If there's one thing Joyce Wang has mastered in her 15-year career as a private music instructor, it's keeping beginners entertained as they learn the basics. Regardless of his or her experience level, Joyce arms each student with the proper books and tools?metronomes, piano-key neckties for at-home practice?as they learn piano-playing technique and how to interpret classical music, jazz, or pop. She also teaches music theory and prepares her students for the Certificate of Merit exam, a nationally recognized test that verifies a child's participation in a music-based extracurricular program for review by colleges.
With only two years of piano lessons under her belt, 9-year-old Kim Gardner was talented enough to perform for the National Federation of Music. Other instruments come just as naturally to her—now in her 30s, she's taught voice, guitar, and piano for more than seven years. Along with a team of equally experienced instructors, Kim teaches students through The Music Adobe, named for its personalized private lessons that take place inside students' homes. The experienced instructors have all been carefully screened and selected to ensure the highest quality of music education and experience possible. The Music Abode's personalized approach and open teaching philosophy allows instructors to tailor instruction to each individual's different style of learning.
For beginners, Kim and the team imparts the fundamentals by honing in on skills such as sight-reading and playing basic chords. With intermediate and advanced students, they focuses on more complex symphony pieces, and suggests ways to avoid laughing at conductors when they start waving their little sticks. They prepares every student to participate in semiannual recitals, where pupils can show off their newfound chops for family and friends.
EZPiano owner Sue Dibble believes that music lessons should be customized to the needs of each student. That's why she and her team of instructors use an array of techniques, blending aspects of teaching methods such as Suzuki and Kodály to engage each individual. Lessons generally include both sight-reading exercises and listening exercises that help develop an ear for pitch. In addition to creating a fun, constructive environment, the school's programs are designed to produce measurable, tangible progress. As a member of the Music Teachers' Association of California, or MTAC, Sue can register students for Certificate of Merit (CM) tests.
A team of instructors with international professional experience leads classes that range from ballet and tap lessons to hip-hop dance and Zumba. The course list includes options for diverse age groups and experience levels, such as pre-ballet and tap lessons for ages 3–6 and ballet pointe for students with more than two years of ballet experience.
Experienced DJs at the Orange County Turntable Institute guide hands across vinyl grooves and turntable knobs in an introductory course on resuscitating party pulses. Each class positions neophytes behind beat-blazoning equipment for hands-on instruction in basic mixing, blending, cueing, and scratching techniques. In addition to learning the basics of how records work and listening for certain sounds, students absorb DJ culture from its dizzying history to its increasingly digitized future. Instructors DJ Artistic, DJ PNutz, and Tyler Olson impart their wisdom onto record rookies through a structured curriculum driven by transparent tasks and goals. Class sizes of no more than eight ensure individualized attention, preventing all manner of party foul from entering the mix. Newly initiated DJs can move on to take more advanced classes at the institute when Course 1 is complete, as each level builds toward a cumulative crescendo of spinning virtuosity. Students should call to set up a session at a convenient time; classes are offered from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m., seven days a week.
Flooded by dozens of green and cool-blue stage lights, the 2,500-square-foot stage at The Music Hall looks like a platform fit for even the most lauded rockers. Constructed by musicians, for musicians, The Music Hall contains an acoustically treated live room and production stage equipped with side-fill monitors, a mixing console, and an outboard system with equalizers and effects. A professional lighting system allows whoever is using the space to customize the look to their act, making it an ideal venue for musical shows, special events, and performances. The Music Hall also boasts a school staffed by professional musicians who conduct lessons in voice, piano, guitar, bass, and drums, as well as workshops for subjects such as songwriting and music theory.