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.
Elie Esper, the creative director and founder of his eponymous salon, has shown off his talents on magazine covers and runways from Paris to the Middle East, and was the official hairstylist of Couture Fashion Week in 2011, 2012, and 2013. Though his avant-garde designs have won international acclaim for more than 16 years, he still takes pride in beautifying brides before their trips down the aisle. Drawing on professional products from Kérastase, he washes away dirt and wig powder before infusing strands with color and sculpting shapes that defy both gravity and convention. His ability to bridge the gap between elegant and edgy attracts brides from around the world to Elie Esper Salon for wedding consultations and trial runs.
Patrons at Session 73 satiate not only their taste buds but also their eardrums by devouring international tapas in a restaurant and lounge that fuses its dining and bar areas with the thumping beats of live music. The tapas menu and musical menu—the latter of which has featured such bands as Sideways, The Ronald Reagans, and Daddy NoBux—have even been known to draw in celebrities such as Kate Hudson, Will Ferrell, and Jimmy Fallon.
In addition to reverberating with live rock rhythms every Thursday, Friday, and Saturday, the venue pulses with tango music on Sunday, salsa music on Monday, and swing music on Tuesday as patrons swivel their hips and waggle their ears on the dance floor. Craft cocktails sporting clever names such as Big Ginger and Dragon Juice keep the movements fluid.
Zumba classes at M Dance & Fitness provide a hip-shaking workout so engrossing that, according to Time Out New York, students barely notice its rigor until they’re sore the next day. Set to music that ranges from pop to reggaeton, classes work the whole body through simple dance steps from schools such as salsa and merengue.
The studio’s Masala Bhangra class replaces Zumba’s Latin flair with Indian moves. Masala means “spicy” in Hindi; the routines are thus a “spicy,” or Bollywood-inflected, take on Bhangra, a traditional Indian folkdance. Studio founder Misty Clark and her team of instructors helm other dance fitness classes as well, with focuses such as ballet, kick-box dance, hip-hop, and ab work.
Musicians who have honed their skills at Juilliard, Yale, and other world-renowned conservatories convene at Fort Lee School of Music to help students of all experience levels express themselves musically. Students can take piano, violin, cello, guitar, flute, or voice lessons, learning skills such as sight-reading, ear training, and music theory.
Spotlighted in Time magazine and the New York Times, Music for Aardvarks and Other Mammals is a nationally renowned program offering a unique take on musical education for children 3 months to 4 years old. Classes consist of 45 minutes of singing, dancing, musical storytelling, and jamming. Children's songsmith David Weinstone designed a curriculum celebrating the urban environment as well as universal concerns of youth via his classes, which have exploded into the national spotlight since their humble beginnings in 1997. Rather than being strict and results-driven, the teaching style at Music for Aardvarks is based on adult modeling and exposing children to ideas and sounds without dumbing them down. Parent participation is strongly encouraged for atonal squealers and former Yes drummers alike. Check the Music for Aardvarks website for the drop-in sessions and 10-class series schedules.