AboutHickory Arts

Our Philosophy

The key to this business is personal relationships. Suddenly, it was all pretty clear. The answer was fewer clients.from Jerry Maguire

Quality over quantity. Ask not what your students can do for you; ask what you can do for your students. The Jerry Maguire mantra is something that escapes most teaching studios and something we’re fortunately in a position to offer.

Hickory Arts is a teaching and production studio dedicated to cultivating up-and-coming artists of all types and ages through a network of working and teaching artists; musicians, actors, singer/songwriters, composers, publishers, filmmakers, playwrights, photographers, dancers and more. We’re not, as David Lindberg says, “…a music retail store or a couple of music teachers selling whatever we think we can sell you under the guise of the genre of Rock music.” Your needs determine your curriculum. Your drive determines your progress. It’s all about you.

Custom private instruction including voice, strings, piano, guitar, songwriting, music industry, acting, photography and more! If what you’re looking for is not listed, “we know a guy.” Availability depends on the teaching artist and by appointment only.


Technique/Method | Movement | Audition Prep | Public Speaking | Improv | Acting for the Camera | Character Development | Stage Makeup | Scene Study | Direction


Transcription | Notation | Collaboration | Industry | Songwriting | Performance | Public Relations | Accompaniment | Recording | Production | Engineering | Management | MIDI | Worship | Guitar | Bass | Piano (Beginner, Intermediate and Advanced) | Voice (Technique and/or Coaching) | Drums | Ukulele | Strings | Horns | Winds

*Artist Development is especially for those interested in pursuing an active, autonomous career as a performing artist.

A good producer lights a fire under you. A good friend lights the match. A good parent gathers the wood. — Jeff Hartman, Artistic Director

“In a world where we’re allowing more and more bar cover bands and bar life to monopolize most live, original music outlets, Hickory Arts reminds us that there’s still something eclectic and genuine to look forward to.” — Patron

“It’s very important for solo artists to get the good, the bad and the ugly of your work spanning the course of your career out there. It’s often painful to listen to, but it’s still the sum of who you are now as an artist. Like any photograph, there’s a huge difference between our latest single/album and our first. Billy Joel said, “To me, the state of the art is the original album I made. That goes from ‘Cold Spring Harbor,’ which I can’t stand, all the way up to ‘River of Dreams.'” — Jeff Hartman

“Just because you can, doesn’t mean you should.” — David Black, Producer/Engineer

“Hickory Arts. From penning to publishing.” — John Coffey

“There was a moment yesterday when every room in Hickory Arts was filled with songwriters collaborating, writing, creating at Kyle Vincent’s songwriting/music industry workshop. I looked out at our tiny, modest sign and felt a great deal of solace.” — Jeff Hartman, Artistic Director

“We’re a specialized studio. Compare it this way: going to a general practitioner vs. a medical specialist.” — John Coffey

“The easiest way to define Hickory Arts is that we take performance artists from point A to point B, whatever that may be. That’s actors, musicians, singers, songwriters.” — Carol Anne Hartman, Managing Director

“There is opportunity everywhere for anyone that knows where to look. But, it requires overcoming a downstream mentality. Generally, people see only the downstream opportunities because that’s where they look. Downstream destinations appear easier to reach. The reality is that most of the best opportunities lie upstream. Paddling upstream might seem to be the harder route when in actuality it can be the easier route. Why? Because most people point their boats downstream. Consequently, there’s less traffic upstream. It’s much easier to compete when the majority has gone in the opposite direction.” — Clancy Cross

“The best teachers don’t give you the answers. They just point the way and let you make your own choices; your own mistakes. That way, you get all the glory.” — Mr. Shue, “Glee”

“A guy will promise you the world and give you nothin’, and that’s the blues.” — Otis Rush

“Until you say something on your own, you’re not an artist. You’re just a parrot.” — from Fox’s “Touch”

“Folks who never do any more than they get paid for, never get paid for any more than they do.” — Elbert Hubbard

“I’d rather be a musician than a rock star.” — George Harrison

“The assembly line process used in factories around the world is graded on its ability to produce the same product over and over again in the shortest amount of time possible, and for the cheapest price possible. We are making a dire mistake by approaching education in the same manner.” — Justin Tarte

MIKE COLLINS: If we love variety so much, why are there so many fast food restaurants serving hamburgers, french fries and sodas? Why aren’t they serving more variety of foods?

BARBARA KAHN: Well, variety, in the end, tends to cost more. It’s cheaper to produce “standarized;” the same thing over time. So if you’re trading off “price with quality” or “price with variety and diversity,” you’re gonna go for the same standard item over time. — Barbara Kahn, Professor of Marketing and Director of the Baker Retailing Center at the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania


McDonald’s, Burger King and Wendy’s are all doing the same thing a different way. Hickory Arts doesn’t have a dollar menu and isn’t counting how many billions have been served. Art isn’t fast food. Keep doing ‘what you won’t do’ and it’ll make a difference.

Phill Kirby Touring Artist

I wanted to thank you again for all that you have done for me. I got a perfect score on my senior project. I wouldn’t have been able to do it without you. Your time and effort to help me is greatly appreciated. Thank you so much for helping me complete a huge task in my high school education. I’d like to stay in touch with you if possible and I also would love to help you with anything you needed at your studio.

Kevin Barrett Student

Where you go, we go.

Carrie DeLeary Parent

I don’t know if I’ve ever thanked you for getting Thomas off to such a great start musically. He’s doing a lot with Rick Cline now and spent the weekend composing a piece for a percussion ensemble using notepad.

Jennifer Michaels Parent

Man, if there’s one person in this world that I just love, respect and will follow blindly in the music/theatre world, it’s Jeff Hartman! He just gets me!

Jairo Pereira Actor and Vocalist

There are those who help you move forward and those who hold you back.

Molly Rice Educator

I was talking to one of my friends about good and bad teachers I have had over the years. I have had a wide variety. Your name came up in the mix and I realized I had never thanked you for all that you did. I know that this may seem strange seeing as I took lessons from you for such a short period of time… but you instilled a good bit of confidence in my singing ability and that confidence has improved my singing remarkably. So thank you for your encouragement and I hope you continue to build up the students you teach.

Julia Gruver Singer/Songwriter

I visited Hickory Arts today and saw in person what they are all about… finally! Nothing better than seeing in person. A nice house on 2nd Avenue SW, in the 700 block, which means it’s between 6th Street and 8th Street… easy. Nice space in the center for “House Concerts” and four rooms with large glass windows which have been turned into teaching studios… piano, guitar, drums… Owners Carol Anne Hartman and Jeff Hartman are two REALLY TALENTED PEOPLE! Carol Anne was taking free photos (she’s a wonderful photographer). Jeff took me on a “tour” of their new space. I’ll be doing some recording there with Jeff… backup music for a couple of vocals I’m doing. The arts in Hickory just continue to thrive thanks to people like Carol Anne and Jeff and their creative endeavors. Thanks, my friends, for opening your studio and giving us a chance to see and understand what you are doing. A great addition to Hickory!

Julia Rush Godmother of Hickory

Hickory Arts provides a welcoming and friendly space incredibly conducive to creativity—perfect for actors, musicians and writers of all ages and talent levels. I only wish there was a place like this in the neighborhood when I was growing up!

Kyle Vincent Billboard Artist