The A-B-Cs of Learning Music at Our Academy

A.  Learn 100s of secrets of technique and artistry, beginning with the very first lesson, and continuing up to the virtuoso level.  


B.   Learn piano and guitar in comfortable studios equipped with a wide range of traditional and high-tech educational tools, superb pianos that bring out the best in each student, from teachers with a solid commitment to each student's enjoyment and success.

C.  Beginners learn to play "real", satisfying music within a short timeframe, instead of using elementary method books exclusively for a year or more.  (See our "Hidden Piano Treasures" topic below for more details.)


Important Notice


Thank you for your interest in Apple Valley Guitar and Piano Academy.


Please note that we offer music lessons only.  We do not sell any musical products, equipment or replacement parts, and do not repair musical instruments


Studio Hours:


8:30 AM to 8 PM Monday-Thursday, 3:00 PM-7:00 PM Friday, 10 AM to 5:30 PM Sunday. Closed Saturday. 

Our Newest Feature

Hidden Treasures of Piano and Guitar Music.

Most of our students prefer to popular styles, the repertoire of which is widely known.  For those who love classical piano and guitar music, our head teacher has compiled a catalog of hundreds of "hidden musical treasures".

These pieces of music are extraordinarily beautiful―especially in terms of the melody―yet unknown to the vast majority of students and even many professionals. 

Most of this music is not available in stores, and is very difficult to find―even on the Internet.  In one case, for example, it took our head teacher four hours to find just one of these rare sheet music scores.

This resource is available exclusively to students of Apple Valley Guitar and Piano Academy

Most importantly, this catalog of music ranges in difficulty from mid-beginner to the concert level.  Therefore, every student who enjoys classical music has access to these amazing compositions.

18 Reasons for Studying Piano and Guitar at Our Music Academy

Our studio has produced virtuoso performers and college scholarship winners. 

With us, the journey to phenomenal musical success begins with the very first lesson. 

Or, if you just want learn the basics of piano and guitar and have fun, we can do that too.

Free prizes and incentives that motivate younger students to practice. 

Free cold beverages for all; free hot beverages (including Starbucks-quality espresso, cappuccinos and lattes) for adults.

Free Wi-Fi access for adult smart phones and siblings' tablet computers.

Student perform in recitals on a 9-foot Steinway "D" grand piano, the same instrument used by the world's greatest virtuosos for concerts and recordings.

In the studio, piano students learn on a high-end digital grand piano or a European-style acoustic grand piano. 

Our Roland digital grand has a slanted lid and the harp shape of an acoustic grand, allowing for additional speakers and much better sound quality than a console (rectangular) digital.  The digital grand is used to teach young children due to its light, "easy" key action and access to multiple instrument sounds.

Our acoustic grand has an "old world" European scale design, providing a tone that is warm, round,  and sweet.  It is also regularly tuned, voiced and adjusted by a nationally-recognized expert technician.

Digital music teaching workstations with 21-inch HD monitors and audio systems.

These workstations provide students with access to fun, interactive software and games for music theory and note reading.  They also serve to showcase our head teacher's custom music learning materials, master-performer videos and accompanying sheet music.  As a result of the latter, students can see and hear virtuosos play the music they are studying.

Finale music writing software on our digital music teaching workstations.

This software allows us to create music exercises and theory examples tailored to each student right in their lesson, as well as illustrate various musical concepts in a crystal-clear visual format. 

In addition, our head teacher has written a free Finale instruction manual, so students can learn to use the program at home.  As a result, they can prepare their written music homework assignments with software rather instead of the slow and graphically erratic method of writing music by hand.

Comprehensive musical training that includes:

        technique (the finger skills required to play music accurately, beautifully and expressively; an understanding of how the choice of fingers used on either hand  improves the ease of playing)

        musicianship (quality of sound, conforming to all the expression symbols in this sheet music)

        interpretation (varying the sound and time of notes according to personal taste, phrasing, establishing a proper mood or feeling, realizing ornaments symbols, etc.).

        music appreciation (exposure to a wide variety of music from all historical periods, which positively influences the student's ability to play contrasting styles in an authentic fashion.)

        theory (the building blocks, structure, and notation of music, leading to a full understanding of each piece studied, so the student plays the music properly.)

        composition, arranging and improvisation (focusing on the creative aspect of music)

        ear training (learning to recognize the names of intervals and chords,  nelody and rhythm patterns without looking at sheet music; the goal is to dramatically improve the students musical hearing, leading to better instrumental performance.)

