NEW piano instructor added to the Oconee Music team!

A native Floridian, Emily Blandon Kovar has been playing the Piano since she was 13 years old and is now completing her Master of Music degree in Piano Performance at the University of Georgia under the direction of Dr. Martha Thomas. Initially a Bassoonist studying under Fernando Traba of the Sarasota Orchestra, Emily decided to pursue her love of music further at Interlochen center for the arts in 2011 and quickly discovered her love of all Keyboard instruments, including the Piano and Pipe Organ.

Guitar and Ukulele article by instructor Kyle Dawkins

Thinking about learning to play Guitar or Ukulele?

There are many reasons to pick up an instrument. Of course, the most basic is just loving the sound of a particular instrument. Oconee Music instructor, Kyle Dawkins, talks more about his personal journey as a guitarist and shares some of the social and cognitive benefits.

Guitar instructor, Kyle Dawkins headshot
Guitar instructor, Kyle Dawkins

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Preschool Music: how it benefits your child

Preschool music can seem like just another fun activity but the educational benefits are huge! Music is like a language and your children will absorb the natural rhythms and cadences of the music they are exposed to in much the way as they quickly learn languages.

A big buzz word in education these days is neuroplasticity, which basically means that your brain CAN change throughout the course of one’s life. However, it is much easier to build the brain up during the early years of rapid brain development than to change it later. When musical expression and audiation is a part of the young brain, it helps to make formal music study much more productive in later years.Learn more

100 Day Practice Challenge for Super Students

As we begin a new year, it’s time to shake it up and do something fun to motivate students to keep working hard, even through the winter doldrums!

Our challenge runs from January 5th-April 30. During that time students will try to log 100 days of practice in the student portal OR the printable paper logLearn more

Music Lessons 101

Do you want to be a music parent? You need to know these 5 things!


How do you know what to expect from music lessons if you never had music lessons yourself? Maybe you did take lessons, but you’ve never considered lessons from a parent’s perspective. I’m going to show you how to tell if your child is ready for lessons, how lessons work, how to practice, how to help your student be successful, and what your music teacher really wants you to know! I’ve been a piano teacher for over 15 years and this is based on questions I get asked frequently. Please READ THIS if you’re considering lessons for your child because you need to know these things!Learn more

FAQ: What should I know before starting private lessons?

How do you know what to expect from music lesson if you never had music lessons yourself? Or maybe you had a bad experience with music lessons and want to make sure your kids do not have that same experience. I’m going to give you an overview of the lesson process, home practice expectation, general policies, and tell you what your teacher really wants you to know!

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Meet the teacher – Kyle Dawkins

Kyle Dawkins is a guitarist from Clarkesville, Georgia. He is a founding member of the acclaimed chamber ensembles Georgia Guitar Quartet and Revien, who have each been regularly featured artists on National Public Radio’s Performance Today and have played for audiences as large as 10,000. As a composer, his music has appeared in television, film, radio, modern dance and visual art collaborations. He holds a BMusic in Guitar Performance from the University of Georgia. Kyle has been an award winner in several music competitions presented by the Georgia Music Teacher’s Association, the MTNA National Concerto Competition and the Georgia Music Hall of Fame. He currently teaches guitar at Piedmont College in Demorest, GA.

Kyle Dawkins Guitar lessons
Kyle Dawkins

Meet the Teacher – Amanda Sacchitello

Amanda introduces herself in this quick video! 


Amanda Sacchitello received a Bachelor of Arts degree in Music, Latin, and Classical Culture from the University of Georgia in 2009. In 2011, Amanda received a Masters of Music Performance degree with a focus on Piano Pedagogy from the University of Georgia. Amanda has been teaching independently since 2008. Amanda enjoys sharing her love of piano and music with all ages, a hobby Amanda has had since she was 5. In addition to teaching, Amanda has collaboratively performed and taught in Georgia, New York, and Missouri!

Amanda Piano Instructor
Amanda Sacchitello

Adult Music Lessons – Tips for being successful!

Adult Music Lessons can be intimidating!

My student, Ann Kohler, was kind enough to sit down with me and do an interview about being an adult piano student (video below). Lots of adults tell me that they took music lessons when they were kids but dropped out for various reasons. They often want to begin again but it seems intimidating to start.

Ann has progressed from learning simple tunes to playing jazz/pop/classical standards and having a wonderful time doing music she loves! She recently played in an adult only recital and said this…

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How do I know if my child is ready for music lessons?

Ready or not?

Ready or not? As parents we always want the best for our kids! We’re eager for them to do activities that are educational, beneficial to their IQ, and deliver lifelong enjoyment–such as music lessons. I get asked all the time, “is my child ready for music lessons?” Most parents really can’t wait to get their child into music lessons but they’re not sure when the time is right.

Good news, folks! There is no more guessing about if your child is ready or not. YOU can find out if your child is ready for music lessons with some simple tips and techniques.

Then all you need to do is find a great teacher, but I’ve got you covered there too!

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