Although he didn't start playing the piano until age 19, Casey Thomas let his hard work and natural talent carry him to a career as a professional musician. His wife Samantha followed a more traditional path, playing as a child before earning valuable experience as a singer/songwriter and music instructor in cities throughout Texas. Now the leaders of the Creative Soul School of Music, the two bring their own experiences together in support of a shared mission: providing a nurturing environment where young musicians can hone their innate skills and discover their confidence. “We’re trying to get to those kids who are trying to figure out their identity, where they fit in, where they can find a home,” Casey says. To that end, the school tailors private lessons and classes to suit each student’s passion, be it songwriting, orchestral layering, or technical proficiency in headbanging. Year-round, the school dots the local sonic landscape with trimesters of student band classes for children and adults, as well as one-week and shorter summer rock camps that pair up learners of the same age and experience level. Welcoming all proficiencies, instructors tout an ability to nurture struggling learners, who ultimately build the confidence to perform live shows at venues around the region.
At For Those about to Rock School we offer guitar, bass, drums, piano and vocal lessons, but we don't teach the traditional way. We have our students tell us which songs that they would like to learn and we begin by teaching simplified parts of those songs.
Inspired by New York City's The Actors Studio, thespians Erica and Shane Peterman established The Acting Studio as a place for youngsters and adults with acting aspirations to focus on their craft. Along with experienced dancer Kellie Carroll, the Petermans train students on musical-theater fundamentals in classes that range from jazz dance to private voice lessons. The advanced Triple Threat program places pupils intending to pursue a performing-arts career under the tutelage of industry pros who prep them for performances. Kids more interested in dabbling, meanwhile, can meet industry bigwigs at workshops, and several full-scale productions each year grant children the chance to act alongside their peers and improvise dance numbers.
Grapevine Guitar Works’ quaint little shop holds more Gibson, Taylor, and Yamaha equipment than Peter Frampton's attic—and the shop’s staff does more than just hand people instruments and send them on their way. They equip all skill levels with the knowledge to bring their guitar or bass to life through group and private music lessons. Englishman Robb Kelly handles the bass lessons while Paul Reitz teaches guitar—acoustic, electric, classical, and jazz—going far beyond a few simple chords. Having accumulated vast teaching resources in his long musical career, Reitz shares insight through finger-strengthening exercises, technique drilling, and instruction in general theory. He also helps fledgling performers enhance their stage presence by developing their repertoire and showing them the best way to light their guitar on fire mid-solo.
Brazilian-born Larissa Mulligan began playing piano at the age of five, quickly developing a passion for the instrument. That passion lasted beyond childhood: she later graduated from the Brazilian Conservatory of Music in Rio de Janeiro and went on to teach and perform professionally in Brazil, Mexico, and the United States. At LM Music studio, she works to spark students’ interest in musical expression with private and group lessons that incorporate fun activities to deepen understanding of rhythm and other musical concepts. She also uses music to turn monolingual tots into little polyglots in her Music and Language classes, which improve piano skills as well as aptitude in Spanish, Portuguese, or English.
This multifaceted education center celebrates Bollywood culture with a variety of dance, music, and fitness classes. Bollywood Arts Performing Center allows clients to study the sounds of Bollywood with vocal training, drumming classes, and mandatory 24-hour Bollywood-movie-watching marathons. During kathak dance sessions, students learn the classical Indian steps featured in major Bollywood films, whereas krumping and popping and locking take center stage during hip-hop classes. The center also offers fitness programs, such as Zumba and yoga, which keep bodies primed for dancing and running competitive paper routes.