Archive | January, 2015

New Trombone, Trumpet Teacher

We’re so happy to have a new great teacher on board. Larry (new trumpet/trombone teacher) shared some great advice about learning music. You’ll read his words of wisdom, personal stories, and a bit about his background in the interview and bio below:

trombone and trumpet teachers

Larry Toft teaches Trombone and Trumpet at Philly Music Lessons

Meet Our New Trumpet and Trombone Teacher

Larry Toft
I teach trombone, baritone horn/euphonium, and trumpet. I’m a full time teacher and performer in Philadelphia and obtained my BA in Music Education from Temple University’s Boyer College of Music. I have over 15 years of teaching experience, and I currently teach at 3 schools in the Philadelphia area on a weekly basis. I enjoy performing and teaching many styles of music such as: classical, jazz, salsa, blues, reggae, r&b, funk, and folk music from Balkans. I enjoy designing lessons around what the student wants to learn as well as establishing basic brass techniques in regards to tone production, rhythm, and harmony.
When did you begin playing [instrument], and why?: I started at age 9 when I was in the fourth grade. There was a brass ensemble playing music for everyone in the school to try and get students excited about playing music. I remember the trombone player piqued by interest by playing low splatty notes and the melody to “The Imperial March” from Star Wars.
What are your personal goals as a musician?: To be well versed in all styles of music and to make people forget their troubles and dance/listen/enjoy!
Do you have a memory of a time when a musical concept or technique really clicked?  Something you’ll remember forever?: I remember the first time I was able to produce a clear, resonant tone on the trombone. This ability, for some, is one of the most challenging aspects to a brass instrument. Also, being graceful and fluid on the slide of the trombone. This really helps with precision and accuracy of notes in particular passages.
What is your favorite piece of advice from one of your past (or current) teachers?: It’s only music. Wrong notes have never severely injured anyone. Be adventurous! Take risks! This can open your ears and mind to new, exciting possibilities.
What was your most challenging moment learning an instrument?: Learning how to improvise. This concept, in the beginning, was very foreign to me. Once you become familiar with how chord and harmony structures work, it starts to fall into place.
What is your biggest musical achievement?: Besides being able to succeed as a performing musician who is well versed in many styles, I think performing with other notable musicians such as Johnny Pacheco, Jimmy Heath, Lalo Rodriguez, Jon Faddis, Johnny Rivera, Rudresh Mahanthappa, Steve Coleman,
Michael Ray, and Freddy Bell
Favorite thing about teaching?: Seeing the progress of the student and having them discover that moment when it starts to click for them.
What is a piece of advice you would like to share with anyone learning music?: Enjoy the process. Be patience and persistent and the rewards will pay off.
Personal music projects: i.e. bands, groups, shows, recording, etc. (if any): West Philadelphia Orchestra (Balkan/Gypsy Folk music), Red Hot Ramblers (Trad/Hot Jazz), Cultureal (Reggae), various Salsa ensembles, New Pony (New Orleans/original funk/blues)

Music Classes, Saturdays in February

Music for babies and toddlers in Philly

Family music classes for toddlers and babies – Fishtown!

Saturdays & Feb.

This weekend, join us for music at 10am, Jan. 24th

Let’s sing some songs together! This weekend’s music class is for make-ups, drop-ins, first-timers, and Saturday regulars. Email Coco if you plan to attend (if you’re a package holder, you can just show up). Hope to see you!

Here’s a list of upcoming Saturdays:

  • Jan. 24th, 10am
  • Feb. 7th, 9am & 10am
  • Feb. 14th 9am & 10am
  • Feb 21st, 9am & 10am

Saturday Rates:

  • $10 Alumni (if you’ve been signed up with us for at least a month)
  • $15 Drop In
  • FREE First Time
  • $10 when you sign up for Saturdays

Weekday Classes in FEBRUARY:
One more week of January classes! If you would like to sign up for weekdays in February, email us (First-come, first serve – priority goes to those already signed up). Classes are held on Tuesdays and Wednesdays at 10am. If classes are full, you can join our waiting list – we’ll add you as spots open up. Classes are $10 each when yousign up for the month. If you haven’t been, you can try us out for free! If you would like to attend as a drop-in for $15 – just shoot me an email in advance.

