Each of the 16 practice rooms at Music University contains another musical treasure for its students. Yamaha grand pianos, Sonar drum sets, and Fender amps ensure that each visitor gets the chance to work with professional-grade equipment. But these rooms' most important assets are its teachers. The staff, which specializes in instruments ranging from guitar to bagpipes, boasts pedigrees from such prestigious schools as Juilliard, Berklee College of Music, and Boston Conservatory. And, like any university, the school maintains an impressive library of sheet music, including Broadway musical pieces and guitar tablature.
Bob Meyer, who has spent many a tour alongside bands such as Metallica, The Rolling Stones, Phish, and The Allman Brothers, helms Give To Live Guitar Studios, which provides music lessons with a focus on community outreach. He and his staff of experienced, enthusiastic instructors welcome students for lessons in stringed instruments such as guitar, violin, banjo, mandolin, or bass as well as drums, vocals, and keyboards. They teach in all styles, from Bach to rock and roll, and help their students move from basics to live performance, hosting benefit concerts for local charities.
Give to Live Guitar Studios strives to get aspiring musicians onto the stage as quickly as possible. Whether students are interested in playing Bach on nylon-stringed classical guitars or rock on electric guitars, Give to Live's instructors seek to make players performance-ready within six months. The studio also frequently promotes benefit concerts that give players a chance to showcase their progress while raising money for charity.
Thom Callen sat behind his first drum kit at age 4. By 15, he was drumming at a professional level. These days, his skills with the skins have landed him gigs with award-winning songwriters and touring funk groups. But when he's not showcasing his talents, Thom trains fellow beat keepers of all ages and skill levels at Callan Music and Drum Studio.
After seating students behind a professional set, Thom teaches basic methods, such as keeping a simple beat. He then builds upon those tricks to more advanced techniques, like executing perfect drum fills while napping. Each lesson caters to students' individual paces, as well as their favorite styles, including jazz, rock, or world rhythm. If pupils provide an SD card, Thom can even record the lessons so students can listen back afterward.
Surrounded by the hiking trails, woodlands, and glistening lakes of Millstone Township, Cornerstone Music Studios provides private lessons in more than a dozen instruments, including piano, guitar, saxophone, and voice. Its faculty of like-minded and talented instructors helps create a community-oriented environment, giving students limitless support as they explore new artistic avenues. Monthly and annual recitals also boost students’ confidence, and prepare them to play live in front of a crowd of stuffed animals with sewn-on frowns.
The teaching staff at Music University comes directly from such schools as Juilliard, Berklee, and Hard Knocks, as well as bands including Thin Lizzy, The Cult, and Mötley Crüe. With such credentials, it should come as no surprise that Music University students have gone on to play at Carnegie Hall, the Lincoln Center, and the Kimmel Center in Philadelphia. Young musicians enjoy access to top-notch gear in private studios equipped with Yamaha grand pianos, Sonor drum sets, and a Fender amp for every guitar room. Students can direct their lessons toward virtually any genre—it’s practically a certainty that someone on staff is a fan as well.