The first student Cheryl Franklin ever taught was herself. As a child, she never needed goading or threats of a brussels-sprouts-only diet to pick up her music and practice. After performing a one-man band’s worth of instruments throughout her entirely self-taught youth, she attended Whitman College and The Juilliard School of Music, where she stoked her passion into the white-hot flame that it is today. Drawing from a quarter-century of teaching, performing, and recording, she teaches all ages and levels in more than 20 instruments, which range from piano and guitar to ukulele and voice. Lesson programs in her studio start with each student learning a song. Subsequent sessions advance their paces by covering such topics as reading music, music history, and theory. While spinning their melodies, pupils may encounter the music school’s adorable canine mascot, Daisy, a boston terrier known for her baked-bean recipe.
Live performances at events such as the Reno Jazz Festival are regular parts of life for Steve Trovao, a musician with a music degree and more than three decades of drumming experience. At Steve Trovao Drums, he helps students of all ages find their own beats as they learn to play along with their favorite musical genres. A pair of high-quality Pro Drum sets are the centerpiece of the soundproof, acoustically tuned studio, which is also outfitted with a library of drumming books, DVDs, and play-along CDs that mimic the experience of performing with a band.
While singer demand the most attention and guitar players plug into the biggest amps, music aficionados understand that with a competent drummer, songs quickly lose their swagger. At The Drum School, a team of trained instructors champions the rhythm section staple with lessons for full-grown percussionists and the city's youngest drummers alike. In addition to learning basic beats and fills, students also engaging with pop music from across the decades; recent practice songs include tracks from AC/DC, The Beatles, Jay-Z, and One Direction.
After graduating cum laude from Duquesne University's Mary Pappert School of Music, violinist Kendra Vernon went on to earn a degree in violin performance at Duquesne's Honors College. In 2002, she took the next logical step: sharing her hard-earned skills with aspiring violinists during private lessons. At Vernon Music Studio, she tailors each lesson to the needs of the individual to help students pick up skills quickly and thoroughly. All lessons are one-on-one and free of distractions, and there's a comfortable waiting area for parents.
When Zachary Diebels teaches the skills needed to be a performing artist, he's speaking from experience. The 17-year music-industry veteran has had major-label and independent recording contracts with Hollywood Records and Spunout Records, and has toured with acts such as Foo Fighters, Filter, Limp Bizkit, Beck, and Kid Rock. A music producer by trade, Zach establishes a custom curriculum for each student that helps students build technical skills and learn music theory at a realistic pace. Every 90 days, students assess where they are and where they're headed as they deepen their musical pursuits in a supportive environment. As students sharpen their fretwork or rhythm skills, Rock Inc. can connect them with performance opportunities through the school’s ensemble and band program. Zach also teaches the production side of music in a recording studio tricked out with all the bells and whistles: microphones, compressors, MIDI capabilities, and analog bells and whistles.