At Dea Music & Art School, instructors teach youngsters the fundamentals of artistic expression and musical performance. Art lessons teach the essentials of composition and visual narrative, whereas music lessons include piano, guitar, and violin as well as standard voice lessons and a musical-theater program.
At more than 900 learning centers across the world, Sylvan Learning offers kids a leg up through personalized programs prescribed by an in-depth skills assessment. Students build on past lessons to learn progressively, and sessions may hone in on different disciplines, granting kids the confidence to interpret literature and the rhetorical skills needed to negotiate a later bedtime. The positive mindset of personable, invested instructors helps to inspire kids to greater academic feats, as does a prize program that rewards hard work with CDs and gift cards.
Pete Lawson's passion for the martial arts is more than 30 years old, reaching all the way back to when he took his first karate lesson in Jamaica when he was 13 years old. His love for the discipline blossomed, eventually earning him five black belts, a spot in world tournaments, and the opportunity to spar against master martial artists. He also studied Brazilian jiujitsu under renowned master Renzo Gracie, one of the sons of Brazil's famed family of martial artists. As a believer in the saying "to whom much is given, much is required," Lawson decided to put his accolades and experience to good use founding and teaching at his own academy, Brooklyn Martial Arts. Today, he offers classes for all levels of Brazilian jiujitsu and mixed martial arts, preparing students for everything from self-defense to competition.
Lawson also imparts lessons of discipline and perseverance to little ones in kids' classes, using martial arts as a platform to improve their schoolwork, teach them nonviolent ways to deal with bullies, and strengthen their listening skills by having them perform pushups with their ears. They even host birthday parties for kids, where the birthday boy or girl cuts the cake with a real sword and competes in fun and friendly martial-arts-based games and activities.
Each era has its own distinct style, whether it's the flapper fashions of the Roaring Twenties or the bell-bottomed disco inferno of the 1970s. Yet, as colorful, irreverent, and chest-hair friendly as certain fashions have been over time, they all originated from a humble needle and thread. "Sewing," as co-owner and co-founder of Esaie Couture Design School Wanda Bruno says, "is totally creative, but practical. It's one of those skills that you have for a lifetime."
Wanda's first foray into the fashion world was as a student at the Fashion Institute of Technology, where she studied tailoring and menswear. The specificity and accuracy tailoring required established a firm foundation for her skills, which she used to land roles on design teams at Calvin Klein, Brooks Brothers, and Ralph Lauren, where she worked during the launch of Polo Sport in the early 1990s. No matter her place of employment, her style philosophy remained timeless: "Ill-fitting clothes throughout the ages will never look good. A good fit is tremendously important."
Wanda now shares her tailoring talents with the homemakers, hobbyists, and aspiring designers who populate her school. There, instructors reveal sewing basics during intensive single-day workshops and teach new skills. During long-term workshops ranging from four or six weeks to three or six months, students build skills that help them construct career paths in the fashion industry or to start their own businesses.