At the Eastwood Syracuse Piano Studio, the owner and instructor draws on more than 40 years spent tickling the ivories—plus more than 15 years of teaching experience—to train students of all ages and skill levels. He meets with pupils every week to refine their knowledge of music theory, music reading, and piano basics, such as playing scales. Daniel also assembles students into regular group classes where they compete to see who can flawlessly play instrumental classics. He also invites his pupils to participate in two annual recitals, where they can showcase their talents for family and friends. Moreover, students have access to several music competitions and take part in performing on the Steinway Concert Grand Piano at the Steinway Piano Gallery of Central New York.
At Creative Piano Teaching, instructor James Lee Vatter's students find themselves immersed in a supportive, challenging environment that strives to make learning music a fun and rewarding undertaking. His pupils learn a wide range of musical styles as they pounce on the keyboard at weekly lessons, demonstrating the skills and concepts learned in previous sessions. Along with lessons, students can participate in festivals and competitions.
Music industry veterans Stan Denis and Paul Benedetti, both fathers of ambitious child musicians, spent years commiserating about the dismal, calcified state of music education. Deciding to do something about it, the two founded Rock School Music, determined to mix the principles of classical pedagogy with a heavy dose of kid-directed originality. Rather than focusing on scales and hoary old etudes, their instructors encourage students to bring in music they actually enjoy listening to, helping aspiring rockers play their favorite songs and recommending technical drills that directly improve their ability to play the studied piece.
In addition to private lessons, the studio's Rock School program arranges young jammers into bands based on their skill levels, before giving them a weekend practice space and sponsoring regular rock concerts for friends and family. Rock School Music’s studio, furnished with plush leather chairs and a wood-paneled front desk, inspires visitors to pursue their musical dreams with its framed band posters and fern plants that resemble Slash.
When it comes to the creative process, there's enough room for everyone. That's the philosophy at Odyssey School of Fine Arts, a non-profit art school for both kids ages 5 and up and adults. Their faculty instructs in drawing, painting, sculpture, and many other mediums worthy of a place in the "art" section of the encyclopedia. In addition to classes, Odyssey School of Fine Arts brings people together to make community art projects such as mosaics.
Rhythm. Melody. Harmony. These are some of the things that turn mere sounds into music. At Music&Motion, instructors introduce these concepts to little ones aged 5 and younger. They play original music and help kids and parents build musical bonds through activities such as playing instruments, singing, and dancing.
At the Knowledge Network, experts in fields such as dance, spirituality, cooking, and writing teach a cornucopia of cultural, commercial, and life-skills classes with a flexible schedule of diverse classes held throughout the capital district. In Best Holiday Treats from Around the World on December 7 ($50 plus one nonperishable item for the Latham food bank), Chef Ric Orlando—champion of the Food Network’s Chopped—puts his signature spin on sizzling Hanukkah latkes, Kwanzaa peanut soup, the Italian feast of the seven fishes, and figgy pudding, taking holiday cooking far past the realm of microwave-cooked Peeps. Author and dream warrior Robert Moss imparts his synthesis of modern dreamwork and ancient shamanic practices in The Power of Active Dreaming on December 8 ($45), where students learn to solve problems, improve health, and spark creativity during nighttime reveries. Revisit bygone eras of hip hop with four Breakdancing classes ($45), in which students learn to spin, toprock, and perform basic floor routines under the guidance of instructor Turbeau, who has performed on MTV’s The Grind.