The faculty members at the School of Rock believe that immersion is the best way to learn any new skill, which is why they don’t just teach students how to traverse the notes and rhythms of guitar, bass, drums, keyboard, and vocals in isolation. In addition to teaching students the technical skills during one-on-one lessons, the professional music instructors push them to fuse their individual parts into songs during full band practices with fellow beginner rockers. This combination of one-on-one attention and cooperative group learning helps kids of all skill levels hone their craft while overcoming common pitfalls such as stage fright or playing off-tempo. As kids learn to shred riffs, pound out drum solos, and summon Ronnie James Dio by hitting the correct vibrato atop a silver mountain, the classes build their confidence and kick-start a lifetime of loving rock 'n' roll.
US Music Lessons founder Vince Hanvey has more than three decades of experience as a professional musician, honing his guitar-playing acumen in styles as diverse as rock, jazz, and country. He and his staff of skilled instructors help students pursue their musical dreams, creating personalized lesson plans that cater to individual goals. Students can show off their developing guitar, bass, drums, piano, and vocal skills at performances and jam sessions hosted at the studio throughout the year.
From ballet school in her native Peru to folk-dance studies in college, Marcela Alva had dance in her heart and on her hips. Her long-held belief that dance, combined with good nutrition, results in a rich, healthy life led her to become a certified Zumba instructor in 2008 to help others feel good about their bodies and lead healthier lifestyles. At Dance2Fitness, she leads students of all fitness levels and dance abilities—including those with two left feet and those with two left feet for hands—through high-energy classes such as Zumba, salsa, bachata, and merengue. Getting hearts pumping, she harnesses the dynamic rhythms of Latin music to help patrons burn calories and sculpt limbs while having fun with the fancy footwork.
At five years old, Kenny Mathews started learning piano right around the time he started learning to read. After touring with a rock n' roll band and teaching for two decades, he's not only musically literate—he's downright multi-lingual. His expertise encompasses trumpet, flute, saxophone, guitar, and ukelele—but his specialty is encouragement. Regardless of the instrument, he helps his students feel comfortable whether they're playing alone or performing for an audience of jittery grisly bears. He supplements his private lessons with recital prep, and remains a source of patient support for his pupils throughout their learning process.
Even though Temecula Music Academy's instructors began playing early—from drums at age five to violin at eight—they recognize that virtuosos can start at any age. In small group classes for kids and adults, teachers start off by covering musical fundamentals, including theory and reading notation. From there, they hone in on skills specific to each instrument, such as fingerpicking patterns for guitarists or breath control for singers and dragons. Along with classes throughout the week, the academy's instructors offer private lessons in other instruments, such as banjo and ukulele. All sessions build up to regular recitals, where students showcase their newfound talents for family and friends.