With 17 years of teaching experience and 31 years of perfecting his guitar virtuosity, sage of the six-string Ron Hotstream enlightens guitar players of all skill levels with personalized instructions for each student. Veteran tone-seekers can receive instructions to hone their abilities, and aspiring Yngwie Malmsteens will discover basic chord formations and picking techniques so that they can develop their skills properly. Once students have mastered the basic skills, they may decide the style of their instruction—from blues to rock to country—and which songs they want to learn how to play. Ron Hotstream teaches at C&M Music Centers in Kenner (Tuesday, Thursday, and Friday) and Mandeville (Monday and Wednesday) and is able to accommodate all guitar players, whether they are interested in obtaining a grasp on modal jazz or set on wailing 17-minute solos while riding on the back of a wild chimera.
Founded as a piano restoration business in 1958, Hall Piano Company has since expanded its repertoire. The company's technicians still restore pianos, but now pianists also teach students of all ages to coax music from the keys. The instructors draw on extensive education and decades of experience to help students build a foundation of musical knowledge. When they're ready, students can show off their skills on the studio's recital stage, which is equipped with Steinway concert grand pianos and broadcasting technology that lets loved ones watch and listen from afar.
When owner of Miss April's Musical Arts Studio April Hamm was a kid, her first piano teacher placed Skittles onto the piano whenever April played well. Though she doesn't tempt her students with sweets, April finds other ways to make music education fun. For children from newborns to 4-year-olds, she teaches music and movement classes, combining dance and playing percussion instruments with singing kids' favorite songs.
During her other classes, April instills students with music-reading skills by helping them learn their favorite traditional, popular, and classical songs on piano. In her computer-lab sessions, she even uses computer programs to teach kids music theory and songwriting skills.
Besides sharing fluency in the language of music, the instructors at the New Orleans Academy of Music all have one thing in common: they are all graduates of the College of Music at Loyola University. The academy hires only Loyola graduates—especially those with a focus on music education—to lead its private music classes, believing that they uniquely understand what it takes for students to develop their musical ability. Studying one-on-one with the musical experts, students of all ages and abilities learn to master everything from classical piano's twinkling chords to jazz guitar's melodious improvisation, with many younger students often accepted into schools of higher study after working with the team.
Staying busy is a way of life for Joel Willson. An accomplished multi-instrumentalist, his specialties include piano, violin, guitar, and mandolin. As a teacher, he's instructed high-school master classes and served as an elementary school artist-in-residence. He channels these dual passions at Baton Rouge Music Lessons, where he teaches keys and strings while his wife, Amy, handles flute. The pair's studio accommodates private and group lessons, which enrich each student's musical knowledge by dabbling in a variety of styles, including classical, country, and jazz.