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Kids Music Lessons and Classes

piano lessons philadelphiaPhilly Music Lessons is a family owned and operated music school located in the heart of Fishtown, Philadelphia. We offer private lessons (all ages), baby and toddler classes (ages 0-3), big kids music classes (ages 4 -6) and group lessons for kids (guitar, violin and voice).  We have a number of teachers with extensive experience working with children. We make sure to keep each lesson or class fun and entertaining, while providing the musical foundation necessary to learn at higher levels as your child grows. Students have the opportunity to perform in biannual recitals and shows throughout the year.

Contact Us to Get Started!

Big Kids Music Classes Ages 4-6

$15/class with monthly sign-up (trial class is half-price)
$20/class Drop-In
Saturdays at 11 AM (45 minutes), ages 4-6
Fishtown, Philadelphia
(610)451-7883

Join Here!

Xylophones and PianoCovering the fundamentals of piano (keyboard instruments), ukulele (fretted string instruments), and drums (percussion instruments), our music class for kids, ages 4-6 is a creative, group approach to learning music. Children have the opportunity to gain a broad understanding of music for $15/class (45 minutes each). The fundamentals they learn will pave the way for studying a variety of instruments. Core musical concepts will be explored through experimentation and social learning.

With small class sizes, there is ample room for discussion, questions, and spontaneity. Experimentation and fun are key, and curiosity is embraced. Subjects covered include how instruments work, note reading, ear training (pitch), time, and rhythm. How sounds are made (with strings and mallets inside of the piano for example) and how pitch changes are observed through play. Art is also used to reinforce concepts, illustrating notes, finger numbers, patterns, and more. Instrument making will engage children, bringing the learning process into the home through the collection of natural materials for production.

Each child will also be able to take home their own kazoo. Kazoos help strengthen connections between the voice and ear (pitch). Learning to make noise by following patterns on piano or notes on paper is a practice they can take home week after week. Encouraging children to hum while working with their favorite songs is a great way to build ear skills! If you are interested in classes, but can’t commit to our regular schedule, you can drop in to classes for $20 with notice (contact us here).

 

Private Music Lessons

Starting at $25 for 1/2 hour
By Appointment, all ages.
In-Home Lessons throughout Philly & The Main Line
Fishtown Studio Lessons
(610)451-7883

Schedule a Lesson

Ukulele, guitar, voice, violin, piano, cello, flute, trumpet, saxophone, clarinet lessonsStarting with kids ages 4 and up, private music lessons are available for guitar, piano, ukulele, bass guitar, upright bass, drums, flute, voiceclarinet, violin, cello, saxophone, trumpetbanjo, and trombone.  Lessons begin at $25 for a half hour in our Fishtown studio (view our rates for more information). Our teachers work with kids of all ages and skill levels, making sure to keep the lessons fun and exciting. Our goal is to inspire a life-long passion for music just as our first teachers did for us! For in-home lessons, our teachers travel throughout Philadelphia, the Main Line and Lower Merion. If students have an interest in taking lessons with friends or family members, we also offer joint music lessons! Please ask about our rate difference for joint lessons of at least 2 or more children.

 

Baby and Toddler Music

$10/class with sign-up (monthly)
$15/class Drop-In
Tuesdays, Wednesdays 10 AM
Wednesdays 11:30 AM
Select Saturdays at 10 AM
Ages 0-3 yrs (Families and caregivers welcome)
Fishtown, Philadelphia
Stroller Accessible!
(610)451-7883

Join Music Classes

babies and toddlers play songs fishtownJust a walk from anywhere in Fishtown, Kensington or Northern Liberties, these music classes are a unique way to meet and play with others in the community. Fishtown is just off the Girard or Aramingo exit from I-95, or a quick spin through the city for Philly families. Tots gather weekly for sing-alongs, movement and other musical activities specially made for babies and kids. Children will have the chance to learn songs together and explore a variety of kid’s instruments: jingle bells, the piano, shakers, and more. Little babies usually enjoy sitting in mom’s lap as they listen, observe, and learn. Toddlers tune in each week to familiar friends, songs, and beloved routines. Three year olds lead, participate, and add both spontaneity and creativity to classes. Providing energetic vocals and guitar, our teacher plays plenty of classic and new children’s songs (with rhymes, hand games, and playful lyrics). These are the kinds of classes that will kick off your day with good cheer! Weekday music takes place on Tuesdays and Wednesdays at 10 AM and Wednesdays at 11:30 AM. Weekend music times are indicated on our calendar (typically 2-3 Saturdays per month).