Development of the student's unique musical personality

Rather than teach students to copy the teacher's playing style, we have specialized techniques that allow them to develop their own.  This self-discovery process takes mental effort and experimentation with sound variations, guided by an expert teacher.  Eventually, the student develops a strong sense of confidence as a musician, and the ability to be creative without the teacher's assistance.  Thus, even our younger students become real musical artists.

For every hour in the studio, our head teacher spends approximately 30 minutes on lesson preparation. (See point 3 below for details.) 

In short, his students pay for a 30-minute lesson, but receive 45 minutes of his time as teachers.  The overall result is a highly effective, detailed, content-rich lesson experience that helps students master their instrument more quickly and thoroughly.

Important note: The head teacher routinely shares the content of his lesson prep to our associate, early childhood teacher, to an extent that's relevant to her students.  Also, most students who stay with us for 2-3 years or more eventually move to the head teacher. 

Exclusive Accelerando Training Method for Piano and Guitar. 

Our head teacher designed this musical activity-based method to produce the fastest possible progress in learning piano and guitar.  Ultimately, it serves as a pathway to the highest levels of instrumental mastery.  See the topic Piano and Guitar Learning Curriculums below for details.

Click here for important Accelerando Method disclaimer

Piano and Guitar Still Testing

For students/parents who request it, we offer testing in ear training, "technical" exercises (such as scales) and music performance, which provides provides a clear measurement of student progress.  With each successful test, the selected student rises one grade out of 10, giving them  a sense of accomplishment and confidence.  Best of all, the skills acquired improve one's playing and ability to learn new music quickly.


The testing curriculum is based on the internationally recognized standards.

1000s of custom learning materials for piano and guitar created by our head teacher, that you can't find in stores or on the Internet. 

These include:

        detailed study notes for piano or guitar pieces the student is working on (see the topic "Custom Piano Editions with Study Notes" below)

        free sheet music

        free arrangements of virtuoso music designed for advanced beginners and intermediates (makes children and teens sound like "junior concert performers")       

        "excerpt" arrangements from full-length masterworks (not available anywhere else), so you can sound like a concert pianist with out months of practicing long pieces

        free studies and exercises for developing technical virtuosity

        free music theory handouts

        essays on technique, musicianship and such as melodic "ornaments", etc.

These innovative materials provide highly effective instruction for students at all levels―from beginner to professional.  They also offer an intellectually stimulating, activity-based enhancement to the traditional manner of teaching from store-bought sheet music.

In many cases, students can instantly print copies of these free materials on our studio printer.

Or―if the student downloads the free Finale Notepad 2012 software―they can play back the head teacher's Finale music files on their computer at any speed they want.  As an added bonus, we wrote a manual on this software tailored  to our students usage, which is free of charge.

For advanced students, digital metronome and highly sophisticated chord and note-recognition "flashcard" software, written by our head teacher.

  Our teachers have a minimum of 12 years of music teaching experience.

Our head teacher has 50 years of music experience, college and university training in music theory and performance, and has published music teaching books sold on major retail websites.

  We are full-time, professional teachers.

As a result of this exclusive focus, we are expert musical educators capable of delivering rapid, quality progress and satisfaction to our students. 

Lesson Sign-up/Free Introductory Lesson

Prospective students (and parents of students who are minor children) are invited to attend a free introductory lesson.  During that time, both will have a chance to interact with the teachers and evaluate the studio environment.  Since we frequently receive referrals from current, happy lesson customers, we are confident that all involved will be pleased with their experience.


To schedule your free introductory lesson, call us at the number above.


Custom Piano Editions with Study Notes

In prior years, our head teacher produced dozens of professionally-typeset guitar music editions designed for our students.  Now, he is introducing the same type of editions for piano.  Each of these meticulously crafted publications involves up to 40 hours of effort in the following areas:

Creation of detailed study notes that explain every major aspect of learning the music, which are used to guide the student in their lessons.  Particularly important are solutions to technical and rhythmic problems that allow students to overcome difficulties quickly.

Adding numerous fingering indications (numbers 1-5) that make the music easier to play. This is especially important in passages that must be played fast.  Furthermore, doing this work up front means that valuable lesson time is not wasted while the teacher adds or corrects fingerings in commercial editions.

  Melodic ornaments (trills, mordents, etc.), which are usually abbreviated symbols such as "tr", are "realized" or written out in full.  All these realizations are confirmed by listening to recordings of the world's greatest concert piano interpreters, who are the true experts as far as ornament performance is concerned.  In contrast, relying on the ornament interpretations in commercial editions often leads to musically unsatisfying results. 

