Leo Quintero knows firsthand the thrill of playing music onstage. As a professional guitarist, composer, recording artist, and producer, he has shredded his six-string in front of dancing crowds from Venezuela to Florida. At Leo Quintero Music, he guides his charges from the classroom to the stage, helping them begin their musical journeys or fine-tune their licks in guitar-focused classes. Students 6 years and older can study scales and chord progressions alongside other beginners during group classes. Private lessons pair Leo with just one student, eliminating the temptation to pass notes to their friends asking what fork they used for lunch. Leo also takes pride in helping his pupils prepare for college auditions.
It's never too early for music. Crescendo Music Center gets kids started with their introduction to music class which teaches youngsters aged 3–5 the basics of reading notes, melodies, and time notation. Kids with a little more music under their belt can refine their skills in private lessons or during ensemble jams. To make sure students get the chance to hone their performance skills as well, the center holds regular recitals. These concerts give kids the chance to perform for mom and dad and to practice lighting their instrument on fire after the encore.
Devos Academy infuses people's lives with music and art by offering programs for students of every age. Kids can take piano lessons, learn to paint in Little Picassos classes, and explore music by clapping out rhythms, banging on xylophones, and learning about high and low notes. In classes for teens and adults, artists can work in a variety of media, crosshatching with pens or perhaps building on color transparencies with watercolors. One-time lessons—such as Mom & Me and Pet Painting workshops—are also available for those who want to expand the art in their lives without getting stuck in an Escher painting.
Understanding that rock stars aren’t made overnight, Music Depot shepherds along aspiring golden gods with brand-name gear and detailed training. Their sprawling space boasts shiny electronic and acoustic axes from Fender and Ibanez as well as name-brand speakers, gear, and music software. Private lessons teach basic musicianship, and the Depot’s ensemble programs let performers develop essential professional skills such as timing, collaboration, and who gets stuck playing the thimble in Monopoly.
The members of PAN Performing Arts Network bring a range of backgrounds to their international collective: some are experienced musical composers, guitarists, and singers, while others are established teaching artists and actors. Their expertise allows them to gather all the arts under one roof with an annual performance season and more than 40 regular classes each week. These classes span instruction in dance styles such as Ballet, Contemporary Dance, Afro-Haitian, and Irish Step, as well as training in Creative Movement, Acting, Instrumental Music, and Voice. Instructors tailor their classes to the needs of beginner through advanced-level adults, children, and children disguised as adults. They also provide classes suited to senior citizens and students with special needs.
Drummer Paradise's instructors would never reduce their art to mere banging. Far from it—the team champions drumming's benefits, from exercising cardio muscles to the mental demands of staying on beat. Of course, the main emphasis of lessons at Drummer Paradise is learning the instrument itself, a process that begins with honing skills such as reading music, as well as focusing on developing musical skills in child students. To enrich their rhythmic techniques, child and adult students alike can supplement their sessions with exercises from Drummer Paradise's library of 100-plus instructional books and DVDs. Once they've mastered the skins, pupils can even enter the Drummer Paradise studio to lay down a beat of their own.