Classes are $10 each when you sign up for the month (with flexible make-up options on Saturdays and select weekdays). We also welcome occasional visitors (drop-ins) for $15/class! If you want try out a class before signing up, you can always contact us to attend your first class for free.

 

Beginner Violin, Guitar, and Voice Classes

$15/class with monthly sign-up (trial class is half-price)
$20/class Drop-In
Summer classes begin in June
Multiple Times
All ages (age groups: 4-6 yrs, 7-10 yrs, 11-14 yrs, 15-19 yrs)
Fishtown, Philadelphia
(610)451-7883

Join a Class

music classes fishtown phillyOur teachers have created group classes for some of the most commonly learned instruments. Taught by our violin, guitar and voice teachers, classes focus on propelling complete beginners forward to a place where they can begin to play songs together. Students will learn their preferred instrument among peers, and can gain performance experience with recital opportunities. At $15 each, classes are organized into age groups and arranged based on availability and instrument. Classes can occur on weekday or weekend mornings, afternoons, or evenings (contact us to find out more). Our next launch of classes will be for the summer months, set to begin in June. Classes take place throughout the summer and can be extended into the Fall based on group interest. For students with irregular schedules, drop-ins can attend classes for $20 each.

Students will need to bring their own instrument. If students do not have a violin or guitar, Philly Music Lessons offers beginner violin rentals, and we can also make suggestions as to where you can rent or purchase a decent instrument.

Drum Teachers at Philly Music Lessons

Meet one of our Tried-and True Drum Teachers, Tom Cullen

Tom Cullen - Drum Lessons in Philadelphia

Tom Cullen – Drum Lessons in Philadelphia

We have two drum teachers at Philly Music Lessons. Both Temple grads of the Boyer College of Music, these guys are experienced performers and teachers. Tom Cullen and Alex Maio have been with us since the beginning – since before we started interviewing teachers about their own experience and interests! Thus, we have some fresh new thoughts from them. Here is Tom Cullen’s interview:

What are your personal goals as a musician?:
My main goal as a musician is to be able to express myself without limitations. I’m on an endless path to be able to channel all the musical ideas in my head through my instrument. My other goal is to make others feel what I am feeling. I want my music to effect people emotionally and hopefully even make them want to move and dance.

Do you have a memory of a time when a musical concept or technique really clicked?  Something you’ll remember forever?:
I remember when the Moeller Technique finally clicked for me. I was studying the technique for months with no real sign of it improving my playing. Until one night all the hard practice paid off. It happened on a gig. I placed my hands over the tom-tom drum to play a fill and the idea came out effortlessly. After that night playing fast and playing fluidly was never an issue. But I learned the biggest lesson of all that night. Consistent hard work really does pay off. It can be hard to see the path at first but with the support of a good teacher, it can be a fun a very rewarding journey.

What is your favorite piece of advice from one of your past (or current) teachers?:
Several teachers have told me to ‘never stop learning’.

What was your most challenging moment learning an instrument?:
The most challenging moments I’ve ever had learning an instrument were when I tried to teach myself. When studying with a teacher, there were always challenging moments. Trying to teach myself – there is no comparison.

What is your biggest musical achievement?:
I guess that would be when my band iNFiNiEN was ranked the ‘Top 5 Live Bands of 2013’ by The Buffalo News. The reason it was a big deal is because the other 4 bands were really famous. Such as The Flaming Lips and Jane’s Addiction. So to be held in the same regard as those bands was a big honor.

Favorite thing about teaching?:
My favorite thing about teaching is when a student works hard and meets their goals. It’s a very rewarding feeling being able to share my joy of drumming with someone else and have them benefit from the knowledge I’ve acquired.

What is a piece of advice you would like to share with anyone learning music?:
Be patient and be consistent. Listen to the opinions of others but also trust your intuition. And never compromise your integrity. And be sure to never confuse integrity for arrogance.

