of cancellation, registered students will be notified and given a full refund. If a student chooses to withdraw, a full refund will be made before the first class. There is no refund after the third class or lesson. Registration fees are nonrefundable and apply only to the semester for which you enroll.

Make-up Lesson Policy

Lessons are offered only on a full-semester basis. Once the schedule is established, the specific lesson time is an agreement between teacher and student, whether the lesson or class is taken or missed by the student. Instructors are not required to make-up lessons or classes that are canceled or missed by students without a prior rescheduling arrangement made at least 24 hours in advance. Reasonable accommodation of make-up is made in cases of illness and unavoidable circumstances. However, in the case when an instructor cancels, a make-up lesson will be arranged.

Late Registration

If you register after the fourth week of the semester, tuition will be appropriately pro-rated.

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