In one child's hand, a tiny tambourine jangles along to a song while another child claps to the rhythm. It's not an uncommon sight at any of MusicalMe's educational classes, where kids up to age 6 express themselves through music. And parents are encouraged to stay and have fun, whether by helping littler participants along or by ripping a mean solo during a kazoo jam session. With classes holding up to 14 students, each child gets a significant amount of attention and guidance as they learn to appreciate melody and rhythm and learn to love making music.
The Community School of Music and Arts unleashes the creativity that indwells each student's liver by offering an array of art lessons and exhibitions. A selection of more than 40 available classes allows artists of all ages to clutch brushes, chisels, and ketchup blasters and recreate their world during basic animation ($160 for eight weeks), watercolor on the spot: outdoor painting ($150 for six weeks), or contemporary collage ($180 for eight weeks). Like bear hunting season, the classes run in two sessions, from January 24 to March 21 (Session A) and March 28 to May 21 (Session B). Click here to view CSMA's catalog; classes available with this Groupon are featured beginning on page 24.
Before each student starts siphoning out his or her inner sonatas, he or she will fill out an application and learn about the course curriculum and academy policies during a private orientation (a $25 value) with the student’s parents and Director Thomas Skousen. Each student is then integrated into the creative-instruction procedure, which weaves four students at a time through stations of one-on-one instruction and computer exercises, building technique training, sight reading, and music-theory knowledge in addition to mastering songs (a $130 per month value). The result is a rigorous yet fun and rewarding class that fosters community, which each budding contrapuntist celebrates at the month's end with in-class performances and ceremonial wig powderings.
Strumming strings since 1999, Chris Bryant shares his hard-won musical knowledge with students through one-on-one and group guitar lessons. He designs all of his lessons to be hands-on, because he believes that's the best way for students to pick up guitar fundamentals—by actually playing it. He bases his curriculum on simple chords and chord progressions, ensuring students learn to play both notes and the transitions between.
Youth and adult classes are scheduled on Friday evenings at either 6:30 p.m. or 7:30 p.m. and last 45 sock-rocking minutes. Feel free to bring your own guitar if you have one; otherwise, you can rent one of C.B.'s acoustic guitars. After the completion of your first lesson, you will have six weeks to complete the remaining three. C.B. Perkins is a family-owned business that has been repairing broken guitars and molding musical rock stars out of Jell-O since 1923. The talented, guitar-shredding instructors are willing to slow their pace to effectively teach students even the most basic guitar basics.
Mastering an instrument takes dedication, practice, and time, although it also helps to receive some professional guidance along the way. At Exploring Music, the instructors help budding musicians improve by providing personalized direction based on each individual's skill level and musical aspirations. Private and group lessons meet in practice studios that have been insulated and reinforced for sound reduction, helping students to fully concentrate on mastering their instrument of choice, be it the guitar, the violin, the piano, the saxophone, or the five-disc CD changer.