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.
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.
Elie Esper, the creative director and founder of his eponymous salon, has shown off his talents on magazine covers and runways from Paris to the Middle East, and was the official hairstylist of Couture Fashion Week in 2011, 2012, and 2013. Though his avant-garde designs have won international acclaim for more than 16 years, he still takes pride in beautifying brides before their trips down the aisle. Drawing on professional products from Kérastase, he washes away dirt and wig powder before infusing strands with color and sculpting shapes that defy both gravity and convention. His ability to bridge the gap between elegant and edgy attracts brides from around the world to Elie Esper Salon for wedding consultations and trial runs.
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.
New York Piano Academy nurtures students of all skill levels—from beginners to seasoned performers—during classical and jazz piano lessons. Using knowledge gained while earning a doctorate of musical arts in composition, classical instructor Dr. Ronn Yedidia instills his pupils with the tools to sight-read and interpret music. Haim Cotton, a trained jazz musician and New York Piano Academy's only other faculty member, imparts her mastery of jazz piano in sessions meant to improve ear training and transcription. Lessons culminate in an annual commencement recital where students can show off their musical skills and ability to make an elephant somewhere laugh every time they tickle the ivories.
A graduate of the Manhattan School of Music and Berklee College of Music, David Sklar has composed for independent films, played at Lincoln Center, and won several piano competitions of his own. But his true legacy lives on in the deft fingers of the countless protégés to attend his studio, where he helps them hone their musical expression and creativity with a mixture of technique, music theory, and ear training during fun and engaging one-on-one lessons. Specializing in a variety of styles—from classical sonatas to show tunes and pop music—David also gives students his undivided attention during voice and songwriting classes.