Since 2002, Rock House's system of musical instruction—which comprises DVDs, books, and Web-based lesson support—has helped aspiring rock stars to master strumming guitars, plucking basses, and tickling keyboards to a variety of different genres. Several renowned blues, rock, and metal artists have participated in the Rock House program, including members of Megadeth, The Gary Hoey Band, and Parliament-Funkadelic. In addition to their training materials, Rock House also certifies instructors at local music centers so they can conduct one-on-one private lessons tailored to enhancing students' strengths and neutralizing their weaknesses, such as the inability to destroy a guitar on the first smash.
Creative Music Center’s skilled teachers have been nurturing musical talent in students of all ages and skill levels for nearly three decades, earning recognition for their efforts with a Best Music Lessons and Instruments award from Moffly Media readers in 2009. They achieve this high level of instruction by adapting their teaching styles to the needs of each pupil rather than insisting that everyone play Mozart or eat sheet music for breakfast. While private lessons prep students to play everything from the viola to the trombone, teachers also foster camaraderie through group lessons for piano and guitar. Students who haven’t hollowed out a baguette to make their own French horn can rent or buy an instrument from the center, which stocks brands such as Yamaha and Fender.
Turnpike Music Garage tends to all musical needs with an impressive line-up of instruments, gear, and lessons. The inventory includes amps, Casio digital pianos, OSP electric drums, and Seagull acoustic guitars. They also rent school-approved band and orchestra instruments. In-house specialists go beyond fixing instruments, they give lessons in guitar, viola, cello, drums, trumpet, and more.
The Music Shop's name may be succinct, but its scope isn't. Every square foot of the store is devoted to musicians of all disciplines, from the racks of sheet music for classical and pop tunes to the aisles lined with guitars, drums, amplifiers, and other accessories. A hallway in the back of the store leads to private lesson rooms, where dozens of instructors teach the basics of piano, guitar, bass, saxophone, violin, flute, and drums. The Music Shop also offers repair services for raspy woodwinds and guitars that won't stop complaining about their achy necks.
Striding confidently onto the stage, a pintsize foursome breaks into a pitch-perfect rendition of The Beatles' "I Want to Hold Your Hand." At Corner Music's School 4 Rock summer camps, it only takes one week for instructors to ready such students for their moments in the spotlight. Each session, based around a different musical theme, includes rehearsal time and CD-recording sessions before culminating in a performance for family and friends.
Aside from the camps, private lessons improve kids', teens', and adults' skills on instruments from the banjo to the sax. At Corner Music's retail shop, students can rent a guitar or bass guitar for practicing, buy a Fender of their own, or accrue gear, including sheet music, strings, reeds, and tuners.
Diane Garetano's school—whose curriculum covers piano as well as other instruments—was an immediate success in the first year. She was renting space to accommodate her ever-expanding student body and the pianos that kept sprouting extra keys. Today, The Piano Studio for Kids imparts instrument skills at two locations. The school also has evolved in terms of technique, with instructors now incorporating even more methods built on fun, structure, and positive reinforcement. Once a year, students may elect to show off the fruits of these labors, with admission free of charge at a recital culminating in certificates, gift bags, and applause.
It's been more than 35 years since Ryan Riley first picked up his father's homemade acoustic guitar, and in the time since, he has attended Berklee College of Music, performed more than 1,300 live shows, and logged more than 25,000 hours of private teaching. During at-home lessons, he passes down his wealth of musical knowledge to children and adults on guitar as well as bass guitar and alto saxophone.