NEW! Starting In March, Saturday Kids Class ages 4-6:
On select Saturdays, beginning in March, we will be adding a small group class for kids between the ages of 4 and 6 (age range is flexible and open to younger children who seem interested in more in-depth instruction). We will dive into learning notes, train our ears using personal xylophones, and explore the basics with kid-sized guitars. Song as a teaching tool will remain a core component of these classes. If you’d like, you canrequest to join now.

Thanks for coming out this winter!

Claire, “Coco”

Phillymusiclessons.com
Philly Music Babies
P.S. – Feel free tell me your child’s favorite song! I will do my best to learn and play it during classes.

About Saturday Music Sign Ups and Saturday Make Up Policy
If you think you’d like to attend most Saturdays, you can sign up by the month! With a sign up, classes are just $10 each. If you only plan on coming to one or two Saturdays, the drop-in rate is $15/class. We always suggest emailing to check for space if you plan to drop-in. Saturday sign ups will enjoy familiar faces each week and get to make some weekend buds. There are typically 3 scheduled Saturdays per month. Dates will be announced and posted prior to each session. If you need to miss class for any reason, missed class credits will roll over into the next month’s sign up, or can be used towards a free class at your convenience. Happy singing!

Baby and Toddler Music Classes

baby music classes

Music classes begin January 6th & 7th at 10am – Congrats! Some of you are already all signed up. But for others, read on & send me an email if you’d like! Saturdays this month will be the 10th and 24th.

View this email in your browser

Sign up for Music!

Tuesdays & Wednesdays in January at 10am

Kick the new year off with some songs and good times – Join us at Philly Music Lessons throughout January for morning music classes. Classes takes place at 10am on Tuesdays and Wednesdays, and also on select Saturdays. Currently, Wednesdays are all filled up! But you can still sign up for the Tuesday class – Please email me if you’d like to sign up for the month to get the $10 rate. If classes are full, you can always join our waiting list until a spot opens up (or drop in on Saturdays!).

Weekday Rates:

  • $10/class when you sign up for the month
  • $15 to drop in (please email to check for space)
  • $5 for additional children in the family
  • Free Makeup Classes for sign-ups
  • First Timers Free

Weekend Rates:

  • $10/class with a Saturday Package (email to inquire)
  • $10 for current students or alumni (previous sign-ups)
  • $15 drop in

For Saturday package holders, drop ins, and makeups, Saturday classes this monthwill take place at 10 am on the 10th and the 24th. For those who have already signed up for weekday classes, I’ll see you next week at 10am! (Invoices coming soon)

Cheers!
Claire, “Coco”

Philly Music Lessons &
Philly Music Babies
2111 East Susquehanna Ave
Philadelphia, PA 19125
phillymusicbabies@gmail.com

Our music classes bring together neighborhood kids of all ages through song. Parents and children attend weekly classes, allowing us to establish familiar faces and a regular routine. Opening with our very own hello song, each child is greeted at the beginning of class with their name sung loud and clear.  From session to session, we learn the fundamentals of music and experiment with creative expression through movement and rhymes.  We visit our standard songs time after time, and slowly introduce new tunes into the mix.  We learn numbers and body parts, and explore vocals using solfege (“Do, Re, Mi”). We clean up shakers to our “clean up” song, and bring out a surprise box of assorted xylophones, rattles, and drums!  Babies love to watch the older kids play circle games or try their hand at strumming the guitar.  Though the pre-walkers often take a seat in mom’s lap, we do a wiggle song where even the babies can swim on their bellies!  Big kids often become the helpers, and the little ones watch, intently learning. Small class sizes allow the teacher to fully interact with each child.  After our unique goodbye song, Coco allows each child to learn notes on the big piano. Meet the teacher