It's been more than 35 years since Ryan Riley first picked up his father's homemade acoustic guitar, and in the time since, he has attended Berklee College of Music, performed more than 1,300 live shows, and logged more than 25,000 hours of private teaching. During at-home lessons, he passes down his wealth of musical knowledge to children and adults on guitar as well as bass guitar and alto saxophone.
Ballroom Factory Dance Studio's brigade of experienced instructors takes students with two left feet and whips them into dancing dynamos. Light trippers of all ages and skill levels learn the ins and outs of dance styles that range from ballroom basics and American waltz to international tango and advanced hokey pokey. Private or group classes twirl gracefully through an airy studio space, characterized by sleek wood floors and walls lined with mirrors. The studio's expertise also extends to voice and piano lessons for both children and adults in which pupils master scales, harmonies, and the ability to read music.
Since 2002, Rock House's system of musical instruction—which comprises DVDs, books, and Web-based lesson support—has helped aspiring rock stars to master strumming guitars, plucking basses, and tickling keyboards to a variety of different genres. Several renowned blues, rock, and metal artists have participated in the Rock House program, including members of Megadeth, The Gary Hoey Band, and Parliament-Funkadelic. In addition to their training materials, Rock House also certifies instructors at local music centers so they can conduct one-on-one private lessons tailored to enhancing students' strengths and neutralizing their weaknesses, such as the inability to destroy a guitar on the first smash.
Creative Music Center’s skilled teachers have been nurturing musical talent in students of all ages and skill levels for nearly three decades, earning recognition for their efforts with a Best Music Lessons and Instruments award from Moffly Media readers in 2009. They achieve this high level of instruction by adapting their teaching styles to the needs of each pupil rather than insisting that everyone play Mozart or eat sheet music for breakfast. While private lessons prep students to play everything from the viola to the trombone, teachers also foster camaraderie through group lessons for piano and guitar. Students who haven’t hollowed out a baguette to make their own French horn can rent or buy an instrument from the center, which stocks brands such as Yamaha and Fender.
In 1998, School of Rock's first location was built in Philadelphia to strengthen kids' 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.
Ken Benshish and Yi Qian both grew up loving music, but the process of learning to play it ranged from uninspiring to mind numbing. The two musicians started iSchool of Music & Art to provide a much different experience—a positive, supportive atmosphere that takes into account each student’s personality and goals. Students aged 3 and older who can’t tell a drumstick from a plectrum and don’t even know the street value of a quarter note can learn piano, drums, guitar, or voice skills from scratch, then test their newfound skills with multiple performance opportunities throughout the year. Instructors host private classes or group students into their own rock-band performance troupes, and intensive camps culminate in field trips to Lincoln Center and a tour of a real recording studio.