Personal music projects: i.e. bands, groups, shows, recording, etc. (if any):
I have always been involved with many musical projects ever since I was young. I like to surround myself with creative people, so I always happen to find myself in the mix. I’m busy doing shows and recordings with all kinds of artists all the time. Besides those projects, I have an original band called iNFiNiEN that I am very passionate about. I also recently began setting up a recording studio and learning how to be an engineer. I hope to record all 0f my own projects in the future.

Tom Cullen’s – Bio

I teach Drums and Piano. Music is my life. On any given day I am performing, teaching, recording, rehearsing or writing music. I began playing and studying drums at a young age and continued my music education all the way up to college. I have 2 music degrees from Bucks County Community College and Temple University. I’ve been teaching students of all ages for close to 10 years. Instead of a hard lined curriculum I approach each student individually and establish personal goals. I teach with an open mind, patience and care. Lessons are fun and informative. I am a versatile player with years of experience and knowledge. I can teach you any style or technique you wish to learn. Schedule a Lesson

 

More About our Drum Lessons in Fishtown & Philly at Large.

Spoken like a true musician, Tom brings up some very good points about hard work. To be a drummer at the level that Tom plays takes an incredible amount of practice and dedication. Drums have a lot to do with muscle memory, so even if you have a ton of natural rhythm, there is still plenty of room to dig further. Continuing to master techniques and patterns will enable you to play fast, fluidly, and creatively on the spot. While drums embody one of the most basic musical concepts (rhythm), they also have the potential to be incredibly intricate, complicated, and expressive (such as in Birdman, where the entire soundtrack was created by a single jazz drummer!!). Drums are a great instrument for beginners, but can also take you far into a world of endless rhythm patterns and musical applications (making beats, playing jazz, backing rock bands, making movie soundtracks, and more). We’ll have more from Tom about what to expect when taking drum lessons soon!

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.

Voice Teacher – Marcelle McGuirk

Voice Teacher: Marcelle McGuirk

Voice Teacher: Marcelle McGuirk

Please welcome the newest addition to our staff: Marcelle McGuirk.  Marcelle has been singing since a very young age.  At 18, she recorded her first solo album, Echoes of Ireland. She studied Vocal Performance at Marywood University and then moved to Philadelphia to pursue further studies in opera performance. She is a cantor and section leader at the Cathedral Basilica of Sts. Peter & Paul. She is an active performer and has worked with many companies in the Philadelphia area, including: OperaDelaware, Poor Richard’s Opera, Russian Opera Workshop, Delaware Valley Opera Company, and Delaware ChoralArts.  Marcelle says the following about her goals and style as a teacher:

“The foundation of my teaching is always breath management, body awareness and tension reduction, as well as musicianship. I try to arm my students with a “toolbox,” foundational techniques and exercises they can come back to if they’re struggling with a note or phrase, whether they’re singing Broadway, rock, opera, etc. I make sure students understand the purpose of exercises and how they relate to what they’re singing. Overall, I aim to help my students find their “voice” in a healthy, tension-free way.”

Continue reading for a full interview with Marcelle:

When did you begin singing, and why?:
 I’ve been singing since I was really small. My parents tell this story about me being in the high chair at 6 months old while my Dad was cleaning the kitchen. He was singing something to himself, and I chimed in on pitch! Then it became this game we would play, where he would sing a note and I’d sing it back to him. I’ve been singing ever since!

 

What are your personal goals as a musician?:
 My personal goal as a musician is to achieve complete freedom. This can only be achieved by hours spent practicing your technique, but the pay off is great. To achieve that freedom and flexibility makes the possibilities for communicating emotion endless, and essentially that’s what we do as singers. Communicate the depths and shades of human emotion through our voice.

 

 Do you have a memory of a time when a musical concept or technique really clicked?  Something you’ll remember forever?:
 I used to really struggle with high notes. One day a teacher said to me, “You’re trying to ‘stick’ the note somewhere; to place it. It’s not about placing it. It’s about having the right SPACE for the note and keeping it flexible.” That changed everything for me.

 

What is your favorite piece of advice from one of your past (or current) teachers?:
 You’re only going to get out of singing what you put into it. Talent only gets you so far; it’s the hard work that makes you an artist.

 

What was your most challenging moment learning an instrument?:
 I was lazy as a kid, which meant I wouldn’t practice much, if at all. I just relied on the fact that I was a fast learner and had a pretty voice. This inevitably meant I would plateau and run into “brick walls.” I always knew I should be working harder, but breaking
myself of the habit of laziness was really tough.

