When a school of music also contains a live-performance venue, it’s an indicator that the lessons stick. Such is the case with the Columbia Academy of Music, where private practice rooms sit just steps from The Bridge, a club accustomed to welcoming musical talent from down the street and around the country. A stage within range of instruction can inspire even the most stage-frightened students to step into the spotlight, where they’ll get the hands-on, feet-on stage experience that renders books worthless.
The academy’s tuneful staffers are no strangers to this kind of public performance—some instructors have shared the stage with the likes of Chuck Berry, Sting, and Hank Williams III—but many also are experts in what goes on behind the music. In lessons tailored for all ages, skill sets, and music-making manners, the school strengthens the confidence of budding musicians in once-a-week sessions. Instrument instruction infuses students with techniques across a range of musical genres; audio-production and engineering courses teach students how to make solid records and tolerate most singers’ misguided requests for more Steak-Umms in the monitor.
Freezing Missouri winter winds howl outside Tropical Liqueurs' fogged-up windows, but inside, the atmosphere is decidedly beach-like. Palm trees and nautical knickknacks decorate the lively interior, but the true stars of this tropically themed watering hole are the frozen-drink dispensers, which churn with colorful, fruity potations. Bartenders load large styrofoam cups with potent slushies made from creative combinations of juices, liqueurs, and fruit purées. They rotate drink selections regularly, spotlighting a toasted-almond concoction one week—packed with coffee liquor, amaretto, and vanilla ice cream—and a daiquiri with fresh strawberries the next. Icy potations in hand, visitors turn their attention to games of pool or flat-screen televisions, which broadcast local sports games or horror movies where local sports games come to a temporary halt when the mascot turns out to be an actual tiger. During warmer months, visitors loll in the sun out on the wooden patio and enjoy the beverages that Inside Columbia hailed as a "Columbia staple" when it dubbed Tropical Liqueurs the Best Place for a Girls' Night Out in 2012.
The course at Perche Creek Golf Club is comprised of 18 par-3 holes that gently introduce beginners to the game while still challenging veterans with ample opportunities for short-game improvement. Nine ponds delineate the holes and loom large as players line up their attacks from the tee, ready to gulp down errant shots. The flat layout allows players to nail down their iron distances, a crucial ingredient for proper course management. On nice evenings, course superintendents turn on the front nine's area lights, making for easier night play without having to give an alien a Walkman in exchange for plutonium golf balls. Perche Creek's driving range gives players a variety of targets to attack from 50 hitting stations and 20 synthetic-grass mats, earning it a spot on Golf Range Magazine's list of the top 100 ranges in the nation. The club also encompasses an 18-hole miniature-golf course, which challenges players with curvy putting corridors flanked by rocks and water hazards.
Access Arts, a community-focused nonprofit, welcomes children and adults of all ages, abilities, and backgrounds to discover the joy of artistic creation with 200 annual classes, earning attention from the Missourian for its work with students with special needs. During six-week sessions, experienced, compassionate instructors guide learning hands through pottery building, weaving, writing stories, and drawing, and help budding Michelangelos discover if their muses call out to them via telephone or semaphore. Classes for pupils with special needs support both children and adults with extra assistance as they knead clay or dabble in mixed media, and Access Arts’ fee waivers and scholarships enable learners from all income levels to tap into inspiration. Founded in 1971 to widen opportunities for the disabled, Access Arts is now in its fifth decade of enriching the Columbia area with classes and outreach programs that remind people that paintbrushes can be used for more than coloring dead plants a lively shade of green at the end of housesitting stints.
According to Vox Magazine, jewelry designer Kyle Batisch flourishes at revamping an old piece of jewelry as much as he does creating one from scratch. Often, customers will present him with an antique bracelet or necklace that belonged to a loved one with the request that he make it new again, often with a different jewel or an eye-catching new finish. With the help of Kyle’s jewelry-designer wife Tracy and custom-jeweler Kevin Oleson, KT Diamond Jewelers has created more than a thousand custom pieces of jewelry for clients to cherish for generations. Guests often come to the shop with specific ideas for their custom trinkets, which Kyle and Tracy sketch to make sure their vision aligns with the client's. Once on paper, Kevin takes over to carve the design into wax, fit the stones, and show the prototype to his customer before crafting the final masterpiece in metal. Once the metal has been cast, he cleans it and resets the stones, resulting in a new bauble designed to immortalize wedding vows or simulate the joy of winning an NBA championship.
Away from the hustle and bustle of muscle chiseling, staffers including nail technicians, massage therapists, and a licensed aesthetician and manicurist can be found flitting about Studio Fit Day Spa as they gussy up weary patrons via lavish services. They restore dull complexions to their former radiance with a variety of facials, such as an acne-clearing facial or an age-erasing facial. Their nail treatments infuse digits with a dose of polished glamour.
For those looking for a spa treatment to boost their weight-loss results further, Studio Fit offers the Ultimate Body Applicator, a cloth wrap that encourages the tightening of epidermal exteriors and the reduction of cellulite when wrapped around the abdomen, back, legs, arms, or second head. A plant-based mixture permeates the cloth wrap, detoxifying skin with extracts of horse chestnut and green tea and oils of jojoba seed and rosemary leaf.