With an enormous inventory of instruments, a dependable technician, and friendly instructors, The Guitar Factory is the kind of store that performers come to count on over the course of their musical evolution. Here, musicians can browse from simple-starter electric guitars from Ibanez to high-end acoustics from Martin. Keyboards, percussion, amps, basses, and other gear are also available. When wear and tear strikes, the shop’s in-house repairman, Charles J. Quagliana, can nurse instruments back to functionality. Charles has honed his handiwork by working for superstars such as Mary J. Blige, Prince, The Beach Boys, and the Mos Eisley Cantina band.
In the studio’s 10 air-conditioned lesson rooms, a team of teachers with more than 30 years’ experience teach guitar, drums, bass, keyboard, and other instruments. Joe Shanahan, who teaches bass, guitar, vocal, keyboards, and drums, was inducted into the Buffalo Music Hall of Fame with his band, Only Humen, and guitarist/singer/teacher Tommy Z has performed for the U.S. troops in Afghanistan and Iraq. Instructors tailor each lesson to student’s individual needs; with a current student pool ranging from ages 4 to 70, instructors are comfortable working with a wide range of skill sets.
Joe Pinnavaia's students refer to him as a Rosetta stone, encapsulating a wealth of musical knowledge that he translates into easy-to-follow instructions. Joe opts for personal, one-on-one sessions that break down the bad habits and barriers that can keep fledgling axe-wielders from meeting their goals. Classes emphasize speed, coordination, and confidence as students learn to play complicated licks or chord structures with less effort. Once a frustrated student himself, Joe knows that the only way to learn is from a real person and not online videos or the ghost of Muddy Waters that keeps whispering encouragements when you're in the shower.
The instructors at Freedom School of the Arts don’t teach theatrical dogma. Instead of constraining their pupils with “must do” techniques, they encourage students to explore their own process and discover on-stage confidence through a constantly changing curriculum. The school’s acting and improv classes cover basic performance skills that ease self-doubts as well as read-through, blocking, and agreement techniques that help them feel comfortable in any situation, from shows to auditions to parent-teacher conferences. Not just for adults, the school hosts youth acting classes that help kids explore their imagination and creativity.
In 2006, it dawned on Terry Moshenberg and Topher Stott that there was a lack of creative outlets for musical adults. Those hoping to hone their skills or simply jam out often had a hard time finding likeminded people. A year later, Terry and Topher sought out to solve this problem by starting League of Rock, which has since revealed what they refer to as the "hidden musical population." During workshops and team-building exercises held at corporations and various venues, professional musicians invite grownups to unleash their inner rock star by helping them master their chosen instrument, assigning them band mates, and getting them up on stage with a professional rock band. In corporate music leagues, clients use LOR as a resource to put on shows for recruiting purposes and raising money for charity.
The expert musicians behind Concrete City Music have created musicians heaven: a world devoted to the creation and sharing of music. They help musicians from all stages in their processes, with Song Creation or Song Performance workshops.
Since she was preceded by four generations of musicians, it was only natural that Shelkah Francis began playing piano at age 6. Now, with music degrees and nearly two decades of teaching experience to her name, she helps kids discover the same early love of music that has guided her through life and mythical journeys to the underworld. Kindermusik with Ms. Shelkah uses a curriculum practiced around the world that provides age-appropriate music lessons to babies, toddlers, and kids, teaching them musical aptitude as well as social skills. She also teaches youth and adults how to play individual instruments, write music, and prepare for auditions.