Take a class, learn a new skill in the Hudson Valley
For many of us, each new year begins with the hope that we can become more well-rounded, better educated and maybe better paid human beings during the next 365 days.
So for those who want to broaden their horizons in 2013, we've rounded up several Hudson Valley classes in art, music, language, design and more. Resolutions may be easy to break, but we figure if you're paying for a class, the likelihood of follow-through is that much higher.
ART AND MUSIC
Learn to blow glass: Located in a restored firehouse just a short walk from the famed Dia:Beacon art museum, Hudson Beach Glass is a gallery and studio that offers glass-blowing classes by appointment for $75 per person (162 Main St., Beacon; 845-440-0068; www.hudsonbeachglass.com/classes.html). One-on-one instruction is offered, and small groups are welcome, too. The studio also holds two-day weekend workshops on making glass beads, with upcoming 2013 workshops taking place March 16-17 and May 18-19; classes run from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and the workshops, which provide all materials, cost $200 per person.
Release your inner Picasso: The Art Academy of Westchester in Dobbs Ferry offers two-hour weekly classes in drawing, painting and sculpting (145 Palisade St., Dobbs Ferry; 914-455-4050; artacademyofwestchester.com). Instructors employ the "Atelier Method," modeled after 19th-century European art studios, and according to the school, "Drawing, painting, and sculpting from direct observation is fundamental in our method of instruction." For those interested in sculpture, options include clay sculpture, portrait sculpture, figure sculpting and ecorche sculpting. For budding painters, there's a class on fundamentals of painting, drawing and beginning painting, classical painting and portrait painting. A fundamentals of drawing class is also available. Although the winter session, which runs through March, started Jan. 6, students are welcome to start a bit late. Tuition is $350 and there's a $35 registration fee and $30 materials fee.
Advance your music skills: For the musically inclined (or even musical novices), Tarrytown's Mozartina Musical Arts Conservancy offers a wide range of individual instrumental and vocal instruction for both children and adults (43 Prospect Ave., Tarrytown; 914-631-5190; www.mozartina.org). Lessons are available for all instruments, including harp, mandolin, piano, brass, woodwinds and guitar. The winter semester begins Feb. 4 and lessons are available on mornings, afternoons and weekends. An $879 fee includes 15 weeks of 45-minute classes, plus a student performance at the Tarrytown Music Hall. There's a $969 fee for one-hour classes.
Train your two left feet: At Scardsale's JCC of Mid-Westchester, kids, teens and adults at all levels of training can take classes in ballet, point, jazz, hip-hop, tap, Israeli folk, swing and Argentine tango (999 Wilmot Rd., Scarsdale; 914-472-3300; www.jccmw.org/dance_school.htm#adult). Led by Jayne Santoro, a former ballerina with the Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre, The Dance School offers packages and a la carte classes Monday through Saturdays, with ballet classes taking place every day. Classes are $17-$22 per session, with the exception of Israeli folk dancing, which is $11. Ballet classes feature live piano accompaniment.
Pick up professional skills: Even if your chef dreams never came to fruition, you can still feel like a pro chef at one of the Culinary Institute of America's Saturday cooking classes, which are taught by faculty from the degree program (1946 Campus Dr., Hyde Park; 800-888- 7850; www.ciachef.edu/enthusiasts/weekends). Classes, which take place at the school's Hyde Park campus, last from 9:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. and are $250 each. That fee pays for an apron, recipes and a corresponding cookbook. Classes include An Indian Feast, Breakfasts and Brunches, Vegetarian Cuisine and Sharpening Your Knife Skills. There are also baking classes, like Artisan Breads at Home and Cake Decorating, and even parent and teen cooking classes.
Bake Parisian pastries: La Tulipe Desserts is an authentic (and Martha Stewart-approved) Mount Kisco patisserie run by husband-and-wife team Maarten and Frances Steenman (455 Lexington Ave., Mount Kisco; 914-242-4555; www.latulipedesserts.com/bakingclasses.html). Maarten runs a $500 four-part baking class where students learn to make cakes, tarts, chocolates and other sweet confections sold in the shop. The winter semester begins Wednesday, Jan. 16. Each class, which lasts from 7 to 11 p.m., is limited to six students.
Learn to fence: Ever wish you could challenge your opponent to a duel? If you take classes at the Fencing Academy of Westchester, your dueling days may be nearer than you think (40 Saw Mill River Rd., Hawthorne; 914-345-5005; www.fencewestchester.com). There are four former Olympians among the school's instructors, and lessons are taught using foil, saber and epee swords. Twenty-minute private lessons are $40, and group lessons are $20 per hour. After one month of lessons, you must become a member ($800 per year). Membership runs from September to September, so those who join now will be charged a prorated fee. Equipment is free.
Speak Italian: Expand your repertoire beyond Olive Garden Italian at the Westchester Italian Cultural Center (24 Depot Square, Tuckahoe; 914-771-8700; wiccny.org/events/language-classes/private-italian-lessons). The 10-class spring session runs from Feb. 5 to April 16, and the next session runs from April 24 to June 19. The center offers lessons for beginners (adagio), intermediate (moderato) and advanced (forte) students. Group classes are $475, $375 for members. One-hour private lessons are $85 per session, or $80 per session if you book five. Teachers speak Italian only, so students are fully immersed in the language. One day class and one evening class are offered for each level every week.
Advance your Spanish skills: If private, in-home tutoring is what you'd prefer, Argentine-born Leonor teaches all levels through LoveMySpanish (914-631-0003). The teacher covers Westchester and the Hudson Valley and charges $60 per hour.
Make the perfect cocktail: If you've always wanted to try your hand at mixing drinks, the Academy of Professional Bartending School is where you can pick up some skills (363 North Ave., New Rochelle; 914-813-8660; www.ezbartending.net). The 40-hour, $395 course can be taken over one or two weeks or across five Saturdays. Because the school is state-licensed, certification is good anywhere in the country. The class guarantees job placement in and outside of the New York City area and covers everything from glassware to garnishes, mixology, wine, shooters, coffees and frozen drinks. Classes are offered throughout the year.
Learn marketable digital skills: At Peekskill's Center for the Digital Arts, a satellite extension of Westchester Community College, students can work toward a 36-credit vocational digital arts certificate, which covers technical skills for graphic design, digital editing and more (27 N. Division St., Peekskill; 914-606-7300; www.sunywcc.edu/extension_sites/locations/peekskill/peekskill.htm). There's an internship associated with the certificate, and students will finish with a professional level portfolio. For a shorter commitment, the center offers Quick Start noncredit software training classes for adults, such as a four-part class on InDesign (March 16-April 13; $386 plus a $50 lab fee) and a one-part HTML class (Saturday, Feb. 9; $235 plus a $50 lab fee). The center also offers pre-college classes in Game Design, 3-D animation and more for ages 7 to 17.