Welcome to the best place to take music lessons in Southwest Florida!


Opening for In-House Instruction

Jonathan Sawyer


Hello, everyone! My goodness, how we have missed seeing you these past months! We are all very anxious to get back to some type of “normal” routine at the academy, but we also put the safety of your families and our instructors first. This made it imperative that we close our doors for in-house lessons during this time.

However, as things have begun to reopen, we feel we can safely offer lessons by taking new precautions and measures in accordance with recommendations from the CDC and our government authorities.

That said, we will reopen for in-house instruction on Monday, June 1st, for the Summer Semester. Pricing will be the same as normal, and Courtney will bill for four lessons at a time. We ask that you prepay these invoices in full upon receipt. Here are some changes in our protocols:

  1. Each room and surface will be deep-cleaned and sanitized each day. Instructors will use sanitizer to wipe down doorknobs, surfaces and instruments in between students as well.
  2. Instructors will wear masks; it is preferred that students (other than voice) wear masks, but not required.
  3. Everyone will be required to use hand sanitizer provided at our doorway upon entering.
  4. The waiting room will not be available for use during this time, nor will you sign in. It will be the responsibility of the teacher to record the lesson on their attendance sheet, and we will trust you to keep accurate records in case there is a discrepancy. As always, you are welcome to wait in the room while your student is instructed. Or, you may drop them off at the glass door, but please don’t leave any student unattended at the doorMake sure they are in the care of the instructor before you release them. We also ask that you be at the glass door or the bottom of the stairwell promptly at the close of the lesson, so that this doesn’t delay the instruction schedule.
  5.  We have ordered infrared TOUCH-LESS thermometers and these will be used to check student temperatures upon arrival. We ask that you would please cancel your lesson if you have been exposed to someone sick or are feeling sick in any way. Students must be fever-free for 72 hours.

Thank you for your patience, understanding and consideration during this time. Some of these policies will be temporary; others we will adopt permanently. Your support of our academy is more appreciated than we could ever fully express. Teaching is the sole livelihood of many of our instructors, and being able to resume lessons is an immense blessing to them.

If you have any questions about any of this, feel free to contact your instructor, or you may contact me at jsawyer@famfm.com. If you have billing questions, please direct those to cblackwell@famfm.com.


Our purpose is simple. First, we want to be a place where God-given talent is fostered and every student and their family are touched by God’s love through us. Secondly, we desire to be a dynamic center for quality instruction in a safe, Christian environment with highly, qualified and caring instructors.


We offer private lessons in music—voice, piano, guitar,drums, bass, strings, brass, and woodwinds. Our classes are available to the Southwest Florida community, kindergarten-age through adult.

Parents are welcome in any lesson, but we also have a comfortable waiting area for families with rehearsal keyboards, toys/books, cable television, and free Wi-Fi.





Violin & Cello


Private lessons designed to meet your learning style and level!

SWFL Creative Arts Academy is committed to providing:

Qualified Instructors

We bring together qualified instructors and aspiring students in our community.

Competitive Pricing

The academy provides the most competitive pricing in this area, without sacrificing quality.

Leadership Training

Our skilled instructors train and develop leaders in all areas of the arts.


We help students reach God-given potential by instilling discipline and Christian character development.

Love for the Arts

Our instructors help each student reach his or her God-given potential by instilling a love for the arts.

Christian Environment

The Creative Arts Academy provides a safe, Christian environment for both students and instructors.


Meet our wonderful and talented music teachers!

Jonathan Sawyer


Pastor Jonathan Sawyer is originally from North Carolina. He began leading worship at a young age and has been a church musician for over twenty years. Before joining the First Assembly staff in November 2013, Pastor Sawyer had previously served churches in Fort Mill, South Carolina, and Mobile, Alabama.

Pastor Jonathan graduated from Lee University with a Bachelor of Arts degree. While in college, he traveled in the United States and abroad with The Voices of Lee, an a capella ensemble most recently featured on ABC’s “The Sing-Off” and as part of the 2013 Presidential Inauguration.

Pastor Sawyer is a skilled musician and an even more passionate worshiper. He oversees all areas of music ministry at First Assembly, including weekly worship services at the Central Campus, special events, and The Southwest Florida Creative Arts Academy. One of his greatest joys is to see people of all ages engage in worship together.

Pastor Jonathan is married to Christy who is the Dean of the Creative Arts Academy and his Administrative Assistant, and is thrilled to be a part of the First Assembly of God family. He and Christy believe whole-heartedly that “the best is yet to come!”

Courtney Blackwell

Originally from Cordele, GA, Courtney is a graduate of Lee University where she received her Bachelor of Arts in Music-Voice, and traveled with the Lee Singers ensemble. Courtney completed college internships at Community Bible Church in Highlands, NC, and at First Assembly of God in Fort Myers.

Nicholas Hanaburgh

Nicholas received his Bachelors in Music from Southeastern University in Lakeland, FL, where he studied under Ian Goodman and specialized in jazz drumming. He toured with the Christian group “Mike Burns Band,” and has performed for President Bush and Joyce Meyer, as well as at Disney.

Steven Van Loozenoord

Steven is the Assistant Minister of Music at First Assembly. He received his Bachelors of Music in Jazz Piano Performance from the Jacobs School of Music on the campus of Indiana University where he studied as a Jacobs Scholar, the most prestigious merit-based honor given by the conservatory.

Heidi Thompson

Piano & Violin
Under the instruction of Dr. Poung-ah Tak, Heidi earned a Piano Performance degree from Southeastern. She has performed in a public masterclass for Paul Jacobs (chairman of Julliard’s pipe organ department), and played first violin in the Dayton Philharmonic Youth and Dayton University Orchestras.

Charlotte Moore

Voice & Piano
Charlotte holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Music Education from Southeastern University and is certified by the Board of Education in the state of Florida. She has taught voice and piano lessons for over 25 years and served as a Music Teacher, and choral director for K-5, middle and high school.

Allison Van Loozenoord

Allison graduated from Lee University with a minor in vocal performance under the instruction of Dr. Cheryl Brendel, a notable coloratura soprano. She toured the U.S. and abroad singing first soprano for The Voices of Lee, has performed for a Presidential Inauguration, and on America’s Got Talent.

Bethany Smith

Piano & Brass
Bethany earned degrees in both French horn and Music Education at Baldwin-Wallace University Conservatory of Music in Berea, OH. She also received her Master of Music Education from Florida State. Bethany teaches at FMCS and plays in the French horn section of the Gulf Coast Symphony.

James Williams

James has been teaching guitar, bass guitar and Ukelele in Southwest Florida for 13 years. Notable achievements include receiving a Full-Sail Scholarship. One of his students became a trained Guitar Luthier, and others have recorded albums (such as Luke Yurich, an up and coming artist).

Hear from our parents…


Music students


The SWFL Creative Arts Academy is a ministry of First Assembly of God, Fort Myers, Florida. Our desire is to train and develop leaders in all areas of the arts. We offer private lessons, for children and adults, designed to meet your learning style and level.

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