Take live, face-to-face online lessons with any of our teachers using Zoom, Skype or FaceTime. All you need is a computer or tablet and a high-speed internet connection to learn everything you need to know from the comfort of your own home!
Whether you want to learn how to read music, or just play along with your favorite songs, our teachers will take a customized approach, and create the perfect lesson plan for you.
Our teachers design fun and creative lesson plans specifically for you. Chords, soloing, improvisation, and theory are all taught in a progressive and easy to understand manner. We offer personalized guitar lessons for all ages, styles and skill levels.
We can help beginners quickly learn the basic patterns and techniques to back up a band. Once you've got the basics, we'll help you learn interdependence and the advanced techniques of the masters.
Our violin lessons will give you the proper technical foundation to make the violin sound warm and beautiful, while learning to read and interpret music at the same time. Our string teachers have degrees from various music programs throughout the country and are great with beginners and advanced students alike.
Whether you're a complete beginner, or have been singing for years, voice lessons can be an eye opening experience. Learn proper breathe control, body alignment and vocal placement to maximize the potential of your voice.
Learn the fundamentals of bowing and fingering to get a beautiful tone out of your cello. Our string teachers have degrees from various music programs throughout the country and are great with beginners and advanced students alike.
Increase your knowledge of upright bass (double bass), or learn this string instrument as a beginner. Our teachers offer lessons to children and adults alike. We teach the basic skills, such as rest stroke and bowing, which apply to studies in jazz, classical, bluegrass and more.
Bass guitar is the foundation of a band. Working from tabs or standard notation, beginners will be able to follow along with their favorite songs in no time. More advanced students can learn theory and how to construct bass lines.
Great for tiny fingers! The Ukulele is a fantastic first instrument for kids and budding musicians of all ages. Our lessons will teach you the fundamentals of any string instrument, while exploring styles and strumming patterns unique to the ukulele.
Learn how to read music, proper breathing technique and the standard repertoire, all while gaining the skills necessary to perform in an orchestra or ensemble.
Learn how to read music, proper embouchure and breathing techniques, all while gaining the skills necessary to perform in an orchestra or ensemble.
From beginners to advanced, we will teach the fundamentals of playing woodwind instruments, including proper breath control, tone and technique. Advanced students can learn jazz theory, dixie land melodies, and more in depth orchestral pieces.
By: Melanie Ashe
Whether you are a trained vocalist or someone who considers themselves a professional shower singer, singing gives you some sort of release. Perhaps it’s endorphins, adrenaline, a relief of stress, or an overwhelming wave of emotion that you feel when you open up your body to music and use your very own instrument. Being a performer, I have found an urge to sing when I am feeling stressed, sad, extremely happy, or angry. I often write music and sing when I am propelled to by my mental state, (which isn’t the best policy for becoming a song writer) but it helps me connect to whatever I am working on in a much deeper way. The same goes for the people I teach or come in contact within my field of work. Most of the students I meet feel a sense of relief or passion in a lesson because it is a place of trust, expression, and vulnerability. Singing alone or with a teacher can scare you and motivate you at the same time.
I have always been curious as to why I wanted to sing. What led me to this path I am currently on? And why am I so driven by emotions when it comes to this specific art form? So I did some research and discovered that singing is very much connected to your physical and emotional being.
Unlike other musical instruments, singing (and yes, we, humans, are a musical instrument) can affect the body in many different ways, resulting in various emotional states. Physically, singing can boost the immune system. At the University of Frankfurt, a study was done to test the blood of a professional choir “before and after an hour-long rehearsal singing Mozart’s “’Requiem,'” where proteins in the immune system were significantly higher after the rehearsal. Interestingly enough, there was no significant increase after the choir only listened to music but only when they were singing (Foot 1).
For anyone who has been singing for a significant period of time, you know that it is an aerobic exercise. You are burning calories as well as strengthening your diaphragm and your circulation. Exercise is known to release endorphins, which explains why most people feel “better” after they sing (Foot 1).
