What’s Happening at Nina Belle’s Music Academy!

Students have been hard at work since the beginning of September! Four new students joined the studio and we are currently preparing for our first recital of the 2021-2022 year. It will be Sunday, November 14, 2021, 3 pm at Faith Baptist Church. Come join us if you wish!

Also one student is preparing to perform in the 2021 Kentucky Music Teachers Association Honors Recital on Saturday November 6th in Bowling Green, Kentucky at Western Kentucky University. She will join approximately 50 other students from across the states who earned the invitation to come based upon adjudication at a local festival or e-festival.

Students are also beginning to learn their parts for their ensembles for the Christmas Celebrations in December and have also been assigned a Christmas solo to prepare.

Finally all students will be assigned a piece for the National Federation of Music Clubs Piano Festival to be held in March 2022.

Lots of music coming out of the Broadway studio!


The last summer lesson was taught today, June 28th. I was so excited to have 9 students to take the 4 week short term this summer. Most of the students took advantage of trying something completely different this summer. Some worked to complete the book level that were in pre-recital. I even added a trial student for the summer but unfortunately she will not continue this fall.

Those trying something new chose new music to work on from Beethoven, Mozart to Disney tunes, Stars Wars and Billy Joel. It was really fun working on some so different from our usual repertoire and in working with these I helped students learn how to choose voices, save registrations, set sequences and perform their pieces using those registration sequences. AND they recorded them on the Clavinova. Today, after converting those MIDI files to Mp3 files, I emailed their recordings to them so they can listen to them and share what they learned how to do! It was fun!

I will review my current studio policy, calendar, and tuition fees and send out the new policy mid-late July.

I won’t be teaching at all in July but instead will be working on redecorating some rooms in my house, practicing piano and taking some lessons myself and playing lots of Pickleball! Early August I will have my Navy son and his wife home on leave and we will travel to Florida to vacation together with my daughter and her husband. School in Scott County starts August 18th and my first day of teaching at Georgetown College is August 24th so I plan to begin teaching the 2021-2022 year most likely the week of August 30th.

May and June 2021

This week is the last week of the piano year 2020-2021. Students are finishing their May Review Assignment and preparing for the May Recital on May 14th. My short summer session (4 lessons) begins the week after the recital. So far 7 current students have chosen to continue this summer, so I may have room for a couple of new students. Contact me if you are interested.

May Review 2021

May Review 2021 is in full swing! Students are working on their pieces and next week I’ll check to see how close they are to having the pieces ready to play memorized by the week of May 3rd. They choose with my guidance 5 pieces to memorize and perform in my studio for me while they are being recorded. Successful playing of all 5 pieces earns them a composer statue. First year is Bach, followed by Mozart, Chopin, Debussy, Beethoven, and others in that order. The year culminates with a Recital where one one the pieces is played for the public and the awards are presented. This year the May Review Recital will be at Georgetown Baptist Church on Friday, May 14th at 7 pm. I hope you will come!

1st Ensemble Week of 2020-2021!

September 8th and 10th were the first  ensemble classes for students at Nina Belle’s  Music Academy in the new academic year.  Our first time together since COVID came for its unwelcome visit will make things a bit different.    I have installed plastic dividers between the larger pianos in the front room where we will most likely do all of our classes.  In the case that we use the smaller keyboards in the back room, they have been spaced apart and no one will have to share a keyboard.

Our first class will be a get to know each other again class and each will share a solo they worked on at last week’s lesson.  We will also talk about our composer of the month- J.S. Bach and listen to some of his music.  I will be assigning ensemble music and festival solos within the next couple of weeks.

See you later this week!

As a reminder:  Ensemble classes this year are scheduled for the following weeks

September 8,10; November 3,5; January 19, 21; February 23,25; April 27, 29

TUESDAYS Group 3- 6:30-7:15  (High School Students)

THURSDAYS Group 1- 4:30-5:15 (Early Elementary Students )

THURSDAYS  Group 2- 5:30-6:15  (Late Elementary/Middle School Students)  







2020-2021 classes start August 31

In-person lessons will be on Monday, August 31st. I am teaching 3 days, Monday, Tuesday, Thursday. Our second week of lessons will be ensemble class and we will meet in small groups- 4-5 students. Students will be distanced, keyboards sanitized between classes and plastic barriers are being installed to further distance students. Please come with having had some practice in the 2 weeks prior to your lesson so that our first lesson can be the most successful. Bring your binders and tote bags and all of the music you had assignments in, at our last lesson, including your practice/assignment book.
Looking forward to seeing you!


Pianos on Parade-the Colt and Filly Parade, that is!

