Education Listings

The Language Immersion Institute (914-257-3500) double-dares you to leave your English at home. During its weekend courses and two-week summer sessions you will enter an authentic language environment—more authentic, in fact, than the real thing, since there are no English-speaking locals at hand to take pity on the tourist. Corporate and general rates vary. —Michael Zilberman

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Music

"Emanate, don't imitate," advises vocal teacher Melissa Cross. "Singing is about being real, being yourself, not somebody else." Through down to earth technical and creative exercises drawn on familiar imagery, students learn to sing as naturally as they speak. For more information, call the Melissa Cross Vocal Studio (868-0522).

The Studio (967-6124) offers musicians of all skill levels a relaxed environment in which they can take lessons, play with others, and even start their own band. Workshops, rehearsal spaces, and opportunities to perform at local clubs are just some of their services geared toward helping musicians grow. Call for prices.

Learn engineering from the ground up or find out about a specific area of recording through Uptime Recording Services' (462-3226) comprehensive engineering course. Students work with microphones like Neuman and AKG, operate a fully automated 48-track console, create mixes, and gain an understanding of digital audio systems.

Whether it's "Jazz Ensemble," "African Hand Drumming," or the new "Samba School" program, the Collective provides instruction in a wide range of musical styles. For more information on beginning and advanced classes, call 741-0091.

Harnessing a wide range of resources available on the Web, "The Internet for Musicians" at the New School (229-5353) examines techniques for locating music software, sequences, notation, MIDI, samples, and recordings. Successful cybermarketing techniques used by bands and record labels as well as legal issues are also discussed. Sessions begin February 1 and cost $360. —Tina Whelski

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Nature

Master the art of training plants at Wave Hill (718-549-3200, ext. 215) with gardener Laurel Rimmer, who will instruct class participants on the art of "Ivy Topiary." For a fee of $7, materials, such as wire for forming your own ivy ring designs, will be provided. Registration for the January 23 event is open, but seating is limited.

Turn your backyard or matchbox-sized Manhattan apartment into the arboretum you've always wanted with help from the New York Botanical Garden workshop, "The Hobby Greenhouse." Instructor Andrew Messinger illustrates how to construct, style, and maintain your ideal garden. Day-long classes are held over two consecutive Saturdays, January 30 and February 6. Fee for members $80; nonmembers $88. For more information, call 718-817-8747. But the fun doesn't stop there. This Valentine's Day, take a long, hot bath with the one you love in oils brewed at the workshop on creating herbal products. Call 718-817-8747 for more information on the February 14 course. Fee for members $51; nonmembers $54.

Interested in a career in wildlife? Learn about the varieties of occupations and what kinds of experience are necessary to enter the field at the Bronx Zoo (718-220-5131). Coffee and tea will be served. Separate sessions will be held on February 20 and April 10. Fee for members is $28; nonmembers $30.

At the Queens Botanical Garden (718-886-3800) learn how to maintain the youthfulness of plants or multiply their numbers for landscaping or personal enjoyment in a free lecture on "Plant Propagation" on February 27 at noon.

A lineup of artists and writers gather for one night only at the New York Open Center (219-2527) in a celebration of "The New Earth Before the Millennium." Members pay $8; nonmembers $10. —Jazell Andujar

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Photography

If a traditional class doesn't fit into your schedule, try learning photography from home. Besides the valuable tips offered on their acclaimed Web site (www.nyip.com), the New York Institute of Photography, America's oldest and largest photography school, administers an equally credible program via videocassettes, texts, and taped instructor feedback on your assignments. For more information, call 867-8260.

At the International Center of Photography (860-1776, ext. 156), distinguished photographers teach a wide variety of workshops and classes to students of all skill levels, including "The Photo Essay: From Concept to Presentation," "The Working Photographer," and "Getting Close: Access, Observation, and the Documentary Image."

Besides offering classes and workshops on topics such as Fashion and Wedding and "Fashion and Nude Photography," Arvis Art Photography (766-3686) also provides students with a member-operated photo club that allows them to hone their techniques. Beginners through professionals are welcome.

With an emphasis on creativity and self-expression, the School of Visual Arts has designed the workshop "Basic Photography I" for novices or relative beginners. Cameras, equipment, negative development, enlarging, bleaching, spotting, and mounting are all discussed. Darkroom facilities are also available. Twelve sessions cost $350. For more information, call 592-2050. —Tina Whelski

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Religion and Spirituality

Train yourself to diminish years and acquire vitality at the Source of Life Center's four-session seminar on ways to "Slow Down the Aging Process." John Rozsa illustrates the specific steps necessary to regain youth and achieve essential goals. Classes are held on consecutive Thursdays, beginning January 14. Tuition is $95. For more information, call 244-5888.

Learn the basic concepts of the Eckankar religion, which posits that the divine currents of light and sound are twin aspects of the Holy Spirit and sustain all life, at an introductory presentation on "Staying in Tune with the Light and Sound of God" at the Flushing branch of the YMCA on January 19. For more information, call 475-2061.

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