Schedule A Lesson!

(610) 451-7883

We teach private and group piano, drum, electric bass, upright bass (double bass), guitar, voice, violin, cello, ukulele, banjo, flute, trumpet, trombone, saxophone and clarinet lessons at our Fishtown location. We travel throughout Philadelphia, Lower Merion, and all along the Main Line for in-home lessons.


Teachers work with beginner, intermediate, and advanced students of all ages (kids, teens, and adults). Each lesson involves its own creative approach, based on interests, needs, and goals.


About Us

We are a group of teachers and musicians, brought together by our shared love of music and education. Located in Fishtown, our studio is a hop, skip, and a jump from just about anywhere in Philly. We personally create unique and engaging lesson plans, designing them based on each individual student. Students can take lessons at our studio or in their homes.

As musicians, we value both the art and the craft of music - we encourage creativity and exploration while steadily building a strong framework of fundamental skills. We aim to cultivate a deep understanding of music to allow students to achieve a variety of goals. To start lessons with us, call 610 451 7883

About Our Teachers
  • Guitar Lessons

    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.

  • Drum Lessons

    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.

  • Piano Lessons

    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.

  • Voice Lessons

    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.

  • Violin Lessons

    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.

  • Sax & Clarinet Lessons

    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.

  • Upright Bass

    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

    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.

  • Ukulele Lessons

    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.

  • Cello Lessons

    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.

  • Trumpet Lessons

    Learn how to read music, proper embouchure and breathing techniques, all while gaining the skills necessary to perform in an orchestra or ensemble.

  • Baby and Kids Classes

    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.

  • Flute Lessons

    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.

Our Teaching Philosophy

We pride ourselves on our teachers' abilities to engage with students based on their unique learning styles and goals! Our core instructors have strong backgrounds in a variety of musical styles: jazz, classical, bluegrass, rock, blues, and more. With methods ranging from ear-training and intuitive playing to advanced studies in notation and music theory, our lessons provide thoughtful and fun guidance. With a broad range of experience, our teachers will prepare students for performance, collaboration, composition, and more.

Student Events

Watch videos of our students recent performances.

View Student Recitals

Just in! Ukuleles for Kids Classes

Learning Guitar Concepts on Ukulele in our Group Kids Classes

Good news! Our ukuleles just came in so we can start prepping for music class. Our Big Kid’s class starts April 4th. As of now, we’ve just got an 11 AM Saturday time. However, these small classes work much like private group lessons in that they can be scheduled based on group interest. We’d love to hold more times, especially an after-school weekday time with one of our guitar teachers. So, if you’ve been looking for something along these lines (perhaps as an alternative to private lessons or something to do after school), look no further and contact us with your availability! We’ll do our best to arrange a group. For group lessons, we don’t just do our kids music classes – we also arrange groups for teens and adults and offer classes as well (BYOB singing classes, Beginner Guitar, Folk Ensemble, Vocal Technique, and more).

Description of Our Big Kid’s Class:

This class is a step between our baby and toddler music classes and private lessons. Small group instruction for kids ages 4-6 uses ukuleles and xylophones to playfully teach music. Classes are made up of between 5-6 children. Through guided exploration, children learn notes, listen with their ears, and practice basic technique. Songs are used as learning tools and interludes between activities. Curiosity and experimentation are encouraged.

*People often ask us, what age is good to start children with private lessons? Every child is different! Some kids might be interested at an earlier age than others. Typically, we suggest waiting until your child is at least 4 years old. We do, however, teach children younger if there is a strong interest. Instruments like piano and drums are easier to start with than guitar, and ukuleles are a good way to work up some of the strength required for guitar technique.

Meet Frank Velardo, our Guitar Teacher

guitar lessons

Guitar Teachers at Philly Music Lessons

Introducing Frank Velardo to our pool of talented guitar experts. Looking to take lessons for blues, jazz, or rock? He’s your guy.

Frank is a fellow former jazz performance mate from Joey’s days at the Boyer College of Music and Dance. Thus, we’ve been rubbing guitar elbows with Frank in the music scene for years! From jazz sets at Book Space, Chris’s, and Caribou Cafe (to name just a few), to sharing a bass player on more than one occasion, we’ve gotten groovy to the guitar licks of Frank plenty of times. In addition to being a master of his craft, Frank’s also an awesome teacher. And he looks like George Harrison.

Frank’s Bio:

I teach Guitar, Bass, Piano and Ukulele.  I am an accomplished musician, composer and educator versed in many contemporary styles. I have been studying blues  and jazz based music for many years now and have developed an authentic sound that stands prominently among my idols. I play in  several Philly based groups as a sideman, and I also lead my own  project. In 2010 I graduated from Temple University with a degree  in jazz performance, and in 2012 I released my first collection of original music, The Ardvark Felon.

Here’s our interview with Frank:

When did you begin playing [instrument], and why?:

I took my first piano lesson when I was 9, but my mother had shown me a few things before that. I got serious about music when I started paying the guitar. I was 12 years old. I started playing guitar because I wanted to be able to play “Good Riddance (TIme of Your Life)” by Greenday.

