Equipped with a music-education degree and a lifelong passion for teaching piano, Bill Cantola comes to clients' homes to help them learn piano the way they desire. Rather than forcing them to repeat scales for the sake of tradition, Cantola teaches clients to play their own selections of music while infusing each session with information about technique and music theory.
Though they've been open for only three years, Backstage Guitars has already amassed an impressive collection of equipment and instruments from renowned brands such as Zildjian, Ludwig, Fulltone, and Remo at their two locations. An amiable and skilled staff can educate visitors on the stash of harmonic accoutrements on the store floor or lead them through private lessons in drums, guitar, and guitar-related instruments such as the ukulele or a field-hockey stick wrapped in spaghetti. Backstage's Rock Band Academy helps musicians to develop an even deeper appreciation of their chosen instrument, creating a band for similarly inclined students and culminating in a live set at Hard Rock Cafe.
At the Martier Music Academy, kids can nurture discipline, commitment, and confidence while benefiting from the expert instruction of a professional staff of deft-fingered musicians, such as Joe Grushecky, Pete Hewlett, and the Grammy-nominated percussionist Ron Beitle. Private lessons allow kids between seven and 14 years old to attend weekly half-hour ($100 per month) or one-hour ($180 per month) instructional sessions, and are available for piano, guitar, drums, voice, and performance. Kindermusik classes help boost the development of children ages seven or younger while offering several different programs, including Young Child, designed for kids between five and seven years old ($90 per month for four months).
Urmi Batavia began teaching private piano and violin lessons out of her home in 2002. As demand for her classes grew, so did her need for room, and two years later she opened her own space dedicated to music instruction: Batavia Studios. There, she shares her teaching responsibilities with a team of instructors well versed in percussion, strings, woodwinds, and voice. Though they still provide private lessons for adults and children, they also helm weeklong children’s summer camps and oversee a store filled with musical instruments, song books, and music accessories, such as jars filled with Al Green’s voice.
In addition to selling, renting, and servicing an orchestral array of new and preplayed instruments at their showroom, Pellegrino Music Center?s tunesmiths tutor musical apprentices with instrumental instruction taught through the Pellegrino Fine Arts Academy. During 30-minute lessons at the center?s adjacent teaching facility, instructors skilled in instrumental varieties from voice to strings and horns to percussion walk students through one-on-one tutorials, preempting the risk of cluttered classrooms or dueling banjos. First-time students learn music-making basics like where to strum, when to change keys, and how to tell if a saxophone is about to molt, and strings relax and horns exhale under the deft control of experienced pupils in intermediate and advanced lessons tailored to their training level.
Dustin Oliver has served as the choir and drama director at Akron North High School and the fine-arts director at Celebration Church, so he knows a thing or two about putting on a performance. Add to that nearly 15 years practicing the guitar, nearly 20 years honing his piano and voice skills, and at least a few minutes humming the theme to M.A.S.H., and it becomes obvious that this artist is a multi-talented whiz. An accomplished musician and composer with a Bachelor’s degree in music from Southeastern University, Dustin is earning his Master’s in theatre from the University of Akron, making him a veritable double threat and a valuable resource for aspiring musicians and actors. When not adding to his own skill set, he leads private and group music lessons in guitar, piano, bass, and voice for students ages 5 and older—as well as private and group acting lessions—following well-established curricula.