6 Innovative Venues for Musical Instrument Lessons
Music lessons can benefit everyone from young kids who are still working on their fine motor skills to adults looking to either learn a new hobby or hone their craft. The organizations listed here, in no particular order, welcome students of all skill levels and offer classes in everything from ukulele to piano to turntable.
First up, at #1, we have Ruby's Ukes, a ukulele school in Vancouver, Canada. Founded by Daphne "Ruby" Roubini in 2009, the company strives to provide a fun environment for visitors of all ages. The school offers classes and workshops and organizes an annual festival. Teachers provide instruction to students of all levels, from novices to advanced players looking to polish their skills.
Courses range from Absolute Beginner to Intermediate and feature interactive instruction as well as materials including song and theory charts, YouTube links, and audio samples. When they're not teaching, Roubini and her husband Andrew Smith perform as the musical duo Ruby & Smith.
Coming in at #2 is New York Jazz Academy. In addition to locations in Manhattan, Brooklyn, Queens, and Long Island, the school boasts a global community of musicians in over thirty-five states and over seventy countries. Players of all ages and skill levels can participate and hone their jazz skills on a range of instruments, including piano, drums, guitar, trumpet, trombone, and voice.
All of the academy's teachers are active musicians in NYC and offerings include options for aspiring professionals as well as hobbyists. Jazz intensives emphasize practical playing experience through a variety of classes, clinics, and performance activities for teens and adults. Jelly Jamz, the school's early childhood division, introduces jazz music to young children.
For #3, we have Gelb Music, which supplies a variety of services, including instrument rentals, repairs, and sales, in the Bay Area. The Teaching Institute provides students with a staff of experienced educators and instructors. Lessons offered include guitar, drums, bass, piano, voice, and flute.
One-on-one lessons are held in professional studio rooms and students are able to pick the instructor they work with. In addition to scheduled courses, Gelb occasionally hosts free lessons for those looking to try something new. Students who want to buy an instrument can browse the store's selection of acoustic and electric offerings.
In the #4 spot is Bach to Rock. Offering group classes and private lessons to students of all ages, the school has multiple locations across the United States. The organization's method is based on the belief that everyone learns faster playing the music they like, so teachers use age and skill appropriate arrangements, allowing students to play their favorite songs.
Early childhood classes teach kids the fundamentals of music and movement. In-school camps like Rock Band and Glee Club feature weekly sessions culminating in a public performance and the recording of a CD. Online mini-camps are also available, featuring interactive instruction via video chat. B2R also offers birthday parties where kids can form a rock band, sing, or learn how to be a DJ.
At #5, we have Community Music Center, a non-profit organization dedicated to making music accessible to people of all ages, backgrounds, and abilities, regardless of financial means. Classes are available on a sliding scale and some are completely tuition-free. The center was founded in 1921 by Gertrude Field, the first director of the Dolores Street Girl's Club settlement house.
Programs for youth include online learning as well as in-person group classes and private lessons. Musical Storytime supports musical development in babies and toddlers. Adults can also sign up for lessons in everything from piano or choir to music theory and composition. Music therapy sessions are available for youth and adults with special needs.
Last but not least, #6 is Colburn School in Los Angeles, California. Through courses covering music, dance, and drama, instructors aim to help students explore their interests and continue developing their talents. The Community School of Performing Arts offers lessons in music theory as well as practical experience playing both alone and as part of an ensemble.
Pre-professional music programs are available for both pre-college and college-level students who are interested in careers as performers. The Trudl Zipper Dance Institute welcomes dancers of all skill levels and covers ballet, tap, and modern styles. Colburn also has a referral service for individuals, organizations, and businesses looking to hire students and alumni to perform.