Passion Pulse Vol 2 Issue 2

Posted by | Announcements, Events | No Comments

Hello to all our parents, friends, supporters, and students. Welcome to another edition of The Passion Pulse. And welcome to February! Although the holidays seem long gone, February is actually jam-packed with activity. The Superbowl, Valentine’s Day, Black History Month, President’s Day, Mardi Gras and Lent, the Winter Olympics…these are just a few of the goings on here in our country and around the world.

Have you ever stopped to think about what all of these events have in common? The answer is ownership. As we celebrate Black History Month we find ourselves (hopefully) taking ownership of mistakes made in our country’s past, as well as owning up to how we can all do better. As we celebrate Valentine’s Day today, we celebrate love, something that goes far beyond just a feeling, but rather takes ownership on our part to actually BE loving, even when we don’t “feel” love.

Over the next few weeks millions of people all over the world will take ownership of their spiritual lives, their internal world, as they revel in life and then spend some time fasting and reflecting on the things that matter most. And as we get ready to take some time off of work and school this weekend, we celebrate some very well-known leaders who decided to take ownership of their destiny and their country’s destiny, as well as their God-given rights to enjoy life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. And finally, we recognize what may be the most obvious and concrete examples of ownership…world-renown athletes displaying the fruit of years and years of what we might call extreme ownership, taking charge of our own minds and bodies, disciplining ourselves to achieve a dream, whether it’s a Superbowl ring or a gold medal.

Inspired yet? Ready to take some ownership? Great! Because that’s exactly what we want for all of our students at Passion Academy…a sense of ownership when it comes to their talent, their dreams and their goals.

Anthony Mazzochi says something very powerful about this idea of ownership in his book, The Music Parents’ Guide. “When a student understands, “why”, “how”, “where”, and “when” to practice, they have been given power. They will feel a sense of responsibility, which will then lead to self-motivation and routine. Ideally we want our children to have ownership over their own learning in every aspect of life, and music education is a wonderful way to teach this.”

So, in addition to everything going on this month, and in the spirit of all those who came before us, here’s to making February, “Passionate Ownership Month.” Together we celebrate our ability, as uniquely created individuals to achieve and to accomplish all that we set our hearts and minds to.

Please mark your calendars for Saturday, April 21 for our next live music showcase. Stay tuned for registration details but start working with you or your student’s mentor now on a song.

Passion is always looking for new mentors. If you know people who you think would be a good fit for our Passion team and culture, please refer them to the application page on our website.

Just another quick reminder that we have a new texting platform at Passion where you can receive periodic and important updates on big things coming up, as well as weather events and schedule changes. For Passion Academy updates text PASSION to 33222. For Passion Dance updates please text DANCER to the same number. 

Enrollment for Passion Summer Camps is open now…take advantage! And just in case you need a few reasons to sign your child up for something that will keep them occupied while they continue to learn and grow while you’re still trying to work here ya go…summer camps…

Ensure Continued Development of Skills
• Foster Independence and Self-Reliance
• Build Confidence through Successful, Meaningful Experiences
• Develop and Strengthen Friendships Rooted in the Arts

And if that isn’t reason enough, Passion’s Summer Camps are just cool!

For more information, click on the desired camp image below


Passion Dance is also hosting a couple of Musical Theatre Master Classes with Megan Tatum on Saturday, February 24:
Session One is from 3:30-5:00pm for 12 and under
Session Two is from 5:30-7:30pm for 12 and older


Summer Worship Leadership Training Intensive

Do you know young people in your church who have a gift for music and worship? Passion Academy will be running its first ever Art of Worship Summer Intensive this year. Dates are still TBD, but we are looking for young adults who are interested in joining us for a 1-2 week intensive focused on helping young worship leaders discover their call as a worshiper and their potential as a worship leader. We are calling it The Start of Worship: Summertime.

In addition we will have a one-week track intensive called The Art of Worship 2.0 for more experienced worship leaders who are currently serving as leaders/directors or pastors in their church.

Prospective students can apply now on The Art of Worship page.


Passion Pulse Vol 2 Issue 1

Posted by | Announcements, Events | No Comments

Being Enough in a New Year
What was your New Year’s resolution? Was it to lose weight? Exercise more? Watch TV less? Spend more time with your family? Maybe it was even to practice, or have your children practice their music or dance more…wink, wink.

