Justin Ashouri got a fast start in the music industry. He’s been a musician since the age of 5, and at 15 he began a professional career that would link him to such big-time acts as Prince, Lenny Kravitz, and The Kingsmen. At 18, frustrated with his instructors and their insistence on only teaching him how to play “MacArthur Park,” he began to lead his own lessons. Today, nearly a decade later, his professional and pedagogical gigs intertwine at Peace of Mind Music Lessons, where he both instructs and performs 10 different instruments. These range from the acoustic guitar to the piano, harmonica, and trumpet. He also teaches behind-the-scenes arts such as songwriting, classical composition, and using Pro Tools.
Anthem Music Lessons is the brainchild of two passionate rockers: Phil Ernst, a Musicians Institute of Technology grad and professional guitarist, and his protégé, Jared Canchola. Along with a staff of other touring and professional musicians, they lead lessons for students of all abilities in a variety of instruments, including guitar, bass, voice, piano, drums, strings, brass, and music theory. They tailor each lesson to the individual’s skill level, emphasizing proper musicianship and music creation. For more advanced students, they conduct band programs that involve weekly rehearsals with an instructor and provided music charts.
Vocal coach Kelly Gabel has a decade of experience singing alongside her students, from serving as a director of musical shows to a teacher in elementary schools or as a private coach at KD Vocals. Kelly helps singers 7 and older prepare their talents for auditions and musical productions and to simply build their repertoire.
Relevé's team of talented instructors strives to foster students’ self-confidence and hone their technical skills in a full spectrum of dance styles, from basic ballet to ballroom dance. Bambinos and bambinas ages 2–4 can rev their brand-new motor skills in a 45-minute class that teaches basic ballet positions and social skills, such as waiting their turn to riding the studio's elephant, while Latin ballroom lessons help teens ignite the prom dance floor with tango, waltz, and salsa steps. See Relevé’s schedule for full details.
At Hollywood Academy of Music, youthful exuberance mingles with experienced instruction by university-trained teachers during private and group lessons, camps, and clinics. Individual lessons in more than a dozen instruments teach students to strum a guitar's strings, tickle a piano's keys, or purée beats with a kitchen blender. In group classes such as the School of Rock Band 101, teachers help groups of kids or adults grasp band basics, and in the Recording Artist program students learn to create and release their own self-produced CD on software they can use at home. Hollywood Academy of Music also helps students and the general public to hone their tune tutelage at free monthly clinics that range from songwriting to wailing the ran-out-of-matching-socks blues on a guitar.
Sessions take place in air-conditioned studios equipped with observation windows and high-quality pianos, guitar amps, and drums. Instructors also work with aspiring entertainers to help them put together a vocal repertoire, with some students advancing to compete on shows such as American Idol and The Voice.
Sheri Pedigo's students are prepared for a competitive musical market filled with auditions, challenging business decisions, and bigtime talent competitions such as The Voice, American Idol, and America's Got Talent. Their star factor all comes down to the quality of their voice, which they refine at Voice Works, Pedigo's vocal coaching center. Her vocal lessons and workshops focus on topics ranging from technique and stage presence to more industry-specific skills, including working with managers and agents and understanding royalties.