For more than a decade, Middle C Music has equipped songcrafters with the instruments and expertise needed to articulate their own sonic expressions. Racks of guitars and ukuleles hang from the shop’s walls, along with accessories such as sheet music, songbooks, and extra sets of limbs for playing double guitars. Orchestral instruments by the likes of Bach, Jupiter, and Cannonball are available for purchase or month-by-month rentals. The shop also curates a team of musical experts of various disciplines for weekly lessons and Rock Band camps, where kids spend five days learning to play as an ensemble and spin their own interpretations of rock classics.
"Learning to play music should be fun" states Bach to Rock's philosophy. "It's called play for a reason." This warm, inviting spirit permeates every lesson, where students work individually or in groups with seasoned players to improve their skills in guitar, voice, drums, piano, keyboard, and even turntables. They then put their musicianship to practical use in extended jam sessions, learning how to be expressive and glue their instrument back together after smashing it. Once pupils have progressed to a professional level, they can check out Bach to Rock's professional recording studios, which are open to artists who want to lay down tracks for an album or fine-tune their already-existing songs.
Ego Music shares the gift of music with students in an intimate studio environment or through comfortable at-home lessons. Students can stop in to one of three area locations to start down path toward violin, voice, or guitar mastery or learn in the home with one of the school’s knowledgeable instructors. Covering a variety of available instruments, music lessons have been known to help boost test scores, build discipline, and increase their likelihood of head-butting a bust of Handel in excitement.
Founder-director Isabel Benemelis grew up in Cuba, surrounded by the mambo tunes and Afro-Cuban rhythms that earned the country its reputation as a musical hot spot. At age 4 she took up the piano, and by 7 she found herself "mesmerized by the music of Beethoven, Chopin, and Bach" whenever it hit her ears. This immersion in multiple genres influenced Benemelis when she built her school from oboe reeds in 1995: faculty members specialize in classical music, but ably veer into jazz and Latin scores if students have an interest. During one-on-one, 30-minute lessons, they teach adults and children older than age 4 to play piano, guitar, saxophone, bongos, and a host of other instruments. In keeping with the school’s multidisciplinary roots, many instructors are also fluent in English and Spanish.
The Guitar Lab elevates musicians' guitar-playing skills with lessons for players in all stages of the learning process. Lessons cover a wide range of knowledge, from music theory and sight reading to improvisation, with a focus on experimentation. Instructors also put an emphasis on ensemble playing, offering lessons with The Guitar Orchestra, in which up to 12 guitarists participate in workshop-style group lessons.