Archive | June, 2015

Recitals, Fishtown 2015 Highlights

We fit students of all ages, family, friends, cellos, violins, guitars, amps, and chairs galore into our cozy space in Fishtown! With tulip vases in the windows, cheese and wine for enjoyment, original compositions, rock and classical pieces to entertain, the sounds of piano, electric guitar, and even the “Game of Thrones” theme song echoed throughout the space. With its exposed beams, brick, and wood floors, our studio is a unique place to host shows – We can’t wait for First Friday events and new performance opportunities in the Fall!

Violin, Cello, Guitar, Bass, Piano, and Ensemble Performances at Philly Music Lessons

Our casual, home-style showcase of student work ended up being a great success! It marks the start of a Spring recital tradition of low-key performances at our space, which we hope grows into a series of community events where neighbors, kids, and passers-by can come and see what learning music is all about.

This was our first time hosting everyone here in our Fishtown/Kensington neighborhood. Up until now, we held our biannual recitals at other venues throughout Philly (The Church of the Holy Trinity on Rittenhouse Square in Center City, and the Ukrainian League in Fairmount). While we will continue to offer recitals at great spaces throughout the city (this Fall, the recital will be at the Ethical Society on Rittenhouse Square), we look forward to inviting students, teachers, and their families to our space again for some wine, cheese, and student performances at Philly Music Lessons next Spring. In the meantime, check out the highlights video from this years recital (above).

Father’s Day Gifts, Music

Schedule a Lesson or Contact Us for Gift Certificates

Father’s Day Packages and Discounts

FREE Trial lessons for Dad through the end of June!

Gift Certificates Available:
1-12 lessons (includes free trial for Dads)

10% off season packages (12 lessons)

Dad plus Family:
Group lessons family prices:
10% off the normal group lesson price

(Father and child, Father and spouse, or the whole family)

We have a lot of options for families at Philly Music Lessons. Learning together is a unique and memorable way to explore music. With discounts for multiples, our private lessons can be made joint. Two or more students can take lessons together, and for the upcoming occasion, it may just be a Father and child duo. Families taking joint lessons get an extra bonus on top of our discounted group rates, with an additional 10% off.

A local Philly parent’s blog visited our space for a unique Father-sons jam session for Father’s Day. Guided by our teacher, Phil, the family met to rock out and test some of the studio instruments in honor of Dad and his passion for music (Weezer in particular). The jam included an electric bass, ukulele, full-upright piano, drum kit, guitar, 1/2 sized violins, a harmonica, and various other musical knick-knacks. A bit like our Big Kid’s music class, the jam session was highly focused on the exploration and strongly encouraged experimentation and collaboration. Phil provided some concrete musicality, and everyone chimed in and took turns in the spotlight. Check out the video above (made by HipsterHenry). You can also read about HipsterHenry’s experience at our space at Hipsterhenry.com. The blog provides a lot of really good, parent-tested things to do with kids around Fishtown, Northern Liberties, and Philadelphia at large. We’re grateful to have received a visit!

In addition to this unique jam session, parents and children pair up frequently to learn a new instrument together in joint-lessons. Its also pretty common for siblings, and/or parents to take lessons at the same time (with two different teachers for convenience or one after another). In a nutshell, Philly Music Lessons can sometimes turn into a family affair (we love the brothers who played a duet on guitar and cello, and our Father-daughter trio from our Spring Recital!).

Of course there is always the simple gift for Dad – get him a set of new strings and some private lessons where he can quietly pursue his long held off dreams. He’s put aside his musical passions long enough, and its time to give him the chance to be a rock star… or a classical guru… or get on top of his dixieland, jazz clarinet chops. Contact us for joint-lesson rates, Father’s Day specials, or to set up a trial lesson. For more on what instruments we offer, check out our lessons and classes.

Cello Teachers | Fang Fang

Meet Fang Fang
Cello Teachers in Philadelphia
Fishtown Studio Lessons & Philly In-Home Lessons
Specializing in Classical
Beginners and Advanced Students

cello teachers fishtownWe’ve had some new additions to our cello teachers, and one of them is Fang Fang! Fang studied cello at Arizona State University and received her masters in cello performance. Her experience takes her from being a longtime student of cello herself to teaching and working in orchestras as an associate principal cello. She’s an expert in classical, with roots going back to lessons from her mother when she was 7. In addition to a career as a professional musician, Fang is also an accomplished teacher with award winning students. We managed to catch a snippet of her playing (video below). Also included is a piece performed at Arizona State (Sonata for cello in C major, op. 119 by Sergei Prokofiev).

