Collin Dennen – Bass, Guitar, Piano, Drums Instructor

Bass, Guitar, Piano, Drums & Voice

Collin Dennen

He/ Him/ His

B.A. in Performance/Education Berklee College of Music

Jazz & Contemporary

I teach bassguitarpianodrums, 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.

When did you begin playing music and why?

My mother is a music teacher and she had my sister and I playing piano at a very young age. Both of my parents were very passionate about music so it was something that was just always around me growing up.

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

Learning about harmony and theory has always been something that fascinates me. I remember one year I had a great harmony professor and I just started churning out new songs that used the concepts that we were covering and a lot of them I still play.

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

Give the music the full attention it deserves. When I was really struggling with a piece of music one of my teachers had me meditate and clear my head so that I give the music all of my focus and respect.

What was your most challenging moment learning an instrument?

In high school I went to a nonprofit school of music that would do shows in the community and our big spring performance was a Motown revue. I had to play bass and sing backups for “I Want You Back” by the Jackson 5. During the bridge there is this pretty involved bass line and the part I had to sing sat in a really weird spot in relation to what I was playing. I remember feeling so silly practicing it out loud at the school because the vocal part was three really short easy notes.

What is your biggest musical achievement?

In the fall of 2014 I had the opportunity to perform with Paban Das Baul and Mimlu Sen at the Memorial Church of Harvard University. We only rehearsed for two days prior to the show and the music was almost entirely improvised. I had never had any prior experience with baul music and had to study it intensively leading up to the performance. I’ve played some really fun shows and gone on great tours with the bands I play in now so it’s hard to pick a “biggest” or “favorite”. I’ve grown so much from my experiences, they’re all important.

Favorite thing about teaching?

I love seeing the progress in my students and in myself. Things I learn from my students go beyond music. Learning how to interact and communicate with different people from different backgrounds is so important and rewarding.

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

Give everything a chance in music and immerse yourself with it. Music is so accessible today and there is a massive world of it out there to explore!

Personal music projects:

Ellen Siberian Tiger:
Mother Moses:
King Tivoli:


Philly Music Lessons specializes in connecting students of all ages and skill levels with great teachers in the Philadelphia and Main Line areas.