How to Get StartedYour needs and goals come first. Whether you’re a performing musician or have never picked up an instrument, our teachers will teach you in the way you learn best. They cover a wide range of classic and contemporary styles.
Getting started is easy.
- What type of music instruction are you looking for?
- We teach private lessons to students of all ages for most instruments and voice
- To see if we have a group class you’d enjoy, view our current class schedule
- If you want to make music with others, learn more about our band & ensembles program
- We have some programs for toddlers and school aged children
- See our fees.
- Get to know our teachers.
- Have questions? Contact us.
- Sign Up!
Instruments & Voice A-Z
- Bass (Electric)
- Bass (Upright)
- Dobro (Resophonic Guitar)
- Dulcimer (Mountain)
- French Horn
- General Music Instruction
- Guitar (Acoustic)
- Guitar (Electric)
- Guitar (Slide)
Expert teachers. Personalized, affordable lessons.
Our teachers are accomplished musicians and great listeners. They’ll start where you’re at, whether you’re a beginner or already performing onstage. They’ll help you set goals, motivate you through great instruction, and teach you in the style you want to learn.
Choose your location.In addition to our house at 1813 S. Sixth Street, we also offer lessons at Lutheran Church of Christ the Redeemer at 55th and Penn Ave S. We currently offer lessons at LCCR in Piano, Voice, Violin, Viola, Mandolin and Harmonica. Contact our office for more details or to inquire about other instruments at this offsite location.
Getting set up.
- Let us know your instrument and level of experience.
- For children's programs, we also need to know the age of your child.
- We’ll give you a quick interview to help you find the teacher who’s the best fit. When you’re ready, call us at 612-333-6651.
- You’ll discuss your goals and schedule with the teacher before you start.
- You can take lessons at the school, at an offsite location, or at your home (at a higher cost). Check out our fees.
- Once you’re comfortable that you have the right teacher and have settled on your lesson time, it’s time to register and pay.
- Please visit our Policies page for more information on time limits for using WBSM lessons and canceling, or rescheduling lessons.
Make the most of your private lessons.
- Regular weekly lessons with homework assignments reinforced by daily practice are routines that allow you to make the most progress;
- Thirty minutes or more of practice every day is good, but when you're busy, try for 15-20 minutes. Doing something each day, even for a short time, helps you progress; and
- Work with your teacher to set your goals and monitor progress toward those goals monthly.
Taking a trial lesson.You can buy a single trial lesson. If you then decide to sign up for a lesson package, we will apply the payment for that first lesson to the cost of the larger package.
We work with students on tight budgets.Learn about our payment plans and financial aid.
Choose the program that’s best for your child.
Our children's programs include private lessons, classes for kids, regular classes, ensembles and summer camp.
Need more help? Contact Us
Want to get started? Register now.Benefits of music education:
- Better intellectual development.
- Higher academic achievement.
- More self-confidence.
- Resistance to chemical abuse.
Private lessons for kids and teens.
All our teachers are experienced in showing young students how to have fun making music and how to develop sound musical habits.
Often kids are ready to start learning about music when they show interest in learning to play or sing. Depending on the instrument, very young children may have physical and learning limitations, so speak to our director for advice.
Regular classes for more experienced kids and teens.
Our classes are geared towards adults; however teenagers and younger students can keep up if they have some musical background. See our complete Current Class Schedule.
Ensemble fun for young musicians.
Ensemble experience will help students junior high age or older learn how to play better with others, hone their listening and practice skills, gain valuable performing experience, and learn new songs. Learn more about Ensembles.
Group Classes & ScheduleRegister now.
