Bass player, composer, and educator Agustin Conti boasts more than two decades of professional performing and recording experience in the United States, Europe, and South America. In 2005, he settled in South Florida, where he opened his own private teaching studio a year later. When he’s not leading classes at Miami Dade College, Conti schools students during in-person and virtual lessons for the four-, five-, and six-string electric bass; the upright bass; and the wall-mounted animatronic largemouth bass. The bilingual instructor uses a variety of teaching styles, such as letting students learn by ear or by reading the music.
Devos Academy infuses people's lives with music and art by offering programs for students of every age. Kids can take piano lessons, learn to paint in Little Picassos classes, and explore music by clapping out rhythms, banging on xylophones, and learning about high and low notes. In classes for teens and adults, artists can work in a variety of media, crosshatching with pens or perhaps building on color transparencies with watercolors. One-time lessons—such as Mom & Me and Pet Painting workshops—are also available for those who want to expand the art in their lives without getting stuck in an Escher painting.
Guitars, banjos, and mandolins hang like artwork from Penny Lane’s red walls, immediately capturing the eye with names like Santa Cruz, Eastman, and Gold Star, and indicating the shop’s specialty in repairing, selling, and teaching a range of stringed instruments. Within this musical gallery, a deft staff lends its melodic expertise to fixing broken instruments—from guitar strings to bass necks—and promises to tackle any repair no matter how big or small.
Budding musicians—equipped with their own instrument or one from the emporium’s vast stock—an sit down with a distinguished instructor, who teaches players of all ages and experience levels how to play classical instruments such as the piano and violin, or more obscure music machines, including the banjo and ukulele. The shop also hosts monthly jam sessions, allowing students to gather on the store’s plush red couch and learn first-hand the important factors of group play, from keeping on beat to smashing guitars an arm’s length away from others.
MUSE stands for "mastering unique self expression"—a common experience for students at the MUSE Center for the Arts, where they show off their creativity in dance, music, and theater classes. Its instructors, who come from a variety of arts backgrounds, have extensive résumés, including dancing with choreographer Twyla Tharp's company, performing at the Metropolitan Opera House, and specializing in stage combat.
Both children and adults learn styles such as jazz, hip-hop, and contemporary in dance classes, and skilled kids aged 6–18 can try out for MUSE's competitive dance team. Musicians can further their craft in private or group lessons available for a variety of instruments, including voice, guitar, and violin. And the theater season is divided into school-year and summer sessions, where young Broadway hopefuls learn how to sing, dance, and write a quippy Playbill bio.
It's never too early for music. Crescendo Music Center gets kids started with their introduction to music class which teaches youngsters aged 3–5 the basics of reading notes, melodies, and time notation. Kids with a little more music under their belt can refine their skills in private lessons or during ensemble jams. To make sure students get the chance to hone their performance skills as well, the center holds regular recitals. These concerts give kids the chance to perform for mom and dad and to practice lighting their instrument on fire after the encore.