Guitar Lessons

In-Home and Studio Lessons 

1/2 hr, 45 min, 1 hr Lessons
Philadelphia, Lower Merion, Main-Line

Rock, Jazz, Blues, Classical, Folk, Bluegrass
Chords, Rhythm, Solos, Plucking Patterns, Improvisation, Theory, Songwriting

Studio Lessons in Fishtown and South Philly
All ages and skill levels

Schedule Guitar Lessons


Beginners

We work with each student’s goals and interests. Therefore, the path of learning for each student will differ from person to person, changing and evolving over time.  Here’s a chord melody beginner students might expect to play about 6 months into learning how to read notes on the guitar (from Mel Bay’s beginner guitar book):

Banjo | Ukulele | Bass Guitar | Schedule a Half-Priced Trial Lesson


Intermediate to Advanced Students

We work with a variety of intermediate and advanced guitar students. Soloing, improvising, songwriting, theory, performance experience, classical technique, and recording are just some of the avenues for an intermediate or advanced student to take. We need only to get to know you to take you where you want to go! Below is an improvised solo in the Gypsy Jazz style, playing over minor blues chord changes – something an intermediate student might work towards.

Banjo | Ukulele | Bass Guitar | Schedule a Half-Priced Trial Lesson


Our Teachers

Phil Smith

I teach GuitarBass and Banjo. I am a music producer, composer, guitarist, and teacher with a rich background in many different musical styles. I have a B.M. in Classical Guitar from the Oberlin Conservatory, and have extensive performance experience in rock, r&b, pop, gospel, latin, and world music. As a producer I have recorded and written with many of Philadelphia’s finest musicians and artists. 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. - Learn More About Phil

Daniel Fisk-Kallish

I teach guitar, bass, and ukulele.  I am a long time musician, Philadelphia resident, and teacher of private lessons for almost a decade.  I was lucky enough to receive a guitar at age 13, and have been playing for over 15 years.  I had a private guitar teacher who gave me the tools to become the player I am today, and years later I am here to do the same for my students. - Read More About Daniel

Alex Dovgala-Carr

I teach all levels of voice, beginner/intermediate piano, and beginner guitar and ukulele. I enjoy incorporating songwriting, musical improvisation, and music theory into any lesson. With a Bachelor's Degree in Music Therapy from Temple University, I also specialize in adaptive lessons (lessons for students with special needs.) - Read More About Alex

Cole Berggren

I teacher guitar and bass. I am a multi-instrumentalist, composer, performer, and teacher originally from the San Francisco Bay Area. I finished my associate degree in guitar performance at Ohlone College in California and moved to Boston to attend the Berklee College of Music. I have years of experience playing and performing music in a wide variety of styles from pop, rock, and punk to big band, jazz, and swing. As a teacher I feel that each student wants something different from a music lesson. I try to focus on what a student is interested in most while pushing them to try new things. I’m always excited to meet and work with new people. Whether you’re an experienced player or a brand new musician I’d love to help you accomplish your musical goals. - Read More About Cole

Brennen Ernst

I teach Banjo, Guitar, and Piano. I started playing professionally when I was 16, starting out playing for swing dances with a pianist I'd met at a music camp in West Virginia. I also recorded my first CD, "Blue Skies" that year. When I was 18, instead of going to college, I tried out for a full time bluegrass band and started playing with them on the road. I've got to play bluegrass in some very interesting places, including The Netherlands and Switzerland. I've taught myself by doing a lot of listening, some thinking, plenty of practice, and a whole lot of love for the music! Having found success with this path, I teach my students using those four guidelines, and I believe that listening and thinking, in addition to practicing are fun and rewarding ways to learn! - Read More About Brennen

Jonah Christian

I teach guitar and bass. I started learning guitar when I was 10 years old, initially playing a lot of Classical music and Classic Rock. The study of jazz theory and improvisation really opened my eyes to the amazing, endless world of music and the limitless possibility of the guitar as an improvisational instrument and from that moment I was hooked. When I teach, I try to always cater the style to the student. I build my lesson plans around the student’s interests and abilities, always with the goal of leaving the student inspired and eager to practice. - Read More About Jonah

Tim Lelen

I teach piano, guitar, and ukulele. I’m 29 years old and have been playing for the last 18 years and grew up in a musical household. I’ve played lead guitar in a few bands along the way all while maintaining a steady interest in classical piano. I’ve been teaching for the last 4 years, sharing the joy of music with students in Philadelphia. I teach classical piano as well as pop and rock styles on piano and guitar and ukulele. I enjoy finding and teaching music that students are excited about, fostering creativity, developing excellent practice methods, helping students pursue their musical goals, and exploring all that music is and can be. - Learn More About Tim

