Crescendo Academy of Music evolved from a violin program that was part of Western Michigan University’s Community Arts Program. In 1987, the name was changed to Young Strings Academy when this program expanded to include violists and chamber music.

In 1988, Young Strings Academy became an incorporated non-profit organization and was thus eligible for grants and tax-deductible contributions. Karey Johnson held the position of Director until the summer of 1998 when Solen Dikener, former Principal Cellist of the Kalamazoo Symphony Orchestra, became the Artistic Director.

In March of 2000 the academy moved into its permanent home in the Epic Center in downtown Kalamazoo. At that time, Audrey Lipsey, Assistant Concertmaster of the Kalamazoo Symphony Orchestra, became the Executive Director and the name was changed to Crescendo Academy of Music to reflect the anticipated growth.

Since 2000, the number of students has increased from 70 to over 570, and the faculty has increased from 7 teachers to 40. A variety of chamber ensembles, a mandolin and guitar orchestra, theory and composition classes, and an early childhood music program have been instituted. Crescendo is now active in the community and surrounding area through collaborations with many arts, cultural and educational organizations. Crescendo is West Michigan’s only independent non-profit institution for music education.

Expansion of the original Epic Center facilities was completed in the fall of 2002 and now includes nineteen teaching studios and two ensemble rooms. In the heart of the arts and cultural center of Kalamazoo, Crescendo has become a recognized and strong advocate of musical involvement in the community.

  • Music Instruction for All Ages & Abilities



    Our Mission:
    … to provide individualized music instruction in a positive and supportive atmosphere to all persons regardless of age, ability or income.

    Epic Center, Suite 12
    359 S. Kalamazoo Mall
    Kalamazoo, MI 49007

    269 / 345-6664

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  • Crescendo Offers

    private lessons

    expert instruction
    group lessons
    early childhood music
    chamber ensembles
    theory classes 

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