The Studio

Conveniently located in Newburyport since 2002, DS Music Studios serves students of all ages and abilities from communities across the Northshore. Lessons are offered in clarinet, saxophone, composition/theory, and jazz improvisation. With 30 years of combined experience as professional musicians and educators, owners/teachers Monica Duncan and David Schumacher maintain a small and personal home studio catering to the eager beginner through the serious musician.

Our studio features unique flexibility with scheduling, an annual studio recital with live accompaniment, and the inclusion of computer-assisted instruction such as SmartMusic, Aurelia ear training, Finale notation, and Band-in-a-Box accompaniment software. Many school music programs in the area now make use of SmartMusic in their curriculum, and those assignments can be easily addressed in our lessons.

As detailed on our Student Achievement page, we specialize in preparing students for enrichment programs such as the Northshore Youth Symphony, New England Conservatory Preparatory School, MMEA Junior & Senior District Festivals, and Massachusetts All-State Festival, as well as audition preparation for prospective college music majors.

"David Schumacher has been a hugely inspirational force in my growth as a jazz musician. Studying with David both privately and in ensemble settings provided me with an invaluable foundation in both the practice and philosophy of improvised music. Having since studied with jazz educators at both Berklee College of Music and Ithaca College, I find David's teaching method to be second to none. David stresses the importance of a strong foundation in the history of the music as well as the importance of the growth and progression of the style into the future. Following this philosophy, David works to encourage his students to study the masters of the art as a means of guiding them towards attaining their own individual styles. Perhaps most importantly, David has an indisputable knack for teaching his students to effectively teach themselves, and an ability to inspire within his students a profound passion for the art. For this reason, many of the lessons that I learned from David will continue to benefit me as a musician for the duration of my earthly existence. And on top of all that, he's a really nice guy." ~ Bobby Spellman, trumpeter and composer; MM from New England Conservatory

"As a teacher and as an example of a working musician Mr. Schumacher has been a consistently inspiring presence in my life throughout high school, continually pushing me to explore music and to test the limits of my own abilities. Mr. Schumacher is a rare breed: a working artist who maintains the highest level of educational professionalism, and who always demonstrates the utmost respect for the goals and desires of those he is teaching. Maintaining a complete focus on his students and their development, lessons with Mr. Schumacher were never about him, or his (considerable, and discussion-worthy) talents: they were always about me. That is something that I have never found with any other music teacher." ~ Peter Smith, saxophonist and composer who went on to NYU

"Our daughters have taken lessons from Monica and David for several years. Our older daughter¹s studies progressed with Monica's tutoring to the point where she auditioned and was accepted into the Northeast Senior District Concert Band her senior year. The skills she learned and the joy she experiences playing clarinet have led her to declare a minor in music. She also plays in the Colleges of the Fenway Orchestra. Monica has become a mentor to her. This year our younger daughter played jazz piano for the award-winning Pentucket Regional High School Jazz Combo and performed at the Hatch Shell in Boston! We are so appreciative of the incredibly positive role models that Monica and David have been to our daughters.² ~ Roberta and Scott Homan

""Monica and David provide the perfect mix of seriousness and fun that keeps beginning students playing. We were pleasantly surprised at how quickly and easily our son improved on saxophone, and how much he enjoys his lessons every week." ~ Tracy Mayor

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