For more than 50 years, Allegro Music has been fostering fellowship among area musicians of all ages. The shop, which is open seven days a week, has all the provisions for a successful musical journey. Lessons with experienced instructors help students sharpen their skills. There's classical and modern sheet music aplenty, and staff can track down a composer or piece you can't find in-house. The store’s collection of brand-name instruments includes guitars, keyboards, and band instruments, as well as nontraditional percussion instruments such as congas and djembes. And they can outfit drummers with customizable drums from Mapex that feature fearsome orange alligator skin or your favorite Cathy cartoon strip. When instruments start to squeak, repair-shop manager Gabe Eaton nurses them back to health along with fellow technicians Brian Hart and Joel Ryan.
Mastering an instrument takes dedication, practice, and time, although it also helps to receive some professional guidance along the way. At Exploring Music, the instructors help budding musicians improve by providing personalized direction based on each individual's skill level and musical aspirations. Private and group lessons meet in practice studios that have been insulated and reinforced for sound reduction, helping students to fully concentrate on mastering their instrument of choice, be it the guitar, the violin, the piano, the saxophone, or the five-disc CD changer.
With nine types of after-school classes designed for kids aged 5–18, the staff of Young Artists Club works to enrich local youth, whether helping out with homework or inspiring their inner Van Goghs. Organized by age group, classes cover subjects such as piano or guitar lessons, cartoon-drawing, and painting. The staff also specializes in teaching Chinese and English language courses that cover listening, speaking, reading, and writing.
The Community School of Music and Arts unleashes the creativity that indwells each student's liver by offering an array of art lessons and exhibitions. A selection of more than 40 available classes allows artists of all ages to clutch brushes, chisels, and ketchup blasters and recreate their world during basic animation ($160 for eight weeks), watercolor on the spot: outdoor painting ($150 for six weeks), or contemporary collage ($180 for eight weeks). Like bear hunting season, the classes run in two sessions, from January 24 to March 21 (Session A) and March 28 to May 21 (Session B). Click here to view CSMA's catalog; classes available with this Groupon are featured beginning on page 24.
Before each student starts siphoning out his or her inner sonatas, he or she will fill out an application and learn about the course curriculum and academy policies during a private orientation (a $25 value) with the student’s parents and Director Thomas Skousen. Each student is then integrated into the creative-instruction procedure, which weaves four students at a time through stations of one-on-one instruction and computer exercises, building technique training, sight reading, and music-theory knowledge in addition to mastering songs (a $130 per month value). The result is a rigorous yet fun and rewarding class that fosters community, which each budding contrapuntist celebrates at the month's end with in-class performances and ceremonial wig powderings.
Designed and developed by vocal coach and singer/songwriter Ruth Gerson, the Singingbelt trains singers and public speakers to support their voices with their diaphragms. The belt provides feedback on the position of the diaphragm, which signals to the wearer any time they cease supporting their breath. The belt can help singers develop power, tone, pitch, and endurance.