(215) 645-0405

Philly Music Lessons specializes in connecting students of all ages and skill levels with great teachers in the Philadlephia and Main Line area. We recognize there are endless reasons for learning music, and our teachers are encouraged to cultivate unique lessons based on the interests, needs, and learning styles of each individual. We offer in-home lessons throughout the Greater Philadelphia Area and the Main Line, and also offer lessons and group classes at our Fishtown location.

We have instructors for guitar, bass, piano, drums, cello, violin, voice, ukulele, banjo, clarinet, saxophone, flute, trumpet, trombone, upright bass, and more. Their expertise ranges from classical to jazz, to modern and other niche styles. Beginners and advanced students of all ages welcome!

About Us

We bring teachers and musicians together through a shared love of music and learning. A hop, skip, and a jump from just about anywhere in Philly, we are accessible by train and located just north of Northern Liberties in Philadelphia’s Fishtown/Kensington neighborhood. Students have access to full upright pianos, drum sets, amps, and recording capabilities at our studio. In-home lessons are available throughout Philly and the Main Line.

At Philly Music lessons, we aim to:

• Create unique and engaging lessons

• Encourage creativity and exploration

• Progressively build fundamental techniques and skills

• Cultivate a deep understanding of music

Schedule A Lesson
  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • Philly Music Babies

    Baby and toddlers can learn music too! Babies (0-3) join weekly classes in Fishtown, occurring weekday mornings and select Saturdays throughout the year. Big kids (4-6) join exploratory group music classes - Hands-on exploration with ukuleles, drums, and piano.

  • Beginner Classes

    Learn the basics of guitar, violin or voice in a group setting! Classes for both kids and adults focus on a variety of beginning techniques and repertoire. As each class progresses, students will learn to perform songs as a group.

  • Summer Rock Camp

    Kids will learn rock repertoire, play in a band, record in the studio and walk away with a professional quality recording. Summer camps last one week and are held at our studio.

Our Teaching Philosophy

We strive to hire great teachers. Our core instructors have 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. A broad range of experience allows our teachers to creatively prepare students for performance, collaboration, composition, and more.

Schedule A Lesson Now!

Developing a Practice Routine

“Doing is the essential of learning. The doer is the learner.” -Ray Josephs

It can be difficult in this busy world to find the time to practice your instrument. But, the fact of the matter is, practicing regularly is what develops your ability to express yourself easily on your instrument. There are 3 main questions to address surrounding practice routines:

  1. What should I practice?
  2. How often should I practice?
  3. What is the difference between “practicing” and just playing whatever I like for 90 minutes a day?

1. What to practice

Curiosity, Not Cramming
Students should practice areas of playing that need improvement as well as unexplored ideas. They should be strengthening skills and learning new ones. Try new ideas that are just out of reach, yet avoid practicing ideas that are too difficult (or the result may be disappointing). Your teacher can help you determine difficulty level if you aren’t sure.

Practice should be engaging and fun. It should not feel like a chore or a cram session for a final exam. After you and your teacher discuss goals, your teacher can prescribe appropriate exercises. Once you reach a certain level of comfort playing these exercises, your curiosity may kick in. You may wonder what other possibilities exist – Now is the time to feed that curiosity with some fun challenges. A curious mind is an open mind, and an open mind is always learning.

Theme and Variation
An exciting way to get more mileage from an exercise is through “theme and variation”. Theme and variation works by disguising a main idea in new and clever ways. For example, say the theme is C harmonic Minor. Students can try changing the way they practice this scale by varying the rhythm. Play the scale as 8th notes, triplets, 16th notes, 32nd notes, etc. Try shuffling or swinging the rhythm for a different feel. Try changing the time signature or adding interesting rests or moments of silence. Perhaps instead of playing the scale in a step-wise motion, vary the pattern of intervals in 3rds, 4ths etc. Let’s say you are learning a 6 stroke roll on drums – write the idea out in a dozen variations. This way, you can achieve the fundamental goal of repetition while exploring how each example has a unique sound and feel. Theme and variation is exciting and can make practicing something students look forward to. It is a great way to ensure natural progress, since variation is still related to a single theme or idea. Be sure to ask your teacher about incorporating “theme and variation” at your next lesson.

2. How often should I practice?

Students (adults and teens) should reserve at least an hour each day for music (5-15 minutes for very young kids)This is the minimum if you would like to see noticeable improvement. If you don’t have that time, a little bit every day is still better than one or two big chunks once or twice a week. If you’re dedicated, and have 2-4 hours, even better!

3. How to Practice and Progress: Play, Focus, & Self Discovery

To begin practicing, students should start by playing freely – but don’t get carried away! I recommend playing freely for the first 5-10 minutes. Try to manage your allotted time by dividing your practice routine into different segments or areas of study. For example:

  1. Free Play
  2. Technique
  3. Scales
  4. A New Song
  5. Etc.

The Value of Self-Teaching Through Free Play
I have studied  music from grade school through college, but also consider myself to be self taught in many ways. I recall playing freely when I was younger and noticing an interesting rhythm. No one had taught this rhythm to me – I had stumbled upon it. I knew immediately that I liked how it sounded, yet I also knew there was room for improvement. As there was still a disconnect between what I imagined in my mind head and what I heard from my drums, I played it over and over again. I played it slow to make sure my muscle memory was learning the correct motions. I played it fast to make sure I had control of speed and direction. Practicing an idea found through one’s own explorations, and then improving upon it through repetition, is another useful practice technique.

