Musicians step into Music Box Records’ spacious studio to record, rehearse, and market their work. Part recording studio, part rehearsal space, and part indie label, the studio welcomes music-makers not only with professional recording tools and clean, airy facilities, but also with a team of experienced producers and promotional gurus. The crew cares deeply about music, and even runs an outreach program called Music Lab that invites high school students into the studio to learn industry secrets, such as how to build a following and how to smash an air guitar without ruining it completely.
Mike Semerau and the instructors at Chicago's #1 Drum Lessons have a trick up their sleeve. In addition to in-person tutelage, they provide professional pre-recorded take-home videos of proper drumming techniques for students to refer to while practicing. This kind of constant visualization and repetitive watching is what the instructors claim makes their students so successful as they drill new techniques such as double bass, ostinatos, and stick control. During lessons, teachers also cover subjects such as soloing, learning a student’s favorite song, creating original beats and fills, and teaching yourself. Chicago's #1 Drum Lessons has a play-along machine stacked with more than 1,000 songs, all of which have no drum track so that students can provide their own percussion and experience the sensation of playing and keeping time with other instruments.
The instructors at ACM School of Music pass the torch of musical aptitude with piano lessons and music-theory classes that kindle classical-music appreciation in a new generation. With a focus on teaching students to write their own compositions, experienced musicians explain the rudiments of the form, from a piece's first quarter note to its adolescent experimentation with mixed-meter phrases to its emergence as a full-grown adult arrangement. The school's resident ensemble, Palomar, breathes life into contemporary compositions with an annual concert series. As a nonprofit driven by the goal to expand the cohort of composers and audience members, ACM also facilitates educational initiatives in local schools and offers programming to Boys & Girls Clubs.
Guitar Chicago caters to music lovers of all ages by helping them achieve their melodic and rhythmic goals through relaxed, effective instrument instruction. Teachers schooled in myriad genres draw sound buckets from wells of music knowledge and performing experience in order to fortify the skills of both beginning musicians and experienced bards. Fledgling chord learners can take advantage of the school's in-house instruments for no additional charge, eliminating the risk of accidental busking when carting pianos on the bus. Ideal for hectic lifestyles, Guitar Chicago boasts flexible lesson times and easy online scheduling and is within walking distance of public transit.
Embedded within Chicago's famed venue for sketch and improv comedy, The Second City Training Center hosts performances from a corps of jokesters culled from faculty, alumni, and current students. The productions encourage innovative works of comedy and experimental theater that adhere to The Second City's teachings, which include the development of new voices and points of view, and no fewer than four references to alumnus George Wendt.
Hone your finger-wagging, toe-tapping moves to keen perfection with today's Groupon to The Galaxie: $45 gets you six progressive weeks of dance classes, a $90 value. Whether you've got a dancing partner or you're looking to meet a few new ones, you can choose from the following classes: beginning swing, intermediate swing, beginning lindy hop, beginning tap, intermediate tap, blues, and 1920s Charleston. Check out Galaxie's special Groupon page for the class schedule, then get your Groupon and register for the class you want. (Note: Your Groupon is good for one dancer. Couples should purchase two Groupons.)Follow @Groupon_Says on Twitter.