What Makes CFA Special?

By Sean Stone-Ashe

Throughout my career teaching music, I have had the privilege of working in many different professional settings - Elementary schools, high schools, colleges, and many music schools like Century Fine Arts.

As I embark on this new venture of writing CFA’s new blog, I thought I would highlight some of the ways that CFA has stood out as a special place to me in my professional journey.

1. Diversity

The city of Houston has always been a worldly city, with people coming from all over the world to take part in some of its world-class facilities and business opportunities. This diversity is reflected in our student and faculty population at Century Fine Arts, with so many different cultures represented among the school. It is always encouraging to attend one of the school’s recitals, surrounded by so many different people who have all come together for the sake of music and art.

Additionally, CFA has a notable population of adult students that add to the richness and diversity of the school. While the typical student at schools like CFA is a child, it is always inspirational to see adults who have taken the initiative to learn a craft they have always wanted to, in order to enrich their daily lives.

2. Performance Opportunities

Whenever somebody has made the commitment to learn a musical instrument, it is important to find bountiful sources of motivation. The best source of motivation is a performance opportunity, and Century Fine Arts offers numerous such opportunities for their students. 

It is traditional for music schools to offer two performances a year, each coming at the end of the traditional school semesters (May and December). While CFA of course offers an abundance of options for these traditional performances, what makes the school special in this regard is the number of additional opportunities that students can take advantage of.

These additional performance opportunities come in the form of Musical Sweets & Treats collaborative performances with other local businesses, visits to local retirement homes and other community locations, and an array of other miscellaneous options at the school, as a part of festivals, and in other venues. It would be reasonable to expect a performance opportunity approximately one a month open to any student.

Many of these events will also feature performances by the faculty members. This is an often overlooked factor in student motivation, but it is crucial for students to hear high-level examples of what they hope to achieve, especially if it can come from their own teacher.

3. Community Engagement

Throughout my time at Century Fine Arts, I have been impressed with the sense of community that the school fosters.

The performance opportunities listed above, and similar gatherings contribute to the community that not only exists within the school, but reaches beyond the school itself into the Fort Bend area. These opportunities bring CFA’s students to retirement communities, parks, school festivals, and more!

From the moment you walk into the school, you get the sense that community matters there, with artwork by local artists on display, business cards and brochures from other quality local businesses, and the friendly atmosphere that greets you.