Understanding that each child learns differently, the staff members of Sylvan Learning Center’s numerous study centers design custom lesson programs. Based on the results of standardized testing, diagnostic tools, and one-on-one interviews, the staff works with students to help them to firmly grasp basic skills such as reading, writing, math, and how to remember facts without tattooing them to their chest. Programs target students in kindergarten through grade 12 and mold to various learning styles, helping kids to feel more comfortable in the classroom. After-school or summer classes can ready high-school students for the rigors of the ACT or the SAT, or they can help students to wow college admissions officers with their superior writing skills, exemplary test scores, and willingness to arm-wrestle the school mascot.
After graduating cum laude from Duquesne University's Mary Pappert School of Music, violinist Kendra Vernon went on to earn a degree in violin performance at Duquesne's Honors College. In 2002, she took the next logical step: sharing her hard-earned skills with aspiring violinists during private lessons. At Vernon Music Studio, she tailors each lesson to the needs of the individual to help students pick up skills quickly and thoroughly. All lessons are one-on-one and free of distractions, and there's a comfortable waiting area for parents.
To propel students feet-first into the industry, the San Francisco School of Digital Filmmaking has designed a project-based curriculum that combines traditional classroom study with real-world training. The school's one-year program covers the filmmaking process from start to finish, including independent filmmaking in different genres such as fiction, commercials, documentary, and straight-to-Internet shorts of cats completing three-act emotional arcs without ever leaving their boxes. At the end of the project-based program, each student comes away with more than five completed projects that include a 30-second commercial and an 8- to 12-minute thesis film, plus crewing on an additional 25 or more student films. The school also leads shorter programs and workshops designed for the active student, film enthusiast, or veteran filmmaker. Workshops include one-day, two-week, five-week, and three-month filmmaking courses, and a six-month documentary filmmaking program, though few humans can stay awake for a full six month-long movie.
Recently profiled by The Atlantic for its members' innovative inventions, TechShop’s supportive community of inventors, artists, technicians, and alchemists share their excitement about the next big idea in an environment limited only by their collective imagination. The 17,000-square-foot smorgasbord of inventive creativity beckons people of all skill levels to its DIY confines, where members can wield tools not found in most private workshops, slicing through steel with a plasma cutter or accessing 3-D design software to finally realize the goal of crawling inside the Internet. Hands-on classes jump-start creative juices, introducing students to vocational skills including welding, soldering, and woodworking. Neophyte inventors aged 12–17 are welcome but must be accompanied by a parent or guardian to ensure they don't break physics.
Stepping behind the bar at a nightclub typically results in being escorted off the premises. For students of San Francisco School of Bartending, however, it often results in a job. The school complements its 35-hour bartender certification course with mini shifts at a nightclub, where students learn to manage a crowded bar without responding “no” to every order. In classroom sessions, meanwhile, students learn the tricks of the trade, such as how to set up a bar, blend drinks, and free pour. Beyond directly drink-related skills, they also learn to properly handle money and craft compelling resumés. The flexible class times accommodate all schedules, and graduates can return to the school for unlimited job-placement aid.
Trained by legendary acting teacher Sanford Meisner, Christy English Wioncek opened the Bay Area Acting Studio to teach a new generation of actors how to—in the words of her mentor—"live truthfully under imaginary circumstances." Her stable of equally Meisner-steeped instructors leads classes including introductory adult courses, intensive courses for working thespians, and children's classes for young'uns looking to break into the industry early or convince babysitters they've been diagnosed with a life-threatening ice-cream deficiency.