Learning a song on the ukulele. Buying a bass amp for a live show. Playing a newly learned song at a recital. The staffers at Music Masters welcome all forms of musical expression in their shop’s familial atmosphere. There, customers can indulge in a variety of tune-related activities, from gleaning the techniques needed to play a new instrument to purchasing guitar strings for something other than designing tightrope-walking lessons for ants.
Steve Daniels has been crafting beautiful pottery in his cozy home studio for more than 18 years. A master of the irregular, smoky hues of shino glaze, Daniels' cups were most recently featured in a juried exhibition at the University of Missouri's Bingham Gallery. During wheel throwing classes and intensive workshops, he imparts that mastery to aspiring potters, helping with technique and glazing finished pieces in his studio. His signature glazes can come out a variety of colors, from a smoky purple to a rusty orange. Daniels' wife, Leonie, also nurtures artistry with handbuilding classes and parties, exposing students to innovative sculpting ideas such as textured tiles, chess pieces, and beautiful but impractical bowling pins.
An accomplished performer and member of the Music Teachers National Association and the American Society for Composers, Authors and Publishers, instructional maestro Michael Wheeler uses his professional experience and a collaborative spirit to create individually tailored, one-on-one music lessons for students of all skill levels. Upon arriving for their first foray into song, each student will have their skills, goals, and ability to correctly pronounce "glockenspiel" evaluated, and Wheeler will use the half hour to develop a lesson plan. Lesson number two welcomes fingers to flutter across keys during piano and keyboard lessons, or unlock the traditional sounds of North India and delve into the fundamentals of sitar, dilruba, or harmonium. Together, pupil and teacher select lyrical material that's both personally exciting and age appropriate, saving teenagers from crooning "Moon River" and grandparents from an embarrassing round of "I Got Run Over by a Reindeer."
After suffering from a back injury, former dancer and athletic fitness guru Elise Moore discovered Pilates during her rehabilitation. Her love for the exercise form continued to flourish even after she felt better, inspiring her to open her own studio where she could put her Pilates certification and 20-plus years in the fitness industry to good use leading group mat and reformer classes.
Led by founder Sandy Adler, certified Anusara instructor, Freedom Yoga's instructors lead classes throughout the week for both beginners and more advanced students. Instructors tap into their experience, skill, and dedication to help students develop a safe and meaningful yoga practice, searching within themselves and their pupils to align spiritual centers, increase strength, and boost flexibility. Rather than using intense exercises or giant marionette strings to affect the mind and body from the outside, Anusara's poses originate from within the body, using deliberate breath and movement as a form of meditation to hone the mind while helping the body increase its strength and balance.
At the Oregon Photography School, a duo of skilled shutterbugs with a combined 27 years of experience imparts the secrets of snapping and manipulating artistic images to pupils of all stripes. Vernon T. Williams has conveyed the dignity of famous subjects, including two presidential candidates and a Nobel Prize winner, and his work has appeared in The Economist and other national magazines. Jon Christopher Meyers boasts an eclectic commercial-work portfolio, with recent work including the Eugene Ballet Company's midair athleticism and hawks flying midair from the Cascades Raptor Center.
The school draws on Williams's and Meyers's rich backgrounds to inform intensive workshops on everything from the basics of film- and digital-camera manipulation to portrait photography's finer techniques, such as hypnotizing a subject with nothing but a piece of string tied to a lens cap. After an in-studio or on-location class, an online student/instructor-review tool continues the relationship, letting students post their shots for ongoing feedback and for inspirational haikus from their instructor and fellow photographers.