In 2006, it dawned on Terry Moshenberg and Topher Stott that there was a lack of creative outlets for musical adults. Those hoping to hone their skills or simply jam out often had a hard time finding likeminded people. A year later, Terry and Topher sought out to solve this problem by starting League of Rock, which has since revealed what they refer to as the "hidden musical population." During workshops and team-building exercises held at corporations and various venues, professional musicians invite grownups to unleash their inner rock star by helping them master their chosen instrument, assigning them band mates, and getting them up on stage with a professional rock band. In corporate music leagues, clients use LOR as a resource to put on shows for recruiting purposes and raising money for charity.
Head instructor Erik Laar (a.k.a. Steptone) and his vinyl warriors show mixmasters-to-be the roots, artistry, and versatility of old-school turntabling and new-school mixing software. With a watchful instructor at their elbow, pupils send kazoos to the dunce corner by learning to use turntables as an expressive instrument via hand skills, basic music theory, and analog sound mixing. Like cheetahs in training, apprentice DJs practice scratching and creating original tracks, mixing snippets from a variety of music styles. The school keeps the two-hour class small and fun-focused, giving each student maximum hands-on time with turntables and any time-travelling gramophones.
Carolyn T does it all. On a given night, the Renaissance woman might be dispatching a soulful rendition of "Papa Was a Rolling Stone" on a dimly lit stage or spicing up a party by leading the Carolyn T Band through a jazz, soul, funk, or R&B set. The next day, she might don her acting cap for a commercial voice gig. Or her pipes may be surprising the recipient of a singing telegram, a gift more personal and less creepy than a singing telephone.
Carolyn's 25 years and counting of stage and screen presence inform her teaching practice. As a motivational speaker, she specializes in performing-arts guidance in classroom and corporate settings, sharing the tools of public speaking, stage presence, and negotiation. She also imparts these skills one-on-one during voice and performance lessons. Students can mine these highly customizable sessions for singing help alone, or tackle such topics as stage presence, confidence, and preparing for gigs.
The expert musicians behind Concrete City Music have created musicians heaven: a world devoted to the creation and sharing of music. They help musicians from all stages in their processes, with Song Creation or Song Performance workshops.
From the moment visitors enter RockPro Music Centre and see the elevated stage in the foyer, they can tell that the music emporium is anything but a typical music school. The instructors, led by musical director Chris Hummel and owner Cliff Callaway, encourage students to unleash their inner rock stars, whether they’re learning power chords on the guitar or biting the heads off microphones in the vocal room. Fledgling musicians can rock out in the band rehearsal room, honing their skills with fellow band mates in preparation of performing live. They can also head to Kids’ Rock Camp in the summer months where they can join a band and learn song-writing techniques.
The instructors at Freedom School of the Arts don’t teach theatrical dogma. Instead of constraining their pupils with “must do” techniques, they encourage students to explore their own process and discover on-stage confidence through a constantly changing curriculum. The school’s acting and improv classes cover basic performance skills that ease self-doubts as well as read-through, blocking, and agreement techniques that help them feel comfortable in any situation, from shows to auditions to parent-teacher conferences. Not just for adults, the school hosts youth acting classes that help kids explore their imagination and creativity.