Austin's Best Little Music School



One school year experience inspired a business. If an entire classroom of kids with varying skill levels can be taught at once then so much more can be done as an entrepreneur.


We teach music not because we expect your child to major in music or be a professional musician. Instead our aim is to develop the amateur artist who enjoys playing music for a lifetime for pleasure.


We are a small, yet mighty team of musicians that's driven to offer the best music lessons in Austin. Forever ready to bust our musical chops and transform the way your child loves music.

Who is JP Ahmad

JP Ahmad

Founder | Principle Director

Jamsheed Pirzada Ahmad graduated from Boston University in 2000 with a B.A in Music Theory and Composition.  After leaving Boston, he returned to his hometown of Cleveland, OH and studied piano with James Tannenbaum at the Cleveland Institute of Music and Maria Pla at Cleveland State University where he earned his professional teaching certificate in music.  Mr. Ahmad has been teaching piano privately for 15 years and was employed as a public school elementary music teacher from 2006-2014 serving both the communities of Orlando, FL and Austin, TX.

List of accomplishments since starting the Franklin Music Academy:

  • In 2010, J.P. and his wife, Shani, founded the Franklin Music Academy with a handful of students. The Academy quickly grew in size due to both the success of J.P.’s teaching methods and the effectiveness of a completely new K-12 curriculum for both piano and guitar designed and implemented by J.P.
  • The Franklin Music Academy ran a pilot program for a summer camp concept in 2015.  A curriculum was designed for a one week camp which would give total beginners, ages 7-12 years, a chance to learn some basic skills on three different instruments.  The program proved its merit when the campers performed two songs for their parents at the end of the week.  The trial was very successful as the camp continues its 4th consecutive summer in 2018 with many return campers.
  • In 2017, the Franklin Music Academy caught the attention of the owners of the Montessori school, Parkside Community School, in south Austin.  The challenge was presented to teach a guitar curriculum that was educational yet fun to students ranging from 3rd to 6th grade with minimal to beginner skill level. The transition to create a fun guitar class won praises from the kids, staff, and parents. Ultimately, the program ended during the pandemic in 2021.


Parkside Parent Testimonial to Executive Team/Founders


I wanted to share with you (and Joe, but I don't seem to have his email) how great guitar was for Tino today.

Tino is an enthusiastic kid, and I'm not sure I've seen him so excited before, especially about something new.  I found out this afternoon that he wasn't really looking forward to Guitar because he thought it would be too hard and he wouldn't be able to do it.

I picked him up at after school today and he was practicing his songs with a bunch of kids around him singing along with him.  He insisted we rush home because he couldn't wait to play some more.  He insisted his guitar be right in front of his seat in the car because he wanted to hold it.

He came home and played for probably 45 minutes and couldn't wait for his dad to come home to show him.  At dinner, he could not stop talking about how cool guitar is and how great JP was.  I can tell he hung on every word JP said and that JP really made a connection.  He is so excited to continue guitar.  He told me he's mad that he can't go to guitar tomorrow and see JP again.  He wishes he could have guitar everyday.

So anyway, THANK YOU for encouraging all the kids to do guitar and for finding JP, who obviously is off to a great start at Parkside!



Who is Shani Montique-Ahmad | Franklin Music Academy

Shani Montique-Ahmad

Co-founder | Business Director

Since 6th grade, Shani has always had a fascination with music and without any coercing from her parents she selected the cello and played in the orchestra until her senior year in high school. Years later, after she graduated from the School of Business at Texas State University, she met her future husband who initially came to Austin to be a rock star.

Shani Montique-Ahmad and her husband JP founded Franklin Music Academy in 2010. There are several instructors on staff, JP is the music director, and Shani is the glue that holds the whole operation together. As the business manager, Shani handles marketing, HR, web design, PR, facilities management, customer service, bookkeeping, and other daily operations.

Born in Austin to Jamaican immigrants, Shani developed a respect for hard work and a passion for growth. Since the founding of FMA, she feels that she’s finally doing something special that utilizes her full spectrum of skills and knowledge.

As JP is the Music Director, naturally the poster boy and face of the business. Shani takes on supportive roles and does much of the heavy lifting to keep the business going. Running a family-owned business is a dream come true, so she takes great fulfillment from supporting her husband and their shared dream in this way. Shani believes a person should always aspire to fulfill their passion and mentor others in the process.

Aside from her role as the Operations Manager at the music school, she enjoys blogging on various parent guide and music-related topics on our music school site. In the past, Shani blogged for an online publication, Austin Moms, which is the largest digital parent resource in the Austin area.




Susanna Silvestro piano & voice instructor

Susanna Silvestro

Piano & Voice Instructor

Susanna performed at her first piano recital at age 5. She's studied with a relative of the famous composer Khachaturian. She also studied with the late UT Austin Prof. Danielle Martin, where she received her BA in music. She performs at Austin venues, college campuses, coffee shops, restaurants, and churches where she's helped lead worship. She teaches piano and voice lessons at music studios around Austin as well as at her own studio A Music School. She was a member of the UT Longhorn Singers and also attended the Berklee College of Music as a voice major. She hopes to be a recording artist and make songs that inspire people and make a difference in the world.

YouTube page

Piano Lita Guerra, 03-04
Voice Rose Taylor, Summer 98
Jazz Theory Richard J. Lawn, Spring 98


BA, Music; Minor: Theater and Dance, 2003 - The University of Texas at Austin, Austin, TX
Berklee College of Music (jazz & popular music performance school), Boston, Massachusetts (Aug. 1998-May 1999)



Who Jesse Hernandez

Jesse Hernandez

Guitar & Ukulele Instructor

Jesse is a third year music teacher with Franklin Music Academy who has a passion for rock! He's a bass player in his band "The Band GOOD", and tours regularly with his bandmates. He juggles teaching and touring with attending Texas State University as a Performance and Production major with an emphasis in writing. Jesse hopes to continue to perform professionally and teach budding musicians like himself.