Our seasonal recitals are a great way for students to get an opportunity to perform for friends and family! It’s also great for friends and family to get a chance to see the progress they’ve made since last time, whether they are 6 years old or 60 years old. Check out this video offering up highlights of every students performance from our Spring 2018 recital at the Ethical Society of Philadelphia!
We are so happy to announce that our Spring Recital this year will take place on Saturday, May 19th at the Ethical Society of Philadelphia! Our recitals are our most exciting public events of the year, and are a fantastic way for family and friends to get involved with lessons. Students of all ages and levels of development are encouraged to sign up and so the music heard over the course of the concert is full of surprises and variety!
Public performance is an important part of music-making, and so we are very proud to be able to offer these concerts twice a year for our students. In order to accommodate the number of students, the recital is spread out over two sets, each with separate admission.
Saturday, May 19th, 2018
Set 1 @ 1:00pm
Set 2 @ 3:00pm
Enjoy a great afternoon of music making, and then you can enjoy all the wonderful restaurants and activities of Center City! Tickets at the door are $10.
One of the core mission statements at Philly Music Lessons is that everyone deserves a chance to learn music. It drives us to make lessons available to many communities and families with varying income levels and schedules. That is why we offer the convenience of in-home lessons, as well as local studio lessons in Fishtown and South Philly, and why we offer financial aid discounts to low-income families.
To further expand opportunities for kids to learn music, we’ve started to partner with local schools, offering discounted private and group lessons during after school hours. Because our lessons are made available at an affordable rate, right on the school premises, it is much easier for kids to begin the process of learning music!
Engaging Students at La Salle through Music Performances and Presentations
We recently traveled down the road from our Fishtown studio to La Salle Academy, located in Kensington on North 2nd Street. Our teachers gave presentations to grades 3-8, showing them the basics of piano, guitar, violin and drums. Starting with the principles of technique and theory, our two multi-instrumentalist teachers, Sean Conlon and Emily Stewart, were able to give the kids a sense of what the beginning portion of learning an instrument really looks like. Our teachers performed solo pieces on each instrument, and followed with group performances to show how different instruments can come together to create unique styles and sounds. It was very inspiring for students to see professional musicians performing at an advanced level. We feel this experience gives them a sense of the hard work and dedication that goes into attaining such a level of musicianship.
With our presentations, children are better able to gauge their general level of interest in music. They may also be able to better determine which instrument they’d like to learn. We feel that starting a child off with an instrument that really inspires them is the best way to form a positive and lasting relationship with music. We hope these kinds of experiences at an early age will stick with them for the rest of their lives!
New Music Education Partnerships
Philly Music Lessons will be working to maintain and expand relationships with other schools in the city of Philadelphia throughout the 2018 school year. We feel our teachers have a lot to offer in terms of supplementing standard music education classes and providing individualized lessons to students who may not have access to them otherwise. As most educators know, there is no substitute for a great teacher.
A few years ago, we moved our music lessons business out of our basement and into a beautiful space down the street in Fishtown. Feeling inspired by my own upbringing next to a fine arts and music institute for kids and adults, I decided to start teaching music classes to the smallest of our neighbors! I wanted to bring the experience of walking past an open window to the sounds of clarinets, opera singing, piano practice, and plays into my Fishtown community. Cracking open the windows on a warm June day, the sounds our first music classes and lessons were heard in Fishtown in 2014.
Let’s usher in the Spring with some music making at Philly Music Lessons! As usual, we’ll be meeting weekly for classes in Fishtown and in South Philly (4PM Fridays in Fishtown and 9AM Wednesdays in South Philly). Our multi-aged classes are designed for 0-3 year olds and make for an awesome part of a day with kids – moms, dads, nannies, and other caregivers are welcome. With singalongs, movement activities, tons of props and assorted musical instruments, we change it up as we keep a base line of familiar kid favorites!
March in Fishtown | $40
Fridays @ 4PM:
March 2nd, 9th, 16th, and 30th
*Please note: NO CLASS on the 23rd!
2111 East Susquehanna Ave
March in South Philly | $40
Wednesdays @ 9AM:
March 7th, 14th, 21st, and 28th
1548 S. 13th Street
- $10/class with a monthly sign up – Includes one makeup for missed classes per month, which can be used as credit towards upcoming sign ups or any classes scheduled at either location
- $12 drop-ins with advanced notice only – Email ahead of time to let us know when you’ll be coming (please check with us to see if there’s space!)
