Parents look for activities that support their children academically, socially and emotionally. Our student-centered curriculum makes learning an instrument fun with most students staying with us for years practicing essential skills for success in school, work and life.

About

“Highly recommended” – Park Slope Parents list
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Since 2007, Park Slope Music Lessons has been activating success in children through quality music education.

We begin with children as young as 3 and 4 years old, grounding them in the basics of keyboard skills, music theory, harmony, solfége, rhythm and reading music. The instruments range from piano/keyboard to guitar, ukulele, strumstick, dulcimer, recorder and basic percussion.

Your child will learn

• to play a song in 1st lesson

• to “read” special music notes even if they are pre-literate

• a new song by themselves by 2nd lesson

• how to practice and valuable life skills of focus, perseverance, grit

• basics of music:  technique, harmony, melody, ear training, reading and more

Click here to see videos of our students over the last decade.

Activate your child's success through music Apply Now
  • Our Teachers
  • Andrew Ingkavet Media Bio
  • Instruments for Kids
  • Lesson Fees & Semester Dates
  • Videos
Adam Holmes

Hello! My name is Adam and I’m an NYC-based musician of many sorts. I’ve attended NYU and the Mannes school of music, studying both percussion and composition. I’m an active freelancer in the NYC area, playing with groups such as Contemporaneous, The String Orchestra of Brooklyn, and my own contemporary music ensemble, Echo Chamber. While I focus professionally on drums and percussion, I also have a background in guitar and keyboards. I love studying music of all genres and cultures and sharing them with the people around me.

Drums and percussion, Guitar, Piano
Lyubov "Luba" Mirzoyev

Hello! My name is Luba. I teach piano and voice and have been teaching privately as well as the Brooklyn Conservatory of Music for many years. I also accompany singers and instrumentalists. My teaching career started in college back in Moscow, Russia. After graduating from college here, in New York, I resumed teaching students of all ages, and I love every minute of it. It is very rewarding to see my students making progress in every lesson and mastering the art of playing the piano.

Piano, Voice
Andrew Ingkavet

Hi, I'm Andrew and I am the founder and owner of Park Slope Music Lessons. I'm a Park Slope Dad who's proud of my son and all the students I have had the opportunity to work with for the last decade. I specialize in working with the youngest children get their start with a solid, fun experience of learning to play a real instrument. I am a multi-instrumentalist with piano, guitar, sax among others. I was one of the first VJ's for MTV-Asia back in the early 1990's and love all kinds of music from folk, to bluegrass to jazz to rock to pop to opera and cumbia. I'll see you in the lessons! See Andrew's Media Bio

Piano, Guitar, Dulcimer, Ukulele, Strumstick, Recorder, Voice
Frances Brodeur music teacher
Frances Brodeur

Hi. My name is Frannie and I have been teaching flute, recorder and piano to children of all ages in Brooklyn since 1987. I love teaching music to small children and experiencing with them their musical growth and maturity as they progress. I have two grown sons of my own who both studied music as young children. They say that studying music gave them a new learning perspective that helps all other areas of learning, not to mention a deeper understanding and appreciation of music in general. I look forward to teaching your your child!

Flute, Piano, Recorder
Sean Spada music teacher
Sean Spada

My name is Sean and I've been playing piano my whole life and teaching for over 10 years. I studied music at Boston University and the Juilliard Pre-College Program; these days I perform extensively in the NYC area with many different acts of many different styles. I've also toured all across the country and appeared as a performer on cruise ships. Seeing students have fun expressing themselves through music is profoundly rewarding, and I love introducing kids to the piano and helping them discover the possibilities of music.

PIano, Bass, Guitar, Voice

Andrew Ingkavet Teacher and Owner Park Slope Music Lessons

Andrew Ingkavet is an educator, author and entrepreneur.

His belief that learning a musical instrument builds life skills vital to success in life has led to founding Park Slope Music Lessons, a thriving music school in Brooklyn, NY.  Internationally, Andrew helps music teachers with the Musicolor Method®, an online curriculum/training he created for early childhood music education as well as a 5 star-rated book, “The Game of Practice: with 53 Tips to Make Practice Fun.”  He is also founder of 300 Monks Music, a licensing company.

Born to Thai/Chinese and Korean parents, it wasn’t easy for Andrew growing up in an all-white suburb.  It wasn’t until he discovered rock music that he found a way to connect with his peers.  At 14, Andrew started practicing guitar up to 9 hours a day eventually winning a scholarship to NYU for education / performance.  The traits he learned through intense focus, practice and performance made a huge impact on his life and career and is what he shares with his clients, students and teachers.