 

What is your biggest musical achievement?:
 My biggest musical achievement to date was singing in my first Professional, fully staged and orchestrated opera with OperaDelaware.

 

Favorite thing about teaching?:
 My favorite thing about teaching has to be the “lightbulb moment,” which is when you see “Ah ha!” in your students’ eyes after they’ve grasped a concept. It’s such a beautiful thing, because you’ve helped them accomplish this intangible thing and no one can ever take it away from them.

 

What is a piece of advice you would like to share with anyone learning music?:
 Listen. Your ears are your greatest asset. Even when you aren’t actively practicing your instrument, you can learn SO much just by listening to great musicians. Also, never stop asking questions.

 

Personal music projects: i.e. bands, groups, shows, recording, etc. (if any):
I’m currently on staff at the Cathedral Basilica of Sts. Peter and Paul here in Philadelphia, as a Cantor/ Soprano Soloist/ Soprano Section Leader. In December, I’ll be singing the Bach Magnificat in D with Delaware ChoralArts in Wilmington, DE as the Soprano Soloist.

New Guitar Teacher: Phil Smith | Philly Music Lessons

Philly Classical Guitar Teacher: Phil Smith

Classical Guitar Teacher: Phil Smith

Philly Music Lessons Additions | Classical Guitar Teachers – Please welcome our new and incredibly versatile guitar, bass, ukulele and banjo teacher, Phil Smith. Phil is a music producer, composer, guitarist, and teacher with a rich background in many different musical styles. He has a B.M. in Classical Guitar from the Oberlin Conservatory, and has extensive performance experience in Rock, R&B, Pop, Gospel, Latin, and World Music. As a producer he has recorded and written with many of Philadelphia’s finest musicians and artists. Phil says the following about his passion for music and teaching:

“My head is constantly filled with music, and my days are usually spent making that inner music come to life. It’s a joy to guide others into their own discovery of music, and it’s my duty as a teacher to equip students with skills (both technical and theoretical) that make playing music joyful and effortless.”

Continue reading for a full interview with Phil, where he explains his musical history, how it applies to his teaching style and his personal growth as a producer, composer and performer:

When did you begin playing [instrument], and why?:
I started playing guitar at age 9. I had recently quit violin, which had temporarily ruined the joy of music for me. But luckily when I was young I became obsessed with my mom’s record collection. I had been listening to a lot of Beatles, Eric Clapton, and Fleetwood Mack, and then one day we saw a guitar at an auction and I coerced my parents into getting it for me. The rest is history!
What are your personal goals as a musician?:

My personal goal is simply to make excellent music and get better and better. That can mean making more moving and convincing records, writing better songs, playing guitar with more ease and expressiveness, or helping other people do those same things. Cross-pollination is also important to me. I want to bring the same sensibilities and skills that I use when playing Bach to the world of pop music, and when playing classical music I want it to groove like my favorite rock records. And I definitely want to leave my mark on the world by making amazing records and putting on great shows!

Do you have a memory of a time when a musical concept or technique really clicked?  Something you’ll remember forever?
I have many….but I’ll name one. My best friend in college was an outstanding jazz pianist. We used to jam together constantly, and I was often a little timid because I had nowhere near the level of harmonic knowledge that he had. But through our playing together he taught me the art of being a “baller,” meaning, playing whatever came to me with complete confidence, effectively blasting through layers upon layers of self-consciousness. Being completely okay with playing wrong notes and sounding “bad” is the quickest way to liberate your inner voice as a musician. Just learning how to get into a creative flow can speed up the development process exponentially. If you can tolerate a year or two of sounding so-so but being fearless about it, before long you will sound fluid and creative and great!
What is your favorite piece of advice from one of your past (or current) teachers?:
Just after college I took some lessons with a world renowned Polish guitar player named Lukasz Kuropaczewski. He taught me EXACTLY how to practice in order to MASTER pieces. It’s a really simple process….Just go very very slowly, work on every single measure of music many times, eventually tying everything together, and make sure that the hands and body are ALWAYS relaxed, secure, and comfortable. It’s time consuming, but suddenly very hard pieces of music can become really easy to play. The key also is to only repeat good habits….If a passage of music or an exercise is too difficult, you need to slow down or break it down into smaller chunks until it is easy to execute….only then should you start repeating, and never speed up until it is easy to do so.
What was your most challenging moment learning an instrument?:

Studying classical guitar at the college level was very hard, and there were many times that I wanted to quit. I would often procrastinate or not practice enough and feel like I wasn’t making any progress. But i stuck with it! These things take time.


