You could learn 6 new skills in 7 weeks at the Samford Academy of the Arts. Classes for all ages. Register before October 18.

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Nighttime Bham View 2017. Photo by Meg McKinney Birmingham, Alabama

Let’s say you want to learn how to become a painter, a fiction writer or a violinist. Perhaps, you love photography or need to brush up on the Spanish or French you took in college. You don’t have to go far.

The Samford Academy of the Arts is registering children and adults for up to 20 noncredit courses and workshops in the arts, that begin October 18.

Register today.

“All ages can learn something new and expand their horizons in just a short amount of time at the Academy of the Arts,” said Connie Macon, Executive Director of Samford Academy of the Arts and an instructor with the program for nearly 30 years.

Photo courtesy of Samford Academy of the Arts

Part of Samford University’s School of the Arts, the Samford Academy of the Arts continues the tradition of the university’s popular Samford after Sundown and Preparatory Music programs.

Want to see how these courses will change your life? Here are 6 examples:

Is your child the next Van Gogh?

Become a painter! Photo courtesy of Samford Academy of the Arts

Is your child a sculpter? painter? Or loves making things with his or her hands? Local artist Carolyn Wass will bring out your child’s inner Van Gogh or Michelangelo. More importantly, they will learn a craft and how to express themselves, and be creative. A gift that will last a lifetime.

Art for grown-ups from painting to pottery

Watercolor painting. Photo courtesy of Samford Academy of the Arts

Imagine before the holiday season learning how to do calligraphy, paint with watercolors or even with oil paint. Want to get really daring? Learn how to “throw pots” – pottery or piece together a stained glass panel. Your Christmas gifts might look a little different, maybe a little funky, but I bet it will be the most memorable gift your loved ones will receive this year. Oh, by the way, take either the calligraphy or watercoloring courses, and you may never have to purchase a Hallmark card again!

Are you the next J.K Rowling or Harper Lee?

Did you know J.K. Rowling conceived the idea for the Harry Potter series while on a delayed train from Manchester to London? What if you had a “eureka!” moment like that and didn’t know how to write the next great fiction novel. Also, Alabama needs to produce the next Harper Lee. Learn from award-winning author K.B Hoyle. A real treat.

Refresh your foreign language skills

Admit it. You took several years of Spanish and French in high school or college, but never got the chance to use it. Now is your chance to take a refresher course. Think about it. Along with making traveling abroad easier, this course will help you have a conversation with our Spanish and French speaking friends and neighbors. Added bonus – Italian is offered too.

Picture this: Become a photographer

Photography at the Birmingham Zoo. Photo by Meg McKinney Birmingham, Alabama

Everyone with a smartphone thinks they are a professional photographer. Well, it is much more than that. Samford Academy of the Arts has courses from from learning how to take photos with a Canon DSLR to properly printing matting and framing your digital photos. There are also classes in photoshopping. Two additional exciting offerings – a class about photographing elements of Birmingham’s history and our favorite… Wedding Photography Like the Pros.

Roll over Beethoven here I come!

Voice lessons. Photo courtesy of Samford Academy of the Arts

It is never too late to learn a musical instrument or how to sing. Samford Academy of the Arts is offering violin, cello, piano and voice private lessons, not only for us old folks, but,for children (4 years for violin/cello, 4 years for piano and 10 years old for voice). Ever wanted to sing in your church choir, bust out a violin/fiddle, hop on the piano and begin singing and playing in front of friends? Now is your chance.

Enrich your life by signing up for one or several Samford Academy of Arts classes. Space is limited for many of the courses, so commit and register today.

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Author: Pat Byington

Longtime conservationist. Former Executive Director at the Alabama Environmental Council and Wild South. Publisher of the Bama Environmental News for more than 18 years. Career highlights include playing an active role in the creation of Alabama's Forever Wild program, Little River Canyon National Preserve, Dugger Mountain Wilderness, preservation of special places throughout the East through the Wilderness Society and the strengthening (making more stringent) the state of Alabama's cancer risk and mercury standards.