Whatever it was, have you ever thought about where these resolutions come from? Why do we make them? Why do we have such trouble keeping them? Well, the obvious answer might be because we want to be better people right? We want to weigh less and do more, or maybe do less and just be more. We want to accomplish more and regret less. We just want to feel better about ourselves, about who we are and what we do. I mean who doesn’t right? So then why do we find it so hard to actually accomplish the “more”, to accomplish these “betters” that we set out to achieve and become? Here’s something to consider…maybe it’s because we tend to lose sight of our starting point, actually being “enough”. And no, we don’t mean just getting by being “good enough”, while never striving for excellence, this is an overall perspective, a running narrative in our heads, maybe even a fear, that constantly makes us doubt whether we are living up to the expectations we have for ourselves and the ones we think others have for us.

As a new year opens up at Passion, we really want to help show each student what their strengths are, where they shine and what they can accomplish, starting with the idea that who they are, them just being them is enough. It’s a great jumping off point don’t you think…beginning with the idea that you are uniquely created to be and do things in a way that nobody else can? We think so, because as each new student walks in, as each new program gets started or as familiar ones start up again, we get to take what is and make the most of it in order to unwrap and discover what will be. We get to uncover talents, skills, goals and achievements that lead to our students’ excellence and greatness. And that is when great things happen!

We got to experience so many exciting moments with you in 2017, but we are even more excited for the year to come. We are excited to discover all of the the possibilities ahead of us, for Passion as a whole and for each one of your students. We are grateful for all that they bring and how they make us remember every single day that we have so much to be thankful for, so much that already makes up all the best of who we are. To that we are excited to add the promise that the best is yet to come!

Invincible Continues to Inspire
If you didn’t get to see Passion Academy’s Winter Showcase production of Invincible you’ve probably heard by now that you missed out on an amazing experience! Fortunately, however our friends at Altamira Film Co. were able to put together an incredible video chronicling the event and the impact it had and continues to have. So here it is, hot off the press, Passion Academy and Altamira Film Co. proudly present Invincible: A Story of Hope.

Live Music Showcase – Rescheduled for April

As you recall our winter Live Music Showcase was cancelled due to, well, winter. As you recall this same weather phenomenon put some kinks in our winter live music showcase. After initially rescheduling another winter showcase for February, we thought it best to give everyone more time to prepare so we can do it up right. So we have moved our next showcase to April. It will be a spring showcase and will be the only one until winter rolls around again. Stay tuned for more details on this, but in the meantime please encourage your students to begin thinking about songs they might want to perform. April will come around quickly!

Election Day!
Voting is now open for Virginia Living Magazine Best of Virginia 2018! We would LOVE it if you could take a moment and VOTE for Passion Academy and Passion Arts Foundation. You helped catapult us to local fame and recognition through Richmond Magazine, Style Weekly and Virginia Living where last year we won “best of” in multiple categories. Help us do it again in this year’s edition of Virginia Living Magazine’s Best Of! You have until 11:59 p.m. Sunday, Jan. 28 to submit your ballot.

Looking for a Few Good Mentors
Passion is always on the look-out for new mentors who have a heart for mentoring, a proficiency in the Arts, and a willingness to serve, especially as we grow! We have mentors with a variety of backgrounds, experience, and education. If you know people who you think would be a good fit for our Passion team and culture, please refer them to the application page on our website. Thank you!
Passion Beer…That’s Right…Passion Beer!
Sugar Shack brought you the Passion Donut, but THIS Friday, January 26 from 4pm – closing, Three Notch’d Brewery will be bringing you the Practice Makes Passion Beer! Don’t miss out on trying this unique blend. And, not only is this a great chance to try a great beer with a great name, but our very own Passion Academy mentors/artists Colleen Christman and Elliott Johnson will be performing live at Three Notch’d from 5:30 – 6:30 pm. Pint specials will also be running from 4-7 pm. Come join us! Three Notch’d is located in Scott’s Addition at 2930 Broad St. All proceeds will benefit our Passion Arts Foundation.

Snow Days and the Like
The winter of 2017/18 has already proven to be out of the ordinary. With schools closed frequently and spring still a solid month away we wanted to just take a minute to remind you that our policy at Passion is to try to stay open as often as possible, while at the same time keeping everyone’s safety in mind. So please be sure to keep in contact with us often and early, and we will do the same!

