Thursday, August 23, 2012

Art City Music Academy

I married into a musical family and as a newlywed, I learned that music lessons for our kids would be a necessity rather than a luxury. Since my wife is a professional violinist, she was able to teach our kids how to play the violin and piano, but she understood the value of having them study under other music teachers. As a result, we have had our kids enrolled at Art City Music Academy since 1999.

Art City Music Academy was founded in 1987 and is run by Chris and Yvonne Blonquist. They are both talented musicians who have a passion for what they do. They originally offered only piano lessons but there business has expanded over the years and today their experienced staff teaches piano, violin, cello, guitar, voice, and even dance classes.

They also offer several preparatory music courses for small kids as young as toddlers to ten years of age. Most of their clients are kids, but they also offer classes for adults. Their comprehensive curriculum includes music theory, sight reading, ear training, composition, as well as many performance classes and recital opportunities.

The success of their studio has allowed them to expand beyond Springville which is where their first location is located. They also have music studios in Orem, American Fork, and Draper.

My kids frequently get compliments for their musical talents and as much as I'd like to take credit for their success, I know it is mostly due to the successful program they have been involved in. I have always been impressed with the quality teachers that instruct and mentor my kids when it comes to their music education. If you are considering music lessons for your children or for yourself, I suggest you check Art City out for yourself. You can visit their website at

Sunday, August 5, 2012

Craig's Cuts

As a little kid, I remember getting my hair cut about once a month. Actually, I grew up in the 70's so it was probably not quite that frequent. My dad used to take me to places that had the traditional red, white, and blue, rotating barber pole. Those establishments were manly places where guys could hang out on a Saturday morning and shoot the breeze while they were getting their haircut. Over time, it became less common to see these "guy's barbershop" so I started getting more haircuts at some of the more popular chains or salons.

Several years ago I noticed signs around town for a $7 haircut at Craig's Cuts. I decided to give them a shot and I was surprised at how quick and affordable it was. The first couple locations I went to seemed kind of bare bones and were not very fancy, but the haircuts were affordable, and the girls who cut my hair did a great job.

I've watched this company grow over the years where they now have at least 6 locations in Utah County that I am aware of and the most recent one I went to was next to the Cinemark Theaters near Costco in Orem and is a really nice facility. Several of the stylists who have cut my hair have indicated that they like working there because they make more than they did at bigger chains where they had previously worked. I'm a little baffled how a business that charges so little for their service can pay their employees better, yet be growing like they are. It's either a ponzi scheme or a good business model.

Craig's Cuts also offers a water bottle, warm towel, and a short neck and shoulder massage with each haircut. I kind of think the massages that some hair cutting places give after they cut your hair are almost amount to teasing since they are so short, but I figure I'm paying for a haircut not a massage, so I can't really complain.

I understand that some people are very particular when it comes to their hair so I am a little hesitant to recommend any hair cutting establishment since every experience will vary depending on your stylist. A good haircut eventually boils down to the attitude and skill of your stylist. That being said, if you are looking for an affordable haircut, then I suggest you give Craig's Cuts a shot. You can visit their site at Craig'