Taking lessons and practicing is something that all musicians have to spend most of their time doing, but it all pays off at the performance. Just this December we returned to the Ethical Society of Philadelphia for our largest recital yet. We featured students on piano, violin, cello, saxophone, voice, and guitar for a fantastic afternoon of music making. Our recitals provide our students with the opportunity to show off their skills to friends and family alike. Not only is it a great time for everyone involved, but it’s a crucial experience for becoming a well-rounded musician.
The wide diversity of genres and styles reflects the amazing diversity and talent of all of our students. From Beethoven and Saint-Saëns to The Beatles and Coldplay, enjoy this musical cross-section of our Philly Music Lessons family. We’re so glad to have seen so many people at our recital this past fall, but in case you missed it, here’s a little something to give you an idea of how talented our students are!
Check out one of our new violin teachers, Alexandr Kislitsyn, perform “Meditation”, by Jules Massenet. Impressive tone! Melts me with beauty.
Alexandr attended the Novosibirsk State Conservatory where he received his B.A. in violin performance. He then went on to get his masters in violin performance from Temple University. With international performance experience at a high level, Alexandr is a great teacher for advanced violin students pursuing a classical path.
“Teaching music is not my main purpose. I want to make good citizens. If children hear fine music from the day of their birth and learn to play it, they develop sensitivity, discipline and endurance. They get a beautiful heart.”
Saturdays at 11 AM at Philly Music Lessons
October 1st – November 19th
$198 for 8 classes
(Includes a 3 month violin rental fitted for your child’s size at the first class)
Though many different curiosities are piqued when children come into our space and see instruments on the walls and in our practice rooms, violin seems to be of particular interest over and over again! Thus we’ve decided to offer a Suzuki-style violin class for kids ages 3-5. With a violin rental embedded into the cost, kids have the opportunity to experience the Suzuki method and other violin group work intended to introduce young bodies and minds to the violin. Read more about our kids violin class here!
Music Exploration Ages 3-5
Tuesdays at 4PM
October 4th – November 22nd
$128 for 8 classes
Our music exploration class is an intro to music beyond baby and toddler classes. Kids will explore ukuleles, their voices, piano techniques, and percussion patterns to gain experience with string instruments, solfege (ear training), and rhythm training. This class lays the groundwork for private lessons in a variety ofinstruments and is simply a fun way to explore music! Each class concludes with an art project that will reinforce a new concept each week.
Baby and Toddler Music Classes Ages 0-3
Ongoing Weekly classes at 10 AM Wednesdays and Saturdays
First time FREE! $10 drop in all September
Mommas, daddies, nannies, grandparents, and caregivers can join other families in the Fishtown area for weekly music classes on Wednesdays and Saturdays at 10 AM. Babies just a few months old will enjoy classes as much as the toddlers. All classes are drop-in this September, with a special rate of $10 per class (normally $15). Come October, we’ll be moving to a monthly sign up (10 kids max, unlimited makeups) to encourage regular friends and faces, and to allow groups of babies to grow and learn together!
Our Spring drum class (Rhythm and Beats), our Ukulele Class, and our Music Exploration Class have sadly ended for the season. But its not quite over yet! Students of our drum class, along with those taking private music lessons, will perform for our Spring 2016 Recital, starting at 1:30 PM, this Saturday, May 14th. Come on out and see what we’ve been doing over here at Philly Music Lessons! Visit us at the Ethical Society on Rittenhouse Square for an afternoon of violin, voila, voice, piano, guitar, and more. This recital is open to the public and costs $5 per person above the age of 12 (students attend FREE).
Philly Music Lessons at the Ethical Society
Fall Recital 2015
November 21st, 1 PM
It’s become somewhat of a tradition to have our Fall recital on Rittenhouse Square. The Philly trees have ushered in the Fall, and the park is starting to show signs of the holidays by the end of November. This will be our first recital at the Ethical Society. Equipped with a stage and abundant space for an audience, we’re excited to bring families and teachers into a new venue to support the accomplishments of our students.
The show is a great way for students of all ages to see various skill levels in action, and to put their practice into context. The project oriented learning required for recital performance will no doubt push participating students to higher levels. For this reason, recitals are something we encourage all students to consider, no matter their age or reason for taking lessons. In the past, Philly Music Lessons recitals have embraced true beginners to advanced students studying anything from classical music to pop composition. Thus, our recitals are often diverse and present a wide range of musical styles.