Below is an example of a trill realization: 


In contrast, the "as written" example would be incomprehensible to many younger students.


These custom editions are just one of many examples of Apple Valley Piano Academy's commitment to the highest levels of excellence in piano teaching, and above all, to the piano playing success of our students.


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Answers to Piano Questions


Click Here for Piano Answers


We Train Teachers/

Guitar and Piano Teachers Wanted


If you are a relatively new teacher having difficulty with the business or solving your students learning problems, we can help.  Call or e-mail us for more information.


We are also looking for independent piano and guitar teachers to work with us.


Main Menu


General Lesson Information

What Do Lessons Cost?

AVGPA Students Offered Scholarships

New Feature of Our Piano Program

Testimonial of an Amazing Transformation

Recorded Proof that Our Teaching Methods Produce Extraordinary Results

Studying Fine-Art Music Improves Intelligence

Piano and Guitar Learning Curriculums

Buying a Student Guitar

Customer Service Contact information

Letters from Students and Parents


New to Our Site


The Inside Story of the Piano

Piano Tone Production Theory

(These articles explain many technical terms in the ones below)

Buying a Piano

How to Use the Piano Pedals

How to Improve the Sound of Your Piano


General Lesson Information


Apple Valley Guitar & Piano Academy of Apple Valley, MN offers private and semi-private lessons for Adults, Teens, and Children ages 4-12 in:



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What Do Lessons Cost?


The word "cost" is only meaningful when you know exactly what you will receive for your money, and the hidden fees or expenses involved. 


In the case of music teaching, the long-term cost of learning to play an instrument properly is what really matters, not the price per lesson.  This cost includes:


1. Printed learning materials. We offer our own professionally typeset, self-published music, chord charts, and theory printouts free of charge.  This can reduce the cost of music study by as much as $10 per month. Read more about this money-saving feature.


Note: Students must pay for any sheet music and method books we have purchased for their convenience from music stores, or ordered from publishers. As is the case with any music teaching studio affiliated with the Apple Valley Music Teachers Association, these commercial materials are required.


Sample of Our Free Guitar Sheet Music:

Lagrima, by Tarrega.


Notice the detailed information about fingerings and string numbers, standard

notation and tab, just as you would see in a top-quality commercial edition.



Sample of Our Free Piano Sheet Music:

Minuet in G, BWV 114 from the Anna Magdelana Bach Book


Notice the inclusion and written explanation of the mordent and appoggiatura ornaments.  One or both are often missing from commercial editions.



Click here for an example of a piano technique article our students receive for free.


2. The amount of time to reach a level where the student can play real, enjoyable solo music, not 20-second riffs and chord strumming Since our innovative teaching systems produce results about 2-3 times faster than traditional methods, over time, 100s or even 1000s of dollars can be saved by learning guitar or piano with us.  Less effective teaching methods produce slower progress.


Therefore, the lessons in a slower program actually cost more than our Accelerando (tm) Piano and Guitar methods to reach the same goal, even though the cost per lesson is less with the slower program.


To confirm point 2 above, here's a parent's testimonial regarding the successful debut performance of their 12-year-old after 1 year of lessons:


"We wanted to let you know that our son played in church today. More people than we could count complimented him after the performance. The pastor said it brought tears to his eyes. We heard so many people say they never thought a guitar could sound so full and beautiful."


More Letters from Students and Parents

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AVGPA Students Offered Scholarships  


An AVGPA student recently received a $12,000 scholarship to study guitar at the University of Minnesota, AFTER JUST 8 MONTHS OF CLASSICAL LESSONS with us.  This student was taught with our exclusive Accelerando Guitar Method (discussed below) which is available to students of any age or ability level.  We also have an Accelerando Method for piano.


A St. Thomas University professor gave another guitar student assurances he would receive a scholarship if he applied to the music school.  This student also received a grade of "A" after an evaluation by a member of the Minnesota Orchestra.


These independent assessments by top music experts confirm our claims of educational quality and results throughout the remainder of this site.


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Recorded Proof that Our Teaching Methods Produce Extraordinary Results


Below are recordings of children and teens playing adult-level guitar solos. 


"When I first visited this site and heard these beautiful recordings, I never dreamed that my son would be playing one of these pieces so soon!"

Parent of a 12-year-old guitar student


Click this link to view Apple Valley Guitar Academy YouTube Videos



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Testimonial of an Amazing Transformation


The following testimonial is regarding a student who quit lessons with a recording artist to study at Apple Valley Guitar Academy.  At age 12, he is now a musical performer in his community.


