New Windsor Music Academy shakes, rattles, and rolls with lessons for aspiring musicians as young as 3 years old, depending on the instrument of choice. Backed by a master's degree in music performance from Yale, owner Mike Benninger has built a team of equally polished instructors. The canopy of their collective knowledge stretches over several instruments, including guitar, drums and voice, and genres that include rock, blues, and classical. With all that education and experience, Mike and his staff recognize that not every method of teaching works for every student, so they bend and mold every session according to each student's goals.
Bergen Academy of Music and Art fine-tunes the music skills of students of all ages, offering private lessons in piano, guitar, violin, voice, and a multitude of woodwinds. Students are matched with one of more than 20 potential teachers based on levels and instrument choice, and for most sound makers, including guitar, voice, and woodwinds, the minimum pupil age is typically 5–7 years. Lessons teach a variety of musical styles, including classical, rock, and jazz, and teachers develop pupil-personalized methods to cover technique and musicianship. Classes also coach scholars in music theory, ear training, instrument maintenance, and cummerbund-wearing basics. Private symphonious sessions are once a week, and must be taken in consecutive weeks at the same time and day. Those interested should call their selected location to schedule a first lesson.
The Sing With Me curriculum stretches back to the late 19th century, when a duo of sisters and early-education researchers composed the tune that would eventually become "Happy Birthday to You." Donating the popular song's royalties to a foundation, the song eventually financed the research of Ken Guilmartin, who was pursuing the role of music in early cognitive development. Teaming up with fellow researcher Lili Levinowitz, Guilmartin founded Music Together LLC, a system of musical learning that allowed kids from birth to age 7 and their parents to access the joys of music together in a fun, supportive environment. Although not every child is destined for a career as a concert pianist, Sing With Me’s teachers start from the philosophy that all children have some innate musical sense and can be taught to sing in tune, move rhythmically, and distinguish a recorder from a Charleston Chew.
When John Storyk designed Sweatshop Studios, it wasn't just with his architectural expertise in mind; he also brought talent as an acoustician to the project. Thanks to that dual vision, its contemporary design and equipment please both the eye and the ear. Songwriting legends such as Gary Portnoy (the man behind the theme song for Cheers) have recorded music there; author Mary Pope Osborne of the Magic Tree House series created an audiobook in the studio. In addition to welcoming professionals, Sweatshop's recording engineers and other seasoned staff lead workshops for novices.
Within American One Productions’ spacious rehearsal room, the sharp pop of toms and the rasp of snares drift from Yamaha drums and reverberate off the acoustic paneling. Music teachers and bands fill the professional-quality studio, which has a laid-back atmosphere that makes it an ideal place to learn, jam, or wear sunglasses indoors. Group and private music lessons teach students the fundamentals of theory and technique on a range of instruments, and bands can take advantage of mixing gear to polish their sound during rehearsals.
A Steinway grand piano was not designed with a three-year-old in mind. These beautiful, expensive instruments—15 to 20 of which sprawl across Lindeblad School of Music's showroom—look too imposing and elegant for a person who still dreams of growing up to become a helicopter. But at Lindeblad School of Music’s recitals, these ivory-tickling toddlers climb the Steinway's bench, dangle their legs over its pedals, and begin to pluck rich, gorgeous sound from machines hand carved from African mahogany and other opulent woods. It’s not that the Lindeblad family doesn’t know the worth of these instruments—after all, they’ve been restoring them for four generations. But the recitals epitomize one of Lindeblad School of Music's educational principles: a dual emphasis on practice and performance. As they’re taking lessons, students are preparing to play before an audience on a superb piano or realistically painted refrigerator box. The faculty who help them all possess an inclination to instruction as well as diversity in their musical experience. Before a course of piano, voice, or guitar lessons, the school's director, Dr. Vogel, pairs students interested in a specific genre, such as classical or jazz, with teachers from that field, most of whom have a master’s degree or a Ph.D. During their children's lessons, parents can wait in a reception area equipped with a coffee machine, WiFi, and a television playing music programming. For students enrolled in regular lessons, Dr. Vogel invites parents to biannual conferences with their child's instructor for progress reports and goals assessment.
In bright, sunny studios of Areté Music Academy, pupils take part in intensive curricula taught by professional musicians, discovering their abilities and dreaming of their futures. The school culls its faculty members from schools including the Juilliard and Yale. Students—as young as ages two or as old as a cave painting of a drum set—take part in specialized courses and camps. Private and group programs focus on topics such as a particular composer, an instrument, or a specific genre. Performance opportunities abound, too, in the concerts and ensembles fostered by the school.