Meet the Owner
Dr. Margaret Jeanine Skinner is a native of Anderson, South Carolina where she enjoyed life with her family in a typical southern, Christian home. Growing up in the same hometown gave foundation, confidence and direction to her emerging musical proclivities. With her sister, Sandra, they began discovering the joy of singing, dancing and playing the piano. It didn’t take long for others to see that Jeanine’s destiny was being developed! Years of making music in the community, Jeanine seized every opportunity there was to perform, accompany, entertain, teach or create music. Once off to college, one day one of her college professors handed her a piece of paper with the word "No" on it. This was not a word in her vocabulary when it came to making music and helping others to make music, but her professor felt sure this was a necessary addition! She began using the term reluctantly and, over the years, has grown to completely understand its full meaning and value. But, rest assured "yes" is highly favored.
As we fast forward through years of study, practice and performing, we find Dr. Skinner in a variety of college positions (6 to be exact). At these schools, she taught everything from piano and organ, piano literature, piano pedagogy, music theory and ear training, to form and analysis, world music, and music appreciation. Serving on numerous committees and chairing a few, she gained leadership and further skills in relating to the campus as a whole and working for the greater good of the whole campus and student body. The opportunity to perform with fellow colleagues on the faculty, to travel as an accompanist with numerous college choirs internationally, and to recreate masterworks for others to hear has fueled Dr. Skinner’s fervor for teaching and sharing music with all that will listen.
The musical constants in Jeanine’s life have always been piano teaching, accompanying (choral most frequently) and serving a wide variety of churches as organist and pianist. Her faith is a significant part of her life and is a natural outgrowth of her desire to serve and share.
Why Wake Forest, NC? In the summer of 2003, Jeanine found herself in a unique situation of refocusing her professional plans. Having her only sister living in Wake Forest, gave wings to the new adventure soon to follow. It was obvious that Wake Forest was on the "GROW" and launching itself for a community rich with opportunity. There were only a couple of "professional" business locations for studying music in Wake Forest and in the surrounding community so, an industry was born, Music Academy South! Her entrepreneurial spirit was unleashed!
The academy began in August 2003 with just Dr. Skinner and 26 students. In 9 months, she was teaching 66 students! And even though she only had a cell phone for a business phone, many people started accessing the number and calling about other areas of study, especially guitar and voice. In 2004, Margot Hafner joined Dr. Skinner in the two room suite that she was renting at Friendship Professional Center. By 2005, the landlords saw what an impact the music school was making in the community and joined in the journey of providing more teaching space for the inquiring students. This gave the studio a footprint of 2,940 sq. ft which allowed for a performance room and 7 teaching studios. Through the past 12 years, many students have passed through the halls and gained, a month or two of lessons....and some have studied the whole time the studio has been open. This year, with 12 years of study at MAS, we sent Orlando Hernandez, who started as a beginner with the academy, off to college at UNC-Greensboro as a music major. Many others in our 12 year history have become music majors as well, and we look forward to seeing them share what is in their heart and what makes music so special to them.
Watch out….we’re on the GROW again with another expansion. Watch for updates very soon!