Darin Parker's pipes have led him to performances at Carnegie Hall and a Grammy Award as a member of the Kansas City Chorale, but he doesn't rest on his soaring voice alone. He also helps aspiring musicians and established pianos alike find the right pitch with private voice and piano lessons and careful tuning, respectively. Every year, Parker aims to turn his talents to an even higher cause: an avid outdoorsman, Parker has used musical events to raise awareness for the long-distance bike rides and canoe trips he's undertaken to earn funds for the Alzheimer's Association.
Soon-to-be guitar, bass, drums, keyboard, and vocal heroes will use professional-quality instruments and equipment to learn to croon, lay down killer bass lines, and discover David Lee Roth's pole-vaulting theatrics. Students will study the tricks of the wall-shaking trade with School of Rock's entire down-to-earth, guitar-shredding staff. Enrollment is rolling and based on seasons, with each season ending in a student-designed rockstravaganza of immortal proportions.
At Halcyon Diversified Trading, professional musician Tim Braun bestows string-pluckers of all experience levels with chord-striking knowhow via 30-minute private lessons. Pick manipulators will benefit from the guitar guru's relaxed-yet-detailed instruction over the course of four lessons. Students can hone in on any number of diverse genres, including jazz, country, rock, or blues, the latter of which is ideal for writing 12-bar laments about the plodding pace of tort reform or lack of events to wear bow ties to. With more than 10 years experience playing and recording in multiple styles and genres, Tim can transform clients’ previously pointless fingers into tune creators and melody midwives, and he’s gracefully flexible when it comes to scheduling lessons. To keep from spreading fret germs, customers must bring their own guitar.
The teaching staff of the Toon Shop, a former Kansas City fixture founded in 1948, now helms the newly inaugurated Village Music Academy. More than 40 independent instructors harness their combined 400 years of experience to immerse students of all levels in rock, classical, jazz, pop, and country techniques. 48 studio spaces—enough for each member of the Partridge Family to practice individually at once—nurture instruction in strings, woodwinds, and horns, and an auditorium showcases the results with appropriate reverence. The staff also helps prepare students for school band or orchestra. Sunny days might find an open-air audience gathered to watch the school's musicians performing in the plaza of the Prairie Village Shopping Center.
The instructors at Music House School of Music understand that music is a language and that languages should be used to express yourself. That’s why they’ve abandoned prescriptive instruction in favor of collaborative learning in a community setting, placing the music that their students want to hear at the center of their teaching programs. During private lessons, students forge a path through the genres of their choice, from rock to jazz to classical to birdsong. They show off their progress during monthly club meetings, working with a tight-knit group of like-minded musicians until they feel confident enough for public performance. In group classes, kids as young as 6 get to tickle ivory, strum steel, and set their uvulas abuzz with their burgeoning baritones.
On May 4 from 12–4 p.m., Music House School of Music celebrates the grand opening of its Lenexa location, which will feature live music, free classes and lessons for ages 6+, surprise goody bags, and refreshments. All attendees will be entered in a raffle for a chance to win six months of free music instruction.
The professional instructors of the Kansas City School of Music pass along musical torches to students learning the basics of strumming strings or tickling ivories during private and group lessons. Private studios insulated with soundproof walls ensure maximum concentration for students sight reading on acoustic pianos or turning the pages of sheet music with their minds. Each instructor follows a comprehensive curriculum that focuses on repertoire, technique, musicianship, ear training, theory, and more, and they encourage and prepare students to participate in recitals. Instructor credentials include either a masters degree or doctorate in their area of study.