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About the Lawrence Academy of Music


Devoted teachers, a diverse curriculum, a rich history, strong community relationships, extensive performance opportunities, a musical community—these are the distinguishing characteristics of the Lawrence Academy of Music.

A photo of a building among the trees. A banner is hung on the building that says "Sharing the joy of music-making since 1874." The sign in front says "Lawrence Academy of Music - Lawrence University."Founded in 1874, the Academy of Music is a nonprofit division of Lawrence University and, since 1983, a member of the National Guild for Community Arts Education. Its colorful history includes being a preparatory school in the early 1900s before a public high school was available in Appleton. The Preparatory Program became the Arts Academy in 1990, and in 2002 the name was changed to the Lawrence Academy of Music to better define its role as a music education provider.

While its primary function is to provide outstanding musical opportunities for citizens of the Fox Valley, the Academy also maintains close ties to the community as a member of the Fox Arts Network, provides outreach and support to area school music programs, and offers Lawrence Conservatory music education students guided opportunities to hone their teaching skills. The Academy currently serves almost 1500 students annually from throughout Northeast Wisconsin and Upper Michigan.

Because we believe that music making is a lifelong experience, Academy programs are available to students from birth through adulthood. Need-based tuition assistance is available to ensure access to our programs. The 2011 Leading Indicators for Excellence (LIFE) Study for the Fox Cities specifically mentions the Lawrence Academy of Music as a key provider of arts youth development opportunities, noting its success in serving youth from families with lower income.

Academy teachers believe that music education is fundamental to the development of all individuals regardless of age, experience, or economic circumstances. We invest in the personal and musical growth of our students and work to develop each student’s full musical potential. We employ diverse curricular materials that both encourage and challenge our students. We celebrate the crafts of musicianship and pedagogy as we mentor emerging music educators. Our goal is to help students become well-rounded musicians who have internalized the joy of music-making.

close-up of Girl Choir students singing at a concert, Wind Ensemble students playing at a concert, a young student playing the piano at the Honors Recital, ASTRO students performing at a concert