Diane Garetano's school—whose curriculum covers piano as well as other instruments—was an immediate success in the first year. She was renting space to accommodate her ever-expanding student body and the pianos that kept sprouting extra keys. Today, The Piano Studio for Kids imparts instrument skills at two locations. The school also has evolved in terms of technique, with instructors now incorporating even more methods built on fun, structure, and positive reinforcement. Once a year, students may elect to show off the fruits of these labors, with admission free of charge at a recital culminating in certificates, gift bags, and applause.
The Village Artist’s experienced portrait pedagogues guide aspiring artists through a bevy of media. Pintsize Picassos will spend the morning or afternoon in a focused workshop under the tutelage of experienced instructors. The three-hour sessions (for ages 6–12) concentrate on fun right-brain pursuits that include working in watercolors, drawing cartoons, and sculpting life-size clay models of the Great Wall of China. Meanwhile, those ages 13–18 hone their individual creative cachets in a guided portfolio workshop, which devotes 2.75 hours to channeling the muse of their chosen medium while free from distractions such as recreational trigonometry. Village Artist also publically exhibits the eye-catching output of its students, reaping accolades for Monets in training and opening doors to future art opportunities.
Dale Carnegie believed in the power of self-improvement so much that he started a training company. Since founding the company, his dream has expanded to encompass more than 2,700 trainers stationed in over 85 countries. These trainers have pursued an unwavering mission: to give participants the skills they need to boost job performance and professional effectiveness. Online courses cover such topics as leadership training, sales success, and personal influence and effectiveness. All webinars, courses and materials are based on Dale Carnegie's time-honored approach, outlined in How to Win Friends and Influence People. Dale Carnegie now offers much of its information and many of its classes online.
In 1998, School of Rock's first location was built in Philadelphia to strengthen kids' self-confidence, develop their musicianship, and most importantly, spark an insatiable enthusiasm to learn. Today, the School of Rock franchise has branched out to more than 65 locations throughout the United States and Mexico. During the school's music lessons, encouraging instructors well versed in methods of rocking and rolling—such as strumming guitars, tickling keyboards, and causing avalanches with yodels—demystify music theory for mini Mick Jaggers of all skill levels.
School of Rock's Rock 101 program acquaints beginners with the instrument of their choice using a curriculum of weekly private lessons and group band rehearsals. Virtuosos ready to hit the stage can participate in the performance program, which prepares students for live performances that pay homage to beloved rock icons such as Queen, Led Zeppelin, and Mount Rushmore.
American Fitness Institute's teachers transform students into trainers, using not only exercise equipment, but also a suite of online lessons, tools, and tests. The online content can be accessed from anywhere, allowing fledgling fitness experts to supplement a live class or cocoon themselves within their homes and transform into full-fledged personal trainers. For advanced students, the Institute offers a number of more specialized courses, including a Mixed Martial Arts conditioning course, Advanced Posture Assessment and Program Design, flexibility training, corrective exercise specialist certification, Whole Body Vibration specialist training, and AFI Personal Trainer Certification.
Ken Benshish and Yi Qian both grew up loving music, but the process of learning to play it ranged from uninspiring to mind numbing. The two musicians started iSchool of Music & Art to provide a much different experience—a positive, supportive atmosphere that takes into account each student’s personality and goals. Students aged 3 and older who can’t tell a drumstick from a plectrum and don’t even know the street value of a quarter note can learn piano, drums, guitar, or voice skills from scratch, then test their newfound skills with multiple performance opportunities throughout the year. Instructors host private classes or group students into their own rock-band performance troupes, and intensive camps culminate in field trips to Lincoln Center and a tour of a real recording studio.