In 1976, Joan Barnes—a California mom frustrated with the lack of spaces where she could take her kids for safe and age-appropriate play time—took matters into her own hands and founded Gymboree Play and Music. In the decades since Gymboree’s founding, Joan’s vision of a safe place where youngsters could build confidence and creativity has come to fruition and spread to 30 countries around the globe. Staffed by attentive and expertly trained instructors, each Gymboree outpost adheres to a curriculum of activities designed by experts to foster the development of children's cognitive, physical, and social skills through structured play and close readings of Goodnight Moon. The staffers also conduct entertaining classes for parents, newborns, and children under 1 year that cover subjects ranging from music to sports, imparting valuable lessons of imagination and physical activity to developing minds. To further set apart her business, Barnes employed nationally renowned playground designer Jay Beckwith to design the proprietary play equipment at her centers.
Astudia Dance World embraces all types of music—even kinds that haven't been written yet. Their Jam class trades order for on-the-spot creativity, encouraging students of any instrument to show up and practice the art of improvisation. It's a far cry from the more structured TRAC class (which stands for theory, reading, arranging, and composing), but both offerings celebrate creativity under the supervision of expert instructors.
Directed by Jane Maurer and William Blair, this team helps pupils of all ages explore the wide and varied world of music and dance. Their lessons cover classical styles such as jazz, tap, and ballet in addition to acrobatics, hip-hop, and musical theater, wherein every actor is required to carry a tuba. Meanwhile, instrument classes focus on the piano, guitar, or drums. All of these skills come together in recital performances, where parents can witness their children's progress and cheer them on.
RockStar Guitar's certified instructors provide private, one-on-one lessons in rock guitar, classical guitar, or any other genre that's playable on six strings. The expert musicians also teach at all levels of expertise. For beginners, they cover basic skills such as chords and scale patterns. They take advanced students farther down the guitar's sound hole, delving into music theory and the dark messages heard when playing “Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star” backwards. For anyone looking to get out of the house, the instructors can host sessions at their own home-based studios.
Before Grace Kelly was an Academy Award–winning actress and princess, she was one of John Robert Powers’ original models. The veteran school—a go-to training ground for the entertainment industry since its inception in 1923—has shaped many of the world’s most successful performers, such as legendary funny woman Lucille Ball, Autobot whisperer Josh Duhamel, and singer Diana Ross. Established by its titular founder, who stressed the importance of being natural when presenting oneself, John Robert Powers Las Vegas trains students in all areas of the entertainment industry, whether their goal is to attain superstardom or become the block’s most sought-after birthday clown.
Lea Archer once sang and danced professionally on the Las Vegas Strip, but, during that time she noticed the community was missing something: a center for performing-arts practice. She opened Xelement Music and Dance in order to combine music and dance lessons under a single roof, gathering a team of instructors to lead individual and group lessons in such disciplines as electric piano, music business, DJing, lyrical hip-hop, musical theater dance, and cheer. Archer's favorite part about her job is watching her students collaborate: oftentimes, music students will create tunes to which her dancers choreograph performances.
Even though it?s been lauded by CBS New York, Time Out New York Kids, and Nickelodeon Parents Connect, ABC Do-Re-Me! most values praise from its students. At each energetic studio, newborns to 6-year-olds ecstatically bounce along to children?s songs from a live guitarist or to tunes by pop artists such as the Beatles, the Black Eyed Peas, and Madonna, as they build cognitive skills, develop socially, and create dance routines that will wow at baby prom.