Long before opening Mitch's Music School, Mitch Puglisi was tickling the piano keys, playing accordion, and singing. He even co-produced “The All New Blues Brother Revue.” In fact, Mitch loved music so much that he gathered a handful of talented musicians, including one who has played piano since the age of 5, to teach folks how to jam. Together, these instructors have the most popular instruments mastered, sharing their expertise in the drums, guitar, piano, saxophone, clarinet, and flute. During lessons, students learn not only basic techniques, but also music theory and how to properly smash a woodwind on stage after a concerto.
A pupil’s holiday letter addressed to “Mr. Vargas” captures the heart of Vargas Conservatory of Music in one simple sentence: “You are one of my favorite teachers.” Michael Vargas and a team of degreed instructors—who are trained by Vargas himself—work hard to motivate and encourage their students, forming genuine friendships as they instruct pupils in music theory and sight-reading. The private lessons tackle everything from classical to jazz to pop music, depending on the student’s tastes.
Like most parents, Cyndi R. doesn't like to take chances with her child's wellbeing. By the time her son was 13 months old, Cyndi had interviewed roughly 20 childcare providers—but she noticed something different when she walked into the local KinderCare. The staff here greeted every child by name and, as she peeked into each of the classrooms, Cyndi noticed engaged instructors leading one-on-one lessons. The center's Assistant Director even took the time to answer all of her questions, both before and after she decided to enroll her son.
The thing is, this isn't a unique experience. KinderCare now has more than 1,700 centers, and parents across the country share similar thoughts on their local educators. To hear them tell it, it's the commitment of those teachers that makes all the difference. Twice a year, KinderCare hosts the largest early childhood teacher-training program in the country, and every center pursues national accreditation. All of this translates into the development of social, emotional, physical, and intellectual skills in infants and children up to 12 years old.
That may seem like a lot of skills to entrust a daycare with, but KinderCare is more than just a daycare—in fact, it's better to think of it as a learning center. During daycare, kindergarten, and before- and after-school programs, KinderCare's educators lead activities that focus on six different areas, including math and science, language and literacy, and the art of opening a tricky juice box.
Academy of Music is conveniently located in Upland and Rancho Cucamonga. The instructors at the Academy have university training and musicianship experience and have been imparting their expertise to students from beginner to advanced level since 2002. The instructors help students of all levels impart sight-reading and ear-training skills, as well as lessons on musical theory, composition, improvisation, and technique development. The academy's instructors prepare students for events such as concerts, competitions, and talent shows. The instructors also provide lessons to prepare students to succeed on examinations that include the ABRSM, MTAC, and MA. Though the academy predominantly schedules private lessons, duet, trio, or small-group sessions are also available. The academy also offers vocal training from beginner to advance levels.
All veterans of the entertainment industry, the instructors at Ovation School for the Performing Arts don't believe in just instilling acting, singing, or dancing skills into their students. Instead, they impart all three, turning students of all skill levels into triple threats of stage and screen. Designed for kids and teens aged 5–18, the nonprofit's twice-weekly sessions are divided into 45-minute blocks whose subjects include acting, singing, and dance styles such as hip-hop and tap. Ovation also hosts private lessons focused on voice, piano, and guitar.