(215) 645-0405

Philly Music Lessons specializes in connecting students of all ages and skill levels with great teachers in the Philadelphia 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! All of our teachers have up-to-date clearances to work with children and have had criminal background checks.

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!

Five Underrated Instruments

5 Underrated Instruments for Your Child to Learn

original-5underrated_blogWhether your child wants to join their school band or orchestra, or if you want your child to take private music lessons, it can be difficult to select the right instrument. Oftentimes, students and parents alike only consider instruments that are popular, age appropriate, and/or affordable. While this criteria is reasonable, there are a number of underrated instruments for your child to learn that are also age appropriate and inexpensive.

Take a moment to consider these instruments and their benefits.

 

  1. Viola
    A lesser known string instrument, the viola closely resembles the violin in every way it counts. In fact, many viola players are able to use their skills to play the violin later on. How? Not only are both of these instruments held and played the same way, they share three of the same strings. While the violin has one higher string, the viola has one lower string.

    The main difference between the two instruments is the clef they use. Violists are the only instrumentalists who regularly use the alto clef. Therefore, those who play the viola tend to have phenomenal music reading and music theory skills. Although the viola is often neglected for its popular sibling the violin, it’s one of the best instruments for your child to learn from an educational and opportunity standpoint. Less competition amongst violists means more opportunities to play.

  • Trumpet
    While trumpets are well-known instruments, they are not well selected by kids looking to learn an instrument for the first time. This could be because trumpets are considered one of the most difficult instruments to play. Not only does it require good breath and finger coordination, it is a loud instrument. Furthermore, trumpets are often given the melody, making precise intonation important. If a trumpet goes out of tune, everyone will notice. This makes it a great instrument for your child to learn if they enjoy a challenge or being the center of attention.
  • Trombone
    The trombone – even less popular than the trumpet – offers a number of advantages to your child. Like many of the instruments on this list, less competition means your child will have more opportunities to play the trombone. The trombone has the unique benefit of being valuable to just about every kind of music group as well. They’re heard in bands, orchestras, symphonies, jazz bands, and so on. While the trombone can be a difficult instrument to care for, it can be a good opportunity for your child to learn about the importance of maintenance and respect for valuable items.
  • Flute
    Considered one of the oldest woodwind instruments, the flute is an easy, affordable, and versatile instrument for your child to learn. It is considered versatile in terms of both portability and usage. Learning the flute allows students to pick up other instruments later on as well, such as the piccolo or the saxophone. Its ease and pleasing tone make it a good instrument to develop your child’s confidence and foundational understanding of music.
  • Clarinet
    The clarinet is often neglected over its more popular counterpart, the saxophone. Few people realize the similarities between these two instruments, but a soprano saxophone even looks similar to a clarinet. However, the saxophone is considered easier to play than the clarinet, meaning the clarinet offers an educational advantage to your child. Furthermore, just like the viola to the violin, students who learn the clarinet can easily learn the saxophone later on. Switching the other way around, however, is more challenging.

 

Every Student Is Unique

It can be difficult to choose an instrument for you or your child when you’re just starting out, though we hope you will seriously consider these underrated instruments for your child to learn. Each one offers unique benefits to the player, and by virtue of being underrated, your child will often have more opportunities to play as a result. This could include special bands or orchestras, competitions, or even scholarships. No matter what instrument your child chooses to play though, we hope they enjoy a lifelong relationship to music!

Bass Instruction at Philly Music Lessons

bass lessons bass instructionAn Introduction to Bass Instruction

What should you expect when beginning bass lessons? At Philly Music Lessons, we have bass instructors who specialize in both upright and electric bass, and will help students learn to play and understand the music they love. Whether they have some level of experience and want to continue to grow as a bassist, or are just starting out on their musical journey, our teachers can help identify their needs and goals. While we work toward fulfilling these goals, our teachers will provide the appropriate bass instruction for any level of student.

