Within American One Productions’ spacious rehearsal room, the sharp pop of toms and the rasp of snares drift from Yamaha drums and reverberate off the acoustic paneling. Music teachers and bands fill the professional-quality studio, which has a laid-back atmosphere that makes it an ideal place to learn, jam, or wear sunglasses indoors. Group and private music lessons teach students the fundamentals of theory and technique on a range of instruments, and bands can take advantage of mixing gear to polish their sound during rehearsals.
Bergen Academy of Music and Art fine-tunes the music skills of students of all ages, offering private lessons in piano, guitar, violin, voice, and a multitude of woodwinds. Students are matched with one of more than 20 potential teachers based on levels and instrument choice, and for most sound makers, including guitar, voice, and woodwinds, the minimum pupil age is typically 5–7 years. Lessons teach a variety of musical styles, including classical, rock, and jazz, and teachers develop pupil-personalized methods to cover technique and musicianship. Classes also coach scholars in music theory, ear training, instrument maintenance, and cummerbund-wearing basics. Private symphonious sessions are once a week, and must be taken in consecutive weeks at the same time and day. Those interested should call their selected location to schedule a first lesson.
In bright, sunny studios of Areté Music Academy, pupils take part in intensive curricula taught by professional musicians, discovering their abilities and dreaming of their futures. The school culls its faculty members from schools including the Juilliard and Yale. Students—as young as ages two or as old as a cave painting of a drum set—take part in specialized courses and camps. Private and group programs focus on topics such as a particular composer, an instrument, or a specific genre. Performance opportunities abound, too, in the concerts and ensembles fostered by the school.
Before taking the reins at Broadway Performing Arts, Elisa Heinsohn appeared on the TV series Fame, and Cleve Asbury acted in the Oscar-winning film Chicago. The duo also racked up an impressive set of Broadway credits—Asbury most recently played Mr. Ovington in the hit How To Succeed in Business Without Really Trying—and starred in more television commercials than a dog who can talk. Nowadays, the two continue their performing-arts work while co-owning and co-directing their studio, leading their team as they teach students from 3-year-olds to adults. The studio’s eclectic curricula hone students’ skills in disciplines such as musical theater, dance, and guitar.
Musicians who have honed their skills at Juilliard, Yale, and other world-renowned conservatories convene at Fort Lee School of Music to help students of all experience levels express themselves musically. Students can take piano, violin, cello, guitar, flute, or voice lessons, learning skills such as sight-reading, ear training, and music theory.
A Steinway grand piano was not designed with a three-year-old in mind. These beautiful, expensive instruments—15 to 20 of which sprawl across Lindeblad School of Music's showroom—look too imposing and elegant for a person who still dreams of growing up to become a helicopter. But at Lindeblad School of Music’s recitals, these ivory-tickling toddlers climb the Steinway's bench, dangle their legs over its pedals, and begin to pluck rich, gorgeous sound from machines hand carved from African mahogany and other opulent woods. It’s not that the Lindeblad family doesn’t know the worth of these instruments—after all, they’ve been restoring them for four generations. But the recitals epitomize one of Lindeblad School of Music's educational principles: a dual emphasis on practice and performance. As they’re taking lessons, students are preparing to play before an audience on a superb piano or realistically painted refrigerator box. The faculty who help them all possess an inclination to instruction as well as diversity in their musical experience. Before a course of piano, voice, or guitar lessons, the school's director, Dr. Vogel, pairs students interested in a specific genre, such as classical or jazz, with teachers from that field, most of whom have a master’s degree or a Ph.D. During their children's lessons, parents can wait in a reception area equipped with a coffee machine, WiFi, and a television playing music programming. For students enrolled in regular lessons, Dr. Vogel invites parents to biannual conferences with their child's instructor for progress reports and goals assessment.
When Silver Bee Studio founder Eunbi Kim was growing up, her father helped her work through difficulties with math and geography by inventing fun activities, such as flash cards and goofy word games. As a result, when working with her own students, Kim strives “to make learning fun, be tough when necessary, and always encourage the effort and the process,” as she writes on her website. Her lessons infuse classical technique and repertoire with a spirit of kid-friendly enthusiasm, organizing field trips and piano parties and allowing students as young as age 5 to explore popular or jazz music. Her methods also prepare students for success in future piano endeavors, helping them ace performance auditions and the talent portion of home-loan applications.