What are your personal goals as a musician?:
Like with anything else, there are short-term and long-term goals. A short-term goal could be something like learning a new song or copying a solo. A long term goal is something like being able to identify the chord changes of a song without having to struggle over it, or learning how to play jazz. My long term goals with the guitar is to be able to play every “idea” that comes to me while improvising… oh yea, and to have fun! 

Do you have a memory of a time when a musical concept or technique really clicked? Something you’ll remember forever?:
I was working on being able to hear a continuous stream of 8th notes in my head. I thought it would help my jazz playing. It’s a concept call “Forward Motion”. Hal Galper, jazz pianist and educator coined the term and wrote a book on it. I spent years doing exercises and practicing. It finally clicked one day while I was watching TV. I was just sitting there, not trying, but then I could suddenly hear the notes in my head, and feel where my fingers had to be to play them. It was exciting!

What is your favorite piece of advice from one of your past (or current) teachers?:
Be stubborn. It sounds cliche but “sticking with it” is really the key ingredient to success in music, because if I would have quit back then, I wouldn’t be where I am now.

What was your most challenging moment learning an instrument?:
Working on time/rhythm. It’s still a challenge, and I’ve improved in that department a lot over the last 5 years.

What is your biggest musical achievement?:
I’ve practiced to the point where the guitar is no longer an obstacle in conveying my emotions or “saying what I need to say” through music.

Favorite thing about teaching?:
It forces me to be patient and understanding. I enjoy playing the support role and, I like watching students connect the dots. I’ve had a lot of great teachers over the years so I feel it’s important to keep that tradition going.

What is a piece of advice you would like to share with anyone learning music?:
If you have a guitar, don’t wait for the first lesson to take it out of its case! Don’t be afraid to mess around with it. There’s nothing that you can do that will jeopardize your ability to improve if you start playing before the first lesson. Teachers like to see that you have take some initiative with your learning.

Personal music projects: i.e. bands, groups, shows, recording, etc. (if any):
I play every last Tuesday of the month at Jose Pistolas at 15th and Spruce with my trio. I also play in a blues band called the Downtown Shimmy. I have a calendar of show dates on my website www.frankvelardomusic.com I also have some original tunes and photos posted.

New Piano Teacher!

 

Piano Lessons with Alex Ayala

Piano Lessons with Alex Ayala

Meet Our New Piano Teacher

Alex Ayala
I teach piano.  I graduated from the University of the Arts with a BM in music performance.  While at UArts, I studied under piano teachers Don Glanden, Tom Lawton and Trudy Pitts.  I also received guidance from some of Philly’s finest musicians.  I am currently a freelance musician performing in a wide range of diverse bands and ensembles. As an educator, I teach intermediate/advanced piano with an emphasis on jazz, rock, blues and contemporary music.  My methods involve the basics of note-reading and technique, as well as ear training and theory to provide a fun musical experience that goes beyond the notes on a page.  It is my goal to share my passion of music with my students and to help them find their musical passion.

When did you begin playing [instrument], and why?: Trumpet was my first instrument. Through trumpet, I was able teach myself piano. There was something about it that just came naturally to me…I could do things on the keyboard that I could not on the trumpet.  I got serious about the piano when I was in 8th grade and stuck with it since.
What are your personal goals as a musician?: My goal is to constantly learn and constantly grow.  One can always strive to get better no matter how ‘good’ one gets.
Do you have a memory of a time when a musical concept or technique really clicked?  Something you’ll remember forever?: When I was a sophomore at UArts, one of my teachers made us improvise over a tune using only quarter notes and with no accompaniment.  That concept forces you to really be able to hear the harmony as you are soloing and helps with memorization.  That was a big milestone in my development.
What is your favorite piece of advice from one of your past (or current) teachers?: Knowing the tune is one thing, but you don’t have complete mastery over it until you internalize it and make it a part of you.
What was your most challenging moment learning an instrument?: Understanding that sometimes one has to take a step backward before they can take a few steps forward.
What is your biggest musical achievement?: I’m not sure which of my achievements can be considered the ‘biggest’…but one of my favorites was being in the 2011 Boston Crusaders Drum and Bugle Corps.  For an entire summer, I got to tour half of the country with 150 other performers who I consider family.  It was completely different from what I currently do in my professional music career…but performing in stadiums packed with thousands of people is something I will never forget.
Favorite thing about teaching?: Being able to teach my students about how to live a fulfilling life, in addition to music.
What is a piece of advice you would like to share with anyone learning music?: Listening is just as important as practicing, and always listen with an open mind.
Personal music projects: I’m in a rock band: Cold Roses (just released our first album: ‘No Silence in the City’) and a jazz group: Norris Street Trio.  I also starting playing with an 11 piece big band: The Hoppin’ John Orchestra.  I have also performed and recorded with various other groups as a freelance musician.