Every kid has an aspiring artist inside who’s hungry for some soul food. Our expansive list of after school arts classes will help nourish a budding guitar hero, piano man, Broadway star, ballerina… the list goes on! Whether they want to master an instrument, paint, sew or hula dance, there’s a class that’s sure to make his/her heart sing. Read on to find the place for your rock star to dance to the beat of her own drum.

Photo: Paper Moon Music via Yelp

Music to Their Ears

If your kiddo has aspirations to play the guitar in a band or rock the ukulele as a solo artist, Paper Moon Music specializes in lessons for those with a forte for stringed instruments. Learn to play guitar, ukulele, banjo, bass and piano with their trained professionals who are patient and make music lessons fun by teaching songs kids like and are familiar with. Kids also learn music theory, reading music and improvisation during courses. Parents can hang out in their comfy lounge area and watch their child’s lesson through the large observation windows or sit in on a lesson anytime. Bring your own instrument or rent one if you don’t own yet. Recitals let your child’s inner artist shine through on stage.

Cost: $120 monthly for half hour lessons; Discounted trial lesson.
4051 Voltaire St., Ste. D
San Diego Ca 92107
619-341-0552
Online: sandiegoguitarlessons.com

Photo: San Diego Junior Theatre

Act it Out

Got a starlet who loves to steal the show? At San Diego Junior Theatre, kids can dance, sing and act their way across the stage. Junior Theatre’s ten week classes run throughout the year and are a terrific introduction to theater for kids who love to let their imaginations run wild. Their wide range of classes can accommodate kids as young as age 3 and run the gamut from thematic plays featuring classic literature and new favorites to tap dancing, hip hop fusion and Broadway. Those cozy with a mic can gain experience and perform mini musicals or rock out. Mitzi Smith, the theatre’s Education Director, recommends a beginner take a class in the genre that piques his/her interest the most (they even offer specialized classes in areas such as special effects make-up and lighting design for those who want to work behind the scenes). The classes are an avenue to help kids gain the skills and confidence they need to audition and successfully be a part of shows put on at the Casa del Prado Theater, if they choose to do so.

Cost: $155-$265/session
Classes begin: Week of Sept. 11
1650 El Prado, #208
San Diego Ca 92101
Online: sdjt.org/classes

Photo: Kuhaihalau Facebook Page 

Dance Fever

If you’re looking for something beyond traditional dance, Kuhai Halau in Escondido offers authentic ongoing Hawaiian Hula and Tahitian dance classes. Kids create the magic of aloha through dance, learn Hawaiian culture, are embraced by teamwork that feels like family and gain the opportunity to showcase talent at many local performances and a yearly competition. Classes are taught by Kelly Halau who was trained in Hawaii from a young age and carries the tradition of hula forward. Beginning classes are available for boys and girls.

Cost: $55/month, plus annual $25 membership fee
231 E Grand Ave.
Escondido Ca 92025
760-807-6790
Online: kuhaihalausd.com/home

Want to help your budding ballerina leap toward his/her dance goals? Check out San Diego Academy of Ballet. This Kearny Mesa studio’s curriculum follows traditional Russian classical ballet.The huge studios are designed specifically for ballet with 7,500-square-feet of studio space, wood sprung floors and a baby grand piano. Take advantage of their quality performing opportunities for students with lavish sets and renowned guest artists and audition to perform in the Nutcracker.

Classes begin: Aug 28
Cost: $165 and up per quarter; sibling discounts
4696 Ruffner St.
San Diego, Ca 92111
858-496-0800
Online: sandiegoacademyofballet.org

Jibe Studios, an East County gem with a stellar reputation, is the perfect place for little dancers just getting started. Caring, quality instructors nurture kids’ natural love for music and dance. The studio offers classes in tap, jazz, ballet, hip hop and tumbling. Students enroll in ten week sessions. Winter and spring class participants have the opportunity to perform in fun recitals.

Cost: starts at $115 for 1 class per week
2315 Fletcher Pkwy.
El Cajon, Ca 92020
619-465-JIBE
Online: jibestudios.com

Photo: Pachis via Yelp

Paint Outside the Lines

Pachis Art Studio in Liberty Station designs their courses with the notion that kids are born creative. Owner and founder Juliana Flores strives to provide a structured yet open environment where kids can express themselves artistically. Classes encourage self-expression, build self-esteem and cultivate creative individuals.

Cost: 5 week classes $150
2820 Roosevelt Rd., Ste. 102
San Diego, Ca 92106
619-320-8057
Online: mypachis.com

UCSD grad Jaimee Brant runs the creative space at Paintbox Art Studio. Her classes, which include both art and sewing, are thematically based and teach understanding of specific historical art movements and various art techniques. She offers, “We explore all mediums using both step by step and free form instruction. The key to each class across all mediums( sewing included) is that each child has the freedom to create something unique to them, regardless of the lesson or daily theme.” Students are invited to display their art at a quarterly show where anyone can drop in, look around and enjoy the art and sewn works.

Cost: 15 week classes begin at $375
1101 Washington Pl.
San Diego, Ca 92103
Online: paintboxartstudio.com

Photo: Joan Kroc Center 

One-Stop Shop: The Joan Kroc Center

If you’ve visited the The Joan Kroc Center in the College Area you know it has a lot to offer: skating rink, huge pool, climbing wall and more. The facility’s crowning jewel is its beautiful theater. Beginning this fall, the Center will kick off its first-ever Kroc Junior Theatre Workshop Series focusing on Broadway theater skills. Students ages 8-18 can learn all elements of the theater from audition preparation, to backstage tech, to dance. Acclaimed professionals will help teach the courses. Enroll early! This is sure to be a popular program.

Classes begin: October 11
Cost: $158/Scholarships available.

You’ll find a wide range of music, dance, and painting classes as part of the arts offerings at The Kroc. From piano lessons to ballet and even a free brass program where beginners can try their hand at the trumpet, it’s all available at this Center with working artists teaching all courses. Cost: 8 week lessons begin at $105.

Love the Kroc? Become a member and save on most classes, enjoy unlimited access to Athletics/Aquatics and even free childcare.

6845 University Ave.
San Diego, Ca 92119
619-287-5762
Online: sd.kroccenter.org/classes

Do your kids take an awesome after school arts class? Tell us where in the comments.

––Cherie Gough