Diane Garetano's school—whose curriculum covers piano as well as other instruments—was an immediate success in the first year. She was renting space to accommodate her ever-expanding student body and the pianos that kept sprouting extra keys. Today, The Piano Studio for Kids imparts instrument skills at two locations. The school also has evolved in terms of technique, with instructors now incorporating even more methods built on fun, structure, and positive reinforcement. Once a year, students may elect to show off the fruits of these labors, with admission free of charge at a recital culminating in certificates, gift bags, and applause.
Since 1984, Rock-N-Roll University has equipped musicians with the equipment, accessories, and skills to pursue their ambitions in songsmithing. Glistening guitars in all shapes and colors hang from the walls in rows, surrounded by equipment such as amps, practice books, and freeze-dried roadies. The shop also retails and rents instruments for orchestras and bands as well as the various parts and salves to keep them in working order. Rock-N-Roll University also has a varied curriculum for students of music. There are both private and group classes, where you can learn with traditional lessons, jam sessions, and band programs that culminate in live concerts.
Huntington Bay Music's instructors are rarely seen without a guitar in their hands or glued to their stomach. But while they keep their axes close, the teachers also instruct students a variety of other instruments, from piano to violin. To complement their lessons, the duo outfits budding musicians with guitars, also available as rentals.
In 1998, School of Rock's first location was built in Philadelphia to strengthen kids' 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.
Ken Benshish and Yi Qian both grew up loving music, but the process of learning to play it ranged from uninspiring to mind numbing. The two musicians started iSchool of Music & Art to provide a much different experience—a positive, supportive atmosphere that takes into account each student’s personality and goals. Students aged 3 and older who can’t tell a drumstick from a plectrum and don’t even know the street value of a quarter note can learn piano, drums, guitar, or voice skills from scratch, then test their newfound skills with multiple performance opportunities throughout the year. Instructors host private classes or group students into their own rock-band performance troupes, and intensive camps culminate in field trips to Lincoln Center and a tour of a real recording studio.
The professional musicians who teach at New York Academy of Music believe talent appears at a young age. That's why their music programs start for kids as young as 2 years old with Rock 'n' Tots, a class where pre-kindergarten kids can listen to rock and pop while they bop and learn. Once students have excelled beyond the bounds of Rock 'n' Tots, they can attend the RockStar Academy—where they'll learn how to perform and write songs—or take private lessons that cover nearly all instruments and styles. For seasoned performers, an onsite recording studio provides a place to lay down tracks.