Grapevine Guitar Works’ quaint little shop holds more Gibson, Taylor, and Yamaha equipment than Peter Frampton's attic—and the shop’s staff does more than just hand people instruments and send them on their way. They equip all skill levels with the knowledge to bring their guitar or bass to life through group and private music lessons. Englishman Robb Kelly handles the bass lessons while Paul Reitz teaches guitar—acoustic, electric, classical, and jazz—going far beyond a few simple chords. Having accumulated vast teaching resources in his long musical career, Reitz shares insight through finger-strengthening exercises, technique drilling, and instruction in general theory. He also helps fledgling performers enhance their stage presence by developing their repertoire and showing them the best way to light their guitar on fire mid-solo.
Inspired by New York City's The Actors Studio, thespians Erica and Shane Peterman established The Acting Studio as a place for youngsters and adults with acting aspirations to focus on their craft. Along with experienced dancer Kellie Carroll, the Petermans train students on musical-theater fundamentals in classes that range from jazz dance to private voice lessons. The advanced Triple Threat program places pupils intending to pursue a performing-arts career under the tutelage of industry pros who prep them for performances. Kids more interested in dabbling, meanwhile, can meet industry bigwigs at workshops, and several full-scale productions each year grant children the chance to act alongside their peers and improvise dance numbers.
A member of the US Marine Corps and Marine Corps Reserve from 1988 until 1996, Mac Mackinzie?s time in the service jumpstarted a lifelong passion for training students of all skill levels in the importance of safe weapon handling. At Critical Defense Group, the certified instructor leads courses that cover subjects from basic safety and shooting fundamentals to more advanced techniques such as speed reloading and shooting while moving. In addition to groups, Mac meets with students one-on-one to help eliminate poor habits and explore topics of their personal interest. When he?s not training citizens, Mac also works with military, law enforcement, and security personnel to further their skills in areas such as force on force and protecting executives, dignitaries, and celebrities.
LifeStage Studio opened in 2006 and has provided a variety of stage plays and workshops for aspiring spotlight-stealers. Pavlov's Dogs is a team of improvisational experts who salivate hilarity during their adult crash courses, teaching students how to think on their feet when all eyes are upon them and all noses are seeking minty-fresh smells. The hands-on session includes instruction, a variety of exercises, and games to help apply the sage teachings. The improv troupe prides itself on creating a supportive, encouraging environment where wallflowers and sacks of flour alike can cut loose.
Understanding that each child learns differently, the staff members of Sylvan Learning Center’s numerous study centers design custom lesson programs. Based on the results of standardized testing, diagnostic tools, and one-on-one interviews, the staff works with students to help them firmly grasp basic skills such as reading, writing, math, and how to remember facts without tattooing them to their chests. Programs target students in kindergarten through grade 12 and mold to various learning styles, helping kids feel more comfortable in the classroom. After-school or summer classes can ready high-school students for the rigors of the ACT or the SAT, or wow college admissions officers with their superior writing skills, exemplary test scores, and willingness to arm-wrestle the school mascot.
Donna Park's passion for performance preceded the bulk of her vocabulary: at 4 years old, she got into the habit of correcting the dance steps of the other children in her recitals. Her unquenchable thirst for performance led her through a theater minor in college to the discovery of film, then onto a career as a director, writer, and producer of television specials and commercials. Now, calling upon contacts developed during her 20-year career, she brings working professionals to Texas Creative Arts Academy to share their hard-earned wisdom with the young.
The Academy's year-round programs gather students aged 4 to 18 to celebrate their interest in dance, art, film, and melodrama. Aspiring artisans learn the basics of canvas and garment craftsmanship in Hi Ho! Van Gogh! and Design Fashion Diva! camps. Teachers unlock high notes in students' vocal ranges with voice lessons and train the eyes of future cameramen in video-production classes. Piano and guitar instruction empowers kids to realize a future where spontaneous public musical numbers don’t just happen on stage.