Gabe Miller

I teach violin. I was born and raised in the sweet Midwest city of Saint Louis, Missouri. My dear mother signed me up for Suzuki violin when I was 5 years old, and I am eternally grateful that she kept me doing it until I loved it. I am living in Philadelphia now, teaching music, playing gigs with several bands I lead or co-lead, composing music, and practicing more deeply all of the information I received in college. I like to approach music as a language very similar to any other spoken language. The instrument is an extension of the human voice. I incorporate a lot of listening, singing, movement, games, play, improvisation, and consistency into my lessons and practicing assignments. We learn to speak before we learn to read, and I take the same approach in music. - Read More About Gabe
 

Laena McDonald

I teach violin, viola, and guitar. I started playing the violin at the age of five, taking lessons from Hei Ling Yeung (Colorado Springs Symphony, Central City Opera). In elementary school, I joined the Front Range Youth Symphony and won awards in solo and ensemble competitions in Jefferson County. My secondary instruments include the viola and classical guitar. I earned teaching certification and completed hours of observation at the Suzuki Association of the Americas at the Suzuki Institute of Colorado. I also teach using the traditional method, depending on students’ individual goals and strengths. - Read more about Laena

Sean Conlon

I teach guitar, bass, piano, drums, voice, banjo, ukulele, trumpet, and mandolin.  I moved to Philadelphia to study music at University of the Arts where I graduated with a Bachelors of Music in Instrumental Performance (Guitar) as well as a Masters of Arts in Teaching.  While at Uarts I was lucky to be able to study all of the specific fields of music which initially drew me to the school; performance, writing, recording, and teaching.  I am truly happy to say that all 4 of those are still present in my day-to-day life.  I write and perform music with my band, The Phonies as well as solo music and various collaborations with other Philadelphia songwriters.  I've been lucky to perform music in a wide variety of styles.  I have been teaching private lessons (originally only guitar and piano) for 7 years.  My goal in teaching music is to help each student reach their musical goal, no matter what they may be.  If you aren't quite sure, that's ok too!  I'll help to figure it out.  No matter what goals my student may have I always try to approach the material in a way that empowers the student to learn more information on their own. - Read More About Sean  

Rick Rein

I teach trumpet, guitar, bass, drums, and piano. I came to Philadelphia to attend the University of the Arts, where I studied with Bill Pusey, George Rabbai, Matt Cappy, and Matt Gallagher; Their credits include work with The Philadelphia Orchestra, Michael Jackson, Jill Scott, Jay-Z, and NFL Films. I graduated in 2014 with a Bachelor's Degree in trumpet performance, then dove headfirst into the Philadelphia music scene. As a teacher, my goal is to help students develop their musical ears, along with proper technique and theoretical understanding, so they can find their own personal sound. - Read More About Rick

Ted Estersohn

I teach Banjo, Guitar, Mandolin, and Fiddle. I grew up in a house filled with classical music, show tunes, and folk music.  I really can’t remember not knowing about Pete Seeger, Woody Guthrie, Josh White, The Weavers, and Leadbelly.  Already a veteran of 3 years of piano and a few months of cornet lessons (I never got past the wet goose noise stage,) I found my home with my first guitar at age 12.  I was fortunate to catch on with Jerry Ricks, who later moved to Europe where he toured playing blues as “Philadelphia Jerry Ricks.”  Lessons with Jerry formed a broad and deep survey of folk guitar styles–blues, country, bluegrass, and (then) modern folk–fingerpicking and flatpicking styles and techniques.  He was also particularly close with Doc Watson and Mississippi John Hurt and it was my privilege and inspiration to get to know them both a bit, tagging along to club dates at the Second Fret on Sansom St.  The John Hurt and Doc Watson repertoires were the core of my student syllabus and as it’s still wonderful stuff and covers at least 2/3 of folk guitar technique, I still feature those tunes with those students who want folk guitar.  - Read More About Ted

Patrick Mencel

I teach guitar, voice and piano. I studied guitar and vocals at the University of The Arts. Growing up, I played trumpet and when I turned 13, I began taking lessons at Temple University. Playing trumpet gave me a good sense of melody and tone, which I later incorporated into the guitar. I was 15 when I first started taking lessons on guitar at University of the Arts. Since then, guitar has been my primary instrument. - Read More About Patrick


Stef Emery

I teach Voice, Guitar, and Violin. I grew up playing the violin and the piano, and played in school orchestras through high school. I then began to play the guitar and really started focusing on my voice and songwriting. I went to college at Berklee College of Music for Violin Performance and there learned Jazz and Blues styles on Violin. I began to gravitate more towards Rock and Blues styles and became more and more interested in being a singer-songwriter. I teach all ages, and love focusing on Rock, Pop, and Blues styles. Many of my vocal students also play guitar, so we work on coordination between playing and singing at the same time and even songwriting. My teaching style for vocals has a strong focus on finding your voice in chest and mix voices, learning how to project and belt and achieve a full body sound. I love to instill a strong sense of technique, feel, and confidence in my students, and most importantly I want them to have fun! Music lessons are about learning, obtaining goals, and gaining confidence in yourself. I strive to make all of my students well rounded musicians, encourage creativity and live performance, and help to start their musical journey in the most positive and encouraging way possible. - Read More About Stef