As Andrew’s personal sense of limitations expanded he quickly grew from music marketing rep to actor off Broadway to television and film scoring & songwriting.   In 1991 he was selected as one of the first on-air personalities for the new MTV-Asia based in Hong Kong.   While there, Andrew’s curiosity with the new Internet led to his cofounding the first digital media agency in Asia, and upon returning to New York, joining several tech startups including Music Boulevard and agencies Digitas and FCB as Creative Director.

Mr. Ingkavet is a regular contributor to Teachwell, Music Teachers Helper and the Musicolor Method blogs.  He has written for several music industry publications, has appeared on television MTV, CNBC, MSNBC and in print media AsiaWeek, Asian Wall Street Journal, and the South China Morning Post.  He has guest lectured at film festivals, computer user groups, Toastmasters, NYU, Fordham and Brooklyn College.

Andrew is passionate about speaking on the importance of music education for everyone, life skills developed through music, music education, pedagogy and practice skills.

Contact.

We have collected a few of our recommended instruments for kids.

This list is updated regularly and we try to find the most practical, yet quality choices for instruments.  These are not toys.

Note:  Please consider purchasing using the links on this page as some of the links may provide us with a small referral fee which supports our school.

Also note, we have created a local resources page for local music stores and piano tuners.

PIANO

While a quality acoustic piano is a wonderful instrument and can never be matched by an electric/digital one, the maintenance and cost of a high quality upright or baby grand or grand is usually more than most parents of beginning students want to spend. I’ll address acoustic pianos in the future. For now, here’s some recommended electronic keyboards.

Here’s a video that explains what to look for in a Digital Piano

Portable Electric Keyboards Below $200

These are not full sized keyboards and may be appropriate for the earliest beginners if you’re not sure the child will continue beyond a few lessons. Still they are playable and can be inspiring and fun thereby creating more interest.

Yamaha Piaggero NP11 61-Key Lightweight Compact Portable Keyboard – This is very good for the money and size.  It even runs on batteries and can become a travel keyboard if you step up to a full size digital piano later.  The quality of sounds is quite good and I’ve had several students purchase this one and all have been very pleased.  About $160.

Casio CTK-2300 61-Key Premium Portable Keyboard Package with Headphones, Stand and Power Supply
– Casio is another well known maker of digital keyboards and the quality is quite high for the price.  Again, this is a smaller keyboard than a full size piano but can be useful to gauge your child’s interest before committing to a real acoustic piano or a full sized 88 key digital piano.  About $130 including stand, headphones.

DIGITAL  PIANOS – 88 Keys

When you know you are going to be playing real piano pieces I recommend you move to a full size 88 key digital piano or an acoustic piano. Here are a few of my recommended digital pianos and notes about them.  The stage pianos are more portable but can also be paired with a matching stand which makes it attractive enough for the family room.

 The big names in digital pianos are Yamaha, Casio, Kawai, and Roland.  These names are the ones you come across in most piano forums with Yamaha and Casio being the front runners.  

A note about Polyphony

You’ll come across this term polyphony which basically means how many notes the piano can handle in it’s digital memory before running out.  Most modern digital pianos are at least 64 notes which is pretty good.  The better ones have 128 and then 256 and even higher.  This becomes a factor if you are playing pedaled notes which keep ringing.  If you are using a low polyphony keyboard, you’ll start to notice how some of your notes will drop away as you add more.  Not exactly realistic, but it’s how they save on costs for the lower end models.

Lowest Price Digital Pianos With 88 Weighted Keys

 

Alesis Recital

–> This is my FAVORITE RECOMMENDED CHOICE as of March 2017.

Alesis is a company that has always been known for quality and affordability.

Recommended Beginner Digital Piano Bundle

Recommended Beginner Digital Piano Bundle

  • This bundle is about $270 and includes everything you need to get started.
  • 88 full-sized, semi-weighted keys with built-in speakers
  • Free $30 value with included power adapter
  • Standard, Split, Layer, and Lesson modes with 128 max polyphony
  • Includes Skoove 3-month premium subscription for interactive online piano lessons

Yamaha P45

Yamaha P45 88-Key Digital Piano
– about $450

A recommended first digital piano that's affordable, yet good quality

A recommended first digital piano that’s affordable, yet good quality

This is a great first choice as it is not only great quality, has a weighted key feel, but also portable enough to move around the house or bring on a family trip.

  • AWM (Advanced Wave Memory) sampling technology
  • Simple one-button operation
  • Compact and lightweight
  • Graded Hammer Standard (GHS) weighted piano action
  • Dual mode for layering two voices

Casio PX150 BK 88-Key Touch Sensitive Privia Digital Piano with Tri-Sensor Scaled Hammer Action

 Just under $500 – great value!

