Fine Arts Conservatory

PDS Fine Arts Conservatory

Looking to set your son or daughter up with private music or art lessons? Then the following information is for you!

Private Lesson Guidelines

  1. Private music lessons are $25 per half-hour.  
  2. Lessons will be billed 4x each school year (Oct, Dec, March, May).
  3. All lessons and communications are scheduled and exchanged directly with each specific instructor.  
  4. In the event of illness, tardiness, or forgetfulness, you will still be charged for the lesson. There will be no make-up lessons.
  5. In the event the instructor must miss a lesson, there will be no charge to you, and you may opt for a make-up lesson.
  6. We ask that you please do not confer with your child’s instructor either before or after his lesson, as the instructor will normally have another lesson scheduled at that time.
  7. The best way to contact the instructor is via email. Contact information and instructor biographies are listed below.
Dawn Southerland – piano –
Dawn is a Memphis native who has always loved music. Growing up, she regularly participated in various piano competitions and choral festivals. She received her BA in Music Education with a piano minor, and later received her Master’s in Orff-Schulwerk, studying piano with Samuel Viviano (a graduate of Julliard). She began teaching piano lessons when she was in high school, and continued all through college and into her professional life. She is the mother of two children, one of whom took piano lessons and one who did not.  Dawn testifies that the one who did not take lessons (and now plays guitar and bass in a band) deeply regrets not doing so, and the child who did take lessons credits the discipline she developed with her piano study with her current success in college as a biochemical engineering major.  As a teacher, Dawn firmly believes that the piano can be used as a great ‘stepping stone’ to both mastering other instruments and promoting self-discipline in various other areas of life. Additionally, Dawn has been a member of the Memphis Symphony Chorus and is currently serving as the Vice President of the Memphis Chapter of the American Orff-Schulwerk Association.
Lisa Ault - piano, voice -
Lisa began studying piano and performing at the age of five, training first in the Japanese "Suzuki" method before later moving to traditional lessons as a young teen. Driven by the experience of teaching private music lessons in high school, Lisa continued her education at the University of Memphis, where she earned a degree in choral music education. At the U of M, she studied classical piano with Dr. Victor Asuncion, a professor and worldwide performer, as well as served as a member of the University Orchestra and the University Singers. In addition, Lisa is very active in the Memphis theatre community, and has sung and played in numerous weddings throughout the city.
Rick Forbus – guitar -
After playing in rock combos in the late 70s, Rick moved to San Antonio to study under Jackie King and jazz legend Herb Ellis at the Southwest Guitar Conservatory. Upon returning to Memphis, he immediately began giving lessons and playing the local venues. His house gigs have included (but are not limited to) The Peabody, The Grand Casino, The Adams Mark, and clubs on Beale Street. He developed “Rock School” in the early nineties, and later, ROCK 3:16.  Between those dates, he authored the three-book series, “The Young Christians’ Guitar Method”. It has been estimated that this professional instructor has given over 30,000 guitar lessons in four different decades, and it is evidenced by the fact that his former students have sold millions of records. On any given night they may be seen performing from Beale Street to stadiums around the world. Rick currently teaches at PDS on Wednesday afternoons, and is about to open up Fridays as well.

Salvatore Guerra – violin –
Salvatore is a recent transplant to Memphis, and after a one-year stint with the Memphis City Schools, is currently working in and around our fair city and county playing various gigs in the music/theatre community. In addition to receiving his BA in Music from Conservatory of Music “Umberto Giordano” in Foggia, Italy, he pursued graduate studies in music performance at the University of Alabama, where he also received a BS in Business Administration. He has performed in numerous solo and ensemble recitals as well as a member in the first violin section of both the Tupelo and Tuscaloosa symphonies. Additionally, he was a violin instructor at the Suzuki Music School in Columbus, MS for 12 years. Salvatore currently teaches at PDS on Monday afternoons.

Band News

January 04, 2016 - 11:34

Band Resumes Tues 1/5

Band Rehearsals and Lessons Resume this week! All Band Students will meet after school on Tuesday, 1/5 for full band rehearsal. Band Lessons will meet as usual on Wednesday and Thursday. Help your son remember to bring his instrument and music to school on Tuesday. Thank you! Mrs. Hancock
December 14, 2015 - 23:00

Band Notes-Dec 14

Dear Band Parents, Thank you for your wonderful support at our concert last Thursday evening. I was so proud of all the boys--what a great way to end the semester! Just a reminder that we do not have band this week. (No Tuesday afterschool and no lessons Wed/Thurs) The boys are working hard to put…
December 06, 2015 - 20:12

Band Notes-Dec 6-Concert Week!

Dear Band Parents, It is Concert Week! We are very excited for our first concert this Thursday, Dec 10 at 7 pm in the Fellowship Hall. On Thursday, the boys should report no later than 6:30 pm to the Jeb Russell Room (directly across from the FH) for warm-up/tuning. Families with last names…
November 30, 2015 - 18:15

Band Notes-Nov 30

Dear Band Parents, Please remind your son that we have our regular band rehearsal and lesson schedule this week. I am hoping for perfect attendance on Tuesday afterschool. Thank you for your help with that. Please help your son to have his instrument and his band book and binder at school tomorrow.…
November 22, 2015 - 21:10

Band Reminders-Nov 23 & 24

Band Reminders: *Band Lessons meet on Monday and Tuesday this week. *No afterschool rehearsal on Tuesday, Nov 24. Thank you! Mrs. Hancock
November 21, 2015 - 09:01

Band Notes-Nov 20-please read

Dear Band Parents, We have some important calendar items to make sure you are aware of: * We will have Band Lessons THIS Monday and Tuesday. Please help your son bring his instrument to school on…