What is your biggest musical achievement?:

It’s hard to say and depends on the era. In high school I got an amazing opportunity to go on tour in the west coast and to Germany with members of Frank Zappa’s band. I was OBSESSED with Frank Zappa in high school, and that was pivotal for me and felt like a big achievement at the time.

My senior recital as a classical guitarist was a huge achievement because I proved that I could perform at a really high level, even after having slacked off for a lot of my Senior yearn college.
I’ve been recently making some recordings, both of my music and others’, that I’m very proud of. I feel that I’m starting to come into my own as a producer and mixer. Not a lot has been released yet though. By biggest achievements are yet to come!

Favorite thing about teaching?:
I really like the feeling of progress. When a student is on a roll, and they’re practicing, and i see consistent improvement week to week it excites me. Also, sometimes lessons may be stagnating, and then there’s an “aha” moment, where the student or I discover a new technique or idea that suddenly propels everything forward.
What is a piece of advice you would like to share with anyone learning music?:
Be Patient, Go SLOWLY, and DON’T QUIT (unless you decide, after long hours of contemplation and many heart to hearts with family and friends, that you simply don’t like music enough to want to learn how to make it.)
Also, Justin Bieber and Taylor Swift ARE NOT the paradigm! You don’t have to be a star by the time you’re 16, or 18, or 25, or even 35! In music you can hit your peak at ANY AGE. Da Vinci painted the Mona Lisa when he was 65. Remember the tortoise and the hare? etc. etc.  you get the point….


Personal music projects: i.e. bands, groups, shows, recording, etc. (if any):
I’m currently working on numerous projects with Tony Moore, Pablo Batista, George Spanky McCurdy, and Junius Bervine. We are in the midst of opening a new studio. The company is called “The Breed” and we’re about to usher in a new era of live recorded music in Philly!!! (that’s just excitement, not hubris ;))
And I’m always working on my own compositions under the name “Laughing and Screaming” and plan to release some new music soon.

New Flute Teacher: Rachel Murray

Flute Teacher, Philadelphia

Rachel Murray: Flute Teacher

We proudly welcome our new flute teacher, Rachel Murray to the Philly Music Lessons staff!

Rachel is a classically trained flautist currently residing in Philadelphia.  From the age of 10, she has devoted much of her time to flute and music.  This love has helped propel her to the front of many music groups throughout her school career and beyond.

As a student of the Principal of the Philadelphia Orchestra and teacher at Curtis and Julliard,  Mr. Jeffrey Khaner, she has worked tirelessly at perfecting her technique and musicality. In addition to her studies with Jeffrey Khaner, she has also studied with David Cramer, the Associate Principal of the Philadelphia Orchestra and Susan Palma-Nidel, Principal of the Orpheus Chamber Ensemble.

Her performance career highlights include traveling to Europe with the Philadelphia Sinfonia’s Eastern European Tour, attending and being chosen to perform at a Julius Baker Masterclass, soloing with the North Penn High School’s orchestra, playing and performing with multiple chamber music groups at Settlement Music School, etc.

You can read a brief interview with Rachel below:

When did you begin playing [instrument], and why?:  I started playing flute in 4th grade.  Since before I can remember, I had always wanted to learn flute.
 
What are your personal goals as a musician?:  My goal is continue to grow both technically and musically in order to bring music to life.
 
What is your favorite piece of advice from one of your past (or current) teachers?:  That when you start learning a piece of music, it’s more important to play it accurately than to play it at the correct speed.

What was your most challenging moment learning an instrument?:
  I think it would have to be learning ‘Hot Cross Buns’ in the first couple weeks of starting flute.  That song made me want to quit!

What is your biggest musical achievement?: 
Getting chosen to play for a Julius Baker Masterclass out of a couple hundred flautists.
 
Favorite thing about teaching?: My favorite thing about teaching is helping students to find the beauty, joy and fun in learning music and an instrument.  I love being able to teach the same material in a variety of different ways depending on the student I’m working with.
 
