A Pennsylvania Ballet holiday tradition for more than four decades, George Balanchine’s The Nutcracker blends the sweet descant of the Philadelphia Boys Choir into the bounding melodies of Tchaikovsky’s ballet suite. An enduring holiday fantasy, George Balanchine's The Nutcracker captivates the eye and ear with toy soldiers who leap and lunge in battle with the giant Mouse King, sparkling snowflakes who twirl across the stage en pointe, and a medley of dancing confections in the Land of the Sweets. Unlike flipbook fairy tales found in wholesale crackerjack boxes, the ballet has outfitted their production with vivid costumes, complex choreography, and a talented cast to create a colorful rendition of the seasonal story.
Though they've been open for only three years, Backstage Guitars has already amassed an impressive collection of equipment and instruments from renowned brands such as Zildjian, Ludwig, Fulltone, and Remo at their two locations. An amiable and skilled staff can educate visitors on the stash of harmonic accoutrements on the store floor or lead them through private lessons in drums, guitar, and guitar-related instruments such as the ukulele or a field-hockey stick wrapped in spaghetti. Backstage's Rock Band Academy helps musicians to develop an even deeper appreciation of their chosen instrument, creating a band for similarly inclined students and culminating in a live set at Hard Rock Cafe.
Mill Pond Arts Allentown's staff of pianists, drummers, guitarists, and singers pull out all the stops when it comes to teaching budding musicians. Their private lessons dole out student-specific tips and exercises, group classes allow kids to learn from their peers, and camps—including Broadway boot camp and Camp Xpress—help people overcome stage fright with games and performances. To help youngsters outside of class, Mill Pond hosts the Theta Music Trainer, an online program designed to sharpen ears and shepherd them toward perfect pitch.
Makin Music Oreland helps instill a love of music in children with private voice and instrument lessons for all ages and skill levels. Even little kids get in on the act in parent-child classes, where the kids are handed drums or shakers to play and the parents discuss who should be the conductor when the tots form the world’s cutest orchestra.
It's said that music builds neurological pathways in the brain like no other experience. The co-owners of Sing N Move, Miss April and Miss Lena, facilitate this firsthand every day during their Kindermusik classes, which help boost brain function through musical exploration.
Kids not only stretch their creative muscles, but also their actual muscles—the classes challenge fine motor skills by encouraging tots to play instruments and bop along to the beat. Miss April and Miss Lena have even taken their own children to Kindermusik classes and have seen them blossom there, which is why they opened their studio in the first place.