Read about Fang Fang in her own words below.

I teach Cello and Piano. I have a Masters of Music in cello performance from Arizona State University. I have studied at the Hong Kong Academy for Performing Arts and received my B.A in cello performance in China. I began to play the piano when I was 5 years old, then began learning the cello from my mother when I was 7 years old. I am a professional cellist and have been working in various orchestras for the past 8 years as associate principal cello. In Phoenix, I played in the Scottsdale Philharmonic as principal cello. I have been teaching for 10 years, and have learned that patience and enthusiasm are necessary to keep students interested and eager to learn. I pride myself in finding the unique musical talents of each student, and finding ways to communicate with them on an individual level. One of my students in Eastern China was awarded the 1st Prize at a Cello Competition in 2011. My primary focus as a teacher is on classical music for the cello and piano. I am schooled in the Suzuki Method of teaching and find it to be an invaluable way of learning as a beginner.

Summer Music Class Updates

Music Classes for Toddlers, Babies, and Kids
Fishtown, East Kensington, Northern Liberties, Port Richmond
Suggested Ages 0-3 years

Summer Schedule:
Wed. in June 10 AM, 11:30 AM
Tues. & Wed. in July 10 AM (& 11:30 Wed.)

music classes fishtown, northern liberties, east kensington, port richmond

Good morning! Here is an update on the summer schedule and open spots: As of today, the 10 AM Wednesday class is full, but there is space in the 11:30 class for drop-ins or those who intend to sign up as regulars. Please contact us to join or drop in, as we try to keep classes with a max of around 10 kids (we don’t turn people away, so if you’re in the neighborhood and want to try a class for FREE on a whim, just pop in Philly Music Lessons at 2111 East Susquehanna Ave., down the street from Soup Kitchen, Little Baby’s, and Pizza Brain).

These classes are mixed ages, which adds to the fun and variety of the group. Every age is different, and the babies and tots participate in different ways (some are up and about exploring, while others tune into the music). We encourage participation from all, including the mommas, papas, nannies, babysitters, grandparents, etc!

The routine varies a bit week to week. Generally, classes are broken down into sections to keep things moving and interesting – there’s a bit of exploration and background music as everyone arrives (with finger puppets, shakers, and assorted drums). We ease the group into things with a Hello Song (meet and greet with names), followed by a movement oriented warm up exploring high and low sounds (highlighting body parts along the way). We then move into some familiar, traditional kid’s songs, and next comes another active portion, allowing kids to move through the space with group circle songs (marches, dances, “ring around the rosy”, or jumping with songs). We finish off the class with 15 minutes of free play and more songs.

Along the way, we often introduce some colorful scarves and a few playful games. We add some drumming/tapping with rhythm sticks each class (its a big hit). Other typical props include jingle bells, slide whistles, bubbles or pinwheels for dance. An assortment of instruments accompany the free play (xylophones, shakers, drums, and other things to tinker with).

At the very end of class, each child gets to sit at the piano and for some listening and experimenting with the major scale using solfege (sung). This is a real highlight for everyone.

These music classes are fun for so many ages. If you’re curious about how ages differ, here’s been my experience: Babies tend to listen, relax, and observe. Crawlers certainly are getting into instruments and props – they begin to mimic hand games. Walkers love to learn the movements and partake in circle games. They’re also tend to become interested in other kids. 2-3 year olds really tune into some of the concepts and songs we learn (melodies with do-re-mi, call and response rhythm patterns, and high-low ideas played out with props or songs). They’re interested in participating in singing and chiming in with ideas. There is also an age where kids begin to find some independence (when they learn to move and walk), and they go through a phase of exploring the room – They may go in and out of being engaged with the group. As there are many stages of toddler-hood, baby-hood, and childhood, (which aren’t always predictable) we are very flexible – There are makeup options for sign ups, and we are always looking to work with families to make things easy and fun. We also understand if you have to leave class for any reason! If you have any questions about appropriateness of classes for your child, please contact us or come and try a music class for free to see how it goes.

After June, Tuesday 10 AM classes will resume. We are open to suggestions for alternative times (afternoons, earlier mornings, or alternative days). If you would like to attend classes, but don’t see a time that works, please let us know and we will look into holding new times.

If you have a child who is older than 3, they are still welcome to attend classes. On weekends, there tends to be a broader age range. We also have a Big Kid’s Class (4-6 years) and private lessons (typically age 4 and up). Group lessons are available to work a bit more in depth with kids who are younger than 4. There are always exceptions to the age rule as well. Our trial lessons are a good way to test the waters if you are unsure (1/2 priced starting at a half hour).