What is a piece of advice you would like to share with anyone learning music?: Learning music can be extremely challenging.  It’s something you have to work at daily.  So, I think the most important thing is practice!  Practice as much as possible!
Personal music projects: i.e. bands, groups, shows, recording, etc. (if any): Currently, I work with a classical guitarist and play at weddings, cocktail parties, museum galas, etc.  I will also be searching for a position with an orchestra in the coming year.

Meet Our New Saxophone Teacher: Seth Ebersole

Sax Teachers Philly

Saxophone Teachers in Philadelphia | Philly Music Lessons

Seth teaches Soprano, Alto, Tenor and Bass Saxophone, as well as Clarinet.  He is currently a senior in the Undergraduate Jazz Studies department of the Boyer College of Music and Dance in Philadelphia. He is a saxophonist, teacher, and composer. Under the expertise of Jazz greats: Dick Oatts, Terell Stafford, and Timothy Warfield Jr., he has been privileged to study.  He has performed and recorded with the likes of Jimmy Heath, Jon Faddis, Ingrid Jensen and Christian McBride at Temple University as well as the Jazz Orchestra of Philadelphia. In 2013, He was a finalist for a tenor saxophone position with a United States Army Band at West Point. In the Spring of 2014, he worked in the Diamond Peer Mentor Program of Temple University in which he co-taught an undergraduate class with a Temple Faculty Mentor.  In May of ’14, he was named the 2014 Presser Undergraduate Scholar. He is also active as a performer in styles besides jazz, including: classical, pop, rock and others.

Seth explains his musical (and life) philosophy below:

 

When did you begin playing Saxophone, and why?:

I started playing in the third grade. I’m from a musical family, my parents are both full time musicians and music was just part of growing up in our household. I chose the saxophone because I liked the way it looked! I keep playing now because the saxophone has such a wonderful range of sounds, more than most other instruments I think. Similar to the cello, a sax can really mimic the human voice.

 

What are your personal goals as a musician?:

Music helps me conceptualize other life situations. The way I think about music is similar to the way I think about life. Therefore, my goal is to find my musical identity, my niche, my voice. I think this is a worthwhile and important goal for anyone who’s learning in music. Find you!

 

Do you have a memory of a time when a musical concept or technique really clicked?  Something you’ll remember forever?:

 I think that if you’re making progress in music, you’ll sometimes have “quantum leaps”. Most recently, I remember figuring out a way to exercise my ears to hear better than I thought they could. Defining moments like this are important, but they’re often hard to get to.

 

What is your favorite piece of advice from one of your past (or current) teachers?:

 One of my teachers at Temple University pointed out that he plays his saxophone completely different from the way he did thirty years ago. He also thinks about music differently from that time. He challenged me to always keep growing. Don’t ever stop learning and discovering the next musical step for you!

 

What was your most challenging moment learning an instrument?:

Tomorrow’s practice session! Hopefully I’m always giving myself a new challenge; something more difficult than ever before to work on. However, in the past and present, sound and time are the hardest things to understand.  At my first lesson in college, my teacher showed me how much softer my saxophone playing embouchure should be. He played for me (and still does) to show me how relaxed the muscles in the face should be when playing. This is a particularly tough lesson to learn!

 

What is your biggest musical achievement?:

 I’ve been blessed to work with some legendary musicians and have some wonderful times in music. One of the most exciting was being named the “2014 Presser Undergraduate Scholar”, one of the highest honors given to an undergraduate music student at Temple University.

 

Favorite thing about teaching?:

I like coming up with analogies for music that stick in my student’s minds. When these work, a student has a “light bulb” moment that helps them really understand and dig into the concept. It helps me too. There are so many times when a simple analogy I’ve given to a student helps with something I’m working on.

 

What is a piece of advice you would like to share with anyone learning music?:

 Use your ear. Realize that your most important musical muscle can never be too strong. The more music you can hear, the better the music you play.

 

Personal music projects: i.e. bands, groups, shows, recording, etc:

 I play with a number of jazz groups, wedding/show bands as well as groups for Temple University. This past spring, I was on a new album by the Temple University Jazz Band featuring music written and dedicated to Dizzy Gillespie.

