When Maggie Carchrie voyaged to Cape Breton Island in Nova Scotia, she hardly expected to discover a passion that would win her the U.S. Mòd Women's Championship in Gaelic Singing two years later. She was immediately enchanted by the traditional music of the region, planning her future travels around the areas of Cape Breton and Scotland and diving headfirst into the Celtic culture. With a college degree in music therapy and a resume that boasts subsequent studies at the Ceòlas Music School, she built a foundation for a life filled with award-winning Celtic performance and education. She lays claim to two albums, books several East Coast showcases throughout the year, and furthers the reach of Celtic stylings through the concerts and CDs of Mermaid Productions.
Maggie draws from all of these experiences to act as director of the Callanish School of Celtic Arts. There, she instructs students of all ages in music, dance, and lyrical language, managing a non-competitive venue for guests to experiment with age-old harmonies and master a brogue without having to install a second tongue. From the high-stepping choreography of Scottish Highland Dance to the signature keening of the bagpipe, she outlines several levels of melodic techniques, all of which are steeped in rich history.
At The Little Green Tambourine, an environmentally friendly creative-arts studio that promotes active lifestyles, children’s imaginations roam freely during unstructured open-play hours. Kids can create artwork from play doh and paint, don dress-up clothes, or spout The Catcher in the Rye soliloquies during dramatic play. The mini ball pit and hula hoops promise to burn off excess energy, and youngsters can train for the import-export business at the train table. During open play parents must remain with their children, but for an additional $5 per session parents may leave their children to be supervised by the staff during drop-off open play. Parents supervise little ones younger than age 3, but can drop off children 3–5 years old in the sunlit studio with sustainable bamboo floors. Registration for drop-off play is required, and reservations for open play are recommended.
The Music Shop's name may be succinct, but its scope isn't. Every square foot of the store is devoted to musicians of all disciplines, from the racks of sheet music for classical and pop tunes to the aisles lined with guitars, drums, amplifiers, and other accessories. A hallway in the back of the store leads to private lesson rooms, where dozens of instructors teach the basics of piano, guitar, bass, saxophone, violin, flute, and drums. The Music Shop also offers repair services for raspy woodwinds and guitars that won't stop complaining about their achy necks.
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.
Instrumental guitarist Tom Kopyto is the musical energy source that powers Tom Kopyto Music Lesson Studios. Following a teaching method that blends technique, theory, and performance, Tom and several other instructors pass down the art of rock—not only to guitarists following in Kopyto’s footsteps, but also to drummers, pianists, and singers. Students begin playing their favorite tunes as soon as possible in the speedy programs, which focus more on achieving concrete results than exploring the difference between a piano and a burning piano.
Scott LaFlamme of LMI Studio passes down more than 20 years of music-industry experience through instrument lessons, songwriting and composition classes, and studio sessions. Aspiring musicians of all levels can take lessons in guitar, bass, drums, piano, and vocals.