The Sing With Me curriculum stretches back to the late 19th century, when a duo of sisters and early-education researchers composed the tune that would eventually become "Happy Birthday to You." Donating the popular song's royalties to a foundation, the song eventually financed the research of Ken Guilmartin, who was pursuing the role of music in early cognitive development. Teaming up with fellow researcher Lili Levinowitz, Guilmartin founded Music Together LLC, a system of musical learning that allowed kids from birth to age 7 and their parents to access the joys of music together in a fun, supportive environment. Although not every child is destined for a career as a concert pianist, Sing With Me’s teachers start from the philosophy that all children have some innate musical sense and can be taught to sing in tune, move rhythmically, and distinguish a recorder from a Charleston Chew.
The professional, classically trained instructors at Noble Art Institute of Music edify instrument wranglers with in-depth music lessons. Students ages 3 and up tuck into one-on-one sessions with degreed teachers. Each lesson is customized to the participant's level and based upon his or her needs, teaching classical-guitar students to master chords, piano scholars to sail through scales, and vocal apprentices to tailor their arias to a particular concert hall or elevator. Those who continue at the school can participate in year-round events, such as recitals, chamber-music ensembles, community-service gatherings, and clandestine hoedowns, which strictly forbid sheet music.
It's said that music builds neurological pathways in the brain like no other experience. The co-owners of Sing N Move, Miss April and Miss Lena, facilitate this firsthand every day during their Kindermusik classes, which help boost brain function through musical exploration.
Kids not only stretch their creative muscles, but also their actual muscles—the classes challenge fine motor skills by encouraging tots to play instruments and bop along to the beat. Miss April and Miss Lena have even taken their own children to Kindermusik classes and have seen them blossom there, which is why they opened their studio in the first place.
In 1998, School of Rock's first location was built in Philadelphia to strengthen kids' self-confidence, develop their musicianship, and most importantly, spark an insatiable enthusiasm to learn. Today, the School of Rock franchise has branched out to more than 65 locations throughout the United States and Mexico. During the school's music lessons, encouraging instructors well versed in methods of rocking and rolling—such as strumming guitars, tickling keyboards, and causing avalanches with yodels—demystify music theory for mini Mick Jaggers of all skill levels.
School of Rock's Rock 101 program acquaints beginners with the instrument of their choice using a curriculum of weekly private lessons and group band rehearsals. Virtuosos ready to hit the stage can participate in the performance program, which prepares students for live performances that pay homage to beloved rock icons such as Queen, Led Zeppelin, and Mount Rushmore.
Music has been a part of Jennifer Esposito's life since the fifth grade, when she picked up her first trumpet. She went on to earn a degree in music education at Montclair State University. In addition to teaching at the elementary and high school levels, she studied with seasoned musicians and performed with groups such as the Princeton Youth Orchestra and The Harrison Bushwackers.
When Jennifer enrolled her daughter in the Kindermusik program, its mix of music, family bonding, education eventually solidified her own desire to teach little ones. She's now a certified instructor and the owner of her own studio, Kindermusik with Ms. Jenni. She leads classes that involve children of all ages and their families. Newborns and toddlers can dive into the finer points of musical expression through imaginative play, song, and dance—activities that also develop language, social skills, and Beatle impressions. As youngsters grow, they progress to wind, stringed, and keyboard instruments.
A full wall of cymbals. A huge stock of both new and used guitars and drums, some of them custom-made. And, out of sight, the sounds of instructors teaching students to master two dozen different instruments. In addition to private lessons, Division Street Music Shop's group classes bundle grownups into rock bands, teach ensembles to improvise jazz, and cover genre-specific curricula such as rock and blues guitar. Summer music camps are packed with recording and performance opportunities so that kids don’t get bored and spend the whole three months re-doing last year’s homework.