Meter's expert mentors gently coax students of all levels of experience to new heights of harmonious triumph. Strut into a musical wonderland as spectacular as Def Leppard's hair-salon invoice with individual instruction in guitar, piano, drums, and a menagerie of other instruments. Students of all ages may test the waters of rhythm with introductory lessons or work toward virtuosity with guided practice drills. Weekly courses allow armchair cellists to gradually augment their skills while working through their favorite pop song or a conductor's favorite train lullaby. The school's euphonious staff excels in a varied range of musical genera, and a full list of the instruments for which Meter offers lessons can be found here.
A teaching team of professional performers guides kids, teens, and adults toward rhythmic bliss at The Music Factory. All skill levels of rockers-to-be are welcome to begin their journey on a host of instruments including guitar, piano, their own voice box, most wind instruments, and string instruments such as the ukulele or the shoehorn. Along the way, students pick up popular songs, discuss music theory, and practice improvisation should a crazed fan attack the stage in the middle of a gnarly flute solo. A laid-back atmosphere encourages budding bassists to stick with their studies, and lessons are typically held once or twice a week.
Northwest Film Forum was founded in 1995 by two filmmakers eager to explore their art with an equally eager audience; today, the nonprofit organization screens more than 200 independent and classic films annually, while offering support for filmmakers and more than 60 classes a year for future filmmakers of all ages. Your supporting membership will get you discounted tickets to live performances and special events, access to films at member prices ($6 for regular screenings), and exclusive, members-only invitations to parties and screenings. Members at these levels also receive free large-popcorn refilling privileges at films. To stay plugged into the community, members also get a subscription to the Forum's printed, quarterly calendar and the option to join the weekly email digest. Memberships last a whole year, which makes them great annual gifts for once-yearly events such as birthdays, holidays, and weddings.
Each of the guitar coaches at American Guitar Academy are certified in the school’s signature teaching method. Developed over 25 years, this house-honed instruction technique incorporates scientific research to help fingers learn to shred frets up to eight times faster than alternative methods. During private half-hour lessons, instructors guide budding rock stars aged 4 years and up through the basics of strumming chords and seamlessly stitching together riffs. These comprehensive lessons on classical, electric, or acoustic guitars are offered once a week with a live instructor or online and guarantee that students will be playing their favorite music within six months of training. Students may begin lessons without owning a guitar, but are encouraged to gain access to one quickly for mastering scales and the ability to solo with their teeth.
It would be inadequate to call Garage a bowling alley, even though bowlers roll strikes down its 20 lanes. It's also not just a pool hall, despite its 25 billiards tables, or a restaurant, even though Chef Garrett Michael Brown offers a menu with rustic pizzas and slow-roast pork ribs every night. Owners Jill Young-Rosenast and Alex Rosenast used their years of experience running venues such as RockCandy and Temple Billiards to create an all-inclusive playland for the 21-and-older crowd.
The Rosenasts carefully designed every inch of Garage's 40,000 square feet of space, an old Plymouth dealership and garage on Capitol Hill built in 1928. At first, it was primarily a pool hall, but it's been changing and expanding since day one. In addition to the fun inside, it now boasts a sprawling-but-stylish covered patio, complete with bar, so that there's no delay in dispatching cocktails and bottles from an extensive wine list. (In the winter, the space is heated.) Despite these changes, the original industrial vibe still permeates the decor. The Rosenasts filled the various spaces with high ceilings and exposed wooden trusses, which hang over accents of high-gloss automotive paint and '50s-style furniture.
Other areas seem more like art galleries. In the Echo Room—one of the Garage's private spaces—a 50-foot photo mural from photographer Nick Brandt depicts an elephant herd led by its matriarch, harkening back to a time before pachyderms came with GPS. Private events also fill the Star Lounge, which houses pool tables, six additional bowling lanes, and two of Jill's own art installations, including a display of dolls recovered from bombed factories in Eastern Bloc countries.
The experienced dance instructors at Century Ballroom teach novice and veteran hoofers alike on its 2,000-square-foot dance floor, schooling on the basics of a variety of toe-tapping numbers. Aspiring rug-cutters select a dance style for the five-week course ($60), with options including the East Coast swing, energetic Lindy hop, and sultry tango. In 60-minute classes, learn the basic foot patterns and seductive steps of salsa—a blend of Afro-Cuban and Latin moves set on the crunchy surface of a tortilla chip—or glide across the floor in a sophisticated waltz set to the music of Strauss. Century Ballroom shares a building with The Tin Table restaurant, allowing dancers to replenish calories expended during energetic sashays and face-melting jazz hands.