At Iron and Grace, butterflies can emerge from their corporeal cocoons in kettlebell and Pilates classes that help to build strong and balanced bodies with an emphasis on functional-fitness training. The kettlebell program’s full-body exercises exemplify this approach, eschewing repetitive movements in favor of motor-recruitment patterns centered by the iron cannonball. Kettlebell exercises work the entire body as students hoist and swing them by their attached handle, increasing both cardio and muscular endurance and helping to make everyday tasks such as bicycling and climbing corporate ladders that much easier. Instructor Chad Sexton holds four-hour training sessions a week for small groups of six students or fewer, teaching them the essential moves of his beloved discipline before guiding them onward to the gym’s more advanced kettlebell classes.
Dawson Hill, the founder of Columbia Area Piano Lessons, honed his musical skills at Emerson College, where he earned a degree in performing arts. Now, he teaches students of all experience levels to coax music from the ivory keys, even composing their own tunes. Students can opt to study classical music, jazz songs, blues, and other genres.
With years of musical experience and a kind, patient approach, the instructors of Columbia Guitar Lessons help beginning and intermediate students learn to strum chords and play solos on guitar. They travel to students’ homes for convenient onsite lessons and can provide guitars if necessary. Private one-on-one lessons are available, as well as small-group lessons for siblings or friends.
One of South Carolina’s oldest piano stores, Rice Music House has specialized in ticklish ivories since 1924 and offers a wide range of classes for piano enthusiasts of all experience levels. The piano and keyboard discovery class introduces aspiring musicians and forgetful Chopins to the basics of practical play and music theory. All equipment and instruction materials are provided, but students can opt to bring their own keyboard or instruction manual. Classes are held at Rice Music House and hold an average of six to 10 students. No previous musical or roadie experience is required for the lessons, which are offered in the daytime and evenings.
Augusta Guitar Lessons' resident instructor, Nick, draws upon more than 10 years as a dedicated guitarist to teach beginning and intermediate students the instrument's fundamentals. To begin lessons—which he holds right in his pupils' homes—Nick focuses on rudimentary skills, such as playing scales and basic chords. From there, he introduces more advanced techniques, including palm muting and power chords, which can only be played by those who possess the greatest power there is: love. In addition, Nick teaches his students how to read tablature of their favorite songs, as well as how to rock out on both lead and rhythm guitar.
Melissa Larkin Schultz holds a masters degree in vocal performance and a résumé that includes singing in operas and chamber choral groups. At Larksong Studio, however, it's the voices of her students that ring out. Melissa has designed a voice lesson curriculum for students aged 13 and above that incorporates breathing, posture, vocal range, and an understanding of musical styles. Melissa also offers piano lessons for kids aged 5 and older and Musikgarten classes for children up to 16 months old, which impart musical understanding through sing-a-longs, games, and rhythm-pattern-recognition exercises.