The nonprofit organization ETTA Art Studio splashes the Amherst community with artistic spirit flowing from the brain brushes of its experienced local artists and teachers. The master masterpiece makers pass on their creative tutelage via classes that cover clay working, drawing, puppet making, theater, and other artful subjects. On July 25–29, kids can swing by the studio for Fantastic Fairylands (ages 5–11) or Giant Puppetmaking, Improv + Movement (ages 8–12). And August 1–5, Collage, Diorama, and Painting (for ages 8–10) empowers pupils with the ability to construct fan mail for Vincent van Gogh.
Star Maker School boasts a staff full of professionals as well as alumni from all over the entertainment industry, including professional, tour, and major recording artist dancers; Broadway performers; commercial and voice-over actors. For nearly 40 years, its instructors have helped kids aged 2.5–18 accomplish transformations into these fields with positive reinforcement and confidence-building methods in dance, acting, and singing. Their philosophy prizes healthy self-image above all else, and they also help parents make educated decisions regarding breaking into showbiz.
The experienced, college-trained harmony wizards at Agawam Music dole out top-notch musical tutelage to budding musicians tickling all variety of instruments. Each personalized, one-on-one lesson allows drummers to drum, flautists to flaut, and saxophonists to phone home with the news that their pitch is really improving. Agawam also verses pupils in the arts of electric and acoustic guitar, piano, clarinet, and bass. Blossoming virtuosos can hone their euphonious skills in an array of genres such as blues, jazz, classical, and elevator muzak. Lessons are scheduled at a set time and day each week, and any added costs for learning materials, such as music books and gold-plated metronomes, will be the responsibility of the student.
At the tender age of 6, Mark Cafiero received his first camera. Though it was broken and filled with cartoons his father had drawn of Mark and his sisters, that camera sparked an early interest in photography. Since then, that spark has erupted into a full-fledged passion, leading Mark to become a professional photographer who has snapped photos for hundreds of clients, including celebrities and professional athletes. To share his spark with others, Mark founded Chimpsy, a resource that helps photographers of all experience levels calibrate their skills with casual in-person and online classes.
Available in more than 30 cities across the nation, Chimpsy's two-hour crash course features a hands-on shooting session and campfire-style presentation on topics ranging from camera anatomy to photo composition. For home study, online classes help photographers—beginners and aspiring pros alike—get more from their pictures through two-hour video tutorials that cover photo-editing software, shooting tips and techniques, and steps on how to build a photography business. From the comfort of their bedrooms, students can watch these professional photographer-led tutorials live or replay previously recorded sessions. Along with instructional classes, Chimpsy offers shutterbugs a place to submit photos for contests with monthly prizes or for feedback from peers, pros, and sentient picture frames.
During guitar lessons, Robinson's experienced instructors school both novice and veteran ax-slingers in the art of stringed virtuosity. Students of all ages can use the lesson to study up on any preferred musical style, including rock, classical, jazz, blues, or bubblegum bebop. Whether helping pupils to perfect basic etudes or to deconstruct complicated Jimmy Page solos, Robinson's seasoned pick pros illuminate valuable playing tips and practice techniques. The center, located a quarter mile from Route 9, houses 15 different studios and more than 500 enrolled students. Call to schedule a lesson.
A renowned exhibitor of contemporary art, The Arts Center cultivates creative potential in adults and children through art classes and events that emphasize hands-on learning. Members receive discounts on arts classes—up to $25 off kids classes—an opportunity to exhibit their art at the annual members’ Fence Show, discounts at local businesses, and the right to sing in the gallery when nobody’s around. Patrons with a taste for food can enroll in courses on the culinary arts, and aspiring artists can transform stuttering line work into fluid brushstrokes via drawing and painting courses.