  • Keyboard: 88 keys, weighted scaled hammer action
  • Sound Source: AiR (Acoustic & intelligent Resonator)
  • Polyphony (maximum): 128
  • Tones: 18 Built-in tones, Duet Mode, Layer, Split, Octave Shift
  • Simulator: Hammer Response, Damper Resonance, String Resonance, Lid Simulator

Here are my recommended Digital Pianos Below $1000

Yamaha P115

  • 88-note, GHE (Graded Hammer Effect) weighted-action keyboard
  • 128-note polyphony
  • Dynamic Stereo Sampling – 4 separate layers of stereo samples
  • Key-Off Sample plus Sustain Sample for acoustic piano realism
  • Emulates the soft/half pedaling and damper effects of an acoustic

Yamaha P Series P105B 88-Key Digital Piano –

about $600
This one is the little brother of the P155 and yet adds some other features like a drum machine.  The touch action is a little less realistic than the P155 too.

  • PureCF-sampled piano: Sampled from Yamaha’s own acclaimed CFIII concert grand, no digital piano at this price point delivers recordings from such a high-end instrument.
  • Pianist styles: This built-In duet partner plays along with you in one of ten different playing styles.
  • Built-In drum patterns: Basic drum patterns put the “fun” back into practicing and is a practical alternative to a metronome. Or turn your solo act into a two piece band where the drummer is always on time.
  • 88-note, weighted GHS action: Heavier touch in the low end and lighter in the highs, just like an acoustic piano
  • 128-note polyphony: Even when using dual Voice and split mode with a drum pattern, 128-note polyphony ensures every note gets heard.

Casio PX780 Privia 88-Key Digital Home Piano, Black 

about $1000 – This is a similar Casio to the Yamaha P155.  I preferred the touch feeling on the Yamaha, but the Casio is very similar in value and sound quality.  Also 128 note polyphony.

  • 88 Note Scaled Hammer-Action Keyboard
  • AiR Sound Source
  • Ebony and Ivory Feel Keys
  • Hammer Response and String Resonance Simulation

Digital Furniture Pianos – Ones that Look Great In Your Living Room – and Sound Great Too!

As I always tell my student parents, please put your instrument in a central part of the living area so that it becomes a magnet to your child.  They will naturally want to practice and show off what they learned as you are there to hear them!  The worst thing is to put it in a hidden corner and then command your child to go practice by themselves!  That’s like banishment to the Practice Dungeon!

So with that in mind, why not invest in a piano that adds to the style of your living room?  Something that looks iike furniture, but has the added ability to turn down the volume, never need tuning and even use headphones for early or late practicing.

Most of the digital pianos can be purchased with a matching stand to make it fit more in with your furniture.  Here’s a few that  are more built out which also gives them room for bigger more realistic sounding speakers.

Yamaha ARIUS YDP-181 Electronic Piano with Bench ;Rosewood

about $1700

  • 88-key GH(Graded Hammer) weighted action keyboard
  • Dynamic Stereo Sampling AWM piano with 128-note polyphony
  • 2-track, 3-song recorder
  • USB TO DEVICE port
  • LED Display

Casio AP420 Celviano Digital Piano with Bench

about $1100

  • New Linear Morphing AiF sound source with 16 tones
  • New 3-sensor hammer action
  • Keyboard with matted “Ivory Touch” surface
  • New 2 x 20 watt speaker system
  • USB terminal, SD memory card slot, Line

Roland F-140

  • around $1200
  • SuperNATURAL Piano delivers the rich, authentic tone of a real acoustic grand
  • PHA-4 Standard Keyboard features high-resolution sensing that maximizes the vast tonal potential of the SuperNATURAL Piano sound engine
  • Sophisticated onboard rhythm feature with intelligent accompaniment; 72 different rhythm styles, including 6 pianist styles
  • Explore a world of instruments beyond the acoustic piano with 305 additional tones that include electric pianos, strings, organs, guitars, brass, synthesizers, and many others
  • Connect your smartphone or tablet via Bluetooth technology to turn sheet music pages wirelessly

Other Options for Digital Pianos

Yamaha makes a line called Clavinova which are only sold in showrooms by piano dealers.  These are the same dealers who also sell acoustic pianos.  These are quite amazing and will cost usually over $2000.  I recommend you try them out if you are serious about a beautiful sounding and looking instrument.

Kawai usually sells only through showrooms as well but are beautiful quality.   Try them out!

What About Toy Pianos?

Not recommended for study – but great for it’s special sound

Someone recently asked me about the toy pianos made by Schoenhut.  While these are beautiful (and costly!) and have a distinctive bell-like tone, I do not recommend these for learning the piano.  I would love one of these just to have the special effect for use in say a toy commercial soundtrack or to add quirkiness to a pop recording.  For learning piano, I think it’s use is limited and may become tiresome after a few months.  For the same price, you can get a digital keyboard or digital piano above.