For Beginning Students

A beginner bass student can expect to learn the basics of his or her instrument. This includes how to tune it and where to find the notes. Students will also learn the fundamental techniques of playing, such as:

  • fingering the electric bass
  • bowing the upright bass
  • major and minor scales
  • time signatures
  • chords and arpeggios

Depending on the goals of the student and teacher, students can learn to read traditional notation, tab, or both. In addition to one-on-one guidance during lessons, teachers will show the student how to practice effectively on their own in a way that enforces good habits and develops a steady sense of time. Together, the student and teacher will lay out fundamental skills while also learning songs to keep the lessons fun and engaging.

For Intermediate Students

An intermediate level bass student will expand on the fundamentals to explore the specific styles of music that they enjoy playing and develop their ability to write and play their best bass lines.  At this level, students will study the role of the bass in an ensemble within various genres, and learn to use their knowledge to play collaboratively with others. Advanced playing techniques that may be more genre specific such as picking, slapping, and playing chords will be studied.

The student should also expect to study more advanced concepts in music theory such as jazz harmonies and playing in advanced time signatures. Improvisational soloing in various genres will be studied theoretically and practically. A fantastic tool for this is transcribing solos from the great players of the past! You can learn so much about the music theory and creativity required to make a great improvisation by carefully looking at what has been done before.

Musical instruments can be expensive and complicated investments that can feel daunting for people who are just starting out, but our teachers are there for our students every step of the way! Our instructors can help the student put together a bass rig with the perfect tone, features, and budget for their needs, as well as help them learn how to properly maintain the instrument throughout their studies. Students of all ages and ability levels will find Philly Music Lessons a fabulous place for growth that fosters a talent that will stay with them for a lifetime. We can help guide bassists of all kinds through the most important years of their development!

Easy Holiday Songs to Play on the Guitar

Put On Your Ugly Christmas Sweater and Break out a Holiday Tune!

Guitar Christmas Songs It’s that time of year, and many new guitar students out there want to show off their stuff for the holiday season. We want to help you out by giving you a selection of easy holiday songs to play on the guitar, and by also demonstrating what makes a song good for beginner guitar players. That way, you can start with the songs we’ve suggested and then find more selections on your own.

So what makes one song easier to play than another? It’s all about the basics: how much does a song focus on basic guitar skills? What key a song is in and the amount of chords a song requires are the first basic skills that come to mind. In other words, if a song is in C Major or G Major (the first two keys most beginner guitar students learn), it will theoretically be an easier song to play, especially if it sticks to the common chords within those keys.

Then, you’ll want to look at how fast the song is, or at least, how fast the chords change. Going back and forth between the C chord and the G chord is tricker than holding a C chord for a long time and then switching to G later on. Longer songs will also be trickier than shorter songs. Similarly, if you’re working on tabs or learning to play melodies, look for some with shorter ranges, standard fingerings, and simple chord progressions.

Holiday songs tend to meet a lot of this criteria. Many of them are also familiar to the average beginner guitar player, and when a tune is more familiar to us, it’s easier to learn. Furthermore, a number of the songs listed below are in the public domain, meaning it’s relatively easy to find sheet music, tabs, or chords for them. Now, without further ado, here are some easy holiday songs to play on the guitar!

 

  • Joy to the World
    This version is in G major and requires just three chords. It’ll be easy to focus on the singing with this one if you’d like to mix your musical skills.
  • Silent Night
    With a slow and simple melody and limited chord changes, this Christmas classic is easy to play whether you’re focusing on chords or on playing the melody. You can find the chords and the tab for the melody here.
  • 12 Days of Christmas
    Although this is a long song, the melody repeats over and over, making it relatively easy to play on the guitar. A minor chord is thrown in, so this one can also stretch your skills slightly.
  • Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer
    Songs for kids tend to be on the easier side, and this holiday favorite is a good example of that. You can find the chords here.
  • Jingle Bells
    An example of a faster song with limited chord changes, this song is also a great choice for those learning to read sheet music. You can find the chords and the sheet music here.
  • Auld Lang Syne
    For your New Year’s party, prepare to have another minor chord thrown in. You can find the chords here. Or, if you’re feeling a little more advanced, you can try to play the melody by using the sheet music or tab here.

 

In the end, the easiest holiday songs to play on the guitar will be the ones you like the most. People practice an instrument more if they like the song they’re playing, so if you want to try a song that’s not on this list, go for it! If you’re not quite there yet though, these songs are a great way to build your skill while also getting into the holiday spirit.