Austin's Best Little Music School

Who

A CLASSROOM MOMENT CREATED A BUSINESS

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.

A BUSINESS INSPIRES MANY

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.

MEET THE TEAM

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 a creative and fun guitar class has won praises from the kids, staff, and parents.

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.

These 2 kids were inseparable and eventually the rock-star-wanna-be, JP, wanted something more stable; so, he traded his life on-stage to work as a Music Teacher in public schools. Meanwhile, Shani was dabbling in event planning, management, and consulting through employment and outside opportunities. Before the young couple married, JP asked Shani if starting a music school would be a legit business plan.

During their courtship, Shani had observed his skill, determination, and positive energy with his students and approved with no hesitation co-founding the business, Franklin Music Academy. While JP remains the poster boy and Music Director of the business, Shani concentrates on business behind-the-scenes in her role as the Business Director.

 


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

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

 

EDUCATION
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.

 

Biography Kerry Burkhart

Kerry Burkhart

Guitar, Ukulele & Beginner Piano Instructor

I began my musical endeavors when I joined the Army Band as a guitar player in 2009 and toured throughout the country playing important events with ensembles that covered styles such as rock, R&B, country, and jazz. After a few years as an Army Bandsman, I left the active service and I went back to school and obtained a degree in jazz guitar from Texas State University in 2017. While attending my undergrad, I was hired as a guitar player and backup singer for Donovan Keith, who is a reputable soul singer in the Austin area and was formerly the co-leader of Soul Track Mind. With Donovan Keith I have gotten the opportunity to perform in notable venues all across Texas, as well as out of state in places like Nashville and Memphis. I also studied classical and jazz piano while doing my bachelor’s degree and I have been studying classical piano with Dr. Daria Rabotkina since August 2020. I’m currently on my last semester of my Master’s in Music Composition at Texas State University and I plan to continue teaching, performing and writing after I graduate. I love teaching both guitar and piano and sharing my many musical interests with my students.

Accomplishments:
- Bill Watrous Jazz Festival Award for Outstanding Jazz Soloist (2014)
- Black Fret Award winner with Donovan Keith (2018)
- Medal of Merit for service in the Texas National Guard Band (2019)