For 22 years, Richmond Music Center has provided the Staten Island community with an outlet for lessons, equipment, and services for musicians of all ages. Instructors with master’s degrees and professional careers lend their experience to new students and artists looking to improve, covering a wide variety of instruments for garage bands, school ensembles, and electric light orchestras. The center also believes in and practices the healing properties of music via music-therapy lessons for children and adults with disabilities or illnesses. A large collection of instruments, sheet music, and other necessities are available in the center’s shop, as well as repair and tuning services.
At the helm of L.A. Dance School of the Arts is director Angela Paolino Thompson, a graduate of NYU’s dance program. Certified by the Dance Educators of America, she leads a team that instills the grace and technique needed for recreational, competitive, and professional dancing success. Their twinkle-toed repertoire includes at least 10 modalities of dance at any time, such as tap, jazz, hip-hop, and ballet. They also incorporate acting, vocal, and fitness classes into their repertoire, and offer more traditional boot-camp workouts as well.
For more than 15 years, multi-instrumentalist Abdo Ades has striven to instill his love of music into students of all skill levels. Through The Home Studio, which conducts lessons at students' abodes, Abdo has helped pupils lay down funky bass riffs and rock out with drum fills. Though versed in rhythm instruments, his musical focus remains piano and guitar, whose fundamentals he teaches through a blend of classical, jazz, and rock styles. After reviewing basic scales and chords, Abdo moves on to more advanced techniques. Such skills ready pupils for The Home Studio's annual recitals, during which students showcase their achievements for family and friends.
At Dea Music & Art School, instructors teach youngsters the fundamentals of artistic expression and musical performance. Art lessons teach the essentials of composition and visual narrative, whereas music lessons include piano, guitar, and violin as well as standard voice lessons and a musical-theater program.
The teaching staff at Music University comes directly from such schools as Juilliard, Berklee, and Hard Knocks, as well as bands including Thin Lizzy, The Cult, and Mötley Crüe. With such credentials, it should come as no surprise that Music University students have gone on to play at Carnegie Hall, the Lincoln Center, and the Kimmel Center in Philadelphia. Young musicians enjoy access to top-notch gear in private studios equipped with Yamaha grand pianos, Sonor drum sets, and a Fender amp for every guitar room. Students can direct their lessons toward virtually any genre—it’s practically a certainty that someone on staff is a fan as well.
Enrico Aquino III began tinkling the ivories at the age of three, eventually playing his way to the hallowed performance spaces at Carnegie Hall and Lincoln Center. The talented pianist was born into a musical family: his father opened a music school and piano store in New Jersey, and Aquino has kept the family tradition alive by embracing his father’s belief in friendly, encouraging instruction. The retailer pairs players with new and pre-owned pianos made by brands such as Seiler, J. Strauss & Son, and Baldwin Pianos or digital pianos from makers such as Viscount and Korg. The music academy, meanwhile, has guided fingers of all ages in waltzing across keys for more than 60 years. The academy’s skilled instructors delve into classical, jazz, and popular music during private lessons for pupils who have never read music to those who swallowed a metronome as a child and have been reaping the benefits ever since.