Guitars, banjos, and mandolins hang like artwork from Penny Lane’s red walls, immediately capturing the eye with names like Santa Cruz, Eastman, and Gold Star, and indicating the shop’s specialty in repairing, selling, and teaching a range of stringed instruments. Within this musical gallery, a deft staff lends its melodic expertise to fixing broken instruments—from guitar strings to bass necks—and promises to tackle any repair no matter how big or small.
Budding musicians—equipped with their own instrument or one from the emporium’s vast stock—an sit down with a distinguished instructor, who teaches players of all ages and experience levels how to play classical instruments such as the piano and violin, or more obscure music machines, including the banjo and ukulele. The shop also hosts monthly jam sessions, allowing students to gather on the store’s plush red couch and learn first-hand the important factors of group play, from keeping on beat to smashing guitars an arm’s length away from others.
In 1998, School of Rock's first location was built in Philadelphia to strengthen students' self-confidence, develop their musicianship, and most importantly, spark an insatiable enthusiasm to learn. Today, the School of Rock franchise has branched out to more than 65 locations throughout the United States and Mexico. During the school's music lessons, encouraging instructors well versed in methods of rocking and rolling?such as strumming guitars, tickling keyboards, and causing avalanches with yodels?demystify music theory for mini Mick Jaggers of all skill levels.
School of Rock's Rock 101 program acquaints beginners with the instrument of their choice using a curriculum of weekly private lessons and group band rehearsals. Virtuosos ready to hit the stage can participate in the performance program, which prepares students for live performances that pay homage to beloved rock icons such as Queen, Led Zeppelin, and Mount Rushmore.
MUSE stands for "mastering unique self expression"—a common experience for students at the MUSE Center for the Arts, where they show off their creativity in dance, music, and theater classes. Its instructors, who come from a variety of arts backgrounds, have extensive résumés, including dancing with choreographer Twyla Tharp's company, performing at the Metropolitan Opera House, and specializing in stage combat.
Both children and adults learn styles such as jazz, hip-hop, and contemporary in dance classes, and skilled kids aged 6–18 can try out for MUSE's competitive dance team. Musicians can further their craft in private or group lessons available for a variety of instruments, including voice, guitar, and violin. And the theater season is divided into school-year and summer sessions, where young Broadway hopefuls learn how to sing, dance, and write a quippy Playbill bio.
Even in the midst of a recession, Drew Tucker couldn't ignore his passion for music. By founding The Tucker Academy For The Arts in 2007 and partnering with the Arts Garage to address the dearth of music education in South Florida, Drew built up a flourishing cadre of performers and educators at the Delray Beach music emporium. Programs run the gamut from private lessons to drum circles for kids, while a focus on performing inspires fledgling artists to share their talents with an audience not made up of only stuffed flamingoes.
Rhythm & Pitch’s staff of nearly 20 teachers enables an enormous variety of classes: not only music for kids and adults, but also theater, dance, color guard, sound engineering, and music ministry. Instrument-specific lessons set pianists and guitarists on the path to virtuosity and help ventriloquists’ dummies discover their own voice. Ready-made groups, including jazz combos and symphonic wind ensembles, provide performance opportunities every few months. A duo of state-certified teachers runs the after-school program, which provides kids up to age 18 with a snack, instruction in the school’s three specialties, and homework help.