With 30 years of playing experience, guitar sensei Mark Schimmoller has perfected a multitude of styles from rockabilly to indie to Crane Style. After years spent performing around Chicago and touring with the band The Hush, Mark settled down in Fort Wayne—where he now shares his expertise with students of all skill levels during private lessons and maintains his chops with his ’80s alternative band Weird Science. Lessons incorporate various forms of media to help students absorb knowledge more easily than a sentient ShamWow. Mark also keeps precious instruments in top condition by offering guitar setup services and minor repairs.
The Guitar Lab's experienced instructors reveal the mysteries of stringed instruments to the ears of eager fledglings, with personalized, hands-on guidance. Four lessons help develop a base for well-rounded musicians, with five critical areas of focus: melody, harmony, rhythm, theory, and listening skills. Students can choose their own songs to learn, whether rock, folk, or country, eliminating the monotony of practicing Yankee Doodle. The Guitar Lab trains all its instructors in a supportive teaching approach, and supplies parents or overanxious house pets with quarterly progress reports. After achieving mastery of a targeted skill, students receive badges, and when they eventually excel in all six critical areas, they earn a colored guitar strap and really jazzy stage name. The Guitar Lab offers instruments for rent.
The encouraging, informative team at Meridian Music, an instrument retailer and music-education center, beckons visitors to tickle ivory keys with a stock of tuneful pianos and organs, as well as private and group lessons. In addition to piano and organ instruction, the skilled maestros teach students how to wring applause out of audiences using their voices or stringed, brass, and woodwind instruments. Meridian Music's private performance hall, Munger Hall, seats up to 120 people, or one lengthy conga line, during solo and group student recitals.
Musikgarten classes elevate kinesthetic, logical, spatial, and social intelligences through musical instruction to children ages 3 months to 10 years. Each course responds to the developmental needs of a particular age group, with activities and acquired skills becoming more complex as classes ascend in age group. Family Music for Babies (ages 3–16 months) engages an adult and infant with 30–35 minutes of bouncing songs, dancing, and playing simple instruments. Curiosity curdles in amateur earthling brains and a foundation for future musical exploration is set during the Cycle of Seasons course, where children 3-1/2 to 5 years of age flirt with the foundations of rhythm and tune, coddle concentration skills, and garner the ability to self-express through sound waves. The Young Musician and Piano class, for ages 4-1/2–6 and 7–10 respectively, focus on symbolic thinking, memory, and listening acuity, and run for 55–60 minutes or until the first prodigious rock opera has been composed.