For Members: Road Conditions and Lesson Calendar


Type of Music Lessons We Teach


At the Apple Valley location, we teach piano and NYLON-string fingerstyle guitar.  Click here for more information about our Nylon-String Guitar Lessons.


We have associate teachers located close by for acoustic steel-string and electric/amplified guitar lessons, and all types of playing with a flatpick.


Please Read These Articles Before Buying a Piano or Guitar 


Students at the Apple Valley location need, at minimum, a quality solid-top guitar or full-featured digital piano to motivate adequate practice, develop good technique, progress steadily, and enjoy their music studies.  If you don't already have an instrument, a purchase must be made before lessons begin.  Examples:


Casio PX-160 digital piano with legs and pedal board add-ons (~$700)

(Note: Keyboards that play at only one volume level and/or have small keys are universally considered unacceptable for lessons.)


Cordoba C-5 (full size) solid top nylon string guitar, mid-teen to adult (~$300)

Cordoba Dolce (7/8) solid top nylon string guitar, tweener (~$300)

Cordoba Cadete (3/4) solid top nylon string guitar, small child (~$300)

Fender CD-60S solid top steel string guitar, mid-teen to adult ($200)

Fender CC-60S solid top steel string guitar, tweener ($200)


Available at Schmitt Music in Burnsville, 952-435-2454. 

For more piano options, speak with Barb; for guitars, Gregg W.


Piano Buying Guide

Essential Piano Accessories


Student Guitar Advisory and Buying Guide

Essential Guitar Accessories

Protect Your Guitar From Winter, Etc.


In addition, you can call or e-mail us with any related questions.


Registration for Lessons


If you're interested in enrollment, please fill out the appropriate form below.  Both forms are fillable with a computer, and can be e-mailed as PDF attachments.  Or, you can mail the form. 




1. PDF reader software is required on you computer to open the forms. 


2. Some Internet browsers display the form in read-only mode, which you cannot fill in.  Instead, you must save the file to your computer hard drive first.  It should end up in your browser file download list, or you can search for it on your computer as:

AVPARegisFormPiano or APMSRegisFormGuitar.


If the form is not saved to your hard drive, there are browser font errors due to the software used to create the form.  These are not typesetting mistakes on our part. 


The form must be received before scheduling a guitar sizing or lesson readiness evaluation for younger students, or the first lesson.


Piano Student Registration Form

Guitar Student Registration Form





We are located in southeastern Apple Valley, Minnesota,

near the intersection of Pilot Knob Road and County Road 42. 


We have a comfortable, spacious, colorfully decorated music learning center with two studios, extensive music libraries, computers with widescreen HD monitors and quality speakers for audio/visual music training, an acoustic grand piano, and a high-end digital mini-grand.  


 What Do Lessons Cost?


To maintain competitive confidentiality, we do not publish our lesson rates on the Internet.  Also, we have different guitar teachers for each age group and musical style, whose rates vary. 


For a fast quote, the number is 952-322-4329. You can call, or text the following information:

  1. Your name

  2. The age of the student

  3. Your instrument: indicate piano or guitar.  For guitar, tell us the type (acoustic steel-string, acoustic nylon-string, electric/amplified) and how you want to play (with a plastic pick--say "flatpick" or plucking with right-hand fingers--say "fingerstyle")

  4. The style of music you want to learn (pop, rock/lead, classical, Latin/Spanish, blues, jazz, etc.).  A few examples of song titles with the name of the composer or artist is also helpful.

You should receive a reply to your text within a few hours. 




Our rates are about average for this area across all teachers--not the cheapest nor the most expensive.  Compared to others with 25 years of teaching experience, as well as professional accomplishments, book authoring, and college training for certain teachers, the rates are, in some cases at least, lower than average.




As an example, here's a quote from the parents of a 12-year-old student after one year of lessons with our head teacher:


"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


As another example, a teenage student who could only fingerpick basic guitar chords when he arrived received a five-figure scholarship to study guitar at a major university NINE MONTHS AFTER enrollment with us.  This was made possible with our head teacher's innovative, multi-layered technical method, which took several years to create.  To this day, we have not found any method anywhere in the world with this level of learning power.


Overall, our 25-year track record is full of students making remarkable progress--and sometimes playing at a professional level--within 1-2 years. 


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.

Free 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, or click here for an example.)

·        free sheet music (click here for samples)

·        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, theory, ornamentation, etc.

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. 

At lesson studios where free, high-quality learning resources are minimal or not provided, you can pay $100+ extra per year for these required materials.  In short, these lessons can cost about $10 more per month than the quote you receive.

Students 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 premium 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. 

Students can also use a MIDI keyboard to  capture what they play on the screen as staff notation.

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:

·        techniquethe 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)

·        musicianshipquality of sound, conforming to all the expression symbols in written sheet music

·        interpretationvarying the sound and time of notes according to personal taste, phrasing, establishing a proper mood or feeling, realizing ornaments symbols, etc.

·        music appreciationexposure 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 of 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 "1000s of custom learning materials…" 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. 

Piano Skill Testing

For students/parents who request it, we offer graded testing in ear training, "technical" exercises (such as scales and arpeggios) 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.

  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. 

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Links to Essential Topics


Important Notices for Prospective Students

18 Reasons for Studying Piano and Guitar at Our Music Academy

Piano Learning Curriculums

Buying a Guitar (read this before you go to the store)

Piano Buying Guide (read this before you go to the store)

General Lesson Information

Studio Hours

What Do Lessons Cost?

Testimonial of an Amazing Transformation

Letters from Students and Parents

Recorded Proof that Our Teaching Methods Produce Extraordinary Results

Studying Fine-Art Music Improves Intelligence


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.  


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 commitment to each student's musical 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 Notices for Prospective Students


1. Prospective students (and parents of those 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, please call us at the phone number above.


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


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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Our Newest Feature:

Free Hidden Treasures of Piano Music

For those students who love classical piano music, our head teacher has compiled a a FREE SHEET MUSIC catalog of hundreds of "hidden treasures".

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

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

Some 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 four hours to find one of these rare sheet music scores.  In other cases, there is only one piano music treasure in an entire large collection.  Thus, pianists must play through numerous pieces in dozens of collections to find all the pieces in our catalog.

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

Custom Piano Editions with Study Notes

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:

Detailed study notes, 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.

Numerous fingering indications (1-5), including extra ones missing from standard sheet music, and improvements on existing ones. This is especially important in passages that must be played fast.  As a result, the music is much easier for our students to play.

Furthermore, doing this work up front means that valuable lesson time is not wasted while the teacher adds or corrects fingerings in standard 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.


Special Articles on the Piano


The Inside Story of the Piano

Piano Tone Production Theory

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

How to Use the Piano Pedals

How to Improve the Sound of Your Piano

Piano Tuning: The Key to Beautiful Tone


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 Learning Curriculums


  Let us Help You with Your Piano Purchase


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Apple Valley Guitar & Piano Academy Recital Students


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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


Contact Apple Valley Piano Academy,

Apple Valley, Minnesota


Call: 952-322-4329

E-mail: info @ AVGuitarAcademy . com


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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


Types of Guitars Used for Lessons


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








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This site was last updated 03/18/19

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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

test wmv

tTest Download of Blank Finale Piano Score

Finale 2003 or higher required to open the file.

Mouse right-click the underlined link above,

choose "Save link as" from the pop-up menu,

download prompt or process will begin.