New Texting Platform
And speaking of staying in touch, Passion Academy has just implemented a new texting platform that allows us to communicate with our Passion community via text! And it’s incredibly easy to sign up, for Passion Academy updates just text PASSION to 33222. For Passion Dance updates please text DANCER to the same number. Rest assured you will not be bombarded with promotional material; but you WILL be receiving important updates on things like snow day closures and major changes that you need to know about.

Summer is Coming
Although the recent snow has made it seem like summer is a long ways off, this week’s weather should be a reminder that it WILL be here before you know it; and with it will come Passion’s diverse offering of summer camps…vocals, drums, strings, artist band development, electronic music and of course our increasingly popular dance camps (Prince and Princess Pre-school Camp, Musical Theatre Camp, Ballet Performance Camp, and Hip Hop Camp). Start thinking about which camp(s) you or your student is interested in so you don’t miss out when dates are released. Passion summer camps run from mid-June to mid-August.

The Reason for the Season

Posted by | Announcements, Events | No Comments

Christmas time is here…family drawing near…fun for all that children call, their favorite time of year…” (Christmas Time is Here – Charlie Brown Christmas)

It’s the most wonderful time of the year. With those holiday greetings and gay happy meetings when friends come to call…it’s the hap-happiest season of all…” (It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year)

It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas, everywhere you go, take a look at the grand hotel, one in the park as well, the sturdy kind that doesn’t mind the snow…” (It’s Beginning to Look a Lot Like Christmas)

Santa Clause is comin to town, Santa Clause is comin to town, Santa Clause is comin to town…” (In case you didn’t guess this one…it’s Santa Clause is Coming to Town)

City sidewalks, busy sidewalks, dressed in holiday style. In the air there’s a feeling of Christmas…” (Silver Bells)

I’ll be home for Christmas, you can plan on me, please have snow and mistletoe, and presents on the tree. Christmas eve will find me, where the lovelight gleams. I’ll be home for Christmas, if only in my dreams.” (I’ll be Home for Christmas)

As these well-known Christmas songs declare, part of the magic and the beauty of Christmas is that it comes and then it goes, and then it comes around again? Today I looked at the official Christmas countdown clock so I could work on an Advent calendar with my daughter. It’s 10 days until Christmas folks! For kids those 10 days will go by much more slowly than for us adults. Maybe that’s why Christmas is so great as a child and a little more stressful as an adult. Time moves more slowly for kids. And maybe that’s why it seems harder and harder every year to make Christmas really mean something, because it seems to go by faster and faster as the years go by. And we all want Christmas to mean something right? We want the magic to be real, we want the way the house looks to be the way it looks all year, we want our family to act the rest of the year the way they do on Christmas (well, maybe not all of us do) but you get the idea. We recognize that there is supposed to be something special about these few short weeks out of the year.

I have great news though…there IS something special about these few short weeks, and it makes all the difference during the rest of the year. And that something special is found in a story and a question. The story is about Jesus, and the question is about whether I not I live as if the story is true. What if it really is true that a man named Jesus came to earth as a baby? What if it’s true that he really was worshipped by shepherds and kings, that he really did grow up to heal the sick and raise the dead and bring hope and life to an entire world of people, to everyone who ever existed and everyone who ever will exist. What if He really did die to take on the burdens we carry every single day? And what is he really was raised to life in order to not only take those burdens away, but to give us wings so that we could fly over the haze that so many people call life. What if all of it really is true? And what if, by taking it and putting it inside our minds and our hearts it could give us the very thing that the angels declared to the shepherds on that warm spring night so long ago…peace on earth!

We hope and pray this Christmas that it really will become true for you. We also hope that you find a little of that peace at Passion, that when you or your students walk through our doors they feel something different, that they feel wonder and joy and. But especially that they feel peace all through the year. We pray that it’s a safe and beautiful place for them to have fun and to experience all the best parts of life.

From our Passion family to yours, we want to wish you an extremely merry, a very happy and a purposefully peace-filled Christmas, New Year’s, Hanukkah and whatever other holiday or tradition you decide to celebrate to make this time of year special. And we want to thank you for the piece that you bring to us…the gift of yourselves, your students, your family, your gifts and your talents.

A Fantastic Year in Review
As we close out 2017 and prepare to jump into a new season, we wanted to take some time to reflect on all that you have helped Passion accomplish and become in 2017. Here are a few highlights from a crazy but amazing year!

The Best of 2017
Maybe the first thing we should mention is that 2017 was the year we started bringing you the Passion Pulse! You’ll notice in January’s issue that the heading will say “Volume 2” as we get ready to share a whole new year of exciting updates!