- First timers FREE
- Online invoicing for monthly sign ups and drop-ins – Can pay online or make in-person payments
Beginner voice students often ask this question. It feels reassuring to classify ourselves, to feel we belong somewhere. Plus, newer singers believe knowing your voice type gives them other information about their voice, such as their range. What seems like a simple question doesn’t have a simple answer though. To understand why, first learn what “my voice type” even means, why voice type exists, and why a singing novice might not be able to find their voice type.
What is Voice Type?
A “voice type” is the classification of voices based on certain qualities and characteristics of the voice. These characteristics include:
- Range: how high and low you can sing.
- Timbre: the “color” or quality of your voice.
- Vocal breaks: the shift in your voice between head and chest voice.
- and Tessitura: the part of your range you feel most comfortable singing in.
Men tend to have four options when it comes to voice type: countertenor, tenor, baritone, and bass. Women tend to have three options: soprano, mezzo-soprano, and contralto.
All of these variations depend on a number of physical elements just like they do in instruments. A cello has thicker strings than a violin, resulting in a lower range. Similar variations apply to the voice as well. Therefore, the variations in voice type depend largely on physical sex, but also on genre.
These identifications vary according to genre because different genres require different characteristics. A musical theater soprano may be considered a mezzo-soprano in opera because of the average range, tessitura, and timbre of the music.
Why Classify the Singing Voice
While some people like labels, others ask, “Who needs them?” There are pros and cons to identifying your voice type.
The number one benefit to knowing your voice type is for auditions. If you audition as a singer, the panel can get an immediate idea of your voice through your stated voice type. Why? Because the “rules” of voice type allow others to understand what characteristics your voice possesses.
Similarly, you can select music for yourself this way. If a song has a certain note you can’t reach, or spends a lot of time in a part of your voice you’re not comfortable with, you will know not to sing that song.
Identifying your voice type can become unintentionally limiting. Especially for younger or newer singing students, a voice type can make you feel boxed in to certain guidelines, discouraging you from exploring new songs.
Voice types are also hard to identify. The voice is a tricky instrument. It’s not like other instruments where you can see and feel exactly which notes the instrument can hit. Each voice is unique, and it can even change based on age, hormones, and more.
What’s My Voice Type Then?
Only a qualified voice teacher can help you identify your voice type. Even if you know your range right now, you may be able to extend it after learning different technical aspects of singing like posture, breathing, and more. And as stated above, no one element alone points to voice type. The subject is so complex, voice teachers have written entire books dedicated to it.
Again, the best way to find your voice type is to sign up for voice lessons today and learn all about your voice. Your voice type will reveal itself to you after developing a solid technique. And remember, it may take some time, but the process of discovery will be a lot of fun along the way.
Our recitals are an important part of what we do at Philly Music Lessons. Performing is a crucial aspect of music making, and these public events give students the chance to show their stuff twice every year!
Enjoy this highlights video which gives you a small bit of every performer from our most recent Recital this past December!
Before the Christmas holiday and New Years, we have a few more December music classes to usher in the winter. Visit us this week and the following for some warm, cozy music classes in Fishtown and South Philly! The last classes of the season will be Dec. 23rd (no classes between Christmas and New Years – see calendar for full schedule).
December Music Schedule
(Baby and Tots Classes Ages 0-3)
- Dec. 13th @ 9 AM (South Philly – 1548. S. 13th Street at our Passyunk Studio)
- Dec 15th @ 4 PM (Fishtown – 2111 East Susquehanna Avenue)
- Dec 16th @ 9 AM (Fishtown again)
- Dec 20th @ 9 AM (South Philly)
- Dec 22nd @ 4 PM (Fishtown)
- Dec 23rd @ 9 AM (Fishtown)
If you plan to come try out a class for FREE, please get in touch! And if you’re in the Fishtown neighborhood on Fridays at 3 PM or Saturdays at 10 AM, be sure to come see our space and visit our musical instruments, toys, and activities during our FREE story-time, free-play jam session! Free thru December (Sign Ups starting in Jan. 2018)
Please note that our Philly Music Babies schedule will be slightly different starting in January 2018:
South Philly Music Classes – Wednesdays @ 9 AM
Fishtown Weekday Afternoon Classes – Fridays @ 4 PM
Fishtown Weekend Music Classes – Saturdays at 10 AM
- $10/class Monthly Sign Up
- Weekly classes, with 4-5 weeks typically scheduled per month see schedule
- *1 Makeup per month can be used during any schedule classes throughout the year, or can be credited toward upcoming months.