Join us for our Fall 2015 student recital at the Ethical Society this November:
Yeliza is the kind of person that can put you at ease from the first moment you meet her. She’s incredibly professional, but also relaxed and exudes positivity. This is the combo you want in a music teacher. She’ll offer students the discipline needed to learn an instrument, as well as the encouragement and light heart to wade over challenges along the way. In talking with Yeliza about future workshops and programs at Philly Music Lessons, I learned quickly how passionate she is about teaching. Though she teaches all ages, her and I have been excitedly planning our Spring Strings 2016 workshop for kids ages 4 – 5 and 6 – 7. I loved her reference to the early cello training workshops that inspired her in Puerto Rico. In these classes, as well as many beginner cello lessons for young kids, its common for students to start out on cardboard instruments, which they have spent time making themselves. This, she explained, teaches students how to care for their instruments, earning the opportunity to play on the real thing (On top of that, getting to craft a cardboard cello is pretty fun!).
Starting out the workshop with this mindful approach speaks a lot to the importance of patience and respect when you’re learning music (muscle memory comes in due time, just as getting to handle an expensive object like a cello comes with learning how to respect and care for instruments). It also speaks to Yeliza’s understanding of how to teach kids cello in a fun and creative way.
In private lessons, Yeliza offers excellent guidance for beginner and advanced students of all ages. With the Suzuki Method as her primary teaching tool, Yeliza offers violin lessons as well as cello. She also offers instruction for voice and piano too. Being bilingual, Yeliza teaches music lessons in Spanish as well.
Here’s Yeliza, playing Bach:
You can read more about Yeliza in her own words below (from our Teachers Page profiles):
I teach piano, violin, cello and voice lessons. I am 23 years old, and I was born in Puerto Rico. I came to the United States 4 years ago. I am bilingual, and I know the Suzuki Method in Spanish and English. I began playing the cello when I was in 7th grade in Puerto Rico with Professor Fermin Segarra. I also have an extensive background with the violin, piano and voice, having sung in multiple choirs throughout high school and college. After I graduated from Escuela Libre de Musica de San Juan, a school specialized in music, I went to the Conservatory of music of Puerto Rico for 2 years to focus on Cello Performance with Professor Luis Miguel Rojas. Afterwards, I transferred to Temple University to finish my bachelor’s degree in Performance with Professor Jeffrey Solow. This is my senior year at Temple University. I utilize the Suzuki Method with most of my students because I find it to be the most logical and progressive method of teaching. I was one of the piano, violin and cello teachers for children ages 4-18+ years old for two years in a specialized program at the Conservatory of Music. I am planning to stay in Philadelphia to build my studio with students of all ages.
Keep reading for a brief interview with Yeliza:
When did you begin playing cello, and why?
I started playing the cello when I was 12 and it was the best decision that I made in my life. I do not regret any moment that I spend with my cello making beautiful music.
What other instruments do you play, and what is your experience with them?
I play violin, piano and sing, as well. Piano was my first instrument growing up which gave me a very good foundation for reading music and understanding harmonic and melodic relationships in compositions. It also helped me better understand the string instruments that I would gravitate towards later in life. I began learning the violin shortly after the cello. They are very different instruments, despite being in the same family, but there are certain techniques which apply to both. As forvoice, I’ve sang all of my life. I’ve had three years of formal training in private lessons and have sang in choirs throughout middle school, high school and college.
What are your personal goals as a musician?:
My personal goal is to conduct the best piano, violin, and cello lessons that I can and teach my students everything that I know. I want my students to have the same passion that I have for the music and teach them how to transmit it onto the instrument.
Do you have a memory of a time when a musical concept or technique really clicked? Something you’ll remember forever?:
Two things one was vibrato and second one was shifting. For vibrato I remember my professor singing to me ” Shake the maraca” because that is the same motion that you do when you are doing vibrato. And thanks to the professor that I have now I really understand shifting and how the motion works of my left hand.
What is your favorite piece of advice from one of your past (or current) teachers?:
I remember the first time that my first teacher told me that we need to separate each hand and after you practice them separately you can then put them together. When you practice that way, it speeds up the learning process. Practice everything slow then it will be easier when you take it in fast tempo.