In March of 2017 Passion Academy brought on the newest member of the leadership team, our worship leadership and piano mentor Randall Goulard. And in April, with Randall’s help, Passion launched it’s Art of Worship program, a much-needed and much-talked about mentoring and development program for worship leaders.

In addition to our new worship leadership mentor, we added 25 new mentors in the areas of voice, piano, guitar, drums, artist development and of course Passion Dance! We added 145 new music students and 82 new dance students to our Passion Academy family and had multiple Artist Development students releasing their very first music! Here’s a quick list of the new tunes coming out of Passion Music Group. All in all Passion released 26 original songs that were written by our students and their mentors and were produced completely in-house!

Glory Miller – Tempest (8 Song EP)  Release Date: February 14, 2017
Zoe Macgill – Nothing To Fear (Single)  Release Date: April 4, 2017
Whitney Hull – Wildflowers (Single)  Release Date: May 15, 2017
Lauren Cash – Late At Night (4 Song EP)  Release Date: June 16, 2017
Jui Paithane – About Love (4 Song EP)  Release Date: July 28, 2017
Sarah Mackenzie – Sapphire Skies (Single)  Release Date: August 11, 2017
Passion Academy – We’re Doin’ Motown (Single)  Release Date: August 30, 2017
Flipside – Zero Gravity (Single)  Release Date: November 11, 2017
Nick Faulconer – Untested (5 Song EP)  Release Date: December 1, 2017

Summer Highlights
Summertime at Passion this year was a crazy but beautiful time of transition. The main highlight was the remodeling of our West end location, completed in just 8 short weeks, during which we continued to offer all of our normal lessons PLUS our many summer camps. Here’s a quick recap of what the new digs look like…

    •    In Phase One we added a new studio…Studio 4.
    •    In Phase Two we added a brand new (and much more comfortable and inviting) lobby space for all of you to relax in.
    •    Phase Three saw one of the biggest changes, our new Band Development / Recording Studio, Writing Suite and Vocal Booth, a much needed addition for our growing artist development program.
    •    And finally, Phase Four gave us Dance Studio Two, allowing us to add more dance mentors and classes!

During that time we also ran multiple Dance Camps, a Strings Camp, a very successful Voice Camp, and our first annual Drum Camp. And to top it all off, we hosted over 90 students in our largest camp of the year, an 8-day whirlwind tour of the sounds of Motown, the Sound of Rock Music Arts Camp.

Also during 2017 we were honored to find out that not only do you guys think we’re doing something right, but others do too! This year Passion had the privilege and the honor of winning some great and important awards in our own community.

Richmond Magazine Best of 2017
Best Music Classes for Adults
Best Music Classes for Children
Best Dance Classes for Adults (2nd Place)
Best Dance Classes for Children (3rd Place)
Best Local Summer or Day Camp Program (3rd Place)

Style Weekly Family Favorites 2017
Favorite Music Lessons
Favorite Performing Arts Lessons
Favorite Day Camp
Favorite Place to Celebrate a Birthday

Virginia Living Best of Virginia 2017
Best Performing Arts Company in Central Virginia

We are so proud of these awards because they let us know that we are doing something right, that our vision of providing quality music education, while also providing strong mentoring relationships is headed in the right direction. To that end though we are probably most proud of how we wrapped the summer up. In August of 2017 we launched Passion Arts Foundation, raising over $1,200 with a very successful benefit concert. With that we were able to award a one-year scholarship to a very deserving student, Virginia Ventura. Be sure to check out the story and more about our Passion Arts Foundation here. It is at the core of what we want to do and who we want to be!

Thank you for taking the ride with us in 2017. There is so much more to come….

Current Announcements

Invincible is here, and we want you to be here for it. Have you seen our amazing students performing on CBS 6? Have you heard how the story told through Invincible is already making an impact on so many people? Most importantly, have you bought your tickets yet? Well now’s the time…our Winter Showcase featuring Invincible is playing THIS SUNDAY, DECEMBER 17 ONLY at 4 pm at Godwin High School! As they say, the stage is set, the cameras are rolling, our students are incredibly excited and we are ready for action. Come help make Invincible incredible! You can buy your tickets here or at the door but don’t miss out!

