At Halcyon Diversified Trading, professional musician Tim Braun bestows string-pluckers of all experience levels with chord-striking knowhow via 30-minute private lessons. Pick manipulators will benefit from the guitar guru's relaxed-yet-detailed instruction over the course of four lessons. Students can hone in on any number of diverse genres, including jazz, country, rock, or blues, the latter of which is ideal for writing 12-bar laments about the plodding pace of tort reform or lack of events to wear bow ties to. With more than 10 years experience playing and recording in multiple styles and genres, Tim can transform clients’ previously pointless fingers into tune creators and melody midwives, and he’s gracefully flexible when it comes to scheduling lessons. To keep from spreading fret germs, customers must bring their own guitar.
The teaching staff of the Toon Shop, a former Kansas City fixture founded in 1948, now helms the newly inaugurated Village Music Academy. More than 40 independent instructors harness their combined 400 years of experience to immerse students of all levels in rock, classical, jazz, pop, and country techniques. 48 studio spaces—enough for each member of the Partridge Family to practice individually at once—nurture instruction in strings, woodwinds, and horns, and an auditorium showcases the results with appropriate reverence. The staff also helps prepare students for school band or orchestra. Sunny days might find an open-air audience gathered to watch the school's musicians performing in the plaza of the Prairie Village Shopping Center.
Soon-to-be guitar, bass, drums, keyboard, and vocal heroes will use professional-quality instruments and equipment to learn to croon, lay down killer bass lines, and discover David Lee Roth's pole-vaulting theatrics. Students will study the tricks of the wall-shaking trade with School of Rock's entire down-to-earth, guitar-shredding staff. Enrollment is rolling and based on seasons, with each season ending in a student-designed rockstravaganza of immortal proportions.
Wonk Entertainment's audio alchemists turn raw musical talent into refined, professional-grade tracks in their cutting-edge studio. Wonk Entertainment will spend up to five hours with anywhere from one performer to as many as will fit into the studio, making sure no barbershop quartet, David Hasselhoff cover band, or glee club is left out. Every tone and solo will be captured and cut by state of the art equipment, including a Neve V3 console, Pro Tools HD, and three Darth Vader voice changers. Projects can range anywhere in complexity from a garage band's demo reel to a love-song recording or a business's new, relentlessly catchy commercial jingle.
First Chair Fiddlers' founder, Rachel Gaither, leads a team of professional musicians and songwriters who teach students of all ages how to make beautiful music using pianos, guitars, violins, and the sound of their own voice. The team's collective résumé includes gigs playing in Celtic folk bands, opera performances across the country, and stints on New York City's singer-songwriter circuit. Under the team's guidance, kids and adults alike study the finer points of singing and playing various instruments, and later show off their newfound talents during summertime open-mic concerts, recitals, and impromptu 3 a.m. performances on their neighbors' front lawns. The teachers at First Chair Fiddlers also offer aspiring musicians advice on topics such as crafting a moving song or keeping a band together through lineup changes.
Darin Parker's pipes have led him to performances at Carnegie Hall and a Grammy Award as a member of the Kansas City Chorale, but he doesn't rest on his soaring voice alone. He also helps aspiring musicians and established pianos alike find the right pitch with private voice and piano lessons and careful tuning, respectively. Every year, Parker aims to turn his talents to an even higher cause: an avid outdoorsman, Parker has used musical events to raise awareness for the long-distance bike rides and canoe trips he's undertaken to earn funds for the Alzheimer's Association.