Continuing Education for the church musician

Fall Term (August 30-December 19)

Enrolling Now

Online lessons, courses, and seminars

What does the parish music program need in today's changing world?

How can those needs be met without a music degree or large

financial investment?

What We Do

Unique in the industry, we are a private
and independent music institute based in Columbus, Ohio offering local and online education:

+Voice lessons   +Organ lessons   +Cantor lessons

+Conducting lessons   +Sacred music courses, skills and mentoring

+Certification tracks for Music Director, Choir Director, Organist, or Cantor


The Sacred Music Institute of America was developed by Dr. Jason Keefer, DMA, Director and Assistant Professor of Sacred Music at the Pontifical College Josephinum; Organ

Artist-in-Residence at Covenant Presbyterian Church in Upper Arlington,Ohio;

and member of the American Guild of Organists Columbus Chapter. Through experience working with priests, ministers, seminarians, music directors, and organists, he recognized a need for competent musicians and quality sacred music in every church.

Dr. Keefer's mission was born shortly after he began working at St. Vincent College and Seminary and intensified during his time at the Josephinum. Through working with cantors and ensembles (choir and schola) during "lean" years with fewer or less-skilled members, Dr. Keefer identified excellent music composed on every level. This suggested it was possible to have a dignified, quality program in any church.


Many part-time and some full-time church music directors do not have a degree in music, organ training, vocal training, knowledge of the Catholic Sacred Music Documents, or understanding of the many resources that can aid them in implementing a quality program. According to Dr. Keefer, unless an individual in this situation sets out to pursue his or her own study, there is usually no way for comprehensive development. Often, the cost of formalized academic study is an impediment.

The Sacred Music Institute of America aims to bridge this gap in a comprehensive, practical, and functional way. 


Find out more about what we have to offer and look  at our programs on subsequent pages.

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What a current student has to say...

"I learned to play the piano and sing at a very young age. I always wanted to be a professional musician. I pursued another profession and began cantoring as an adult. Suddenly, I fell in love again with what was once only a dream. I began transitioning from playing the piano to the organ in 2017 by taking lessons from Dr. Jason Keefer. His expertise, passion for teaching, and practical approaches have allowed me to play the organ at church while beginning my second year as a church music director."

Fall 2021

Click course names for details:

Intermediate Chant 

Introduction to Hymnology

History of Sacred Music

Music Theory I

Music Theory III

Conducting I

Conducting II

Private lessons in organ, voice, and conducting

Mentoring for church musicians


In this rapidly-shifting environment of changing regulations and guidelines, the Sacred Music Institute of America, LLC stands by its commitment to continue to bring students high-quality educational experiences to meet the needs of sacred musicians beyond the confines of traditional academic programs.  This spring, students can continue to develop skills and learn new repertoire in the comfort of home through online lessons in organ, voice, and conducting.  We are also offering three group classes: "Chant II", "Music Theory II" and “History of Sacred Music.”  These ten-week courses include lectures, discussions, and readings to help you strengthen the skills necessary for success in the field of sacred music.  Our new program for priests and deacons, "Chanting the Liturgy," helps them to further develop their skills in singing the chants of the Roman Missal.

For information on our current offerings, please contact:


Dr. Jason Keefer,

Program Director

Please fill out the form below for any other inquiries, and we will get back to you as soon as we can.

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Fall 2021 Registration is open!
Lessons, Classes, and Mentoring