You have reached your limit of free articles this month.

Enjoy unlimited access to SpringfieldNewsSun.com

Starting at just 99¢ for 8 weeks.

GREAT REASONS TO SUBSCRIBE TODAY!

  • IN-DEPTH REPORTING
  • INTERACTIVE STORYTELLING
  • NEW TOPICS & COVERAGE
  • ePAPER
X

You have read of premium articles.

Get unlimited access to all of our breaking news, in-depth coverage and interactive features. Starting at just 99c for 8 weeks.

X

Welcome to SpringfieldNewsSun.com

Your source for Clark and Champaign counties’ hometown news. All readers have free access to a limited number of stories every month.

If you are a News-Sun subscriber, please take a moment to login for unlimited access.

Urbana business to teach kids to rock


The back wall of Art’s Playground, a new business in downtown Urbana, should be enough to let students know they’re not going to get a typical music lesson.

They’re going to get a crash course in how to be in a band. The business that just opened this month will teach the basics of guitar, drums, bass and keyboards, said Richard Ebert, owner and general manager of the business at 38 Monument Square. But the business will also offer group lessons, allowing kids to play together and eventually, perform on stage.

A back wall of the business is lined with old vinyl records, and a photos of ’80s hair band icons like Nikki Sixx of Motley Crue line a shelf in a rear corner of the room.

The business will serve as a sort of rock and roll academy, said Ebert, himself a drummer and former DJ with a degree in business management. But it will also encourage other forms of art, offering two-hour art classes throughout the summer.

In the future, Art’s Playground could also provide courses in performing arts and students who don’t want to play an instrument can learn about lighting and sound.

“This is really about teaching folks more than how to just play,” Ebert said. “It’s teaching them how to perform together in a group.”

Initially, students will learn songs from bands like the Beatles. But eventually, the goal is to allow students to decide what they want to play, whether that’s rock, country, hip-hop or something else. Students will need to bring their own instruments, but the business has hired several instructors who specialize in various instruments. If students can’t practice at home, they can also use one of several practice rooms available at Art’s Playground.

After a 12-week session, students will get a chance to perform as a band.

The art classes, which will also begin this summer, will allow students to use everyday household items to create their own art. If needed, Ebert said the business will offer gallery space to let them show it off as well. Art instructors will be on hand to offer advice, but students will be able to decide on their own what their project should be.

Several organizations in Champaign County are trying to give students opportunities to learn about the arts, and Ebert said this will be a unique option.

“I’d like to be a spoke in that wheel to be able to make that happen,” he said.

Classes will cost about $199 a month for the music lessons, or $149 per month if students don’t want to perform at the end. Art lessons will cost $25 per class or $125 for 7 lessons. The courses will focus on students from 7 to 17 years old, but eventually there may be options for adults with interest as well.

For more information, residents can call 937-652-2787 or emailartsplayground@ctcn.net. The business has a website at www.theartsplayground.com, and is also on Facebook and Twitter.

The goal, Ebert said, is to make a viable business that introduces students to several forms of art.

“I’ve always been a great supporter of the arts,” Ebert said. “I think the arts are so important.”



Reader Comments ...


Next Up in Business

Gmail phishing scam may lead users to give up login info
Gmail phishing scam may lead users to give up login info

A new phishing scam is allowing hackers to gain access to unsuspecting Gmail users' accounts and target their login credentials, according to recent reports. Mark Maunder, CEO of security service Wordfence, described the scam in detail in a blog post, adding that it is also targeting other services beyond Gmail. Tech Times reported that the scam involves...
Millennials spend more on coffee, save less for retirement
Millennials spend more on coffee, save less for retirement

A large number of Millennials spent more on coffee in the past year than they invested in their retirement savings, according to a new study. » RELATED: What makes Millennials tick in the workplace? It may surprise you About 41 percent of the Millennials — ages 18 to 35 — admitted to spending more on coffee than they saved for retirement...
Some worry over impact from health care law repeal
Some worry over impact from health care law repeal

The U.S. House of Representatives on Friday joined the U.S. Senate in passing a budget reconciliation measure that would allow Congress to de-fund key elements of the Affordable Care Act, including tax credit subsidies and federal funding for Medicaid expansion in states like Ohio. While some are rejoicing over the move, replacing President Obama&rsquo...
Will Obamacare repeal leave people in the lurch?
Will Obamacare repeal leave people in the lurch?

As Congress moves forward on a resolution to repeal the Affordable Care Act, experts have warned such a measure could crash the law’s commercial insurance program, jeopardizing coverage for 11.5 million Americans, including more than 230,000 Ohioans. But local industry leaders remain hopeful that congressional Republicans — who are leading...
Holiday retail sales up, but some stores suffering
Holiday retail sales up, but some stores suffering

Retail sales hit about $658 billion for the holiday season, but several chain retailers still announced the closures of hundreds of unprofitable brick-and-mortar stores in January — including several stores locally. “These numbers show that the nation’s slow-but-steady economic recovery is picking up speed and that consumers feel...
More Stories