Founder-director Isabel Benemelis grew up in Cuba, surrounded by the mambo tunes and Afro-Cuban rhythms that earned the country its reputation as a musical hot spot. At age 4 she took up the piano, and by 7 she found herself "mesmerized by the music of Beethoven, Chopin, and Bach" whenever it hit her ears. This immersion in multiple genres influenced Benemelis when she built her school from oboe reeds in 1995: faculty members specialize in classical music, but ably veer into jazz and Latin scores if students have an interest. During one-on-one, 30-minute lessons, they teach adults and children older than age 4 to play piano, guitar, saxophone, bongos, and a host of other instruments. In keeping with the school’s multidisciplinary roots, many instructors are also fluent in English and Spanish.
The Guitar Lab elevates musicians' guitar-playing skills with lessons for players in all stages of the learning process. Lessons cover a wide range of knowledge, from music theory and sight reading to improvisation, with a focus on experimentation. Instructors also put an emphasis on ensemble playing, offering lessons with The Guitar Orchestra, in which up to 12 guitarists participate in workshop-style group lessons.
"Learning to play music should be fun" states Bach to Rock's philosophy. "It's called play for a reason." This warm, inviting spirit permeates everywhere students work individually or in groups with seasoned players to improve their skills in guitar, voice, drums, piano, keyboard, and even in turntables. They then put their musicianship to practical use in extended jam sessions, learning how to be expressive and glue their instrument back together after smashing it. Once pupils have progressed to a professional level, they can check out Bach to Rock's professional recording studio, which are open to artists who want to lay down tracks for an album or fine-tune their already-existing songs.
At some point you will be confronted by a shaggy, axe-wielding lunatic who shouts, "Are you ready to ROOOOCK? Please answer me. I'm so sad." Today's Groupon will make sure you're not just ready, but willing. For $49, new students will get six group singing or instrument lessons at the Tysons Corner music-instruction school All Things Rock (a $180 value). Kids can get the musical education that will make them less likely to stick up a convenience store with a bassoon later in life, while adults can fulfill a long-deferred dream to finally impress Amanda Bilecki with their shredding skills.
Ego Music shares the gift of music with students in an intimate studio environment or through comfortable at-home lessons. Students can stop in to one of three area locations to start down path toward violin, voice, or guitar mastery or learn in the home with one of the school’s knowledgeable instructors. Covering a variety of available instruments, music lessons have been known to help boost test scores, build discipline, and increase their likelihood of head-butting a bust of Handel in excitement.
The Metropolitan School of the Arts - formerly the Metropolitan Fine Arts Center - was founded more than 14 years ago. This multidisciplinary performing-arts organization takes a holistic approach to teaching and encouraging performance-arts skills, creating performance opportunities in dance, music, and theater for a diverse population of students of all ages and abilities. Its students have gone to perform on Broadway, at The Juilliard School, and in highly esteemed companies, such as the Mark Morris Dance Company, The Washington Ballet, and Ford's Theater and Signature Theater. Youth programs include year-round programs in dance, theater, music, music-theater, and acting, as well as a performing-arts program in the summer, all for children as young as 2. Adult classes range from basic to advanced, including ballet, jazz, and tap lessons, plus yoga and ballet-barre fitness workouts.