About Us

The Shaped-Note System

The shaped-note or “Fasola” tradition is one of unaccompanied singing, that is, without any assistance by instruments. Thus, when singing shaped-note hymns, it is practice first to “sing the notes,” that is, to sing the fa-sol-la syllables corresponding to the shapes in the music before singing the text. This serves to set the tune in memory and enables a person to more easily sight-read previously unseen or unheard music. Tunes are sung in relative pitch, rather than at an absolute pitch.

Shaped Notes

Early colonists brought the shaped-note singing tradition with them from Europe where the method was invented to enable common people to more readily sing worship and praise songs. The first book in America printed with shaped-note heads, using “patent notes,” was the Easy Instructor, by Wm. Smith and Wm. Little, in 1801. The shapes used then are still in use to this day: Fa, Sol , La , and Mi. The tradition of singing by shaped notes was welcomed and is carried on to this day, particularly in the southern regions of the United States.

History of National School of Music

Praising God in song is a precious privilege and a great duty shared by every Christian regardless of age. Our Father in Heaven deserves, and demands, the best praise we can offer, so each Christian should desire to learn the rudiments of singing. Over the years, the quality of shaped-note singing has declined all across the country, largely due to apathy toward personal improvement and/or an unfamiliarity with the rudiments of music.

The National School of Music was founded as a private endeavor to help individuals of all ages improve their skills in singing, song writing, and song directing. Mr. Dorsey C. Yarbrough, a renowned gospel singer, prolific songwriter, and long-time faculty member of the Stamps/Baxter School of Music, founded the National School of Music in Roanoke, Alabama, in the late 1960s and operated it there through the late 1970s. Mr. Yarbrough passed the National School of Music torch to Phillip G. Prince, who loved the school as a student and later as an instructor. Mr. Prince shares Mr. Yarbrough’s love for singing and song writing and continues to run the school as a private endeavor.

After being closed for 30 years, the National School of Music reopend for classes, under the direction of Phillip G. Prince in VanLeer, TN at Camp Ridgedale on June 18, 2001, In 2016 the TN location was moved to Martin Methodist College in Pulaski TN. We opened a second location for the National School of Music in Wichita Falls, TX at Camp Chaparral in July 5, 2004 and moved to our present location at Midwestern State University in Wichita Falls on June 18, 2005.

As you can see, regardless of where you might be in the country, there is a school close to you. Why not make your plans, right now, to attend one or more of these schools.

Meet the Team

Phillip Prince has studied music as long as he can remember. Many times, he and his family sat around the kitchen table singing and learning the shaped-note system, while putting that knowledge into learning new songs under the direction and instruction of his dad, Mr. Gordon Prince. He also studied under the direction of Mr.

Phillip Prince

Maegan Prince is a graduate from Trinity Christian Academy and is currently employed at Voya Financial. Very early in her youth, Maegan could be heard singing at every chance she could and continues to this very day, always singing while she goes through her normal daily activities. Whenever a group of people are sitting around

Maegan Prince

Allison Prince is a High School graduate from Trinity Christian Academy, in Jacksonville, FL. She has studied music under the direction of her late grandfather, Mr. Gordon Prince, her father, Mr. Phillip Prince and other music educators such as Mr. Charles Towler, Mr. Jack Clark, Ms. Tracy Phillips and Mrs. Eloise Phillips. She has written

Allison Prince

Elton Prince has been actively involved with musical activity and study ever since childhood. He has been a student of the National School of Music since it’s inception in 2001 until 2010, in which he served his first year as staff. Son of prolific songwriter Billy Prince, the composer of “Love,” “My Unseen Friend,” and

Elton Prince

Kevin W. Presley was born in Wichita, KS on July 28, 1973 and reared in a Christian home. In 1979, his family moved to Oklahoma and it is there that Kevin’s desire to preach was born. In 1994, Kevin was ordained as an evangelist and has spent the last 15 years holding as many as

Kevin Presley

Krista Hatter has a Bachelor of Science in Vocal Music Education. While studying music, she has participated in multiple choral, ensemble, and solo opportunities. She has given music lessons in the areas of voice, guitar, and piano. She has assisted in voice lessons and sectionals at the singing schools since 2009.

Krista Hatter

Lynn is the sister of Phillip Prince and grew up among a family who loved to sing. She made her first recording at age ten with her mother, father, and brother. Lynn has recorded with the groups Southern Harmony and Southern Heirs. Lynn is a prolific songwriter, having several songs in publications which have been

Lynn Sessions

Jerremy Fender is a Music Teacher primarily teaching private lessons in the North Dallas area.  Jerremy graduated from Abilene Christian University in 2019 with a Bachelor of Music Education.  He met his wife in high school and got married just over one month after he graduated from college.  After years of learning and teaching music,

Jerremy Fender