The 2011 Festival of the Horse Colt and Filly Parade was held on September 30, 2011.  This year there was definitely music in the parade…thanks to 4 of my students who rode the Music Academy “float”!  My husband designed two wooden shelves to anchor to each side of our truck bed where we anchored 4 of my smaller portable keyboards.  Traveling down Main Street and Broadway onlookers were entertained by music played by my students and occasionally myself.  Sometimes the keyboards just did it all by themselves!  It was a great evening and I want to thank the students and parents (especially the parents who brought their children and then WALKED the entire parade route passing out flyers!)  Hope you enjoy the pictures!

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“10 seconds of Fame!”

Today, several of my students and their parents came to my studio to help make a TV commercial for the academy.

Rachel, Kayla, Tyler, Zach, and Elizabeth and their parents….thanks!  I was a bit flustered since the camera crew arrived 30 minutes before I was expecting him, but all went well.

I believe the commercials will run the week of the festival of the horse, but I don’t know exactly what times.  They will be on WKYT-TV.  I’ll try to find out the info before they air so you can set your recorders!

Thanks for coming by!


Welcome to Nina Belle’s Music Academy!

My name is Nina Belle Durr and I have been teaching piano as an independent music teacher in my home studio for over 30 years.  A dream of mine has always been to open a music academy where I can teach more students and especially offer group lessons as well as other kinds of music lessons.

Nina Belle Durr, NCTM

2011 is the year for new beginnings!  While attending the KETS 10 (Keyboard Ensemble and Technology Seminar) in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, I made the decision to seriously pursue this new venture.  Upon my return I immediately began looking for property and decided to lease space, re-name my business, join the local chamber of commerce and start building on my dream.

My new business is called “Nina Belle’s Music Academy”  (has a nice “ring” to it, doesn’t it!)  It is located on the corner of East Main Street and South Broadway in Georgetown, Kentucky.  I taught my first lesson in the new location on July 26, 2011 and I am currently working on signage, marketing, advertising, and setting up the space.  Currently I have 11 pianos/keyboards and am purchasing 4 more.

I will be offering piano lessons for individuals, piano lessons for small groups (maximum size-4), and general music classes for home school students (class size range 4-10).  In addition I will offering online computer theory lessons provided by musiclearningcommunity.com and ensemble classes.  As the academy grows, I may offer lessons in other instruments.

Come check out Nina Belle’s Music Academy!

Georgetown Federated Piano Festival

Twelve students from Nina Belle’s Music Academy are preparing to perform in the Georgetown Federated Piano Festival on March 13,2021.
Last year on March 15, 2020 was the last day that any public music performances were held because of the pandemic. Therefore, this year the festival will be virtual, since there are still no places that are willing to host an in person event. My students will be performing from my studio on South Broadway and will be doing zoom performances for the adjudicators. The following day, hopefully, I will have posted their performances as a Post-Festival Recital on Youtube and on my Facebook page. Please give these young performers best wishes for great performances.


Due to the pandemic, certain precautions will be in place upon opening the studio to “in person” teaching.

  • All persons entering the studio must wear a mask.
  • Hand sanitizer will be available upon entry to the studio-use it.
  • Piano keys will be sanitized between students.
  • No visitors will be allowed to come in the studio.
  • Only one parent may remain in the studio waiting area. I will do my best to finish a lesson a couple of minutes before the end time, to allow the new parent/student to enter.
  • EXCEPTION: families with multiple children taking lessons-their students may come together and wait in the waiting area. They should bring something with them to do to keep quiet or go to one of the pianos and practice with headphones until it is their turn. Please remember to sanitize your hands, leave the piano uncovered so I will remember to sanitize the keys afterwards.
  • Students should use sanitizer again after their lesson or anytime they must remove their mask to drink or for a sneeze/cough, or go to the restroom.
  • If a student feels ill, especially with a possible fever, please don’t bring them to the lesson. I will arrange a zoom lesson. (If you know early in the day they are not well, but they still feel like having their lesson, contact me asap so I can be prepared to call you on zoom.
  • On ensemble days, the most in a group will be 5. Parents should not wait in the waiting area those days. Just drop off your child and be ready to pick him/her up at the end of class. If you would like, he/she can call you as soon as the lesson if over so that no one is waiting.
  • On ensemble days, students will be spaced appropriately and will have plastic barriers between the pianos. No one will sit at the same piano. We will probably do most of our lesson sitting at the pianos–even with games, but if we do any “off the bench” activities, we will remain distanced. Again, sanitizer for hands, masks worn, and I will sanitize the keys between classes.
  • Recitals: this is still an ongoing process. I want to have our recitals as scheduled, but the usual location is not allowing the use of the building right now. Hopefully I will find a location, but if we have to, we will do another virtual recital. I know how to do it now, and if all goes well, I can video them playing their pieces and put it together for everyone and we can watch the video together at the same time on zoom. (This is what I had hoped to do in the spring, but my learning curve about uploading was as good then.)
  • If the situation gets to the point that online classes for all is necessary, I will work with you to help us get that going again.