Jenny Hackbarth

I teach violin, viola, cello, guitar, ukulele, and piano. I've been playing music on various instruments for nearly twenty years. I come from a family of musicians and grew up listening to a strange combination of classical music and the Beatles. I played in orchestras and ensembles all throughout grade school. I earned a BA in music production from the College of Media and Communication at Temple University, where I also electively studied music theory and technique. I started teaching while working at a music shop after graduating. I picked up some lessons as a substitute teacher when needed and quickly realized that I loved teaching. My students are a constant reminder of why I fell in love with music in the first place. I've learned that there is no one method that works for every student. I teach using a blended method catered to each student's individual needs, while making sure we don't forget to have fun! - Read More About Jenny

Adam Kowalski

I teach Trombone, Euphonium, Electric Bass, Tuba, Trumpet, and Guitar, and I am a trombonist and educator in Philadelphia. I studied at Temple University’s Boyer College of Music and Dance, where I earned the degree of Bachelor of Music in Music Education in 2016. During my career at Temple I studied both Classical and Jazz trombone under the tutelage of Blair Bollinger of the Philadelphia Orchestra, and Mark Patterson, an accomplished jazz recording artist and Broadway musician. I have also had the opportunity to perform in the Grammy-nominated Temple University Symphony Orchestra and Jazz Band. Outside of Temple, I have performed with various local orchestras, bands and jazz bands. Currently I maintain a varied performance schedule playing trombone in a Philadelphia-based reggae band, as well as playing bass in an Indie Rock band. Through my teaching, I hope to instill in students a passion for learning and developing new skills. I believe in helping students to develop strong foundations in auditory skills (ear training) as well as fundamental facility and technique on their instruments. Through these means, students gain the tools necessary to facilitate new, exciting and rewarding learning opportunities for themselves to become life-long students of music. Read more about Adam

Frank Rein

I teach trumpet, tenor and bass trombone, euphonium/baritone horn, tuba, and french horn. I also teach beginner piano, guitar, and bass. I came to Philadelphia to attend the University of the Arts, from which I received the degree of Bachelor of Music with honors in 2016. I studied bass trombone with Barry McCommon, a top-call classical and jazz crossover artist in the Philadelphia, New Jersey and New York area. The Philly music scene is wonderfully diverse, and I have the opportunity to perform with accomplished musicians in genres as diverse as jazz, pop/rock, R&B, funk, classical, gospel, reggae, klezmer, soul, punk, even Star Wars music! My favorite teachers have always helped hone my senses and my ability to teach myself, and I like to take that approach with my own students; together we can explore concepts in terms of our relationships to them, resulting in a deep understanding and personal connection to music. - Read More About Frank

Ellen Tiberio-Shultz

I teach cello, guitar, voice and piano. I grew up taking piano, cello and voice lessons, writing songs and teaching myself to play guitar, which I ended up majoring in at the Berklee College of Music. My passion in music lies in singing and songwriting and I’m very happy to incorporate songwriting into lessons. I’ve taken lessons in traditional classical settings and in much more creative/informal ways. Similarly, I’ve played in a wide variety of styles and settings, from classical music in orchestras to punk music in rock bands. Because my experience with music was partially very traditional and partially self-motivated and based on intuition, I like to make sure I connect with students in the way they learn best. Some people like to learn the theory and see the sheet music, some people prefer to listen, improvise and experiment. There’s no wrong way to learn to play, as long as you’re practicing with the kind of technique that keeps your body healthy!  In addition to teaching, you can find me around Philly playing with several bands, including my original project Ellen Siberian Tiger, Mother Moses, Two Girls and Manic Pixi. - Read More About Ellen

Jennifer Pague

I teach Piano, Guitar and Voice here in the Philadelphia area. I started playing piano in 2nd grade, saxaphone and clarinet in 4th grade, bass clarinet and guitar in 6th grade, and have been singing forever. I was trained by a professional opera singer growing up. By the time I was sixteen years old, I was performing with the School of Rock all stars at major festivals such as Lollapalooza in Chicago and Austin City Limits in Austin Texas. I started my band (Vita and the Woolf) three years ago, and it has been a blast. I write, produce, sing, and play synthesizer and guitar in the band. The band has taken me to some really interesting places, such as singing at Citizens Bank Park for the Philadelphia Phillies game in June of 2015, and SXSW in Austin Texas. I have performed as a multi-instrumentalist for BC Camplight at Union Transfer and the Bonnaroo Music Festival in 2015. Vita and the Woolf plans on releasing the next record in March of 2016. I approach teaching based on how individual people learn. I have spent this past year teaching music and art to people with intellectual disabilities at SpArc Services. I have learned a lot about teaching concepts – Everyone learns differently and I feel it is of utmost importance as a teacher to cater to that. With piano, I start students with the basics, such as knowing chords, names of notes, and scales. Then I branch off into more fancy concepts. I love teaching and want everyone to have the gift of playing, performing, and composing music. Read more about Jennifer

