When John Antone founded Axis Music Academy and started developing his proprietary teaching method, the academy was a cramped four-studio Southfield office where he gave guitar lessons. Sixteen years later, Axis has blossomed into a quartet of spacious, well-lit facilities that have one specialty in common: turn individual musicians into bands. Supplied with 12 private studios and all necessary instruments and gear, students get to set their own goals and chart their own course to learning, composing, and recording music. Whether that journey starts with them working through their favorite song on the guitar or stubbornly trying to play the tuba with their ear, the teaching staff helps them reach their goals using the full benefit of their expertise. Budding virtuosos can then combine their strengths during a slate of rock bands, glee clubs, and other group activities.
Axis Music Academy is also currently Michigan’s only Apple-authorized training center, which saves prospective producers a trip out of state if they want to get certified and tested in industry-standard recording software such as Pro Tools, Logic Pro, Ableton, Final Cut, and Garage Band —all taught using a brand-new suite of computer stations and the industry-insider techniques of Charlie Grover, the former drummer of gold-certified rock band Sponge.
Lessons rarely stay confined to the classroom, since Axis lines up opportunities for students to show off what they've learned onstage at local venues, sports games, and even on air during the morning news. It also stays active in the Detroit-area community by participating in Axis Music Academy 501(C)3 and other programs.
The Bogey Golf Tour grants golfers a chance to take to the links and compete against fellow amateurs in tournaments scheduled at some of the finest courses in the London, Windsor, Detroit, and Kitchener/Waterloo areas. At each event, scratch golfers compete in the Birdie division, 0–15 handicaps square off in the Par division, and 16+ handicappers trade pinpoint approaches and sequined divot tools in the Bogey division. The top five finishers in each division receive prize money—which can be paid out in gift certificates or cash—and the Tour also holds prize competitions for longest drive, closest to the pin, and 3-iron jousting. The Tour publishes the results from each tournament in local newspapers, and players can chart the peaks and valleys of their careers on the Tour Members list, which compiles all of their tournament results. Along with providing an outlet for amateur golfers to exercise their long-suppressed competitive side, the Tour and its sponsors have raised $74,000 for various area charities since 2003.
A veteran of horse shows well versed in hunting, jumping, and grand-prix competitions, Leslie Webb Janiak knows her way around a stable. As the owner and trainer at Oxford Farm, Leslie imparts her lifelong knowledge to aspiring equestrians of all ages, helping to build relationships between man and steed so that they may one day sit together in the halls of Congress. With facilities including 30 stalls, an indoor arena, and 18 large paddocks, Oxford Farm offers comprehensive horse care for owners looking for a place to board or train their long-faced friends. Amateur or beginning riders can also take part by enlisting in private lessons. During each session, instructors divulge riding basics as well as basic horse care, such as how to handle the horse's halter and lead rope and pepper trail rides with Lone Ranger recaps.
The baseball and softball instructors at Great Lakes Baseball Academy share their passion for America's pastime with students as they draw upon accolades that include two national minor-league titles and a high-school state softball record for strikeouts in one year. Inside the year-round, 5,000-square-foot facility, coaches with experience at the major, minor, and high-school levels enrich players' skills during private lessons and team-training sessions. Line drives echo through three climate-controlled, 80-foot batting and pitching tunnels, which include Iron Mike pitching machines that hurtle balls from 40 to 90 mph and occasionally charge the plate. Along with their training grounds, the academy's shop stays stocked with such gear as the latest bats and gloves.
Zap Zone's eight locations in Michigan and two locations in Canada each feature a unique combination of attractions—anything from bumper cars to the Jump Zone's cushioned obstacle course. In the laser-tag arena, both kids and adults demonstrate their teamwork skills by outscoring opponents in fast-paced games that take place inside black-lit mazes of neon-tinged hallways. Arcades also round out every location's attractions, tempting passersby to drop a few tokens on racing games and skee-ball, or a lot of tokens on the claw game filled with Fabergé eggs.
Rejuvenation Fitness's founder Terry Pratt started his gym more than 20 years ago after discovering that the standard membership model offered by most gyms didn't generate the results he wanted. The problem, as he saw it, was that most people simply weren't doing the right kind of training. After research and education, he determined that metabolic resistance training—combing plenty of cardio with pushing, pulling, climbing, tossing, and lifting—not only toned the body, but consumed fat more quickly than any one form of exercise on its own. He continues to evolve his perspective on fitness with modern trends, incorporating everything from perennially popular push-ups to kettlebells and TRX suspension harnesses into his ever-changing regimen.