Give Your Kid a Voice

Look, I had plenty of skills as a kid. I turned front handsprings on the recess yard, held down second base on a winning softball team and even climbed to the top of the Camp Na-Sho-Pa’s tennis ladder at age 11. But singing. Not in my wheelhouse. Not even close. That’s why when I posted a video on Facebook of my daughter crushing it with an Adele cover, my childhood friends promptly responded with backhanded compliments like, “It’s a miracle!” or “How is that YOUR child?”

Truth is, in addition to inheriting her musicality from her father’s side, there were many, many hours of voice lessons, chorus rehearsals and words of encouragement that culminated in that performance. And a fair share came from an awesome little musical hub in the Parkside neighborhood called Inspire Music. Inspire has lessons for all ages, but it seems that teaching kids is currently their sweet spot.

From American Idol contestants (Yes, they’ve had a few) to pint-sized pianists, Inspire Music offers lessons in a wide variety of instruments and vocal styles at a reasonable price ($28- 30 mins, $45- 60 mins). Lessons with Victor Cerventes, owner and acclaimed Latin-Pop recording artist, and other senior faculty run a little higher ($35- 30 mins, $60- 60 mins), but years of experience and a knack for focusing on the individual needs of each student make it well worth the price.

For elementary and middle schoolers who enjoy performing and singing with a group, Inspire Music has amazing options to get those kids the stage time they crave. Hip Kids Chorus (grades 3-5) and Voices (grades 6-8) are “glee-styled” ensembles that meet once a week at a church a few blocks away. Though make no mistake, chamber music this is not!

Auditions are required for enrollment, and at the end of the 15 week session, you can see why. Final performances, often held at serious venues like Yoshi’s or The Chapel, bring down the house with complicated 4-part arrangements of contemporary pop and rock songs like Bohemian Rhapsody and even some close to Pitch Perfect-tion a cappella (think Fame song) as well. The fall session has already started, but I’m told that rolling enrollment can sometimes be arranged. Think you’d prefer to start with a shorter commitment? They also offer week-long rock band and glee-style camps in the Summertime.

Of course, Inspire Music may not be able to work miracles. But for kids that are hip to being heard, they’re gonna learn how to fly (high)!

Inspire Music 1241 Taraval St., San Francisco, CA 94116 415-504-7921 

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