From the passenger seats of two 2012 Toyota Corollas, Access2Drive Driving School's English- and Spanish-speaking instructors dispense valuable advice about every aspect of four-wheeled transportation. During hands-on lessons, students of all ages take the wheel to practice parallel parking and find a parking space that's not in the middle of a monster-truck arena. Students satisfy the state's pre-licensing mandate with five-hour courses that span topics such as driving within the transportation system and developing appropriate habits and skills. Those who enroll in the school's defensive-driving course get 10% off on any insurance purchased in New York for a period of three years.
Situated on Molloy College's campus, the 550-seat Madison Theatre welcomes a diverse lineup of entertainment to its stage in 2012, from music education and string quartets to cabaret acts and plays. The Teaching Artists Ensemble of the New York Philharmonic draws kids into an afternoon of interactive music-making with fun woodwind and percussion instruments during Kaleidoscope. Earlier in the month, John Pizzarelli weaves his crooning pipes with the crystalline vocals of his wife, Broadway songstress Jessica Molaskey, all while trading jazz guitar licks with his father, the renowned jazz ax man Bucky Pizzarelli. As the John Pizzarelli Trio, they nourish ears like a turducken of sound during a set of original compositions and bebop-infused standards from the Great American Songbook. At the end of April, ETHEL skewers the audience's perception of the classic string quartet through rapid improvisation and unorthodox amplification of their instruments, a practice they've employed while recording with rock greats such as Todd Rundgren and David Byrne.
Ken Benshish and Yi Qian both grew up loving music, but the process of learning to play it ranged from uninspiring to mind numbing. The two musicians started iSchool of Music & Art to provide a much different experience—a positive, supportive atmosphere that takes into account each student’s personality and goals. Students aged 3 and older who can’t tell a drumstick from a plectrum and don’t even know the street value of a quarter note can learn piano, drums, guitar, or voice skills from scratch, then test their newfound skills with multiple performance opportunities throughout the year. Instructors host private classes or group students into their own rock-band performance troupes, while intensive camps culminate in field trips to Lincoln Center and tour of a real recording studio.
The more than a dozen brick-and-mortar locations that make up Ultimate Champions Taekwondo Association share not only a style of combat, but a teaching philosophy as well. Tracing the lineage of their combative art back to Grandmaster Sang K. Oh, the instructors adhere to his teachings, exemplified by the quote, "The person who can defeat others with flashy techniques but is without love toward his fellow man will in the end defeat himself." Students use the physical empowerment of mastering jumps, kicks, and weapons to arm themselves with discipline, confidence, concentration, self-respect, and courtesy for others.
Outside of the classroom, the organization reaches out to the tri-state community with ample demonstrations of some of their most exciting techniques. Practitioners soar skyward in flying kicks or fill the air with the whirring blows of nunchakus, bos, and kamas. Fists slam through boards, balloons, and bricks to demonstrate the striking power of tae kwon do and the structural flaws in the Three Little Pigs' panic room.
An innovative, child-focused program pioneered in Korea, E.nopi's educational classes have enriched and enlightened curious kids for 30 years with individualized approaches that strive to understand the child’s point of view. Each class begins with a skills assessment to tailor instruction to children's strengths before launching into a fun and approachable lesson that may use learning aides such as colorful workbooks, whimsical wooden shapes, and entertaining audio CDs. New concepts are continually revisited in a variety of creative contexts to reinforce learned skills and keep ideas from taking their summer escapes to libraries in the Caribbean, and light, consistent take-home work is encouraged to keep intellectual elements flowing. Math classes stress critical thinking and problem solving to engage brainy bambinos in independent thought as they glean a better understanding of arithmetic, patterns, geometry, and more. Meanwhile, English classes streamline skills in listening, speaking, reading, and writing, resulting in the ability to lull parents to sleep with softly read news articles. Geared toward ages 3–14, each class is aligned to U.S. educational standards and can serve as educational enrichment, a supplement to regular schooling, or preparation for being a contestant on Are You Smarter Than a 5th Grader?.
Long Island Nail & Skin Care Institute president Dana Caruso juggles a busy schedule. When she’s not working behind the scenes at New York Fashion Week or appearing on Access Hollywood, she champions a science-based curriculum that helps students to master everything from makeup to laser services. Once students gain a sufficiently diverse skill set from the school portion of the center, they apply what they've learned inside the Institute’s spa. There, professionals supervise students as they perform facials, airbrush tanning, and body sugaring, a treatment mainly intended to attract mad hatters who run out of sweetener.