Our teachers design fun and creative lesson plans specifically for you. Chords, soloing, improvisation, and theory are all taught in a progressive and easy to understand manner. We offer personalized guitar lessons for all ages, styles and skill levels.
We can help beginners quickly learn the basic patterns and techniques to back up a band. Once you've got the basics, we'll help you learn interdependence and the advanced techniques of the masters.
Whether you want to learn how to read music, or just play along with your favorite songs, our teachers will take a customized approach, and create the perfect lesson plan for you.
Whether you're a complete beginner, or have been singing for years, voice lessons can be an eye opening experience. Learn proper breathe control, body alignment and vocal placement to maximize the potential of your voice.
Discover the Suzuki method for violin, and learn your favorite songs at the same time! We'll give you the proper technical foundation to make the violin sound warm and beautiful.
From beginners to advanced, we will teach the fundamentals of playing woodwind instruments, including proper breath control, tone and technique. Advanced students can learn jazz theory, dixie land melodies, and more in depth orchestral pieces.
Increase your knowledge of upright bass (double bass), or learn this string instrument as a beginner. Our teachers offer lessons to children and adults alike. We teach the basic skills, such as rest stroke and bowing, which apply to studies in jazz, classical, bluegrass and more.
Bass guitar is the foundation of a band. Working from tabs or standard notation, beginners will be able to follow along with their favorite songs in no time. More advanced students can learn theory and how to construct bass lines.
Great for tiny fingers! The Ukulele is a fantastic first instrument for kids and budding musicians of all ages. Our lessons will teach you the fundamentals of any string instrument, while exploring styles and strumming patterns unique to the ukulele.
Learn the fundamentals of bowing and fingering to get a beautiful tone out of your cello. Our string teachers have degrees from various music programs throughout the country and are great with beginners and advanced students alike.
Learn how to read music, proper embouchure and breathing techniques, all while gaining the skills necessary to perform in an orchestra or ensemble.
We offer baby classes (ages 0-3) and kids classes (ages 3-5) which feature performances, dancing and sing-alongs for kids and their parents. Instruments are provided so everyone can get involved! Our older classes also include general music education.
Learn how to read music, proper breathing technique and the standard repertoire, all while gaining the skills necessary to perform in an orchestra or ensemble.
Basic Drum Stick Technique
Stay Loose, Avoid Injury, and Maximize Natural Motion with Rebound
Most drummers, beginners and experienced, struggle with stick technique. There are many different ways to hold the sticks and strike the drums. I’ve spent many years working on technique and have even had to relearn the fundamentals after a hand injury. Through these trials and tribulations, I discovered that there isn’t just one technique for holding the sticks. There are, however, certain principles that will make techniques more effective (and help you avoid injury): form should be comfortable and loose, motion should follow natural body motion, and technique should utilize the rebound of the drum or cymbal.
- Stay loose! No matter how you hold the sticks, you should never feel tense or stressed. I liken holding the sticks to holding a hammer and building a shed – If you grip the hammer too tightly, you probably won’t last a dozen or so nails. If you allow the hammer to do the work, you can swing that thing all day long. Drum instructors talk about the fulcrum of the stick. This is the area where the pad of your thumb and the first or second finger hold the stick. It should be around the bottom third of the drum stick. How you hold this point is dependent on your own physiology (more to come on this), and you should never grip tightly. The balance point should be relatively loose so you don’t create tension in your tendons.
- Embrace Natural Body Motions. Think of a hinge on a seesaw – The wrist is a hinge, and your technique should use that seesaw motion to your advantage (I like to play with my wrist relatively flat). Regardless of your preferred technique, the wrists should be loose and doing most of the work. A lot of people focus on using the fingers. Fingers are important to technique – they allow you to play at softer dynamics and get a lot of snap out of your sound. However, you can do all of those things with wrist motion. If you are using your fingers, just make sure they don’t impede the motion of the stick – You never want to create extra fulcrums with your fingers. Make sure your fingers are in a natural and relaxed position to avoid creating tension between the tendons on the top and bottom of your forearm. Such tension can lead to injury.
- Rebound is Everything. Sticks are designed to achieve maximum rebound. This is why sticks taper towards the end and have a defined tip. Likewise, drums and cymbals also have substantial rebound. The degree of rebound varies based on tuning and cymbal weight, but you must always use it to your advantage. If you strike a drum or cymbal and don’t feel the stick flying back at you, then you aren’t loose or aren’t holding the stick at it’s balance point. Stick rebound is like dribbling a ball – You should always feel the power of the stick coming back at you after you throw the stick down at the cymbal or drum.
Your technique will be influenced by the size of your hand and fingers and will not look exactly like others’. Regardless, it should still follow the above guidelines. Constantly check that you are tension free, using natural body motion, and using the rebound of the stick and the instrument. If you are struggling, try practicing in front of a mirror to monitor the fine points of your technique.
Music & Community for Kids in Fishtown
This Saturday, March 14th, join us for some weekend music in Fishtown! For all those who can’t make our weekday times, you can come sing with your little ones at Philly Music Lessons on select Saturdays. These classes revolve around fundamental musical concepts. However, the benefits of gathering for collective song are far reaching and go beyond brain development and early music learning. The qualities I get most excited about are the social and sharing opportunities. We often forget how important friends and community are for babies and young children. As adults, communities develop around work, neighborhood hot spots, interests, and of course within our families. They are essential to our well-being! Its amazing to see how children need community too. It quickly becomes a staple in their own little lives, as source of joy and a creator of shared purpose. A place among peers can become a seed for individuality. Community doesn’t happen right off the bat – it takes time to trust and get to know each other. Its clear these Fishtown kiddos relish in the opportunity to create their own little world. After some possible initial shyness, leaving mom’s lap is a first step into that outer world. Full of goals and inspiration, social experimentation and art, classes become a studio for these little minds to create their own space. The children who have been at it the longest are really starting to call these music classes their own – they identify favorite songs, negotiate with each other, and develop a curiosity about music and a shared language.
Come see for yourself! Friendships await.
Music Classes in Fishtown (Baby and Tots 0-4)
- $10/class when you sign up for the month (Weekdays or Weekends)
- $15 Drop in (email first)
- First time FREE!
- Weekly classes on Tuesdays and Wednesdays @10 AM
- Wednesdays 11:30 AM
- See our Calendar for upcoming Saturdays
Email Phillymusicbabies@gmail.com or Contact Us
Meet one of our Tried-and True Drum Teachers, Tom Cullen
We have two drum teachers at Philly Music Lessons. Both Temple grads of the Boyer College of Music, these guys are experienced performers and teachers. Tom Cullen and Alex Maio have been with us since the beginning – since before we started interviewing teachers about their own experience and interests! Thus, we have some fresh new thoughts from them. Here is Tom Cullen’s interview:
Tom Cullen’s – Bio
I teach Drums and Piano. Music is my life. On any given day I am performing, teaching, recording, rehearsing or writing music. I began playing and studying drums at a young age and continued my music education all the way up to college. I have 2 music degrees from Bucks County Community College and Temple University. I’ve been teaching students of all ages for close to 10 years. Instead of a hard lined curriculum I approach each student individually and establish personal goals. I teach with an open mind, patience and care. Lessons are fun and informative. I am a versatile player with years of experience and knowledge. I can teach you any style or technique you wish to learn. Schedule a Lesson