At Music Matters, each instructor is a highly qualified, professional musician. In fully equipped studios and practice rooms, they lead private lessons with custom instruction for more than 15 instruments, including the piano, guitar, drums, voice, violin, and most orchestral instruments. They also inspire the next generation of modern Mozarts with special programs such as the Rock Band 101 class, which teaches students how to rehearse with a band and play with other students. Rock Band 101 includes hands-on experience playing songs from each decade beginning with the 1960s, and teachers also encourage students to write and develop their own songs.
At Iron and Grace, butterflies can emerge from their corporeal cocoons in kettlebell and Pilates classes that help to build strong and balanced bodies with an emphasis on functional-fitness training. The kettlebell program?s full-body exercises exemplify this approach, eschewing repetitive movements in favor of motor-recruitment patterns centered by the iron cannonball. Kettlebell exercises work the entire body as students hoist and swing them by their attached handle, increasing both cardio and muscular endurance and helping to make everyday tasks such as bicycling and climbing corporate ladders that much easier. Instructor Chad Sexton holds four-hour training sessions a week for small groups of six students or fewer, teaching them the essential moves of his beloved discipline before guiding them onward to the gym?s more advanced kettlebell classes.
The wedding party walks down the aisle as rehearsed. Looking back toward door, the party and guests expect to hear the familiar sound of an organ announcing the bride. Instead, the delicate tones of a harp resonate through the space, an elegant sound that complements the beauty of the bride's appearance in the doorway.
Trained for 15 years under the principle harpists of the Pittsburgh Symphony, Nicole McAllister lends her harp's melodic sound to weddings and special events, such as fundraisers or local jousting matches. In addition to helping clients tailor performance selections for their events, McAllister also passes on her expertise through music lessons. Her work can also be heard on two CDs: Rejoice With Christmas Strings and _Enjoying the Journey.
Giving kids the chance to stretch their creative wings is just one aspect of the philosophy at Fun Arts Afterschool. Workshops suited for kids aged 9-14 include the introductory Acting For Film, where students learn Method Acting and the Meisner Technique—which uses a series of exercises designed to help students improvise. Likewise, teens in the DVD film class acquire knowledge to storyboard, write scrips, and even act on film.
At Howren Piano Studio, Miss Howren teaches piano in a supportive environment that favors group lessons and one-on-one instruction alike. Group lessons let pupils learn together by taking turns playing songs. This allows for more camaraderie and multiple perspectives on piano techniques. Private lessons are also very effective and available, and Miss Howren encourages parents to be present for kids’ lessons so that they can assist during practice at home. Both private and group lessons are available for all ages.
The faculty members at the School of Rock believe that immersion is the best way to learn any new skill, which is why they don’t just teach students how to traverse the notes and rhythms of guitar, bass, drums, keyboard, and vocals in isolation. In addition to teaching students the technical skills during one-on-one lessons, the professional music instructors push them to fuse their individual parts into songs during full band practices with fellow beginner rockers. This combination of one-on-one attention and cooperative group learning helps kids of all skill levels hone their craft while overcoming common pitfalls such as stage fright or playing off-tempo. As kids learn to shred riffs, pound out drum solos, and summon Ronnie James Dio by hitting the correct vibrato atop a silver mountain, the classes build their confidence and kick-start a lifetime of loving rock 'n' roll.