In 1998, School of Rock's first location was built in Philadelphia to strengthen students' self-confidence, develop their musicianship, and most importantly, spark an insatiable enthusiasm to learn. Today, the School of Rock franchise has branched out to more than 65 locations throughout the United States and Mexico. During the school's music lessons, encouraging instructors well versed in methods of rocking and rolling?such as strumming guitars, tickling keyboards, and causing avalanches with yodels?demystify music theory for mini Mick Jaggers of all skill levels.
School of Rock's Rock 101 program acquaints beginners with the instrument of their choice using a curriculum of weekly private lessons and group band rehearsals. Virtuosos ready to hit the stage can participate in the performance program, which prepares students for live performances that pay homage to beloved rock icons such as Queen, Led Zeppelin, and Mount Rushmore.
Patrons at Session 73 satiate not only their taste buds but also their eardrums by devouring international tapas in a restaurant and lounge that fuses its dining and bar areas with the thumping beats of live music. The tapas menu and musical menu—the latter of which has featured such bands as Sideways, The Ronald Reagans, and Daddy NoBux—have even been known to draw in celebrities such as Kate Hudson, Will Ferrell, and Jimmy Fallon.
In addition to reverberating with live rock rhythms every Thursday, Friday, and Saturday, the venue pulses with tango music on Sunday, salsa music on Monday, and swing music on Tuesday as patrons swivel their hips and waggle their ears on the dance floor. Craft cocktails sporting clever names such as Big Ginger and Dragon Juice keep the movements fluid.
Zumba classes at M Dance & Fitness provide a hip-shaking workout so engrossing that, according to Time Out New York, students barely notice its rigor until they’re sore the next day. Set to music that ranges from pop to reggaeton, classes work the whole body through simple dance steps from schools such as salsa and merengue.
The studio’s Masala Bhangra class replaces Zumba’s Latin flair with Indian moves. Masala means “spicy” in Hindi; the routines are thus a “spicy,” or Bollywood-inflected, take on Bhangra, a traditional Indian folkdance. Studio founder Misty Clark and her team of instructors helm other dance fitness classes as well, with focuses such as ballet, kick-box dance, hip-hop, and ab work.
Spotlighted in Time magazine and the New York Times, Music for Aardvarks and Other Mammals is a nationally renowned program offering a unique take on musical education for children 3 months to 4 years old. Classes consist of 45 minutes of singing, dancing, musical storytelling, and jamming. Children's songsmith David Weinstone designed a curriculum celebrating the urban environment as well as universal concerns of youth via his classes, which have exploded into the national spotlight since their humble beginnings in 1997. Rather than being strict and results-driven, the teaching style at Music for Aardvarks is based on adult modeling and exposing children to ideas and sounds without dumbing them down. Parent participation is strongly encouraged for atonal squealers and former Yes drummers alike. Check the Music for Aardvarks website for the drop-in sessions and 10-class series schedules.
With bicoastal learning labs that give students complete access to mixing and sound equipment, dubspot is one of the country's foremost institutions for learning music and media technologies. The school's course list covers everything from DJing to sound design. Class sizes of 10 people or less ensure each student gets plenty of one-on-one instruction, which is fortunate since the instructors have plenty of wisdom to offer. Their ranks include a Grammy-nominated producer and a sound designer for the Oscar-winning animated film Wall-E.
Even when they're not in class, students have access to the lab facilities six days a week. Those unable to attend courses in person at the New York or LA schools can also enroll online, an option which gives them access to instructional videos for up to one year or until their computer gets old enough to move out on its own.
New York Jazz Workshop fosters a student-first environment by allowing pupils to design the institute's curriculum. If someone desires a class not present on the current roster, they can suggest their preferred subject of study and the instructors will design a curriculum as soon as four students show interest. This means that the music school can host classes in anything from rollicking New Orleans–style ensembles to mournful kazoo dirges. Thus the school offers a valuable opportunity for anyone, amateur or professional, to play in a band setting under the direction of a world-class faculty, many of whom are associated with various music institutes around New York.