Black Tie Music Academy celebrates 10 years making music and more!

Black Tie Music Academy (BTMA) has been hitting all the right notes on Daniel Island for the past 10 years. Since their humble beginnings, BTMA has become the largest private music school in South Carolina, according to their website. The academy’s line-up includes music therapy, musical theater, musical camps, art instruction, and much more.

Founder and co-owner Braeden Kershner was teaching music in the Charleston County School District when he had an idea to provide music lessons after school that were both educational and fun. Kershner and co-owner Kris Manning gave lessons at clients’ homes for three years before opening a DI storefront in 2012. Daniel Island was the first of their nine locations and holds a special place in their hearts.

“The Daniel Island community embraced us right from the beginning,” exclaimed Manning, a Daniel Island resident. “Over the last 10 years we feel that we’ve grown together, meeting the unique needs and opportunities that our clients expect along with a few surprises they don’t expect.”

BTMA’s other locations include Mount Pleasant (Park West), Sullivan’s Island, Summerville and West Ashley. The academy’s latest location is inside the iconic Fox Music House in North Charleston. Fox has been part of the musical community in Charleston since 1928. Manning is excited to be part of the tradition.

“We’re honored to partner with them and bring music and art instruction to the North Charleston communities,” she said.

Employees and students alike have been singing the praises of the BTMA for the past decade. Black Tie has been instrumental in the careers of several island residents, including local recording artists Claire Conway and Georgia VanNewkirk.

Academy Director Ben Meyer was one of the first employees hired at BTMA and he embraces the energizing environment.

“The sheer determination that Braeden and Kris have to make Black Tie a fun, supportive and self-realizing place to work stands out,” said Meyer. “Having taught music for my entire adult life, I’ve never encountered an organization with a better structure than ours.”

Sarah Outland recently celebrated her daughter’s fourth birthday at BTMA and found it to be the perfect party place.

“We could not be more impressed with Braeden and his facility. Our daughter and her friends had such a great time and made so many fun memories together,” said Outland.

BTMA has been creating memorable events since the beginning. Many of Manning’s favorite memories come from the students.

“The most indelible marks made are by our students with their practice, dedication and courage,” observed Manning. “These are students who have developed the confidence to share their growth publicly and allow us to watch them blossom and celebrate them. It’s so moving, it’s why we do what we do.”

Not ones to rest on their laurels, BTMA is always looking to the future.

“We’re giddy about the next 10 years,” continued Manning. “We plan out quite far and have some very exciting things coming to the communities where we operate. We stay on top of the trends, but never neglect history and the tried and true…We see a bright future and look forward to continuing to bring music and art instruction to the DI community.”

For more information on BTMA, check out their webpage at

Daniel Island Publishing

225 Seven Farms Drive
Unit 108
Daniel Island, SC 29492 

Office Number: 843-856-1999
Fax Number: 843-856-8555


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