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Community Highlights: Meet Raquel Kelley of Franklin Brentwood Arts Academy

Today we’d like to introduce you to Raquel Kelley. Them and their team share their story with us below:

About Us: In 1997, Raquel and Maury met at sea working for Princess Cruises. Raquel, from Melbourne, Australia, grew up with five siblings all in the music and entertainment industry. Her dad is a jazz musician, mother a professional dancer and Raquel was in musicals including Miss Saigon before performing on cruise ships.

Maury grew up singing in Memphis before moving to Nashville and performing at Opryland in the ’80s.

After graduating from Belmont University, he traveled with his band entertaining the troops around the world.

In 1992 Maury, became Deputy Cruise Director for Princess Cruises in charge of entertainment.

In 2003, we started Franklin Brentwood Arts Academy to give kids the opportunity to develop their talent, build their confidence, and learn how to perform on stage!

We believe that Music lessons and Acting classes can change a child’s life and help them discover what makes them unique.

We know many kids love music and acting, but lessons can often feel hard and sometimes scary.

Our approach is for the students to start developing their confidence and enjoying music on day one.

When children perceive lessons as fun and easy, they are more likely to feel confident and successful.

At Franklin Brentwood Arts Academy, the students have the opportunity to develop both their talent and performance skills that will give them the extra confidence they need to succeed on stage and in life.

I’m sure you wouldn’t say it’s been obstacle free, but so far would you say the journey have been a fairly smooth road?
Any significant projects are rarely ever a smooth road and the journey of Franklin Brentwood Arts Academy is no different … Maury & Raquel have learnt a lot from the bumpy roads! The early days of simply getting enough students, then transitioning from single room with two teachers (the owners) to a commercial location (with rent) and then bringing on some teachers and some front desk help.

Maury’s vision has always been strong from the get go, continuing the legacy of his childhood school in Bells TN ” Kincaide Studio “. Raquel was reluctant at first but her natural flare with students of all ages especially kids flourished once she was put in front of them. Teaching was so instinctive and natural for her.

What was not natural was the marketing chops required to scale the school and that is when Maury & Raquel went to work studying with some of the best business coaches and attending conferences with other music and acting school owners.

Learning to train, manage and eventually trust and let go was another bumpy road that is now smoothing out.

The journey still continues but now Maury & Raquel can now stop and look over the bumpy and smooth roads traveled over the years. There are no shortcuts, but with the help and guidance of others, some luck and a lot of perseverance they have created a legacy called Franklin Brentwood Arts Academy aka FBAA (formerly J Kelley Studios).

Great, so let’s talk business. Can you tell our readers more about what you do and what you think sets you apart from others?
Franklin Brentwood Arts Academy has been teaching and helping students reach their goals for over 19 years and is located in the desirable Cool Springs (Franklin, TN) Area. FBAA also emphasizes performance and invests hours of free performance workshops to help their students build confidence and authenticity on stage.

The staff and faculty love what they do and every week pour into their students all aspects of teaching voice, acting, piano, guitar, ukulele, bass, drums and violin and aim to have fun by letting the students play the music they love or act authentically.

We aim to change lives through relationship building and student character development. We also teach professionalism and grit (e.g., don’t quit) by motivating students every week – make them feel great about themselves and also pushing them beyond what they think they can do.

This is what we are most proud of, seeing the growth in all our students over time.

We all have a different way of looking at and defining success. How do you define success?
Helping both our students and employees get where they want to go in the time they want to get there.


  • $60 Registration Fee
  • $160 per month for Private Lessons (Voice, Acting, Piano, Guitar, Ukulele, Bass, Drums, Violin)
  • $88 per month for Group Classes (Voice & Acting)
  • $60 per a la carte lesson for non-members

Contact Info:

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