Live Music Showcase – Rescheduled for Feb. 10
The children were ready to play out their song. The parents were ready to all sing along. The songs had been practiced, all was ready to go. But that weekend in Richmond…it snowed! The parents were wondering, what will we do? Will there be another recital in one month or two? As the questions abounded…who, what and when? Passion proclaimed that our student showcase would be February 10. The date has been set, the details will come. But a make-up recital? Yes, we’re having one!

Holiday Closures
Christmas is only 11 days away now. Hopefully by now most of you have a good idea of what the Passion Academy holiday schedule is. But in case you have questions here’s the plan. We will be open through the holidays but not ON the holidays. So if your lessons fall on Monday December 25 or Monday January 1st, we will probably all be with our families. Other than that though, please assume that your lessons will take place as normal unless you hear differently. However, if YOU know you will not be here for a lesson that doesn’t fall on one of the holidays, please contact Passion via as normal to let us know if and when you will not be here for a regularly scheduled lesson so we can schedule a make-up.

Please note: All dance classes have a holiday break from 12/18/17 – 1/2/17

Passion Pulse Vol 1 Issue 5

Posted by | Announcements, Events | No Comments

Gearing up for INVINCIBLE!
Tickets are going quickly for our Winter Showcase featuring Invincible, coming up in just one month! Trust us when we say you want to be a part of this event. Invincible will tell an important story and will touch on important themes like bullying, friendship, identity, strength, courage and hope. It will also help kick off the official launch of Passion Arts Foundation. We’re asking for your help in finding sponsorships for the show’s expenses so that 100% of the proceeds can go towards Passion Arts Foundation, providing scholarships for students whose lives could be impacted by the arts but can’t afford it. It is a great way to give back, but also to see a great show that we know will make an impact on your own life. Help us find sponsorships, buy your tickets and help make Invincible incredible! Invincible is playing December 17, 2017 at 4:00PM at Godwin High School. See you there!

Proceeds for Invincible benefit Passion Arts Foundation, the Bridging RVA 150 Beds for 150 Kids campaign and the Cameron K. Gallagher Foundation.



In addition to Invincible, on December 9, 2017 at 2:00PM at Stony Point Church, we will ALSO be having a live music showcase featuring all of our music students. All the details as well as registration can be found here. This is a great opportunity for family and friends to come see how your student is progressing, and undoubtedly to hear a few versions of your favorite Christmas songs. But be sure to register and be sure you’ve had a conversation with your student’s mentor so you know what your child is playing or singing and how to help them prepare.


Holiday Closures
As you probably guessed, both of our Passion locations will be closed on Thanksgiving Day. But please take note that we ARE running normal lessons and classes the rest of that week, including Black Friday and the weekend of November 25-26, 2017. Please email with any scheduling needs or requests, keeping in mind that the more continuity for your student the better, and that make-up lessons are always the way to go over canceling a lesson entirely.


Gratitude in an Age of Fear

Have you ever stopped to think about all the things you’re afraid of? Don’t make a list, it will scare you. But there really are a lot of things that keep us up at night and stressed out during the day, especially these days! We almost think, “how can we not be afraid?” Enter Thanksgiving, a time of good food, family, fun…and hopefully gratitude. But even though we know we should live in a state of gratitude, even though we are constantly reminded about it, even in our age of fear and especially at this time of year, it still can seem incredibly hard to do. So maybe we should start small.

The other day my family and I were at Short Pump Shopping Center. We came to ride the train, we stayed for Christmas. It was nap time for our 3-month old, but for our 3-year old it truly was the most wonderful time of the year! After we crossed the parking lot I found myself chasing my daughter through a shady corridor of shops, and then she saw it…”EEEEEEK!! Daddy, it’s SOOOO BIG!!” Is there any sound sweeter to a parent’s ear than the sound of pure delight, of unencumbered joy? The tree really was big, but can you imagine how it looks to a 3-year old?! We rode the train, played on the playground, threw coins in the fountain, made a quick, first time exploratory stop at Santa’s place. But, as we headed back to the car I knew that the highlight of the day was the moment she first saw the colossal Christmas tree.

See for a child, his or her gratitude, their sense of wonder and joy is infinitely bigger than their fears. And inside all of us is a child’s voice, calling us to be excited, to be expectant as if every morning is Christmas, to serve and to love and to share as if everything we give away will indeed come back to us and then some, to live gratefully by living joyfully, to live in wonder and in hope. You might say it’s God living right in the center of us, constantly calling us to come aside and take a look at the awe-inspiring tree we call living and to be overwhelmingly grateful that it’s been set up for us to take in, to inspire us and challenge us to live every day to approach every situation as if we don’t have a care in the world!

