Though many people consider playing an instrument to be a lovely skill or hobby, the team at Dean Music Institute looks at it a bit differently. That’s because after a quarter century spent creating and teaching music, they have seen how learning to play an instrument improves both the player’s creativity and brain function, resulting in better test scores, memory, and decision-making skills. They also understand that students will reap the most benefits if they enjoy their courses of study. And so, when instructors lead group sessions in guitar or private lessons in piano, bass, or guitar, they set realistic goals in short assignments and dive into popular songs that students actually want to learn how to play. For those too busy to make it into the studio, they also offer lessons over Skype, and flash classes see instructors and students holding impromptu jam sessions at cafés, bars, shopping centers, and parking-ticket-violation hearings to share a love of artistic expression with the public.