At MorningStar Music Learning Center, full-time music educator Wesley Stevenson and his finely tuned team of instructors teach students of all ages, backgrounds, and experience levels. Currently, they provide lessons in eight different instruments, ranging from piano and guitar to violin, cello, and voice. More than music, the center emphasizes music education as a vehicle for self-expression, and as a beacon for exploring the cavernous nooks of individual creativity.
Havana Nights Dining and Jazz's moody allure earned the restaurant the title of "Best Restaurant Reviewed in 2012" by The Virginian-Pilot. With its trio of unique venues, the restaurant invites guests to three very different experiences under the same roof. The Caribbean Room features Caribbean-American fusion dishes from Chef Kent Johnson's kitchen amid a "beautifully moody and dark dining space," as described by HamptonRoads.com. Surrounded by murals of palm trees, diners browse wine and spirits menus on iPads and dig into interpretations of arroz con pollo and gulf bouillabaisse.
In an adjoining space, the Bang and Olufsen Jazz Club vibrates with improvised scales during live performances every Thursday, Friday, and Saturday evening. Upstairs, in a private lounge, cigar enthusiasts can kick back in large leather chairs while enjoying stogies and writing secret messages to each other in the clouds of aromatic smoke.
At The Virginia Beach School of the Arts' "Music Mommy & Me" classes, kids and parents sing together to learn musical terms such as rhythms, notes, piano, and orchestral instruments. These classes work hand-in-hand with "Baby School", another entertaining program to help kids learn things such as sign language, academic information, and mathematical concepts through music and movement.
"Five layers in the Earth's atmosphere," the song begins. "Troposphere from here to 10 miles up. Stratosphere, mesosphere, thermosphere, and exosphere. Pass these, and then you're in outer space." So goes the song "Atmosphere," set to the tune of "If You're Happy and You Know It." By setting these easy-to-confuse scientific terms to a familiar song and adding in simple hand motions, kids can absorb knowledge better than a paper towel set on an encyclopedia. This is the concept behind Acadamiacs, one of the programs that combines education and fine arts at The Virginia Beach School of the Arts.
At the school, students learn important educational concepts such as reading and math; fine-arts concepts such as art, dance, and music; and social concepts such as following directions and listening skills. And while most classes are geared toward kids as young as 3 months old, adults are welcome in some courses, including private music lessons.