TNE Editor

Community Music Academy prepares for end-of-semester recital

Published 11/27/18

Caitlin Felts

TNE Writer

Students participating in NSU’s Community Music Academy have been working throughout the semester. On Dec. 16, teachers and students are presenting their end-of-semester recital. The Community Music Academy is a program designed for community students of all ages to take lessons from NSU instructors.

Though the Music Department provides classes for those majoring or minoring in a music degree, the CMA program allows any student or community member to take lessons as an extracurricular activity.

Dr. Ronald Chioldi, CMA director and piano professor, said being able to teach through the CMA provides a different teaching experience.

“Teaching college students is one thing, but I love teaching junior high and high school students because they are very open to learning new things,” said Chioldi. “They are especially willing to learn and are open to taking advice. Most of them are unsure as to what they want to do with music in the future, so they are usually very open to many different things.”

Chioldi said it is personally rewarding for him to see all of his students excel musically. Through the CMA, Chioldi said he loves seeing how excited his students get when they get to dress nice and play on the big stage in the Center for the Performing Arts.

The CMA is comprised of different instructors including professors, instructors and student teachers.


Farren Mayfield, CMA piano teacher and instructor, said he likes how the CMA is more tailored to individual students.

“Being more one-on-one gives you more wiggle room in teaching lessons,” said Mayfield. “I love teaching students through the CMA because those who sign up for the CMA usually do so because they want to be there, instead of fulfilling a need to receive college credit.

In contrast to teaching in a more freelance style, being able to teach within a community based group is also a lot of fun.”

The CMA also allows students majoring in music to teach through the program to gain experience in their aspiring field of study.

Michalea Sims, CMA instructor, said teaching through the CMA program is an enriching experience for her since she graduated in the spring of 2017.

“I especially enjoy the recitals we put on at the end of each semester,” said Sims. “Lessons are private and one-on-one, so you don’t get to see the progress others students are making in their lessons with their respective teachers. It’s rewarding getting to watch these students show what they have been working so hard for throughout the whole semester.”

Sims said she strongly believes in introducing music to children at an early age. She said it helps students develop great learning habits they can transfer to other areas in their life. Above all, Sims said she enjoys sharing her love for music with her students and watching them reach their musical goals in lessons and in life.

The Community Music Academy recital is at 1 p.m. on Sunday, Dec. 16 at the Center for the Performing Arts. For more information about the CMA or how to get involved, call the Department of Music at 918-444-2700 or email Dr. Ronald Chioldi at

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