From the moment visitors enter RockPro Music Centre and see the elevated stage in the foyer, they can tell that the music emporium is anything but a typical music school. The instructors, led by musical director Chris Hummel and owner Cliff Callaway, encourage students to unleash their inner rock stars, whether they’re learning power chords on the guitar or biting the heads off microphones in the vocal room. Fledgling musicians can rock out in the band rehearsal room, honing their skills with fellow band mates in preparation of performing live. They can also head to Kids’ Rock Camp in the summer months where they can join a band and learn song-writing techniques.
The instructors at Freedom School of the Arts don’t teach theatrical dogma. Instead of constraining their pupils with “must do” techniques, they encourage students to explore their own process and discover on-stage confidence through a constantly changing curriculum. The school’s acting and improv classes cover basic performance skills that ease self-doubts as well as read-through, blocking, and agreement techniques that help them feel comfortable in any situation, from shows to auditions to parent-teacher conferences. Not just for adults, the school hosts youth acting classes that help kids explore their imagination and creativity.
Since she was preceded by four generations of musicians, it was only natural that Shelkah Francis began playing piano at age 6. Now, with music degrees and nearly two decades of teaching experience to her name, she helps kids discover the same early love of music that has guided her through life and mythical journeys to the underworld. Kindermusik with Ms. Shelkah uses a curriculum practiced around the world that provides age-appropriate music lessons to babies, toddlers, and kids, teaching them musical aptitude as well as social skills. She also teaches youth and adults how to play individual instruments, write music, and prepare for auditions.
Maxwell's Music House encompasses both a live performance venue and a music school where professional teachers instruct students in their choice of instrument and style during half-hour lessons. Parents can enrol kids or sign themselves up to learn to sing, beat drums, learn piano or use telekinesis to pluck the strings of electric, acoustic, and bass guitars. A range of music styles abounds to sate most musical appetites, including rock, pop, jazz, classical, and blues. Learn to read music in one of the jam space practice rooms, or practice rock star air splits during lessons on the facility's real concert stage. Meanwhile, instructors with extensive professional performing experience guide maestros-to-be as they learn the finer points of playing favourite songs using their own instruments or one of the facility's provided song-makers. Students can take home an optional recording of their lessons, with which can be used to track personal progress or to lure wild guitars from their caves.
A government-certified educational institute, Ontario Conservatory of Music has fostered the musicians of tomorrow since 1939, when tomorrow had just been invented. Its teachers believe that playing music acts as a gateway—to building character, boosting confidence, and improving self-discipline. The school helps students of all ages explore those benefits through lessons in instruments ranging from drums and guitar to piano, voice, and violin. Band programs get even beginning students working together and performing in front of live audiences, giving them a space to hone their chops outside their basement, where mole people might hear them through the walls and steal their songs.