Classes in Toms River

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In 1976, Joan Barnes—a California mom frustrated with the lack of spaces where she could take her kids for safe and age-appropriate play time—took matters into her own hands and founded Gymboree Play and Music. In the decades since Gymboree’s founding, Joan’s vision of a safe place where youngsters could build confidence and creativity has come to fruition and spread to 30 countries around the globe. Staffed by attentive and expertly trained instructors, each Gymboree outpost adheres to a curriculum of activities designed by experts to foster the development of children's cognitive, physical, and social skills through structured play and close readings of Goodnight Moon. The staffers also conduct entertaining classes for parents, newborns, and children under 1 year that cover subjects ranging from music to sports, imparting valuable lessons of imagination and physical activity to developing minds. To further set apart her business, Barnes employed nationally renowned playground designer Jay Beckwith to design the proprietary play equipment at her centers.

1333 Route 9
Toms River,
NJ
US

Bob Meyer, who has spent many a tour alongside bands such as Metallica, The Rolling Stones, Phish, and The Allman Brothers, helms Give To Live Guitar Studios, which provides music lessons with a focus on community outreach. He and his staff of experienced, enthusiastic instructors welcome students for lessons in stringed instruments such as guitar, violin, banjo, mandolin, or bass as well as drums, vocals, and keyboards. They teach in all styles, from Bach to rock and roll, and help their students move from basics to live performance, hosting benefit concerts for local charities.

126 South Main Street
Toms River,
NJ
US

Give to Live Guitar Studios strives to get aspiring musicians onto the stage as quickly as possible. Whether students are interested in playing Bach on nylon-stringed classical guitars or rock on electric guitars, Give to Live's instructors seek to make players performance-ready within six months. The studio also frequently promotes benefit concerts that give players a chance to showcase their progress while raising money for charity.

44 Washington Ave
Toms River,
NJ
US

Equipment: Matrix, StarTrac, Hammer Strength
Students should bring: Water
Average class length: 60 minutes
Number of Staff: 5–10 people
Class location: Indoors only
Established: 2007
Parking: Parking lot

Q&A with Michele, Business Owner

Exercise is challenging, and people frequently give up on their fitness routines. How do you keep clients motivated?
Exercising alone takes a lot of self-discipline. Although it is done, there is that fraction of people who need motivation. One-on-one training with a certified personal trainer can certainly give you that extra push to obtain your body goals. And, if that doesn't suit you, then group training with a friend or aerobics classes can motivate a client. It's social, fun, and a great workout.

What's the most radical physical transformation you've seen a client make?
A person who hired a personal trainer for one year told us he went through a divorce, let alcohol consume him, gained excessive weight, and suffered depression. He knew it was time for a change, so he took the initiative to join the gym and hire a personal trainer. He not only lost 55 pounds, but also rejuvenated his spirit. We were very very proud of his transformation.

1779 Hooper Ave.
Toms River,
NJ
US