We do sign ups to make sure classes remain small and intimate. We have found that regular classes encourage more meaningful participation and more engaged learning! And who doesn’t want to get together with their little friends weekly?
Introducing a fantastic new addition to our teaching staff: Navid Kandelousi
I started my musical journey at the age of six by studying violin with both Iranian and Russian teachers. In 1999 I was invited to join the Iranian National Orchestra as a violin soloist, a position which I held until 2006 when I left Iran for Italy. I studied western classical music at the Verdi Conservatory in Milano, Italy and at the Moscow Violin Academy in Russia. In 2009, I was invited to join the Gateway Symphony in New York City and the International American YPHIL Orchestra at Carnegie Hall. I have mastered virtuosic skills on a great breadth of instruments including the Violin, Setar, Taar and Kamanchah, in addition to experience with piano, tonbak, santour and gheychak. Throughout my professional career, I have collaborated with numerous prestigious Persian ensembles such as the Iranian National Orchestra, the Orange County Orchestra, and have performed all the great composers internationally across Europe, Asia and America in venues such as Lincoln Center, Juilliard Music School, Albert Hall, Kennedy Center, Sydney’s Symphony Hall and Vahdat Hall, while winning numerous music and violin awards. My teaching background includes work at the Yamaha School of Music, Suzuki Violin School, and Master Classes in Kamanchah, Taar and Setar at the Julliard School. I received a scholarship from Maestro Daniel Philips in Queens College of Music 2012-2015 and recently attended the Silk Road Global Music performance with Maestro Yo-Yo Ma in Kennedy Center!
When did you begin playing Violin, and why?
I started in music when I was 6 years old, and I chose the violin at 8. I picked the violin because I fell in love with the sound it made the very first time I heard it.
What other instruments do you play, and what is your experience with them?
I play Taar, Setar, kamancheh, and Tombak. These are all Persian instruments that I have been playing for many years along with my violin – they are also mostly from the string family.
What are your personal goals as a musician?
As a violinist, I would like to continue performing solo concerts! As a teacher, I want to be able to show my students everything I’ve learned. Most of all, I hope to become a better person in my life and enjoy music as much as I can!
Do you have a memory of a time when a musical concept or technique really clicked? Something you’ll remember forever?
My understanding of violin technique really clicked when I heard the Paganini caprices performed by Shlomo Mintz. What a beautiful performance!
What is your favorite piece of music from one of your past (or current) teachers?
Paganini Violin Concerto No.1
What was your most challenging moment learning an instrument?
My most challenging moments are always learning new, difficult pieces with a teacher. It can be so hard in the beginning, but it always gets better!
What is your biggest musical achievement?
Finding the best friends and music lovers in my life
Favorite thing about teaching?
I love giving a lot of examples during my classes when I am teaching!
What is a piece of advice you would like to share with anyone learning music?
Practice slowly and correctly and every day!
Personal music projects: i.e. bands, groups, shows, recording, etc.
I am also very involved in Middle Eastern folk music!
Shop Philly for the Holidays!
Studios in Fishtown and South Philly
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Gift Certificates from Philly Music Lessons
The holidays are nearly here! Help someone pay for the lessons they’ve been dreaming about for months. We have affordable private lessons in-home or at our studio in Philly. Music gift certificates make unique presents for all ages, while allowing you to support Philly musicians, educators, and the arts. Nourish someone’s creative pursuits, or encourage a new passion this year!
Great Gifts Under $20:
- Half-Priced Trial lessons – You can give someone a single music lesson on their instrument of choice for as low as $17.50. Lessons start at 30 minutes, with both in-home and studio options. We also offer 45 minute and 1 hour trial lessons at half price. Our teachers provide instruction on guitar, piano, drums, bass, upright bass, violin, cello, viola, saxophone, clarinet, trumpet, trombone, flute, voice, ukulele and more! View our Rates for more information.
$40 and up:
- 2 + Lessons starting at $52.50 (first lesson is still half-price). Request to purchase any number of lessons to help someone out with their musical studies.
