Though many people consider playing an instrument to be a lovely skill or hobby, the team at Dean Music Institute looks at it a bit differently. That’s because after a quarter century spent creating and teaching music, they have seen how learning to play an instrument improves both the player’s creativity and brain function, resulting in better test scores, memory, and decision-making skills. They also understand that students will reap the most benefits if they enjoy their courses of study. And so, when instructors lead group sessions in guitar or private lessons in piano, bass, or guitar, they set realistic goals in short assignments and dive into popular songs that students actually want to learn how to play. For those too busy to make it into the studio, they also offer lessons over Skype, and flash classes see instructors and students holding impromptu jam sessions at cafés, bars, shopping centers, and parking-ticket-violation hearings to share a love of artistic expression with the public.
In 2011, single mother Ms. James juggled a job, college coursework, and an internship, which left scant funds to spare. But she didn't want her son to miss out on the extracurricular activities offered to his peers. That's why she founded Innovative Arts, Inc., where students from all walks of life can explore everything from Spanish to French to martial arts to science to cooking.
Informed by an ever-growing body of developmental research, classes at The Music Class introduce tots to tunes and concepts that boost creativity and listening skills. In Music Pups (a $72 value) courses, children under 4 years of age gleefully sing, dance, and bang away on rudimentary instruments such as the drums or theremin. Four and 5-year-olds learn concepts of tone and rhythm in the Music Cats course (a $77 value), which lets kids experiment with keyboards before defending their dissertations on the narrative redundancies of "Old MacDonald Had a Farm." Each 45-minute course meets four times in one month-long segment, and includes CDs for parents to play at home to follow up on in-class tutelage. This Groupon may also be used toward The Music Class' ten-week music courses.
At the age of 3, Ben Edgecomb became one of the earliest American adopters of the Suzuki method, a revered technique of playing the violin invented by Dr. Shinichi Suzuki. Designed for children with malleable brains and still-growing hands, Dr. Suzuki developed the method as an easy-to-learn approach that young violinists could use to develop a lasting foray into the world of music.
Keenly aware of his early success with the instrument?which led to 15 years of playing symphony violin, including four with the University of Wisconsin?Madison string orchestra?Ben believed the Suzuki method was a reliable resource for molding new generations of virtuoso violinists. A member of the American String Teachers Association, Ben got his start as an instructor in 1990, and continues to teach students of all ages out of his home studio on a weekday afternoon, weekday evening, Saturday, and whenever the family horse needs a haircut.
Signature service: Music production and recording arts
Staff Size: 1 person
Average Duration of Services: 2?4 hours
Brands Used: Pro Tools, Cubase, Logic, Reason, Studio One, Apple, Windows
Pro Tip: Bring a list of five to ten questions to ask during Q&A sections