A big, grateful and peace-filled Thanksgiving wish from our Passion family to yours. Thank you for sharing your children with us, they help change our perspective every day!

Practicing with Your Children

As the holidays rush upon us, and speaking of your kids and our students, we’d like to encourage you to take advantage of both their time off, and hopefully some well deserved time off for you, by sitting down and practicing with your child. Not only is it a great opportunity for you to spend what might be some much needed quality time with your kids, but studies have actually shown that the more parents are involved with their child’s practicing, lessons and homework, the more likely that child will not only enjoy a closer relationship with you, but that they will experience more success and satisfaction with their craft.

In fact, the Australian Journal of Music Education, during a 2011 study looking at parent involvement regarding both practicing and lessons, they found that…

– The majority of students welcomed their parents being at their lessons.
– The majority of parents enjoyed helping their children practice.
– Contrary to popular belief, there was no significant difference between a parent’s’ own musical prowess or knowledge and their child’s success. What made the difference was simply the parents’ involvement.
– The largest factor contributing to student success was the level of student effort put into learning. Therefore, parent involvement was more effective and more necessary for younger children, the younger the child the more direct parent involvement needed.

So between the turkey and the pumpkin pie this year, be sure to take some time to show everyone that, not only is your child progressing, but that you are progressing as a parent, perfecting that delicate balance between time with your kids and the rest of life’s demands. Remember that it really is true what they say, you don’t get these days back, so make the most of them while they’re here.

Passion Pulse Vol 1 Issue 2

Posted by | Announcements, Events | No Comments

Hello again to our Passion Community, and welcome to the second edition of Passion Pulse, our monthly newsletter where you get to hear the heartbeat of what’s happening at Passion Academy. It’s been an exciting summer, so let’s get right into all the goings on.

Passion Academy Voted #1 in Richmond Magazine

Have you seen the latest edition of Richmond Magazine? If not, be sure to pick one up and check out pages 182 and 158. You’ll see something that we hope makes you very proud. Passion Academy has just been honored by the voters in Richmond for having the “Best Music Classes for Adults” and the “Best Music Classes for Children”! Not only that, Passion also won 3rd place in the “Best Dance Classes for Children” and “Best Local Summer or Day Camp Program” category. A big thank you to all who voted for us and to all our Passion Academy supporters! We are indeed proud of the Passion brand, and we’re so glad that you are too!

And while we’re on the subject, allow us to make one final plug for our last music camp of the summer, our Drum Camp going on next week August 14-18. There’s still space though, so be sure to enroll right away if you’re interested!

Passion Academy is proud to announce the first annual Passion Arts Foundation Annual Benefit Concert this Saturday evening, August 12 from 6:00pm to 8:00pm at Independence Golf Club. Come enjoy an evening of musical performances by Passion Academy students and mentors, first-class cuisine provided by Tavern 19 and exclusive ‘Passion Symphony’ Nightingale Ice Cream Sandwiches, all for a great cause!

Have you heard of Passion Arts Foundation? It really is a part of what we do at Passion, and something that we would like more people to know about, so please mention it to someone the next chance you get. Passion Arts Foundation is the non-profit wing of Passion Academy, and it has one clear, distinct and very important purpose, to help provide outstanding quality music education experience for anyone who needs it but can’t afford it.

Currently we are working to raise money to provide music lessons for Virginia Ventura. Virginia is 25 years old and lives in Fauquier County. She has been a paraplegic since the age of 6 due to Transverse Myelitis. She used to suffer from depression since the age of 14, but continues to get stronger every day. She now desires to live out her passions and goals in ways that she has always dreamed about, but had no motivation to pursue. She has always wanted to play violin, electric guitar, drums, saxophone and piano and is full of the courage, patience and desire to learn them all no matter how long it takes. Due to her medical ailments, she has a very limited income that restricts her ability to afford tuition. Now more than ever, she has the desire to do things that make her happy, and we want to help turn her desires into reality.

With your help, Passion Arts Foundation will be able to provide a scholarship for Virginia’s music education. So please come join us at Independence this Saturday, August 12 from 6:00pm to 8:00pm for a night of great music for an even greater cause. Tickets are $10 per person.