Collin Dennen

I teach bass, guitar, piano, drums, and voice. I grew up in a musical household taking piano lessons from my mother, jamming on drums with my father in the basement, and writing songs with my younger sister. At 13 I discovered my love for bass guitar and enrolled in the Uptown Music Collective in Williamsport, PA. I attended Berklee College of Music where I graduated with a BA in bass performance and music education in 2014. Currently, I play bass and sing backup vocals for Philly-based indie rock bands Ellen Siberian Tiger and Mother Moses and for Boston-based Bengali Pop singer Prithwiraj Choudhury. - Learn More About Collin

Dan Halma

I teach Guitar, Bass and Ukulele. I am a composer, sound engineer, multi-instrumentalist and teacher here in Philadelphia with wide ranging experience working in a variety of styles and settings. According to my mom I’ve been singing since I could talk (though I think she might be exaggerating slightly), but more concretely my musical journey began with piano lessons in kindergarten and continued by playing saxophone and singing in choir up through high school. Receiving my first guitar as my 13th birthday present proved to be a monumental moment in my life and nowadays it’s rare to see me travel anywhere without a guitar somewhere in my possession. My teaching style is based entirely on the needs of my students. Everyone learns differently and has different interests so I believe that keeping that at the forefront of any lesson plan keeps students interested and hungry to learn more. It’s my job as a teacher to not only illustrate the technical and theoretical side of playing music but also provide encouragement for them in their journey of musical discovery. - Read More About Dan

Joseph Primavera

I teach Guitar, Bass, Piano and Ukulele. I am a music educator, performer, composer and producer with over 15 years of experience. Since obtaining my Bachelor’s of Music in Performance from Temple University in 2007, I have been teaching private music lessons in the greater Philadelphia area to students of all ages and skill levels. My teaching style focuses equally on technique, theory and improvisation. I like to tailor the lessons to each individual student's goals and interests, all while focusing on the music that they find interesting and inspiring. In 2002, I was one of only two guitar players in Pennsylvania chosen for the Pennsylvania Governor’s School for the Arts. In 2010, I recorded the music for a full length documentary called “Libertopia". In 2011, I co-lead the launch of a recording program at The Hill School in Pottstown, PA. Since graduating with my degree in jazz performance, I have been featured as a guitarist performing in a variety of genres, and have contributed guitar to multiple recordings, including works recorded at Miner Street Recordings in Fishtown. In addition to guitar and music in general, I have been teaching audio engineering, production and mixing. I have also had a key role in the production and engineering for the albums of many local bands, including Juston Stens (former drummer for Dr. Dog), TJ Kong and the Atomic Bomb, Grubby Little Hands, and The Looks of It (my personal project). In 2009 I founded Philly Music Lessons to bring a unique form of music education to my own neighborhood and to Philadelphia at large. Whether you are just starting out and want to learn some of your favorite songs or preparing for a college audition, I have the tools and experience to help you achieve your musical aspirations. Schedule a Lesson

Keely Sibilia

I am a professional singer/songwriter originally from Los Angeles currently residing in Philadelphia. I graduated from The University of the Arts in 2012 with a Bachelor of Music degree in Jazz Vocal Performance. In addition to songwriting, I also specialize in singing Jazz, Pop, Indie, Classical, Rock, and Musical Theater. I have over 15 years of vocal experience, and over 6 years of teaching private instruction in voice, songwriting, guitar, piano, percussion, and ukulele. I also have experience teaching music in group environments, using collaborative and creative approaches. I have had the pleasure of performing at Carnegie Hall, The Sidney Opera House, Preservation Hall, The Kimmel Center, and various venues throughout Los Angeles, such as House of Blues, The Hotel Cafe, The Viper Room, Molly Malone's and more. I recently won a 3 month long vocal competition in Philadelphia, entitled, Songbird: Search for Philly’s Best Singer. When teaching, my approach is to focus on the student’s needs and reach goals that he or she is focused on. I gear lessons towards broadening the student’s mind, and am open to all forms of creating art. I currently teach group music classes, voice for all levels, and piano and guitar (beginner/intermediate levels). -Read More About Keely