A group of musicians step onto a parade trailer and man their requisite noisemakers—guitars, bass, and drums. Only months ago, they may have never even picked up an instrument, much less thought they'd be part of a band playing a live gig. But now, their nimble fingers deftly play live covers of The Beatles, AC/DC, and Maroon 5, which pump from speakers as the movable stage winds through Lehi's streets.
The university-trained instructors of Utah School of Music & Dance organize music and dance recitals like these each year, helping students of all ages and abilities to share their burgeoning expertise. Profiled by the Utah Valley Business Blog, the school encompasses both private and group training studios where tutors such as guitarist Scott Miller—author of Mel Bay's Getting Into Jazz Fusion Guitar—help emerging Mozarts as young as 3 to master woodwinds, percussion, or the art of destroying a guitar amplifier. During dance classes, expressive movers practice hip-hop, jazz, or ballet moves atop a supportive floating floor, lingering afterward in a waiting room decked out with complimentary movies and WiFi.
Dan Whitley, a former vocalist and bass player with The Letterman, works alongside accomplished music educators and musicians to develop minds and broaden students' appreciation of the world through music. They offer everything from voice and instrument lessons for all ages to lessons in stage presence and music theory.
Dan also runs band and orchestra classes and helps clients record their music and audio dream journals at his recording studio.
Two-Can Fly Paragliding's owner and founder, Ken Hudonjorgensen, has been helping students into the air since 1990. He has flown more than 13,000 times—for more than 4,000 hours in the air—since he began paragliding in 1989. The sport has blossomed since then, and Ken is dedicated to keeping up with trends and helping others safely find their wings so they can finally realize that clouds don't taste like cream cheese. In addition to introductory lessons, Ken helps fliers gain any level of certification; he boasts a Safe Pilot award and the highest single-seater rating of P5. For basic P2 certification, Two-Can Fly Paragliding mandates at least 100 flights to make sure students have the skills down. In addition to one-on-one lessons, Ken leads clinics on more advanced topics, such as mountain flying and tandem paragliding.
With the private, personal instruction from experienced musicians, kids will soon be shaking the walls and integrating British slang into their vocabulary. In the Performance Program (a $275 value), budding musicians learn the fundamentals of playing an instrument during a weekly 45-minute private lesson as well as one weekly group rehearsal. At the end of the season, students have the opportunity to perform at a rock venue (past student performances have included Pink Floyd's The Wall, AC/DC, Best of the '80s, and Devo). The All Access Membership Program (a $180 value) offers a 30-minute weekly lesson along with a one-hour weekly jam session and two tickets to each of the school's seasonal shows. In this program, students are free to focus on what they want to learn, whether it be perfecting a favorite rock song or practicing improvisation skills. Enrollment is rolling and based on seasons.
Gymboree offers a bevy of baby-engaging classes in which parents and wee ones work together to build the tot's creativity and encourage development through play. Weekly classes are available for the freshly born sapling to the 5-years-young wise wanderer. This deal includes rhythm-building music classes, mobility-enhancing sports classes, and Gymboree's most popular class, Play & Learn. The month membership allows you to take one class per week, with make-ups available during enrollment if you miss a class. This deal also includes unlimited attendance at Gymboree's open gym sessions (contact location for schedule), and you will receive a $25 certificate (requiring a $50 minimum purchase) for Gymboree clothing purchased online or at a Gymboree clothing store.
MusicGarage.Org's staff has produced more than 600 young students in more than 400 concerts, it takes less than 90 days to get onstage. Led by a group of talented musicians and instructors, programs help students hone their singing, soloing, and stagecraft before they play a live concert for family and friends. Throughout the year, the 4,500-square-foot rehearsal facility hosts afterschool programs, where bands develop a full set of covers or original songs for an end-of-quarter show. Besides nurturing the next generation of rockers, MusicGarage.Org runs recording programs where kids learn how to use the latest audio technology, as well as a 1,500-square-foot venue for professionals to rehearse, perform, or devise plot points for their future VH1 music documentary.