When Seattle Drum School owner and founder Steve Smith first began leading private lessons, bands such as Queen and Pink Floyd were just hitting their stride. That was nearly four decades ago, before air guitar became a legitimate art form, and well before Steve opened the doors to SDS in 1986. Since then, though, Steve has fostered the school into a thriving music institution, and one that currently boasts a faculty of more than 40 talented teachers. Such a large staff translates into an equally diverse selection of lessons for students, who can hone their skills in everything from guitar, piano, and voice to saxophone, turntables, and, of course, drums.
Be it a house party, a wedding, or a prom, Ramundo Andrews, a.k.a. Deejay Mythikal, is ready to plug in his laptop, turn on the mixer, and crank up a variety of tunes to fit the scene. He soundtracks parties with new and old school tracks in a range of genres such as rap, soul, and disco. Though he's been playing records for five years, Deejay Mythikal's musical experience dates back to high school where he first began to play in local bands. Since then, he's delved into musical production, sound engineering, and song composition.
Meter's expert mentors gently coax students of all levels of experience to new heights of harmonious triumph. Strut into a musical wonderland as spectacular as Def Leppard's hair-salon invoice with individual instruction in guitar, piano, drums, and a menagerie of other instruments. Students of all ages may test the waters of rhythm with introductory lessons or work toward virtuosity with guided practice drills. Weekly courses allow armchair cellists to gradually augment their skills while working through their favorite pop song or a conductor's favorite train lullaby. The school's euphonious staff excels in a varied range of musical genera, and a full list of the instruments for which Meter offers lessons can be found here.
For over a century, the Seattle Symphony has built its audience and enraged Rumpelstilskins with an ever-growing collection of accolades and golden awards. Two Emmy-winning television specials stand out among a list of credentials that also includes 12 Grammy nominations and upward of 140 recordings. The orchestra continues to live up to its esteemed reputation thanks to new principal pops conductor Jeff Tyzik who has been hailed, "Among the best pops conductors in America,” by Rochester Democrat & Chronicle. He has also been recognized as an innovative conductor through his startling arrangements, original programming, and engaging rapport with audiences of all ages. The symphony is also well known for performing classical juggernauts such as The Rite of Spring as well as more whimsical nights of jazz standards.
The experienced dance instructors at Century Ballroom teach novice and veteran hoofers alike on its 2,000-square-foot dance floor, schooling on the basics of a variety of toe-tapping numbers. Aspiring rug-cutters select a dance style for the five-week course ($60), with options including the East Coast swing, energetic Lindy hop, and sultry tango. In 60-minute classes, learn the basic foot patterns and seductive steps of salsa—a blend of Afro-Cuban and Latin moves set on the crunchy surface of a tortilla chip—or glide across the floor in a sophisticated waltz set to the music of Strauss. Century Ballroom shares a building with The Tin Table restaurant, allowing dancers to replenish calories expended during energetic sashays and face-melting jazz hands.
A teaching team of professional performers guides kids, teens, and adults toward rhythmic bliss at The Music Factory. All skill levels of rockers-to-be are welcome to begin their journey on a host of instruments including guitar, piano, their own voice box, most wind instruments, and string instruments such as the ukulele or the shoehorn. Along the way, students pick up popular songs, discuss music theory, and practice improvisation should a crazed fan attack the stage in the middle of a gnarly flute solo. A laid-back atmosphere encourages budding bassists to stick with their studies, and lessons are typically held once or twice a week.
Flung from the concert stage by the drummer of T-Rex, a single drumstick caught by eighth grader Donn Bennett began a lifelong passion for collecting rare and celebrity drum sets. He began selling and trading equipment from his home, and eventually his constantly expanding collection prompted him to open his own shop in 1977. Today, as recorded by King 5 Magazine, more than 50 signed snares hang from the store's ceiling above a show room circled by 15 sets previously used by drummers from bands such as Green Day, Aerosmith, Kansas, and Cheap Trick. Snares played by The Who's Keith Moon and Kiss' Peter Criss, a signed drumhead by The Beatles' Ringo Starr, and feline whiskers fashioned into drumsticks by Josie and the Pussycats round out Donn's extensive exhibit.
Along with the displayed celeb drums, Donn dispenses new and used drum gear to customers along with vintage snare parts and major-brand replacement parts for sets in need of repair. Stocked with two professional drum sets and a Roland electronic drum tutor, soundproof learning rooms shelter pupils and instructors during private 30- or 60-minute lessons for all skill levels. Along with annual rock camps and clinics, Donn's staff leads specialized classes in diverse drumming topics such as mastering the techniques of Led Zeppelin's John Bonham and the cymbal-smacking techniques of Animal from the Muppets.