Songdog Music likens learning an instrument to baking—it requires following steps sequentially, honoring precision and timing, and mixing all the right ingredients together. It's a science; it's also a passion and an outlet for extraordinary self-expression. Songdog's instructors keep all those ingredients in focus when teaching personalized lessons in guitar, violin, and virtually all stringed instruments. They keep lessons low-key and focus on the kinds of music students want to play, be it rock, rhythm and blues, metal, or classical. By focusing on the music that students are interested in, instructors not only teach technique, but they give budding musicians the freedom to create their own original tunes. Songdog also offers classes in composition and theory, as well as group classes that give musicians the opportunity to mingle and meet others with similar ambitions.
Musically speaking, Cleveland is most famous for the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. But the city’s melodic legacy also has humbler roots, with Club Rock, a kid-centric music school that fosters lessons, workshops, and live performances by burgeoning young musicians. During classes, the staff of performing artists teaches a variety of instruments and vocal techniques to students, such as pitch control and proper breathing when singing about lost love or lost lunch money.
Dustin Oliver has served as the choir and drama director at Akron North High School and the fine-arts director at Celebration Church, so he knows a thing or two about putting on a performance. Add to that nearly 15 years practicing the guitar, nearly 20 years honing his piano and voice skills, and at least a few minutes humming the theme to M.A.S.H., and it becomes obvious that this artist is a multi-talented whiz. An accomplished musician and composer with a Bachelor’s degree in music from Southeastern University, Dustin is earning his Master’s in theatre from the University of Akron, making him a veritable double threat and a valuable resource for aspiring musicians and actors. When not adding to his own skill set, he leads private and group music lessons in guitar, piano, bass, and voice for students ages 5 and older—as well as private and group acting lessions—following well-established curricula.
Miss Jessie, Miss Mandie, Miss Karen, Miss Michelle, Miss Megan, and Miss Sharon have spent their entire lives learning, teaching, and playing music. Thanks to that devotion and a shared passion for helping children learn and grow, their paths have crossed as Kindermusik educators. At locations in Canton, Farmington Hills, and Southgate, the six women lead musical programs designed to foster each child’s cognitive, social, and physical development. Students sing, dance, and listen, and do so in an environment that is free from the pressures of performing or becoming the Internet’s most popular meme.
The experienced J.A.M. Entertainment instructor schools guitar strummers, mandolin pickers, and bass pluckers on a wide variety of music styles in the privacy of his own fully equipped studio. A dedicated, Band Ayd Systems–supported musician and experienced stringed-instrument pedant, Joe Maio can train students one-on-one in acoustic, electric, and air strumming. His program combines music theory with audio jam tracks so that students can get an idea of what it's like to play among other instruments without having to assemble a garage philharmonic orchestra. Within his studio's quiet confines, students can pursue a course of study on guitar, mandolin, and bass, and learn to play Latin guitar, country picking, electric blues, Top 40 wailing, or classical bass music. Students can also opt for music-theory lessons, or a music-theory class dedicated specifically to guitar theory.
At Mordent Music, 10-year teaching veteran Stephanie Teller calls upon her experiences as a schoolteacher and professional concert pianist as she shares her passion for tickling keys with aspiring Chopins of all ages and skill levels. During half-hour or longer piano lessons, Teller beckons proteges over to a rich, resonant baby grand to learn how to play contemporary pop, country, or hip-hop songs as well as more traditional classical music. Teller instructs younger pupils through lively games and creative exercises, and challenge older, more serious students with the Royal Conservatory of Music curriculum, which elevates piano proficiency through written study and a regimen of 100 finger pushups a day.