One physical benefit that truly surprised me was improvement in your sleeping habits…. Apparently, strengthening your palette and throat muscles can prevent or decrease snoring and sleep apnea. A study in 2008, “published in the journal Sleep Breath found that the prevalence and severity of snoring among semiprofessional singers and non singers indicated that singers scored lower on the snoring scale” (“The health benefits of singing a tune”). So for any of you who are quite the loud sleepers, it’s time to start whistling while you work.
As for psychological benefits, singing can lower stress, improve mental alertness, and functions as a natural anti-depressant, “When you sing, musical vibrations move through you, altering your physical and emotional landscape. Group singing, for those who have done it, is the most exhilarating and transformative of all. It takes something incredibly intimate, a sound that begins inside you, and shares it with a roomful of people and it comes back as something even more thrilling: harmony” (Horn 1). Along with endorphins, oxytocin, sometimes referred to as the love hormone, “has been found to alleviate anxiety and stress” is released while you sing. Furthermore, oxytocin also enhances feelings of bonding and trust, which explains the decrease in depression and loneliness (Horn 1).
When it comes to the physical and psychological benefits of singing, there is a lot it can do to improve your health in major ways. Some other health benefits besides improving your immune system, boosting of endorphins and oxytocin, a decrease in sleep apnea, and stress relief, are guided meditation, improvement with posture and concentration resulting in better memory recollection (“The health benefits of singing a tune”).
Besides the fact that you are healing yourself by creating music, you can open yourself up to a sense of newfound confidence, communication, and a passion for something beautiful whether or not you pursue music as your career or it is simply a hobby. Nothing fulfills me more than when I have an adult walk into my studio who used to sing in high school or college but later pursued other things, or started a family and is now deciding to pick it back up. Music will always be there for you. It is a language just as much as it is an art form. And whether or not it is a serious career, devotion, or hobby for you, it can be a part of your life in various mediums. For me, singing is my medium because I love creating music from my very own being. It feels like the most powerful and and motivating force in my life.
Let’s do a little experiment. Sit down and close your eyes. Now I want you to think of the hardest piece of music you know. When you are ready, play through that piece in your mind as fast as you can. When you make a mistake, raise your hand and stop. How far did you get? If you are like most people, including myself, you didn’t get very far at all. Possibly a few phrases, but most likely only a couple measures.
This exercise, which was shown to me by the electric bass virtuoso Gerald Veasley, illustrates an intriguing point. Let’s think about this. The mistake that happened, which is a mirror of what happens with your instrument, happened without the instrument being present or you playing it. The mistake actually happened in your mind.
We often think that when we can’t play a musical passage, it is because we cannot play our instrument, a physical problem. However, this exercise suggests that the problem may not be physical. Rather, an internal block is just as debilitating as an external one.
So what can we do about this?
The answer is visualization. When confronted with a passage that is difficult or has been giving you trouble for a long time. Take some time to sit with your eyes closed, away from your instrument and think your way through the passage. Very slowly at first, and increasingly faster. Try pantomime the movements on your instrument. Then play it on your instrument.
You will be surprised at how effective this can be. It has been my experience that more often than not one of two things happen. 1) The problem magically disappears or 2) The cause of the problem is revealed. The second outcome is extremely important. It is very easy to be stuck in a blindspot and visualization can help give you a better perspective on the issue. Also, once you are aware of the real problem, you can take steps to fix it.
Another great use of visualization is for preparing for a performance.
Before your next performance use visualization as a test to make sure the music you have prepared is ready. If you can think your way through the music you are in good shape. Next, spend some time visualizing yourself at the performance on stage. If you are unfamiliar with the place you are to perform, go there ahead of time. The goal is to make your visualizations as realistic as possible. How will you feel on stage? How bright will the lights be? What will the audience’s applause sound like? How will you feel after the performance?
The technique of visualization is used by many high level performers in a variety of fields. From professional athletes, CEO’s, as well as performing artists. Make no mistake, it is not a substitute for regular and focused practice. Rather, in combination with regular, focused practice, it has the capacity to greatly increase your confidence, skills, and results.
In these videos, Philly Music Lessons violin teacher Jenny Hackbarth teaches us how to tune the violin using the tuning pegs and the fine tuners.