It's not often that a kindergartener chooses Beethoven's 6th Symphony as the object of his earliest obsession. But that was what the parents of Brian Beshore found while dealing with the youngster. He bombarded his parents with the symphony until they finally agreed to let him take music lessons. And students at Foothills Music Academy are lucky they did. Brian is one of the academy's music teachers. His early fascination with Beethoven spurred a lifetime of learning—today he plays and teaches the viola, violin, guitar, banjo, mandolin, piano, and cello (plus, he composes).
Each of the music teachers brings a unique background—and set of instruments—to private or group music lessons for kids. Kids can opt for the traditional grade-school instruments, such as violin or piano, or try something new such as the mandolin, bass guitar, or harmonica.
Students in Modern Music School's international net of 70 locations get more than by-the-numbers technical training. Instead, the focus is on enjoying the art, and though the teachers are classically trained, their lesson plans home in on rock, jazz, funk, pop, or virtually any other genre. Beginners thrive in the laid-back, fun-first atmosphere, which encourages them to set their own pace on the path to stardom, both in practicing their instrument and in converting to an all-leather wardrobe. The school's highly individualized method readily lends itself to private lessons, and the band program not only helps fledgling stars strengthen their chosen style but also rounds up potential gigs when the group feels stage ready. Other performance opportunities are available at regularly staged concerts through the team program and every morning in students' own showers.
From 18 studios scattered around Los Angeles, Lori Moran Music Studios’ armada of instructors offers all-ages voice, piano, guitar, violin, and composition classes. With teachers who have worked on films such as Dreamgirls and Dance Flick, world-touring operatic productions, and Grammy-nominated choral CDs, the school can cater to virtually every musical taste—from classical to jazz to pop. Students choose the emphasis of their lessons, whether they want to work on their public performance skills, write their own songs, sight-read scores, or simply be able to play musical chairs during a power outage. Many will also get the chance to show off in recitals, concerts, and showcases.
French-born writer and school director Caroline fills teaching positions at La Petite Ecole Française with only native French speakers. That way, students will be guided through grammar, vocabulary, and conversational styles as they're currently used in Francophone countries, rather than relying on the potentially outdated info available from textbooks or someone who's just watched Children of Paradise several times. A wide range of programs helps bilingual students stay in touch with their French side and introduces adult learners to solid fundamentals. Special events deepen cultural awareness with movie screenings and art-exhibit visits.
More than just a training program, Premier Musical Theatre aims to prepare students for professional careers in the musical-theater industry while supporting their growth as artists. The instructors—all of whom are working professionals in their field—consider each student individually, helping them develop their unique strengths over the course of the 15-week training. The sessions culminate in a full musical-theater production that gives students a chance to show off in front of casting directors. Though students are expected to take their work seriously, no prior experience is required, and applicants don't have to take part in auditions or Pippin trivia contests to get in.
Brother-and-sister duo Glenn Treibitz and Cheryl Fox and their team love their jobs. The pianos that Hollywood Piano Company stocks unlock dreams, passions, and ambitions, and he couldn't think of a better way to spend his days. Family-owned since 1928, the store sells acoustic pianos made by some of the best manufacturers, including Estonia and Baldwin. There's also digital pianos by Roland and Kurzweil that precisely simulate the sound and feel of acoustic pianos. Glenn and his team of music lovers also tune, rent, and restore pianos. To give customers everything they need to fully appreciate their new instrument, the shop offers lessons, as well.