Another way to play/practice with self-guidance is to listen to your favorite songs. Try to figure out your part. This is a great way to develop your ear and also the layout of your instrument. Be sure to share with your teacher what you have figured out. Perhaps you missed a couple notes or the chord voicing was wrong. They will be glad to help you.

Finding a Balance Between Fun and Progress During Practice
Students need influence and guidance from others, but also need to develop their own truths, opinions, and curiosities about music. The key difference between playing whatever you want for 90 minutes and playing during a practice session is the focus on progress. Practice requires you to be aware of your shortcomings and to take a moment to figure out solutions. These moments can be discussed with your teacher. They want to know what you’ve been working on. Explain to them what you’ve been doing on your instrument – whether it’s an assignment or your own pursuit, your teacher wants to help you improve your skills.

Music is scientific in many ways, but it is still an art. No matter what it is you are trying to convey, it is all made possible when you are comfortable on your instrument.  There are two solid paths to developing an understanding of your instrument (I find that it is a healthy balance of these two paths that will help you become well rounded). Remember to practice exercises assigned by your teacher on a regular basis (focused progress), and also save time to just play, experiment and enjoy yourself (curiosity and exploration).

April Baby Music Dates

April baby and toddler musicMusic Mornings for Babies and Tots in Fishtown

April weekday music classes for babies and tots (ages 0-3) will be on Wednesday mornings at 10 AM. These classes are currently full, but you can be added to the waitlist if you’re looking to join us!

April Saturday dates are as follows: April 2nd, 16th, 23rd, and 30th at 10 AM. Additionally, we have a new SUNDAY MUSIC CLASS with Keely Sibilia. This class will be at 10 AM on April 10th, 17th, and 24th. Please email me if you’d like to join! Weekend classes take place about 3 times a month.

Class Drop in and Punch Card Policies:
So long as classes are not labeled “FULL” on our calendar, you’re welcome to drop in for $15. If you’d like to be a regular, you can attend classes for $10 or less with a package/punch card. If classes are full, you can always contact us to get on a waiting list.

Packages Options: Baby Music Lover (5 classes for $50), Mega Fan (12 classes for $100).

Expiration Date Policy (NEW!):
To encourage steady class sizes and regular friends and faces, we’ve created an expiration date policy. This only applies to new punch cards purchased, so any outstanding punch cards are valid as purchased.

How it works: From the time you purchase a punch card, your card will be dated +2 classes out from your 5 purchased (+3 classes out from your 12). This allows you to miss two or three classes within a reasonable time frame. This will be based on your chosen day of the week (Wednesdays, Saturdays or Sundays). If you think you’ll be missing more frequently, the drop-in option may be best for you! Please feel free to email with any questions.

Payments:
Payments can be made in person with cash, credit card, or check. Invoices can also be sent via email (and online payments can be made using Square).

Thanks!

See you all soon,
Claire, “Coco”

Philly Music Babies
Philly Music Lessons


 

Other News:

Drum Class Sign Ups!

4-6 year olds, 4 PM Saturdays – Starts this weekend (6 wks)

There are a few spaces left in our drum class, which starts this Saturday at 4 PM. Taught by Julius Rivera (as seen at the Trenton Ave Arts Fest, Haggert Playground in the summer, and other neighborhood festivities and locales), this class is a physical, fun-filled, introductory drum class. Please contact us if you’d like to join! It is a great prequel to private drum lessons.

Ukulele for Moms and Dads

If you’re around at 10 AM on Friday mornings, you may be interested in joining our baby-friendly ukulele class! Starting this Friday, parents can learn ukulele basics as well as simple lullabies and modern songs in our 45 minute class. We welcome you to bring you little ones (we suggest pre-movers and walkers). Babies can tag along and tinker with musical instruments amid the sound of ukulele lessons and intermittent group music. Please contact us with interest!

Coco’s Maternity Leave!

Sometime in May, I will be taking a few months off over the summer to take care of my new baby! During that time, classes will continue, lead by Keely Sibilia. Keely will be teaching the Sunday classes this month, and will be at classes on Wednesdays to get to know the little ones.

Beginner Guitar Books, A Look Inside

We wanted to show prospective students what their first year of lessons might look like. Our guitar teachers have individual approaches, and books are only portion of what goes on. However, because books are a foundational tool where progress can be easily observed, we thought they provided a good way to show a range of beginner skills. We took a look at one of the most common beginner guitar books students might encounter (Mel Bay’s Modern Guitar Method 1) and made video samples at various stages. This Mel Bay book, which can be used for both teens and adults, teaches modern guitar method – a good basis for rock, blues, and jazz (classical method involves its own separate techniques).

This video features the last song in the book, “Southern Fried”(page 47). With a steady amount of practice, students might expect to complete this first book in about 6 months – so this is what you’ll be playing!

As the final piece of music, “Southern Fried” follows many songs, exercises, diagrams, and practice rituals for guitar, all of which slowly build skills to the level exhibited. The content of this beginner book includes an introduction to proper form, musical notation explanations (strokes of the pick, time signatures, the staff, and the notes themselves, etc.), basic tuning methods, beginner duets, chords in various keys, and chromatics. Stay tuned for more samples!