Gwendolyn’s musical pedigree extends far beyond her 34 years of ivory-tickling experience. Her love of music comes from her grandmother, who honed her own musical acumen as a student in Julliard’s prestigious halls. Following that legacy, Gwendolyn attended college on a musical scholarship, and fulfilled her destiny further by carving out a career as a successful concert pianist. Now, during her one-one-one lessons, she shares her talents with students of all ages and ability levels, from beginners looking for a patient teacher and veterans hoping to expand their repertoire to player pianos scared and confused by their newfound self-awareness.
Since 1947, Delian Music has weathered the changing landscape of the music world—a spectator to the heyday of the synthesizer and the rise of music megastores. The neighborhood shop has seen almost as many shakeups as the industry as a whole, beginning with the Blankenship family's impromptu purchase of the shop in 1967 and continuing through moves, competition, and the wrath of landlords. However, having endured all the trials that more than 65 years can bring, Delian Music still thrives as an intimate music shop. Instruments of all styles and makes line the walls and cater to beginner musicians. Practice rooms reverberate with the sounds of experienced musicians administering private lessons. In addition, a library of sheet music allows artists to learn their favorite songs or coat their floors with something they can finally empty their spit valves onto.
From 18 studios scattered around Los Angeles, Lori Moran Music Studios’ armada of instructors offers all-ages voice, piano, guitar, violin, and composition classes. With teachers who have worked on films such as Dreamgirls and Dance Flick, world-touring operatic productions, and Grammy-nominated choral CDs, the school can cater to virtually every musical taste—from classical to jazz to pop. Students choose the emphasis of their lessons, whether they want to work on their public performance skills, write their own songs, sight-read scores, or simply be able to play musical chairs during a power outage. Many will also get the chance to show off in recitals, concerts, and showcases.
Lauren Bruns began singing in an oldies cover band in her early teens before branching out in college as a solo artist on Austin's Sixth Street. After four years in Los Angeles—during which she won V05's Red Hot Rising Star contest and signed a deal with Sony—Lauren decided to focus on working with children. She realized that kids had no access to music programs with songwriting components, so she spent three years teaching youngsters at in-home lessons and schools, all the while shaping a curriculum that encouraged kids to express themselves with original lyrics, finely tuned eyebrow raises, and music.
In 2011, Lauren opened her kids-only songwriting studio where expert teachers imbue children aged 4 and up with sight-reading, improvisation, and music-recording fundamentals. Music makers can learn basic guitar chords at private or group lessons, record an original song in the recording booth, belt out a tune on the performance stage, and practice for life on the road in the hotel-room trashing simulator. Youngsters can also experiment with different rhythms and vocal effects at GarageBand tutorials and learn a new instrument or write a new song at one-week summer-camp sessions.
Emily Dale, a music instructor educated at Berklee College of Music, is also a professional songsmith whose "husky contralto and effervescent charm have won over fans from Dayton to Athens, Ohio, from Boston to New York," in the words of one Dayton City Paper writer. When she's not writing or recording her own songs, she helps students learn to play piano, guitar, or ukulele, or to use their own voices as instruments. Students can also opt for music-theory or songwriting lessons, and can even record songs in Dale's home studio.
At Hollywood Academy of Music, youthful exuberance mingles with experienced instruction by university-trained teachers during private and group lessons, camps, and clinics. Individual lessons in more than a dozen instruments teach students to strum a guitar's strings, tickle a piano's keys, or purée beats with a kitchen blender. In group classes such as the School of Rock Band 101, teachers help groups of kids or adults grasp band basics, and in the Recording Artist program students learn to create and release their own self-produced CD on software they can use at home. Hollywood Academy of Music also helps students and the general public to hone their tune tutelage at free monthly clinics that range from songwriting to wailing the ran-out-of-matching-socks blues on a guitar.
Sessions take place in air-conditioned studios equipped with observation windows and high-quality pianos, guitar amps, and drums. Instructors also work with aspiring entertainers to help them put together a vocal repertoire, with some students advancing to compete on shows such as American Idol and The Voice.