“Highly recommended” – Park Slope Parents list
Park Slope Parents logo
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.
• 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.
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.
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.
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
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
–> This is my FAVORITE RECOMMENDED CHOICE as of March 2017.
Alesis is a company that has always been known for quality and affordability.
Yamaha P45 88-Key Digital Piano
– about $450
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.
Just under $500 – great value!
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.
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.
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 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!
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.
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
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
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.
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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.