Flute Lessons in Philadelpiha

Meet our new Philly Music Lessons Flute Teacher – Johnathan received his masters in Flute Performance from Temple University.  We are proud to have him on board teaching flute lessons to kids and adults in Fishtown, Northern Liberties, Society Hill, Old City, Rittenhouse, Fairmount, West Philly and the Main Line. Johnathan teaches lessons out of our studio in Fishtown, and travels to teach in-home lessons in Philadelphia and on the Main Line. Read his bio below!

flute teachers philadelphia

Johnathan Bernhardt teaches flute lessons to families in Philadelphia and the Main Line

I teach flute. I hold a Master of Music degree in Flute Performance from Temple University where I studied with David Cramer of the Philadelphia Orchestra. I am also a young artist for the Wm. S. Haynes Flute Company of Boston. I have experience teaching any level from beginner to advanced students. My teaching style focuses on positively developing strong fundamentals such as tone, technique, rhythm, intonation, and musicality, in a way that can help a student identify problems on their own, and be able to teach themselves effectively between lessons. My greatest aspiration is to instill a love of music into my students, so that music making is fun and exciting, rather than a chore.

Visit our Teachers Page to view more instructors, with specialties in Violin, Cello, Piano, Drums, Guitar, Clarinet, Ukulele, Banjo, Saxophone, Upright (Double) Bass, Bass Guitar, Voice, and more.

Philadelphia, Meet our Classical Guitar Teacher!

Guitar Lessons Fishtown, Northern Liberties, Center City, Philadelphia

Philly Music Lessons Classical Guitar Teachers – new addition Josh Olmstead

New Philly Music Lessons Teachers for Classical Guitar in Philadelphia – If you’ve visited our teacher page, you’ve seen our teachers, both old and new.  But we wanted to formally welcome additions to the ever-growing bunch.  Josh Olmstead has been teaching guitar lessons with us for just a few months, but has been teaching private lessons in Philadelphia and the Main Line for many years. He has been a close friend of ours in music for over 10 years, and we are grateful to have him with us!

Classically trained in guitar, with an interest in blues and rock and roll, Josh has played lead guitar in many Philadelphia bands (ours included!).  He has also been an avid composer, writing and performing guitar and vocals for his solo projects throughout the years.  Josh has a deep understanding of arrangement, both from his classical guitar background, as well as his roles as band-leader for rock and roll projects.  When it comes to teaching, Josh is one of our most seasoned instructors. His classical guitar repertoire includes Renaissance, Baroque, Classical and Romantic pieces.  His professional experience performing both classical and modern styles of guitar makes him an excellent teacher for those wishing to pursue music performance as a career.  His enthusiasm for folk, blues and rock and roll is a true asset when it comes to teaching singer/songwriters, and those wanting to learn guitar riffs and chords.

Want to schedule classical guitar lessons with Josh? You can take a trial lesson by contacting us or calling (610)451-7883  Your first lesson with us is half-priced!

 

Schedule a Half-Priced Trial Lesson!


Josh Olmstead’s Bio as seen on our Teachers page:

“I am a singer, songwriter, and classically trained guitarist, whose guitar repertoire includes Renaissance, Baroque, Classical, and Romantic works. Since graduating from Temple University with a BA in American Studies/Minor in Music, I have focused on sharing music through writing, recording, performing and teaching. As a guitar instructor, I choose specific coursework and style of guitar based on the interests and skill-level of individual students. General study includes development of a wide range of skills, such as accurate tuning, technique, scales, arpeggios, reading music notation and/or tablature, sight-reading, chords, songs and/or repertoire, vocal accompaniment, music theory, as well as general musicianship.”

New Voice and Violin Teacher!

Laura Zahn has a degree in Music from Indiana University, and has been teaching consistently in the Greater Philadelphia and Lower Merion areas since graduating in 2010.  You can read her Bio below:

voice and violin lessons

Laura Zahn: Voice and Violin

I teach Voice and Violin and have experience working with a wide variety of ages, levels, and musical goals. My approach to vocal technique is steeped in the Marchesi Bel Canto style, emphasizing proper breath control, body alignment, and vocal placement in order to maximize the potential of each voice. I work to cater to the unique goals of each student and have found this foundation effective in helping each singer succeed in whatever genre they are pursuing: from Rock to Opera. I also have 11 years of violin experience, and I am comfortable teaching beginner violinists up to Suzuki Book 2.