Oxford officials welcomed owner Jon Sanford and the Oxford Music Academy to the city’s business community with a ribbon-cutting ceremony Thursday evening at the academy’s 421 S. Locust Street location.
Sanford has a very long history with music. He graduated from Cincinnati Christian University with a bachelor’s degree in music and music & worship. Then his career brought him to Miami where he earned his master’s degree in music and piano performance. He began his work as a piano instructor in 2011 after becoming a nationally certified teacher.
According to the academy’s website, it serves students ranging in age from 4 to 74 years old. Sanford said he is excited about the progression he’s seen his company take. After starting off by himself and only teaching piano, he has watched it grow into something he is very proud of.
Classes used to be personally taught in his home until he was able to hire other instructors who could teach other instruments. With the Locust Street location, with its practice studios, the business will be able to expand and accommodate multiple lessons at the same time. Lessons are offered in piano, voice, guitar and a variety of other instruments.
“It’s nice to have separation now from home life,” he said.
Sanford grew up playing the piano and recalls that “learning to play piano felt like a lonely thing,” due to his musical education solely being in his instructor’s home. This led him to want something different for his students and now he is excited to have a community environment for students to come and learn instruments together. The experience is supposed to give music learners the chance to perfect their craft while growing alongside other people and supporting each other along the way.
Tuition for attending starts at $95 and classes meet once a week for about an hour. Classes hold six students, and all skill levels are welcome and encouraged to come and participate for classes as they offer individualized attention for each of their students. Each station is equipped with headphones for the students and the instructors so no one student outplays another, and each piano has a light that can be used to get the attention of the instructor for questions.
People from the community expressed excitement Thursday to see the new space fully opened. Talawanda High School music teacher Mike Marston said, “I think it’s great to have private lesson teachers of all types in town.”
The Oxford Music Academy is celebrating its grand opening all weekend. On Friday, Feb. 1 from 2:30-7 p.m., it will be open to all guests wanting to see the facility. Guests will have the opportunity to meet the instructors, grab some food and enter a giveaway where they could win a variety of prizes. A similar session will be held 9 a.m.-noon on Saturday.