In 1998, School of Rock's first location was built in Philadelphia to strengthen students' self-confidence, develop their musicianship, and most importantly, spark an insatiable enthusiasm to learn. Today, the School of Rock franchise has branched out to more than 65 locations throughout the United States and Mexico. During the school's music lessons, encouraging instructors well versed in methods of rocking and rolling—such as strumming guitars, tickling keyboards, and causing avalanches with yodels—demystify music theory for mini Mick Jaggers of all skill levels.
School of Rock's Rock 101 program acquaints beginners with the instrument of their choice using a curriculum of weekly private lessons and group band rehearsals. Virtuosos ready to hit the stage can participate in the performance program, which prepares students for live performances that pay homage to beloved rock icons such as Queen, Led Zeppelin, and Mount Rushmore.
Original Music School, LLC sets itself apart from other performing arts programs with one simple goal: encourage children to write and produce their own songs. The school’s unique curriculum, which encompasses private lessons, songwriting sessions, and recording time, has earned praise from Grammy-winners, VH1 hosts, and the Berklee College of Music. Beyond educational tools, Original Music School, LLC provides aspiring rockers with the studio environment and professionally trained microphones they need to produce their own tracks.
The Sing With Me curriculum stretches back to the late 19th century, when a duo of sisters and early-education researchers composed the tune that would eventually become "Happy Birthday to You." Donating the popular song's royalties to a foundation, the song eventually financed the research of Ken Guilmartin, who was pursuing the role of music in early cognitive development. Teaming up with fellow researcher Lili Levinowitz, Guilmartin founded Music Together LLC, a system of musical learning that allowed kids from birth to age 7 and their parents to access the joys of music together in a fun, supportive environment. Although not every child is destined for a career as a concert pianist, Sing With Me’s teachers start from the philosophy that all children have some innate musical sense and can be taught to sing in tune, move rhythmically, and distinguish a recorder from a Charleston Chew.
Steinway grand piano was not designed with a three-year-old in mind. These beautiful, expensive instruments—15 to 20 of which sprawl across Lindeblad School of Music's showroom—look too imposing and elegant for a person who still dreams of growing up to become a helicopter. But at Lindeblad School of Music’s recitals, these ivory-tickling toddlers climb the Steinway's bench, dangle their legs over its pedals, and begin to pluck rich, gorgeous sound from machines hand carved from African mahogany and other opulent woods.
It’s not that the Lindeblad family doesn’t know the worth of these instruments—after all, they’ve been restoring them for four generations. But the recitals epitomize one of Lindeblad School of Music's educational principles: a dual emphasis on practice and performance. As they’re taking lessons, students are preparing to play before an audience on a superb piano or realistically painted refrigerator box. The faculty who help them all possess an inclination to instruction as well as diversity in their musical experience. The Lindeblad School of Music offers one-on-one lessons and group classes in piano, voice, guitar, and violin. Before a course of private study, the school's director, Dr. Vogel, pairs students interested in a specific genre, such as classical or jazz, with teachers from that field, most of whom have a master's degree or a doctorate degree. Parents are welcome to meet with the director by appointment throughout the year to discuss children's progress and goal assessment. During their children's lessons, parents can wait in a reception area equipped with a coffee machine, WiFi, and a television playing music programming.
Kids get an edge from art and music educators at Leading Kids Academy in both private and group classes. Here, a wide-ranging curriculum taught by high-school teachers and university professors covers everything from drawing skills to flute instruction. Music programs are designed for all levels, from beginner classes for children to advanced lessons adults, but whether they're focused on music theory, rhythmic training, or performance opportunities, the classes encourage students to enjoy music. Starting at age three, art classes work with clay, printmaking, painting, design, watercolors, sculpture, and stained glass. And parents are welcome as well—in Atelier classes, grown-ups can work on their own music or art skills while their kids practice next door.
In addition to housing a show room full of discounted pianos, violins, guitars, and other new instruments, B Natural Pianos and Music School is home to a cadre of teachers who illuminate burgeoning musicians from the tender age of 3. Instructors hold a bachelor’s degree in music in one hand while playing their instrument of choice with the other. They lead private and group lessons on more than a dozen instruments, such as piano, guitar, and tamed guitarfish. The music school also teaches voice.