Summer 2019

Summer piano lessons will conclude next week.  Only a few chose to study this summer, but for those who did, we have made good progress.  If you didn’t take lessons this summer, please take the time to start reviewing the last lesson assignment.  Be sure you have tuned your piano for the fall (might be better to wait though until the air is off and you turn on the heat–it DOES affect it), check that you still have all of the materials that you had when we last met. BE SURE you have considered the already scheduled piano lesson time as you plan other after school activities–it’s really difficult to make changes. Plan and schedule times to practice at home–a scheduled time is much easier to keep up with then just trying to fit it in to an already busy schedule.  If you have something you would like to try in piano (a particular piece or type of music), let me know, or bring in with you when I see you next time.  I want to teach you , but I also want you to enjoy what you are learning!  See you soon!
Nina Belle Durr

A Year in Review

A lot has been happening since I last wrote a post in NBMA!  The year 2013-2014 has been an eventful one to say the least…from joy to tragedy from good times to bad times…it has had it all.  There have been Conferences, family gatherings, weddings, recitals, concerts, graduations and there have been floods, pain, and surgery.  The year began with pain and has ended in pain.

After returning from the 2013 KETS-12 conference in OKC, I began having discomfort in my left shoulder and arm.  By August it had become more than discomfort and was actual pain.  After a trip to my chiropractor didn’t help, I proceeded to go to my MD and he automatically said it was in my cervical spine–I doubted him vehemently because I had no neck pain! My pain was in my shoulder and left arm.  However, after the MRI result, it definitely was my neck.  Two vertebrae were the culprits, both were bulging and herniated, and in one of them, the disk was pushing on my spinal cord.  Surgery was recommend although I might have some success with physical therapy.

After visiting two surgeons who both told me I was in a dangerous situation with the spine I decided to put off surgery as long as I could by participating in physical therapy including cervical traction.  I needed to give myself some time for some of the good things that were planned:  KMTA conference in Murray, Kentucky, traveling to Orlando to make wedding plans for my daughter, and then the January 4, 2014 wedding in Orlando.  My teaching continued as scheduled as did my playing at church but with pain almost all of the time.  However, I was able to participating in the conference, have some good times with my daughter in Orlando, have a family get together for Thanksgiving and continued to rehearse with my choir.  Therapy seemed to be helping some so I was encouraged.  We presented our Christmas music on the 2nd Sunday in December and the Friday before that there was NO PAIN!  I was so encouraged; however, that afternoon while resting, the pain returned and this time it was worse than before.

Visits to Physical Therapy were excruciating and I had no pain medication other than tylenol.  My daughter’s wedding was in 3 weeks and I couldn’t imagine enduring the pain it was so bad.  I saw my surgeon again who prescribed me hydrocodone and gaberpentin for the pain.  I really never saw much relief but I continued playing, going to jazzercise, and living my life.  The drive to Orlando was over 15 hours.  We did it in two days, but it was still very painful.  There was so much last minute stuff to do before the wedding and I wanted so badly to enjoy the time with my daughter and family but at times the pain was almost unbearable. I took my medication as regularly as I could, spent time lying down with a heating pad and my tens machine and also did cervical traction with the portable device my PT had loaned me.  However, nothing really helped for long. The day I went to the spa with my daughter for a pedicure and massage was excruciating.  The massage had only begun and I was in such pain that I was nauseous and about to pass out.  All I could do was cry.

The day of the rehearsal was filled with lots of things including cold weather for Florida and I didn’t feel well at all but I had to get through it and I did.  The wedding day arrived and all of its craziness and it began early with getting hair done, makeup, pictures, etc.  I took my pills with me and made sure I had taken them.  I was a little woozy because of them and the pain, but over all it was a very good day.  Weather was great and my daughter was beautiful!  I couldn’t stand for long and there were lots of people around me who understood and helped me but the day was draining since it began at around 7 am and didn’t finish until around midnight when we had gotten back to the condo to unwind and go to bed.

Most of the next day (Sunday), I rested and tried to begin packing because we were heading out Monday for the two day drive home.  It was almost impossible for me to pack my things because of the pain, but I did the best I could and my husband and son did more than their part.  After a quick last visit with my daughter and new son we headed north. (to be continued)