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 photographers at Time and Moment aim to celebrate each client's personality in every shot, creating expressive and artful photos. Equally at ease with taking striking creative approaches or framing more traditional photos, the staffers at Time and Moment take into account clients' ideas and collaborate with them to find the most unique approach for each photo.
“My style is soft, genuine, full of life, love and romance,” photographer Liliana Scherillo, owner of Liliana Photography, says of her work. Her portraits of children and adults, which sometimes incorporate whimsical coloring or playful costumes, have a theatrical flair and vibrant emotion. After photo sessions, customers can view their proofs online before ordering prints, selecting only the images that really summarize “determination” for personalized motivational posters.
The young crew behind ONEHOPE Wine believes wine can do more than dance with flavor and stain frocks fashioned from fine white camel hair. Each bottle has been instilled with beauty and a rich taste to complement its selflessness. One ONEHOPE gift box yields one bottle each of California merlot, cabernet sauvignon, chardonnay, zinfandel, and sauvignon blanc ($120 for gift box or $18.99 each). The 2009 merlot is aged in a combination of French and American oak barrels, resulting in flavors of toasty spice and a versatile drinkability.
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.
For more than two decades, artists of all ages have congregated at Studio E, ranging from 3-year-olds learning to cut and glue to the professional artists leading lessons. Sprawled across 2,000 square feet, the studio hosts classes on visual-art fundamentals for kids, tweens, teens, and adults in media such as ceramics, painting, and collage. Individualized lesson plans are catered to the unique needs of each student. Guests are required to commit to consecutive week sessions when taking multiple classes. Two excused absences are permitted for 8-week sessions and 1 excused absence is permitted for 4-week sessions.