"We really wanted our child to learn from someone who genuinely cared about the technique and precision needed to master classical guitar.  We are so happy with the progress he has made and we graciously thank you.  It has been an amazing transformation and we appreciate all you have done for him."


More Letters from Students and Parents

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Studying Fine-Art Music Improves Intelligence


Science has shown that playing fine-art/classical music improves overall intelligence, stimulates artistic creativity, and boosts learning ability.  This is because the music has highly elaborate rhythms, a wide range of harmonic (chord) colors, and a complex overall structure in terms of how the notes interact.


You or your child can enjoy these benefits with the guidance of our fine-art music experts.  In particular, we are one of the few studios in the area that specializes in teaching classical music on the guitar.


Note that we also teach quality popular music.


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Piano and Guitar Learning Curriculums






available exclusively at Apple Valley Guitar and Piano Academy, allows students to maximize musical enjoyment, reach their full potential as pianists, and do both as quickly as possible.


Details of this Revolutionary Piano Lesson System

Important Accelerando Method disclaimer


Let us Help You with Your Piano Purchase



We also use the "Accelerando" approach to teach guitar.

Click here to learn more




Our head has written a book of acoustic guitar studies, exercises, and recital pieces, organized into five student levels, plus concert/virtuoso level.  It was created because commercial learning materials for beginners and intermediates don't appeal to many of our students. 


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Apple Valley Guitar & Piano Academy Recital Students, June 2009


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Buying a Student Guitar


Retail stores today offer a wide variety of guitars with significant differences in beauty of tone, structural quality, longevity, warranties, and suitability for beginners/children.  Our master teacher, who has 40 years of experience with the major acoustic guitar makes/models, has written a Guitar Buying Guide to help you in your purchase.


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Buying a Piano


The issues above regarding a guitar purchase are compounded by the much higher cost of the piano. Therefore, the professional assistance we offer in buying a piano is a must.   To learn more, click here: Let Us Help You with Your Piano Purchase.


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The Inside Story of the Piano


A thorough understanding of how a piano works contributes to better playing, and proper maintenance that keeps it sounding it's best year-round.  To this end, our head teacher has written an article on this topic. Click here to read the article.


How to Use the Piano Pedals


This is another article by our head teacher, which offers into the three piano pedals: damper, una corda, and sostenuto.  Click here to read the article.


Customer Service Contact information


Call: 952-322-4329 or 612-710-0800

E-mail: info @ AVGuitarAcademy . com

Mail: Apple Valley Guitar Academy

PO Box 241204

Apple Valley, Minnesota, 55124, USA


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Privacy Statement


All information we obtain from customers in order to conduct our music lesson business and process payments is kept confidential.  We do not sell e-mail or postal addresses of our customers to any other party.


Payment, Cancellation, Return and Refund Policies


Official PayPal Seal


More Information on

Apple Valley Guitar & Piano Academy




We offer lessons on acoustic (steel string) and classical (nylon string) guitars. 

Steel-string training includes playing with a pick or fingerstyle (with the right-hand fingers). 

Classical guitar, often called "Spanish guitar", is taught fingerstyle. 



We are located in Apple Valley, MN,

and serve the following South of the River communities:

Apple Valley, Burnsville, Cannon Falls, Coates, Eagan, Eden Prairie, Farmington, Hastings, Inver Grove Heights, Lakeville, New Market, Northfield, Owatonna, Prior Lake, Rosemount, and Webster




AVGA Teachers


Piano Student Registration Form

Guitar Student Registration Form





Private Guitar Lessons: 30/45/60 minutes

Private Piano Lessons: 30/45/60 minutes

On-demand Workshops for Intermediate and Advanced guitarists and pianists


Closed Dates/Holidays

*updated 10/2010








Toll Free: 1-866-994-Bach (1-866-994-2224)

Copyright 2004-2011 The Markert Group, Inc.  P.O. Box 241204 Apple Valley, MN 55124

This site was last updated 03/10/15

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Piano lessons Apple Valley, Piano lessons Burnsville, Piano lessons Cannon Falls, Piano lessons Coates, Piano lessons Eagan, Piano lessons Farmington, Piano lessons Hastings, Piano lessons Inver Grove Heights, Piano lessons Lakeville, Piano lessons New Market, Piano lessons Northfield, Piano lessons Owatonna, Piano lessons Prior Lake, Piano lessons Rosemount, and Piano lessons Webster

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