Music can soothe one’s fiery temper, propel a rousing dance, or distract a roommate long enough so you can sell his television at a pawnshop. Experience the stunning power of sound with today's Groupon: for $30, you get three private music lessons at Columbia Academy of Music (a $60 value).
Captained by founder Wes Wingate, a pianist who has tickled ivories alongside Chuck Berry and Hank Williams III, Columbia Academy of Music's accomplished instructors teach instrumental skills to pupils 4 or older during private half-hour lessons. Incorporating a range of genres from rock to classical, teachers assist students in properly playing a wide variety of instruments, including the guitar, piano, drums, mandolin, banjo, and trombone. Specialized lessons allow melody makers to absorb music theory and sight-reading alongside ear training, manual technique, and how to play with your teeth sans chipping.
Participants eager to tinker tracks behind the scenes can discover how to write out hooks with Sibelius music-notation software or attempt their first multitrack recordings during audio-production lessons. The Academy's chic interior includes private practice rooms, stylish artwork and décor, and The Bridge, a live music venue that hosts local and national talent for crowds of up to 200 music fans or unemployed tubas in search of career inspiration.
Columbia Academy of Music
When a school of music also contains a live-performance venue, it’s an indicator that the lessons stick. Such is the case with the Columbia Academy of Music, where private practice rooms sit just steps from The Bridge, a club accustomed to welcoming musical talent from down the street and around the country. A stage within range of instruction can inspire even the most stage-frightened students to step into the spotlight, where they’ll get the hands-on, feet-on stage experience that renders books worthless.
The academy’s tuneful staffers are no strangers to this kind of public performance—some instructors have shared the stage with the likes of Chuck Berry, Sting, and Hank Williams III—but many also are experts in what goes on behind the music. In lessons tailored for all ages, skill sets, and music-making manners, the school strengthens the confidence of budding musicians in once-a-week sessions. Instrument instruction infuses students with techniques across a range of musical genres; audio-production and engineering courses teach students how to make solid records and tolerate most singers’ misguided requests for more Steak-Umms in the monitor.