Preschool Plus provides a fun, safe, and stimulating environment for 3, 4, and 5-year-olds to preheat their brains before the emotional and social rigors of life in kindergarten. With 25 years of experience as an early-childhood teacher and director, Kathy Hughes leads a team of certified educators that focus on cultivating the cognitive and developmental needs of each child. Although each instructor is equipped with eyes in the back of her head, a small teacher-to-student ratio ensures each child is nurtured and cared for. Based on the retention theory of the "Song That Never Ends," monthly themes are incorporated into every section of the curriculum. Each classroom also contains interest centers geared toward literacy, science, music, and how to properly eat an overstuffed burrito.
Ax-prentices can visit the Greenville Guitar Academy—which is under the guidance of owner Stephen Williams and his experienced staff—to wail, shred, riff, and strum their way from atonal ignorance to the heights of music nirvana. Half-hour private lessons are available for any experience level. Secure from acoustic interruption in one of the academy’s practice spaces, novice players and road-hardened rockers alike can perfect their jazz, blues, metal, slide, and other string styles with guidance from seven personable and knowledgeable instructors.
At Iron and Grace, kettle-bell, Pilates, and TRX classes release butterflies from their corporeal cocoons by building strong cores and well-balanced bodies. Helmed by strength-training expert Chad Sexton, one-hour kettle-bell classes challenge the entire body as students hoist and swing iron spheres by their attached handles, increasing endurance and helping to make everyday tasks such as bicycling and climbing corporate ladders that much easier. During TRX classes, students’ hands or feet swing from sturdy suspension-training straps, which let students tailor bodyweight exercises to their level of strength, flexibility, and overall fitness. Pilates trainer Alaya Sexton draws on 17 years of fitness coaching to craft a contemporary take on Joseph Pilates’ century-old workout template. Strongly influenced by Stott Pilates principles of exercise science and spinal rehabilitation, Alaya’s comprehensive workouts expose underused muscle groups and gestating alien life forms to strengthening exercise.
Dawson Hill, the founder of Columbia Area Piano Lessons, honed his musical skills at Emerson College, where he earned a degree in performing arts. Now, he teaches students of all experience levels to coax music from the ivory keys, even composing their own tunes. Students can opt to study classical music, jazz songs, blues, and other genres.
With years of musical experience and a kind, patient approach, the instructors of Columbia Guitar Lessons help beginning and intermediate students learn to strum chords and play solos on guitar. They travel to students’ homes for convenient onsite lessons and can provide guitars if necessary. Private one-on-one lessons are available, as well as small-group lessons for siblings or friends.
One of South Carolina’s oldest piano stores, Rice Music House has specialized in ticklish ivories since 1924 and offers a wide range of classes for piano enthusiasts of all experience levels. The piano and keyboard discovery class introduces aspiring musicians and forgetful Chopins to the basics of practical play and music theory. All equipment and instruction materials are provided, but students can opt to bring their own keyboard or instruction manual. Classes are held at Rice Music House and hold an average of six to 10 students. No previous musical or roadie experience is required for the lessons, which are offered in the daytime and evenings.