What was your most challenging moment learning an instrument?:
The most challenging moment was when I moved to Philadelphia to study with Jeffrey Solow. He changed all of my technique. It was like starting with the basics again; Frustrating in the beginning but definitely worth it in the end.
What is your biggest musical achievement?:
I recently won a competition in Temple University, and I played in a concert the Elgar Cello Concerto. That was my biggest achievement up until now. But I am working very hard so that this will be the beginning of even bigger achievements in my musical career.
Favorite thing about teaching?:
To see the progress of my students and know that I am passing my knowledge on to the next generation.
What is a piece of advice you would like to share with anyone learning music?:
Never give up! Music is a very complex , but is totally worth it.
One thing about having Temple alumni on our staff is that we have great connections with talented students, graduates, and teachers. Meet our latest adoption from Temple, Eunice China. Eunice is currently at studying at the Boyer College of Music pursuing a degree in classical violin performance. Having been a long time student of music herself (beginning at age 4), Eunice is a great teacher, intimately familiar with how to navigate the challenges of learning music and those of teaching. She has the versatility to work with very young children as well as adults. Her violin lessons are both stimulating and fun, and Eunice can prepare intermediate to advanced students for college and performance, or introduce new music students to violin.
Here is a bit about Eunice in her own words (from our Teachers Page), along with her interview & a video:
I teach violin lessons. I began my musical studies by the age of four. Since then, I have been consistently following my passion. I am currently a senior pursuing a Bachelor’s of Music violin performance at Temple University Boyer College of Music and Dance, where I study with international award winning violinist, Dr. Vladimir Dyo. In my early career, I was a member of Philadelphia Sinfonia Youth Orchestra, one of the premiere youth orchestras in the tri-state area. I also served as assistant concertmaster in Cheltenham High School Symphony Orchestra and won honorary placements in various competitions and festivals. Currently, I am a member of Grammy-nominated Temple University Symphony Orchestra. Recently, I have performed within orchestras such as the Pennsylvania Philharmonic and the Philadelphia Virtuosi Chamber Orchestra, one of America’s premier chamber orchestras. By encouraging the development of foundational techniques, I hope to inspire my students as much as possible. After about three years of teaching violin lessons, I have become more happy and appreciative for the opportunity to serve and benefit the community.
When did you begin playing violin, and why?: I began my violin studies at the age of four years old, with the generous help of my mother. After a few years of acquaintance with the instrument, I did not plan on ever letting it go.
What are your personal goals as a musician?: I hope to constantly learn and become a better musician. Despite however many achievements I may earn, I hope to always learn and develop ideas that will lead to improvement. I also hope to inspire both myself and those around me. Whether it is through teaching students, playing in a charity/hospital, or playing in a professional orchestra, I hope to motivate people to happily become their best selves.
Do you have a memory of a time when a musical concept or technique really clicked? Something you’ll remember forever?: Although I have been playing the violin for over seventeen years, there are always new things I learn every day. Within the past 3 years during my experience of Boyer College of Music, I have really learned the quality of “singing” music. After becoming aware of this artistic standpoint, my musical views have broadened greatly. What is your favorite piece of advice from one of your past (or current) violin teachers?: As a building is built by one brick at a time, a musician will become successful through careful and thorough practice of each musical idea.
What was your most challenging moment learning an instrument?: Understanding that a person must focus on only a certain amount of work at a time. If a man puts each leg and arm in a separate boat on sea, he will become stretched out, not moving forward. Even to this day, I am still learning to narrow my ideas, but to carry out them out to their fulfillments.
What is your biggest musical achievement?: I have had many admirable achievements throughout my career, and it is hard to choose. But in general, I feel that my greatest achievements are visible after I have put hard work and developed skill into any piece I am working on. Whether I am playing this piece for a wedding, jury, or concert, I feel that having dedicated myself in the music, these moments have been my greatest achievements.
Favorite thing about teaching?: My favorite thing about teaching violin lessons is the feeling of the student finally understanding. As training wheels are taken off at a certain age, it makes me happy as I slowly let go to see my student being able to perform the technique on their own.
What is a piece of advice you would like to share with anyone learning music?: Learning music is a slow process; it requires patience, time, and love. If you endure, you will see that it has been worth it.