The Passion Story

Did you know that the word “passion” comes from the latin word, “patior” which means “to suffer”? And did you also know that the context of the word centers around being willing to suffer for a purpose?

“When you are truly passionate, you are pushed along by your desire, to the point where you are willing to endure pain, suffering, and loss for the object which is the focus of your attention” (The Etymology of Passion)

Passion isn’t just about liking something, it’s about being willing to sacrifice for the thing or the person or the dream or the life that is more important to you than whatever it is you’re giving up.

In the last edition of the Passion Pulse, we promised to tell you the Passion Story. But this summer our fearless founders have been crankin’ away getting our West End location ready for the next chapter. So, in the meantime, while we’re still compiling that piece for you, we thought it would be fun for you to get to know a little bit more about a couple of guys who truly understand what it means to be “passionate”, both as musicians and as business owners, but most importantly as people. These guys have truly experienced the sacrifices, the hard work, the disappointments and rewards that come from following your dreams. So here’s a little “did you know” about our own Daniel Johannesson and Derek Smith.

~Did you know that Derek was born in Japan and Daniel was born in Sweden?

~Did you know that both Daniel and Derek have been married for over 10 years! Daniel and Katie for 12 years, and Derek and Deb for 18 years. Both of them knew their wives for at least 4 years before getting married. Daniel and Katie were together for four years before getting married, and Derek and Deb actually met in middle school in Bismarck, ND. And now, they both have 2 kids.

~Did you know that both of their wives are artists in their own right? Daniel’s wife Katie is trained in music and theater studies, and Deb has her degree in visual communications and graphic design.

~Did you know that Daniel toured professionally before settling down? He lived in New York performing on and off Broadway for several years.

~Did you know that both Daniel and Derek excelled at sports when they were younger before getting heavily involved in music? At 14 years old Daniel was the 5th fastest in his country in track jand field (that’s “country” not “county”). And Derek was, by points, the 3rd ranked BMX rider in the country at 8 years old.

~Did you know that both Derek and Daniel share a passionate relationship with God, and that both have powerful testimonies of how they discovered God and their faith?

~Did you know that Daniel and Derek both serve regularly on the worship teams at their churches? Daniel is the worship leader of the James River campus of Bon Air Baptist Church and Derek serves as a drummer at Hope Church.

Thank you guys for helping us understand the meaning of “passion” and for being passionate about us!

West End Construction Moving QUICKLY!

Our West End remodeling project is moving ahead at full speed and right on schedule as we get ready for the next chapter of our story. Many of you have experienced our new lobby already. What do you think? Comfortable and inviting?

Well there’s lots more to come. Construction is already in full swing on the new recording studio, and after that the band room becomes our much anticipated second dance studio! The best part is that all of this will be completed just in time for our fall season to kick off, and just in time to welcome our new world-renown dance instructor Daniel Swanepoel and his wife. They are going to be an amazing edition to our team and we would love for you to get to know them. Check out all their bio information and be sure to stop by the West End location to get a tour of the new digs!

The Music Parents’ Guide – Anthony Mazzochi

Do you remember the first time you ever learned how to play a musical instrument ? I don’t consider myself to have an outstandingly detailed long-term memory. I’m one of those, “I think that happened somewhere between five and ten years old” kind of people. But I do remember the first time I played the piano. I remember how it felt, what the teacher taught me, what the room looked like…everything!

There really is something special about the first time you learn an instrument. It’s like going underwater for the first time…a whole new world opens up. And, for any budding music students, the million dollar question (and for parents this can mean quite literally the “million dollar” question) is…which musical instrument should I play? How do you figure this out? Does it matter what instrument my child picks? How do we go about the process? Here are some hopefully helpful tips taken directly from The Music Parents’ Guide

  • The first step is the most crucial: picking an instrument that suits your child’s identity and personality and picking one that they want to play.
  • The most important thing is to have the student be involved in the process.
  • The second most important thing is to be aware of the many instruments available.
  • It is crucial that your child start by playing an instrument that they are excited about learning.
  • No one can make an educated decision about the instrument that they want to study without hearing it played beautifully. So be sure to give your child the opportunity to hear whatever instrument or instruments they’re interested in played well.
  • One of the biggest reasons students quit playing their instruments is unnecessary frustration. Instruments are challenging enough to begin with, so any physical limitations that could be avoided should be considered ahead of time.
  • All said and done, if a student really loves a particular instrument’s sound, you need to go with that!

