One of three devoted dancers who founded Studio 3 Performing Arts Center, Megan Stanley told the Dexter Patch that she wanted a venue where "girls or guys of any skill level feel they can have a place to dance." Today, the center has broadened her dream by teaching visitors how to become a triple threat onstage. Lessons in music, dance, and theater place its students—some as young as two years—on the road to self-expression, while an atmosphere of fun and acceptance keeps them practicing.
The owners teach most of the classes themselves, building a community of students and parents that trust their expertise and attend regular recitals. This convivial spirit carries over to theater performances, where audience participation and Samuel Beckett's famous call-and-response cheers ensure everyone's involvement. Classes welcome all-comers to try their hand at intuitive cardio workouts and competitive choreography alike, the latter of which has led the studio's crew to a Best in Studio award at the 2012 JUMP dance convention.
Veteran drummer Tom Twiss has been banging sticks for over 30 years while sharing the stage and recording booth with artists as varied as The Allman Brothers Band, Little Richard, and Mott the Hoople. The seasoned performer strives to teach a love of performance as he slowly introduces students to the basics of rhythm and syncopation. His studio features a soundproof waiting area, a stereo system for learning a favorite song, and two drum sets where student and teacher play alongside each other.
The Michigan State University College of Music hones the tonal talents of its charges before unleashing their melodic capabilities into the acoustically sound stratosphere of the Wharton Center. More than 150 musicians from the MSU Symphony Orchestra, University Chorale, State Singers, Choral Union, and soloists from the MSU voice faculty interpret Giuseppe Verdi's Requiem, a passionate piece known to enthusiasts for its examination of faith and the afterlife as well as for its lack of the synth-pop beats that dominated the 19th-century symphony scene. Vocal soloists Melanie Helton, Molly Fillmore, Richard Fracker, and Rod Nelman form a choral quadrangle that harmonizes disparate clefs into a prism of polyphony.
Veteran guitarist Tab Wakley knows that the secret to becoming a great musician lies in loving what you play. That?s why he takes his teaching cues from his students, building his lessons around the genres and musicians that they most want to emulate. Over his years as a touring musician, Tab has mastered techniques that range from flat-picking to full-on shredding; his greatest asset as a teacher, however, is his ability to immediately assess your level of experience and match it with the appropriate subject matter. Students can delve right into strumming chords and playing songs or investigate the elements of music theory by reading sheet music or melting down a vinyl Beethoven record.
A division of Michigan State University's College of Music, MSU Community Music School operates under the belief that ?music dramatically enhances the quality of life.? Here, students of all ages and skill levels immerse themselves in this philosophy as they exercise teamwork in group rock-guitar classes, learn the history of the ukulele, or prosper through developmental challenges during music-therapy sessions. The school?s staff of expert instructors also helps students reach their individual musical goals, whether they want to master the jazz trombone or pursue a career as a bedroom alarm clock.
When John Antone founded Axis Music Academy and started developing his proprietary teaching method, the academy was a cramped four-studio Southfield office where he gave guitar lessons. Sixteen years later, Axis has blossomed into a quartet of spacious, well-lit facilities that have one specialty in common: turn individual musicians into bands. Supplied with 12 private studios and all necessary instruments and gear, students get to set their own goals and chart their own course to learning, composing, and recording music. Whether that journey starts with them working through their favorite song on the guitar or stubbornly trying to play the tuba with their ear, the teaching staff helps them reach their goals using the full benefit of their expertise. Budding virtuosos can then combine their strengths during a slate of rock bands, glee clubs, and other group activities.
Axis Music Academy is also currently Michigan?s only Apple-authorized training center, which saves prospective producers a trip out of state if they want to get certified and tested in industry-standard recording software such as Pro Tools, Logic Pro, Ableton, Final Cut, and Garage Band ?all taught using a brand-new suite of computer stations and the industry-insider techniques of Charlie Grover, the former drummer of gold-certified rock band Sponge.
Lessons rarely stay confined to the classroom, since Axis lines up opportunities for students to show off what they've learned onstage at local venues, sports games, and even on air during the morning news. It also stays active in the Detroit-area community by participating in Axis Music Academy 501(C)3 and other programs.