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.
The Creation Academy was founded by fashion maven Summer G in 2009, and gives children a chance to learn the ins and outs of clothing design. The creative force behind Yces Haute, Summer G has designed for such icons as Nicki Minaj, D. Woods, and Rocsi. Along with ongoing fashion camps and one-time workshops, The Creation Academy hosts kid-friendly celebrations that include refreshments and art materials. And now that the state has lifted its ban on adult creativity, Summer also hosts grownup parties where guests bedazzle denim, T-shirts, and shoes.