As always, you can pick up a copy of Anthony Mazzochi’s book at either one of our locations. But in addition, we hope you will continue to initiate these kinds of conversations with the leadership at Passion or with your student’s mentor. We love to help guide people through the process because we love it when students truly discover their passion. It’s what we do!

Until next time…

What is Creation Explorers?

Posted by | Announcements, Events | No Comments

DSC_7501 - Version 2Children are constantly discovering God’s creation as they explore the natural world. This class introduces preschool age children to how God magnificently created the wonderful world that we live in. The is a preschool enrichment class that meets twice per week for 2 1/2 hours allowing time for lessons, activities, and play.

2 to 3 Year Olds
Tuesday and Thursday
9:00am to 11:30am

4 to 5 Year Olds
Monday and Wednesday
9:00am to 11:30am


1. To foster your child’s curiosity about the masterful works of our Creator through scripture, music, dance, various art projects, and science experiments.

2. To help your children develop a love for God and His word by using a richly illustrated and simply written Children’s Bible and reading to them a new story every week. Various other children’s books will also be included that relate to each weekly theme.

3. To become secure when separated from home and parents, develop positive social skills, and to develop trusting relationships with their teachers and most importantly, God.

The theme of our first class was The Treasure of Snow!

Most importantly, the children learned that sometimes we have to take a closer look to see the beautiful things God gives to us each day in such a busy world. We talked about how God asked a man named Job a long time ago if he has seen the treasury of the snow and that if you look closely at snowflakes with a microscope you can see that they truly are beautiful designs and a treasure!

We showed the children real pictures of beautiful snowflakes up close. We then talked about the meaning of treasure and how treasure isn’t just golden coins. It is anything that we think is beautiful and hold dear to our heart.

The children learned that God treasures us more than any of his creation, loves beautiful things and knows that we do too so he creates snow for us… One of His many wonderful creations! He made snowflakes beautiful and different, and he makes us beautiful and different! We thanked God for creating snow in a closing prayer.


For more information or to enroll your child, contact:

Katie Johannesson
General Manager
(804) 503-2010


The Treasure of Snow



We painted with Christmas tree branches! The children enjoyed adding snow to their trees and sprinkling our snow mix on top.



We enjoyed a yummy snow cone treat! Snow is cold!!! Brrrr!



The children played in “Sparkle Snow!” The were instructed to find 5 different snowflakes hidden in the mix for their “treasure bags!” They also had fun filling cloud shakers with snow and making it snow.



Story time



We discussed fun things we can do in the snow! The children enjoyed playing with white, sparkly, peppermint play dough. They made snowballs, snowmen, and snowflakes using sparkly pipe cleaners and q-tips!



The children learned about God’s water cycle, and how snowflakes are formed. We started on ground as water with blue dancing ribbons, then slowly rose to become clouds. Then we became frozen because of the cold winter and fell as snowflakes. We danced “The Snowflake Waltz” and then we slowly fell to the ground. We then blanketed the ground with snow using white sheets and we went on a sleigh ride with jingle bells! The children were instructed to freeze and quiet their bells every time the music stopped.



The children played with cotton balls and water, pretending the cotton balls were clouds. This process was a wonderful discovery of absorption, weight, floating and sinking.


Workshop Success

Posted by | Announcements, Events | 2 Comments

Workshop Page Header

This morning’s workshop was a tremendous success! We were quite surprised with the natural talent from each of the kids. Everyone was very eager to learn and the results were quite impressive! A big thanks to Hope Church for hosting and to all of the families that participated.

If you’d like more information about our next workshop, email or call (804) 412-8100.

Make sure to join our mailing list and LIKE our Facebook page to stay in the loop.

Enjoy this brief video of today’s workshop experience!

The Treasure of Snow

Posted by | Announcements, Events | No Comments

The Treasure of Snow

Bring your child to our Creation Explorers class this Saturday to discover and explore The Treasure of Snow! We will look closely at the beautiful and unique designs of snowflakes, learn how snowflakes are formed through literature and exciting sensory play, create snowflakes through art and enter a world of imagination and fun through music, instruments, and dance! Your child will look at snow differently after this very unique experience as we explore one of God’s truly amazing designs!

Saturday December 7th
9:00am to 11:30am

Hope Church
12445 Patterson Ave
Richmond VA 23238Katie-Profile-Pic

For more information, contact:

Katie Johannesson
General Manager
(804) 503-2010