UKULELE

Because of it’s small size ,  only 4 nylon strings and it’s affordability, I think Ukulele is an excellent first choice for a beginner looking to play an instrument. This is the  one I have – $50 at Amazon and is beautiful. It’s a soprano size, which is the most common and the smallest. Kala KA-15S Mahogany Soprano Ukulele

STRUMSTICK

This is an interesting beginners instrument designed by a guy named Bob McNally.  It’s a kind of mountain dulcimer that sounds like a banjo and has 3 strings tuned to a chord, so it always sounds good.  The quality of the build is excellent and it always stays in tune!  I suggest getting the smaller sized one in the key of G.   $150 at Amazon:  McNally G-29 Standard Strumstick

GUITAR FOR KIDS

Melina and her Baby Taylor guitar

Melina and her Baby Taylor guitar

For older beginning guitar students, I recommend either a nylon string classical guitar in a smaller size or an electric guitar in half size.  The electric guitar is actually easier to play as the strings are usually closer to the fretboard.  The quality of beginner instruments has risen remarkably in the last decade and I am very impressed with all of these instruments.

Recommended Nylon String Classical Small Size guitars

The nylon strings are easier to press than acoustic steel strings. 1) Yamaha CGS 102 – great quality for the price. 2)  Hohner HC03 –  I had a similar Hohner many, many years ago when I was a  boy.  I think my mother bought in college and I loved it.

Recommended Small Size Steel String Acoustic Guitars

If you’re child is 7 or older and looking for the brightness of the steel strings used in much pop, rock and country, there is only one choice that I would recommend: Taylor Guitars Baby Taylor, BT2, Mahogany, Natural  – I compared this to several other guitars in the same size including Martin’s and there was no comparison.  This guitar is just awesome.  I have one and I’ve recommended it to all my guitar students.  It’s about $300 and comes in different finishes including a flowery Taylor Swift model, popular with the girls.

Ed Sheeran uses a small sized Martin which is also a great instrument.  One of my students had this it was rock solid, never seemed to go out of tune!

DULCIMER

Adrian plays his dulcimer which he put together with his Dad. Note the flames!

Adrian plays his dulcimer which he put together with his Dad. Note the flames!

This is a fantastic beginning string instrument for kids.  The one I’m recommending is created specifically for classrooms as it has a cardboard body that will last 20 years with some basic care.  This is a very affordable instrument at around $50 and you can even paint in crazy colors or put stickers on it.  The tuners really do stay in tune.  Purchase at Backyard Music.

 

Olaya and Andrea welcome guests to the Spring 2016 Music Recital.

Olaya and Andrea welcome guests to the Spring 2016 Music Recital.

Waiting List

The best way to stay informed about openings is to register on the waiting list. (This is free and is the best way to join us.)

Trial Lessons

  • Usually held on consecutive  weeks
  • Allows you and the teacher to see if your child is ready
  • Allows time to build a rapport between teacher and student
  • See how your child is enjoying the process of learning and practicing
  • Fee for trial lessons $130 (includes 2 individualized 30 minute lessons plus all materials)
  • You will need an instrument at your home for lessons and practice
  • After the 2 trials, we would mutually decide whether to join for the semester

Why semester billing?

We make a commitment of time for your child and provide all materials and music.   This includes any new sheet music we may purchase to match your child’s personal interest.  By committing to us, we can commit to you and accomplish a lot – dependent on student participation.  All lessons are private and customized towards your child’s interests and abilities.

 

Spring 2017

We are in the midst of our Spring semester which ends on June 10 with a series of recital concerts at Park Slope Library.

If you are joining now, you will receive a prorated tuition.

No lessons Memorial Day weekend.

Summer 2017

  • Summer lessons booked individually at a special rate of $62/lesson.
  • This allows you to customize your schedule to your holidays.

September 2017 –  June 2018 Semester & Tuition

  • First day of lessons:  Friday September 8, 2017
  • $215/month automatic payment plan (September – June)
  • Current students:  $100 deposit to hold your current slot due before June 27, 2017
  • Discount – $150 discount if annual tuition is paid in full before June 27, 2017 ($2000 after discount)

Holidays 2017-2018

We are usually closely matched to the NYC Public School schedule as announced by the Department of Education.  However not all are the same.  See below.  These days are no lesson days.

About Recitals

  • There is no charge for attending Recitals though it is highly recommended and is a mini concert production.  There is usually a huge growth spurt emotionally, intellectually and mentally in students who take part.
  • Here’s an article about Why Music Recitals Are Like Life Skills 101.

Payment

You can pay securely online with your credit card or PayPal or Chase Quickpay.

Here are some videos from our recitals as well as some instructional ones too. Enjoy!

Videos for Park Slope Music Lessons

My 8 year old daughter has been taking guitar lessons from Andrew for over a year and a half. She loves the lessons (says they’re the fastest 30 minutes of her week!) and is steadily growing in musical ability and appreciation. Andrew has a special gift for finding the best ways for your child to learn and stay motivated. I highly recommend him for any budding musician.

Julie M.