The idyllic building in which The Little Red School of Art and Music resides represents the homey community feel of the school as a whole. For two decades, founder Carolyn West has worked hard to maintain that atmosphere, allowing kids to express themselves in music and art classes, which range from private guitar lessons to small-group painting and cartooning classes.
Creative Music Center’s skilled teachers have been nurturing musical talent in students of all ages and skill levels for nearly three decades, earning recognition for their efforts with a Best Music Lessons and Instruments award from Moffly Media readers in 2009. They achieve this high level of instruction by adapting their teaching styles to the needs of each pupil rather than insisting that everyone play Mozart or eat sheet music for breakfast. While private lessons prep students to play everything from the viola to the trombone, teachers also foster camaraderie through group lessons for piano and guitar. Students who haven’t hollowed out a baguette to make their own French horn can rent or buy an instrument from the center, which stocks brands such as Yamaha and Fender.
Turnpike Music Garage tends to all musical needs with an impressive line-up of instruments, gear, and lessons. The inventory includes amps, Casio digital pianos, OSP electric drums, and Seagull acoustic guitars. They also rent school-approved band and orchestra instruments. In-house specialists go beyond fixing instruments, they give lessons in guitar, viola, cello, drums, trumpet, and more.
Since 2002, Rock House's system of musical instruction—which comprises DVDs, books, and Web-based lesson support—has helped aspiring rock stars to master strumming guitars, plucking basses, and tickling keyboards to a variety of different genres. Several renowned blues, rock, and metal artists have participated in the Rock House program, including members of Megadeth, The Gary Hoey Band, and Parliament-Funkadelic. In addition to their training materials, Rock House also certifies instructors at local music centers so they can conduct one-on-one private lessons tailored to enhancing students' strengths and neutralizing their weaknesses, such as the inability to destroy a guitar on the first smash.
Staff Size: 2–10 people
Average Duration of Services: 30–60 minutes
Brands Used: Mix Vocal Technique and Faber Piano Method
Pro Tip: Learn the #1 vocal technique of the stars or play the piano in just one lesson .
Nicole Kristoff, director of Kokopelli School of Music and Arts, doesn't just run the show?she also draws on her 18 years of dance experience to teach evening classes such as hip-hop for kids and Piloxing for adults. As a whole, the school covers a much broader range of arts education, though, including theater, dance in styles such as ballet and hula hooping, and visual arts. Music buffs also hone their craft in private lessons, which can focus on instruments ranging from guitar to cello.