A student of Native American, Peruvian, and Siberian shaman traditions, Rhonda Day-Kooy spreads her passion for medicinal plants through the green products, classes, and events offered at Blue Feather. Some of Day-Kooy's customers come to the botanical boutique for aromatherapy certification, and others stop in to purchase eco-friendly skincare products by Babo Botanicals and whimsically flammable wares from Flying Wish Paper. In the Healing Hut, Rhonda and her therapists lead spiritual therapies, including guided meditation, chakra balancing, and foot-based reflexology treatments.
Taking an all-inclusive approach to music instruction, American Music Institute offers group and private lessons for all ages, experience levels, and styles of music. College-educated teachers lead lessons for voice as well as instruments ranging from guitar and percussion to violin, oboe, and flute. Group classes are available for popular instruments—such as beginning violin and guitar—as well as music theory. Private lessons, meanwhile, provide weekly one-on-one instruction at the institute or in students' homes.
Designed by art educators and art therapists, Magical Minds' bright, cheerful studio fosters creativity and visual thinking via process-driven art experiences. Children aged 4–7 can take a whirlwind tour of the palette-populated countryside with Magical Creations, a class that teaches basic painting, drawing, and sculpture skills ($105 value). More developed doodlers aged 7 and older can try their hands at creating comic book characters and inventing new onomatopoeias, such as glarf, in Comic Book Drawing (a $120 value). Kids aged 4 and older can steep their minds in artistry from around the globe without submitting their finger-paints to body scans in Art Around the World ($105 value). Click here to see the complete list of class options. No matter which class your wee one chooses, he or she will engage a variety of visual and sensory stations while boosting hand-eye coordination and confidence.
Despite an ever-growing base of more than 1,000 clients, Amy Tripple prefers to say she's honed her skills through her main source of inspiration: her own three children. The former elementary teacher employs her advanced child-handling skills as she captures candid images of young ones, preserving childhood memories more easily than laminating a beloved stuffed animal. The National Association of Child Photographers member also shares her know-how through regular classes that cover the basic elements of DSLR photography and how to manipulate the resulting images in digital scrapbooks and Adobe Photoshop.
Nearly a century old history, Oak Park Art League has colored the community by cultivating and sharing the work of local artists through instruction and exhibitions. During a glass-fusing class, students acquaint themselves with the included materials with deep, ritualistic curtsies before instructors launch into a technical demonstration. Students choose from projects including an ornament, sun catcher, or free-form picture frame, and proud craft parents are free to tote their polished progeny home upon completion.
Art and Barb have something in common with President Barack Obama and actress Julie Andrews: they've all had their portraits taken by Paul Berg. Sure, Art and Barb are Paul's parents, but the photographer tries to make every portrait session feel as personal as the next, whether he's photographing a Hollywood star or commemorating his parents' 60th anniversary.
Since creating Paul Berg Photography, he has cultivated a portfolio that's stunning in its diversity. His commercial and architectural work showcases the sleek steel and glass of skyscrapers and upscale gym facilities. As an avid traveler, Paul has trekked across 26 countries, five continents, and seven moons of Jupiter, helping him build an impressive body of work that includes an award-winning series on India.
When he finally sets down his camera, Paul remains busy. He teaches hands-on photography workshops that propel novice photographers' skills into levels of expertness. During those workshops, his students grasp their cameras and follow him onto scenic bridges and through wildflower meadows while he instructs them on photography techniques. Paul also delivers educational lectures and exhibits his work in galleries.
Kids and adults sound out their musical and rhythmic prowess with individual and group lessons at Allegro Music and Dance Academy. Led by experienced teachers and supplemented with at-home video instruction, music classes encompass an array of styles and techniques to establish a foundation for jazz combos and kitchen utensil bands alike. Group guitar classes teach picking, strumming, and shredding methods to 6–13-year-olds with weekly classes of up to eight students ($240–$299 per 16-week session). Groups form according to age, with older crowds also delving into songwriting and basic rock star moves such as windmilling, power sliding, and trashing an expensive hotel room. Group piano lessons also convene weekly, with up to 10 novices imbuing fingers with basic tickling techniques, as well as theory and repertoire ($240 per 16-week session). Songbirds aged 9 and older stretch their vocal chords with one-on-one voice instruction, while younger warblers learn in the company of a piano’s finely tuned tones. The music class schedule showcases all group meeting times, but private instruction in keys, strings, or vocal chords can also be scheduled Monday–Thursday from 2 p.m. to 9 p.m., and Fridays from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m.