Samford Academy of the Arts, a Christmas gift that will last a lifetime

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Photos courtesy of Samford Academy of the Arts

Can you remember the Christmas gifts you gave last year or in years past to friends, family or loved ones?

How about something more memorable this year? This Christmas, give a gift that will last a lifetime. The gift of the learning something new.

Consider putting these items on your Christmas list:

  • Learn how to play a musical instrument
  • Speak a foreign language
  • Take photos like a pro
  • Make stained glass or pottery
  • Learn how to discover antiques

The Samford Academy of the Arts has all these classes and workshops and much more that would be perfect additions to your Christmas list.

A Little Shopping Advice

Connie Macon,  director of Samford Academy of the Arts

Recently, we sat down with Connie Macon, director of Samford Academy of the Arts, to explore the many courses the Academy offers that are great gift ideas.

Over the course of 30 years, Macon has witnessed how the classes and community at Samford’s Academy of the Arts have impacted its students and instructors. She is passionate about the program as well as her students, acknowledging the hundreds of happy participants in both the music and arts programs. And don’t forget all of the summer camps!

The gift of Music

Photos courtesy of Samford Academy of the Arts

Do you have a friend or family member whose biggest regret is giving up playing the violin and piano? Here is your chance to help them remember the joy of music and start playing again.

The Academy offers music classes for adults who want to learn the piano, violin, cello or voice. Classes are held during the day and in the evening after work.  Along with adult classes, there are offerings for students ranging from preschool to high school. Make sure to register soon so you can nail down a time slot.

“A grandparent might want to give music lessons to their grandchild who is a pre-school student. It’s the perfect gift,” said Macon.

“Music is something you can carry with you your entire life.”

The gift of Photography

Photos courtesy of Samford Academy of the Arts

“Who doesn’t take a picture?” declared Macon. But wouldn’t it be great to learn how to take a picture the right way on your Canon or Nikon? It’s a great skill to have.”

From amateur photography to professional development, the Samford Academy of the Arts photography classes are fun and interactive.

Increasingly, students are finding new careers through skills acquired in Academy classes. According to Macon. “We frequently have students take classes to create business opportunities for themselves, such as portrait and wedding photography. Many receive certifications for resume building and professional development.”

Macon also suggested that if you are considering giving a camera to a loved one for Christmas, why not give them a photography class to go with it?

The gift of Visual Arts

Photos courtesy of Samford Academy of the Arts

The choices are endless and include calligraphy, drawing, oil painting, stained glass, pottery and creative writing. This might be the gift that keeps on giving. Look for handmade gifts under the tree next year.

All the classes are popular, so make sure to register soon before they fill up. One of the most popular classes is Dan Brook’s antiques class.

“Dan has been teaching this class for over 30 years. His themed classes take students on field trips and historical tours of Alabama. It’s the most unique class I’ve ever sat in,” said Macon.

And don’t forget, art classes and camps are also available for children and teens.

The gift of Language

Planning a trip this year? The Academy offers French, Italian and Spanish for beginners and those who need some touching up of their language skills.

“As an added bonus our Italian and French instructors are native speakers, and they regularly visit their countries. Their classes include insight into the culture and up-to-date news about what it is like in those countries,” says Macon.

Do you know someone who wants to improve their English? The Academy also offers English as a Second Language classes.

The gift of Camp

Photos courtesy of Samford Academy of the Arts

“Let’s not forget the summer camps!” exclaimed Macon.

Why not reserve a spot for your child or grandchild to attend one of the many camps at the Academy this summer? They can enjoy art, music, writing and all of the amenities of the beautiful Samford campus.

Available for kids 4-17, you can register for summer camp now – well before the official January 15 registration opening, just by contacting Samford Academy of the Arts directly at or call 726-2739. If it is for Christmas, they will set you up.

Christmas at Samford Academy of the Arts

Make this the most memorable Christmas ever by securing your friends, family and loved ones the gift of learning and the arts at the Samford Academy of the Arts. Spaces are filling up quickly, so register today at

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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.
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