Community Arts Academy

Providing opportunities for residents of NWA to experience and excel in music and theatre.

Private music lessons

Private lessons are available for piano, guitar, violin, voice, clarinet, and percussion. Lessons will be offered on the JBU campus. To register, please complete the registration form. Payment can then be made through our Online Payment Interface.

The Spring 2023 Session will include 12 lessons (one lesson per week) beginning the week of January 16. (See CAA Policy and Procedure document for further information on cancellation/refund policies.)


All private lessons require a registration fee each semester to cover administrative and facility use fees. The registration fee is $15 per student or $20 per family. This fee should be paid after a schedule has been arranged with the private instructor, and before the first lesson. Tuition payments may be paid in full or divided into three equal monthly payments due on February 1, March 1, and April 1.

Tuition cost for lessons is based on the qualifications of the instructor. Families may request the level of instructor desired, but not all requests can be met due to limited availability of instructors. The tuition fee schedule is as follows:

Lesson length JBU faculty instructor (piano, voice) Local professional (violin, piano, guitar) JBU undergraduate student, when available (voice, percussion)
30 minutes Rates vary by faculty member* $249, or 3 payments of $83 $189, or 3 payments of $63
45 minutes Rates vary by faculty member* $366, or 3 payments of $122 $279, or 3 payments of $93
60 minutes Rates vary by faculty member* $498, or 3 payments of $166 $378, or 3 payments of $126

*Email for more information.

Policies and FAQs:

How to register for music lessons and classes
  1. Complete and submit the registration form.
  2. An instructor will contact you regarding availability and scheduling for lessons requested.
  3. Private music students should pay the registration fee online after confirming a lesson time with an instructor.
  4. Make the first payment, due February 1, 2023.

Tuition payment

A completed enrollment form and tuition payment is needed before instruction may begin. Penalty fees: $25 returned check/$20 late fee if tuition is not received by due dates. The balance of the previous term must be received before new term enrollment is allowed.

Private lesson scheduling

Individual lessons are scheduled by the studio teacher. Early registrants and continuing students have the first choice of lesson times.

Missed private lessons

All lessons canceled by instructors will be rescheduled, if at all possible. Lessons canceled by the student (unless for extenuating circumstances agreed upon by the student and instructor) will not be rescheduled, credited, or refunded; the student will be charged for all missed lessons.


CAA faculty may elect whether or not to teach on school holidays as schedules allow.


Tuition will be fully refunded for withdrawal prior to the beginning of instruction (as a courtesy, students needing to withdraw are asked to do so at least two business days before the lesson is to begin). After instruction has begun, no refunds will be given on monthly payments.


Due to busy faculty schedules, students who arrive late cannot be guaranteed full lesson times. Teachers will wait ten minutes for late students; students are asked to do the same for teachers. Shortened lessons due to faculty tardiness will be made up.

Weather/emergency closures

If the Siloam Springs Public Schools are closed, CAA is likely closed. In the case of sudden severe weather, instructors will make every effort to contact students individually if lessons are canceled. Students are also welcome to contact the instructors.

Non-discrimination policy

The Community Arts Academy follows the JBU Non-Discrimination Policy which states “John Brown University admits persons to its programs and activities without regard to race, color, national or ethnic origin, or gender. The university does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national or ethnic origin, physical or mental disability, or gender in the administration of education policies, admissions policies, scholarship and loan programs, athletics, and other school-sponsored programs.”


Annette Funk – Piano (Faculty Instructor), Program Coordinator

Annette Funk joined the John Brown University Music Department as a staff accompanist and adjunct faculty in 2009. Previously, she received a bachelor’s degree in Music Education and a master’s degree in Piano Performance. During the past 40 years, Mrs. Funk has been active as a college piano and pedagogy instructor, elementary piano class teacher, private piano teacher, freelance accompanist, and church musician.  Annette is excited to share the joy of music with individuals of all ages in the Siloam Springs area.

Ryan Ransdell – Piano (Faculty Instructor)

Ryan Ransdell graduated from John Brown University in 2007 with degrees in music and mathematics. He has been teaching and tutoring students since high school, and enjoys enabling others to understand abstract ideas and to find joy in any area of study. He loves order, logic, problem-solving, people and music. He has cataloged several music libraries and has edited a teaching method for young piano students. Since graduating from JBU, Ryan has collaborated with numerous ensembles and soloists and has taught students of all ages and abilities throughout Northwest Arkansas. He has completed three semesters of graduate work in piano performance and musicology at the University of Missouri in Kansas City, where he taught group piano and undergraduate piano lessons and accompanied various university choirs. Ryan currently serves as a staff accompanist at JBU, organist at First Presbyterian Church in Rogers, and teaches piano students through the JBU Community Arts Academy.

Dana Ahnen – Violin and Piano (Local Professional Instructor)

Dana Ahnen received her bachelor’s degree in Music Education from Asbury University in Wilmore, Kentucky. Violin was her major instrument of study and she taught orchestra during her student teaching. She has seven years of experience teaching general music, choir and music appreciation in public schools. For three of those years, she also taught 5th-12th grade band classes. Dana has also been active as a private piano and violin instructor, church pianist and choir accompanist. She enjoys working with students to develop their skills and talents and their love of music.

Oscar Lopez – Voice (JBU Student Instructor)