In 1998, School of Rock's first location was built in Philadelphia to strengthen students' 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.
Nothing captures emotions quite like music. Whether it's the elation of "Ode to Joy" or the sorrow of "Adagio for Strings," music grabs ahold of the human experience and expresses it in a way that anyone can appreciate. The Williamsburg School of Music dedicates itself to sharing that experience with anyone who wants to create music. Its classes include private lessons in voice, guitar, piano, and orchestral instruments as well as rock-band experiences for kids aged 6–17. For very young children, Baby Rock with Craig Howe classes bring shakers, drums, and rhythm sticks into homes for a personal introduction to music. These classes involve rhythmic and tonal exercises and homework assignments that include banging on pots early in the morning.
When Joan Barnes founded Gymboree Play & Music in 1976, she envisioned a facility where parents and children could play together in a safe and age-appropriate environment. In the following decades, Gymboree Play & Music spread to more than 30 countries across the globe, helping youngsters from infants to 5 years old develop cognitive, physical, and social skills. The company's instructors lead classes such as Play & Learn, its flagship course, in which parents and kids move through a seven-level program filled with storytelling, play activities, and debates on the merits of sandwich crust. Talented staffers also prep youngsters for school and foster development in areas such as music, art, and sports. Throughout all classes, they make use of custom play equipment designed by acclaimed playground designer and seesaw-tamer Jay Beck.
A lifelong songwriter and performer, Sharman Nittoli's accolades include co-writing the Frank Sinatra song "Here's to the Band." As an instructor, she harnesses her experience to help students find their own musical voice through lessons in piano, voice, songwriting, and recording.