Though many people consider playing an instrument to be a lovely skill or hobby, the team at Dean Music Institute looks at it a bit differently. That’s because after a quarter century spent creating and teaching music, they have seen how learning to play an instrument improves both the player’s creativity and brain function, resulting in better test scores, memory, and decision-making skills. They also understand that students will reap the most benefits if they enjoy their courses of study. And so, when instructors lead group sessions in guitar or private lessons in piano, bass, or guitar, they set realistic goals in short assignments and dive into popular songs that students actually want to learn how to play. For those too busy to make it into the studio, they also offer lessons over Skype, and flash classes see instructors and students holding impromptu jam sessions at cafés, bars, shopping centers, and parking-ticket-violation hearings to share a love of artistic expression with the public.
Lauren Whitmore Powers knows what it's like to be out of shape—she was more than 80 pounds heavier before she discovered boot camp. Her transformation from heavy to fit inspired her to become certified in Schwinn cycling and Level 1 CrossFit so that she could help others achieve the same kind of results. Today she acts as program director of Total Fitness Revolution, working alongside a team of 15 other instructors that includes lifelong athlete Rashad McDade, yoga and pilates teacher Michelle Wade and CrossFit Coach, Richard Bowen. This team of trainers helms one-month boot camps and one-on-one training sessions, as well as small-group classes that cover the ins and outs of CrossFit, Pilates, yoga, and Zumba.
At Unique Events of Atlanta's gatherings, adults convene for evenings of interactive theatrics, gaming, and group activities. The staff's creative scribes conjure up a theme to serve as the plot of interactive murder-mystery dinners, where participants discover clues over dinner and drinks, evoking their inner gumshoes to identify villains and summon orphaned saxophone riffs left over from the '80s. Other events include casino nights, where card lovers can compare poker faces, and old-fashion game nights, where friendly competition ensues over Monopoly boards, Uno decks, Twister mats, and Xbox Dance Central screens. The event extraordinaires also host marriage proposals, anniversaries, and reunions with repaired lawnmowers.:m]]
In Lithia Springs, there's a tiny clapboard building called the Church of Mighty Pain. Its name is a big hint that it's not a traditional worship center. Passers-by seek refuge not from the world's ills but from an onslaught of paintballs. Their fully stocked pro shop located on site, one of five fields that also feature spaces to play with airball and spool markers. Teams battle each other in fun skirmishes or competitive tournaments, including playing capture the flag just like the United States and Great Britain did before things got out of hand in 1812. Players can rent a Tippmann 98 marker from Classic Paintball or buy one from the pro shop, which makes future games less expensive and future house-painting sessions more fun.
Head Instructor Jim McKinley calls upon his certifications as a Level 3 United States Golf Teachers Federation Instructor and US Army Master Fitness Trainer to help students take control of their swings and improve their scores. Jim starts lessons by assessing a player’s grip, posture, and alignment at setup, which are the building blocks of a tasty stew and a fundamental golf swing. Teachers and pupils then focus on the mechanics of the swing, with the students performing drills and exercises that help remedy problem areas. Students may also use training aides to lock in muscle memory so that the muscles learn the different benefits of swinging and twirling the club. Jim understands that while stance and swing mechanics can be addressed on the driving range, the less tangible aspects of club selection and golf-course management cannot. He helps students with these principles by playing a round with them, and offers a 50% refund to any student who can beat him.
Teamwork and positive attitudes. Strong work ethics, good morals, and keen focus. They're all components of strong character, and they're all instrumental to the dance and cheer classes at Lisa's Dance Spot. Here, upbeat instructors lead lessons in styles from ballet and funk jazz to tumbling, hip-hop, and cheer. Working with kids as young as 2 years, they instill confidence early in tiny dancers, eliminating the phrase "I can't" from their vocabulary. For students interested in pursuing their passion for dance past simple lessons, they also organize dance groups and cheer squads that perform at community events throughout Metro Atlanta.