- 1 Month of Lessons starting around $120 (includes 1 at trial rate). Exact price depends on lesson duration and location.
- Season Package of Lessons (10 lessons) – 10% off 10 lessons. Rates vary depending on duration and location. Starting at $315.
- Voucher for Music Instrument Rentals (3 month minimum) – Price varies depending on instrument and size. Rentals start at $69 for the 3 months. Guitars, violins, cellos, uprights, brass, and woodwinds.
Private instruction at Philly Music Lessons begins at age 4, and caters to all ages and skill levels. Where we teach.
How it works:
- Fill out the form below or Email Us with any questions.
- We’ll get back to you within 1 business day.
- After confirming your order, an invoice will be emailed to you.
- The gift certificate can be emailed to you as a printable pdf (preferred method), or a gift card can be mailed
- The gift recipient can contact us at any time after the holidays to redeem their gift certificate.
- We will work directly with the gift recipient to find a teacher who can cater to their individual interests and can work with their schedule.
Singing well requires good breathing, but it means nothing if you don’t hold your instrument well. How do you hold your instrument as a singer? Through good posture of course! Good posture for singing may not mean what you think though.
A qualified voice teacher should address posture early on in voice lessons. You can get a head start on your voice lessons by using these stretches to develop good posture for singing right now. Not all voice teachers will address posture through stretches. However, these stretches will get you to the end result that your teacher will look for.
What is Good Posture for Singing?
Good posture for anything means you will hold your body in a position that allows you to do the activity at hand. A running posture allows you to move your legs freely. An instrumental posture allows you to play well. Therefore, posture for singing seeks to keep your lungs and throat open and relaxed so breath can flow freely to create an easy sound.
That means you’ll want to stand tall. Your feet should feel grounded and your knees relaxed. Your torso will feel open and expanded, and everything above your torso (such as your shoulders, neck, jaw, and tongue) will relax to the point of flexibility.
These goals are hard to achieve when actively thinking about each body part. Trying to follow these directives will most likely encourage tension and overthinking. Stretches, on the other hand, develop this posture organically without too much thought towards the end result.
Stretches to Develop Good Posture for Singing
Use these stretches as they are helpful to you. They work best in the morning, or right before a practice session or lesson. Do each exercise slowly and methodically to feel the full benefit, and to not throw your body out of alignment.
Reach for the sky – Start standing tall, then reach your arms over your head, aiming for a long stretch of the torso. If possible, stand on your toes to stretch your legs as well. Your whole body should feel especially long. Slowly lower your feet, then lower your arms to your side.
Rag doll – Rag dolls work similarly to a standing forward bend in yoga. First, lower your head so your chin touches your chest. Then let your shoulders sag forward. Now let your spine roll down one vertebrae at a time, as if your spine were a bendy straw. Keep going until every part of your body above your hips succumbs to gravity and brings you to a complete forward fold. You may bend your knees slightly as you do this. Stay here for a few moments, shaking out your shoulders and aiming for more stretch in your lower back. Then, slowly roll back up in the opposite order you came down in (in other words, your shoulders and head should be the last to come back up). Remember, the goal of this exercise is not to touch your toes or the floor, but instead to maximize the stretch and relaxation in the upper half of your body.
Knee bends – Place your feet hip width apart. Feel your entire foot on the ground. Then gently bend your knees so you feel bouncy in your legs. These are not squats. They are intended to loosen your knees so you do not lock them. You can also bend one knee at a time, which will add a shake to the hips.
Shoulder shrug – Many new singers believe they need to keep their shoulders back. If you tend to slouch, this may be helpful for you. It’s more important, however, for shoulders to be relaxed and even with your ears. To measure this, lift your shoulders to your ears in an exaggerated shrug. Then release. Repeat this a couple of times.
Head rolls – Drop your chin to your chest. Now gently roll your head to one side, then back, then to the other side, and back down again. Your head will roll in a full circle, stretching your neck. Repeat in the other direction. Do not try to stretch as far as you can go! This exercise is meant to build gentle flexibility.
Different teachers will have different methods to develop good posture for singing. The end result will more or less remain the same though. It’s important to have a teacher help you develop good posture for singing as well, as it will be difficult to know what you need help with on your own. While posture does not account for everything in singing, it can help you work out some technical issues right away. Give these stretches a try to see if your singing improves from them.