Instructors at Vance Music, including many members of the Vance family, draw on more than a century's worth of collective teaching experience to introduce children and adults to singing or musical expression. The school, which originally opened 60 years ago in Kansas City, teaches all styles while carrying on the tradition of classical music practiced by the Vance family's patriarch, Chester S. Vance, an accomplished pianist who toured with USO shows as a World War II veteran. Now, students at Vance can study 28 concentrations, including theory, composition, and performance with instrument or voice and experiment with varying styles of music without bringing an electric guitar into the shower.
Since 1984, Senseney Music has supplied the tools and knowledge for beginning, intermediate, and advanced musicians to ignite their musical passion. President Lori Supinie leads a team of music teachers—boasting more than 200 years’ combined experience—who instruct students in vocal technique or in instruments such as flute, oboe, violin, and electric guitar. She also offers instruments for rental and purchase, including orchestral instruments, guitars, amplifiers, and pianos, as well as printed music—the ancient enemy of jazz. Technicians in her service department repair flagging instruments and maintain rental instruments at no charge.
Midwest Drum and Percussion boasts many talented musicians, five of whom teach drums and guitar inside the store's six fully equipped studios. One of the other instructors at Midwest plays multiple roles too, providing guitar instruction and doling out music lessons for electric and acoustic guitar as well as electric bass. Midwest sells said instruments and accessories too, ranging from drums and guitars made by top brands such as Yamaha and Ibanez, to amps and stomp boxes by companies such as Egnator and Jet City.
Fender Stratocasters, Telecasters, and other instruments line the studio walls at Pauly's Productions. Behind the scenes, Paul is glued to the mixing boards, engineering the sound for musical groups that range from hip-hop artists to arena rock bands. A MediaTech Institute graduate, Paul outfitted his studio with high-end gear, such as Cubase recording software, Shure and AKG mics, and other instruments from such brands as Takamine, Schecter, and Marshall. In addition to being an audio engineer, Paul is a musician and teacher.
When award-winning percussionist Paul Peterson isn't showcasing his rhythmic skills live, he trains budding beat keepers at Backbeat Percussion Studios. During private lessons, he focuses not only on more common instruments, such as drum sets and snare drums, but on what he calls total percussion. This encompasses most of an orchestra's percussion section, from the rumbling timpani to the soft patter of two pillows banging against one another. Such well roundness lends Paul's students an advantage as they audition for ensembles such as drum lines or all-state orchestras. Equally useful are Paul's group lessons, where activities like drum circles help pupils adjust to playing with other musicians.