Musikgarten classes elevate kinesthetic, logical, spatial, and social intelligences through musical instruction to children ages 3 months to 10 years. Each course responds to the developmental needs of a particular age group, with activities and acquired skills becoming more complex as classes ascend in age group. Family Music for Babies (ages 3–16 months) engages an adult and infant with 30–35 minutes of bouncing songs, dancing, and playing simple instruments. Curiosity curdles in amateur earthling brains and a foundation for future musical exploration is set during the Cycle of Seasons course, where children 3-1/2 to 5 years of age flirt with the foundations of rhythm and tune, coddle concentration skills, and garner the ability to self-express through sound waves. The Young Musician and Piano class, for ages 4-1/2–6 and 7–10 respectively, focus on symbolic thinking, memory, and listening acuity, and run for 55–60 minutes or until the first prodigious rock opera has been composed.
When Seattle Drum School owner and founder Steve Smith first began leading private lessons, bands such as Queen and Pink Floyd were just hitting their stride. That was nearly four decades ago, before air guitar became a legitimate art form, and well before Steve opened the doors to SDS in 1986. Since then, though, Steve has fostered the school into a thriving music institution, and one that currently boasts a faculty of more than 40 talented teachers. Such a large staff translates into an equally diverse selection of lessons for students, who can hone their skills in everything from guitar, piano, and voice to saxophone, turntables, and, of course, drums.
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.
Imparting wisdom from more than 30 years of photography experience, Philip Meadows helps students learn the craft of capturing light and images to create authentic, original compositions. Capped at 15 people each and taught by one of three instructors, Roadmap to Your Camera classes spend 2.5 hours exploring the functions of a camera and their various roles in creating a compelling photograph. Though point-and-shoot digital cameras are welcome, the workshop's information best works for those with cameras with several functions, such as varying shutter speeds, ISO settings, and a chupacabra-proximity alarm. Pixels to Prints is a 2.5-hour presentation and tutorial dedicated to learning the best methods to organize photos stored on your hard drive. The workshop also explores basic editing techniques to create high-quality images to share online or print.
The summer may be ending, but it's not too late to step the mast, rig the sail, and head out on the open water of Lake Washington. This Groupon gets you an adult unlimited sailing pass for the rest of the year to Sail Sand Point, located along the western shore of Lake Washington just five miles north of the University of Washington. A membership gets you and up to three friends out on the water with access to Sail Sand's range of boats. The adult pass is normally $175 for the whole summer, whether you buy it in May or September (though they do offer an early bird special of $150 if you purchase before April 1). With this Groupon, just $50 will get you in on the action for the rest of the 2009 sailing season. Note: Sail Sand Point closes on October 15—that's two months of sailing and access to Sail Sand Point boats.