Building Vocal Confidence I: Performance BasicsLove to sing, but afraid to do it in public? Learn all the basics of good vocal technique, increase your power and range, and find “your own voice”. The class will focus on vocal exercises, proper body alignment, and breath control. There will be a performance for your peers.Tuesdays, 7:30-9pm, Sept 24-Oct 29
Electric Blues Soloing IInstructor: Paul StormsThis class is designed for relative beginners, or newcomers to the blues. Major and minor pentatonic scales, the blues scale, and some music theory will be covered. Learn how to build your own basic, yet classy blues solos. Examples of prominent artists whose music will be reviewed include B.B. King, T-Bone Walker, and Freddie King.Saturdays, 2:30-4pm, Sept 21-Oct 26
Essential Guitar IInstructor: Gary Lee JoynerFor beginners. The class will begin by addressing questions you may already have and proceed into tuning and its ramifications. Concepts important to understanding how music moves through you and your guitar will be introduced. Simplicity will be the focus as we explore a mix of blues, folk, and rock songs while learning basic strumming, finger picking, and accompaniment skills. 8 one-hour sessionsTuesdays 7-8pm, Sept 24-Oct 29
Introduction to Balkan Folk MusicInstructor: Nickolai KolarovExplore Balkan (Bulgarian, Macedonian, Romanian and Gypsy) rhythms and melodies, including regular and irregular meters, two-part singing, and traditional and oriental scales. Students will develop an appreciation for the rich and varied tradition of Balkan music, learn folk songs and enhance their understanding of the culture of the region. Familiarity with music notation is helpful but not required.Wednesdays, 7-8:30pm, Sept 25-Oct 30
The Joy of Sight SingingImprove your aural skills and build sight-reading chops. Includes melodic and rhythmic dictation, identification of intervals and triads, basic rhythms, melodic patterns, common cadences, and lots of sight-singing. You don't need a “good voice" to enroll. Some materials cost required.Saturdays, time TBD, Sept 21-Oct 26
Introduction to African GuitarInstructor: Siama MatuzungidiThis class will explore rhythmic patterns and guitar riffs common to Soukous and High Life styles of music. Soukous is an up tempo music, also called African Rumba, similar to Soca and Calypso from the Caribbean. High Life is a West African music style. Teacher demonstrations, listening to recordings, some history and discussions of popular African musicians in this style are elements of the class. Familiarity with basic chords and notes will be helpful to students.Wednesdays, 6:30-8pm, Sept 25-Oct 30
Essential Guitar IIInstructor: Gary Lee JoynerFor those who have taken the first class in this series, or those with a bit more experience. Deepen the skills you've already learned as you move along the path that began in Essential Guitar I. New songs, interlaced with musical concepts and ideas, will add to your understanding of chord progressions, rhythm, and picking patterns. Those who have experienced the first class are familiar with Gary's commitment to being "in the moment" with yourself and your guitar while you expand personal creativity. 8 one-hour sessionsTuesdays, 8:15-9:15pm, Sept 24-Oct 29
Music Theory for the Guitar Level I and IIInstructor: Dale DahlquistGreat for a serious beginner or an accomplished musician. Invaluable for songwriting, improvising, pulling tunes from recordings and playing with others. Learn chord structure, how to index and play each in several forms. Through analysis of popular songs, learn chord relationships in a progression and how they resolve. Level I covers 13 chord types including major, minor, suspended, 6ths, 7ths, power chords. Level II includes 9ths, 11ths, 13ths, augmented, diminished, altered chords, inversions, and more sophisticated progressions. Prerequisites: Level I Introduction to Guitar, equivalent private instruction or a ravishing curiosity. Level II: Completion of Theory I or instructor consent.Level I: Wednesdays, 8-9:30pm, Sept 25-Oct 30
Level II: Thursdays, 8-9:30pm, Sept 26-Oct 31
The Zen of American Primitive GuitarInstructor: Peter LangLong time friend and collaborator of the legendary John Fahey, Peter Lang will give a multifaceted class, including insights on right and left hand technique. Students will learn methods for muting and clarifying lead lines and be introduced to a variety of right hand picking styles. The class will explore ways in which open tunings can give added dimension and coloring to arrangements. Composition issues, the use of dynamics and practical applications for slide and other open tuning techniques will be investigated. The slide component of the class will look into lap vs. classical, glass vs. metal and the ways in which various tunings flavor the sound the slide produces. Tablature will be provided for lessons in both D (DADF#AD) and C (CGCGCE) tunings, among others.Saturdays, 1-2:30pm, Ongoing, flexible start date, $165
Jazz ImprovisationThis course will include the study and application of the following improvisation techniques: listening, melodic embellishment, scales, arpeggios, phrasing, cliches, chromaticism, and the development of personal style. Students will improvise over simple music forms, chord vamps and 12-bar blues and work toward soloing in jazz standards.Saturdays, 2:30-4pm, Ongoing
Jazz TheoryExplore the harmonic structure of 12-bar blues progressions and standard song form. We will examine the connection between jazz harmony and improvisation techniques such as arpeggios, chord scales, guide tone lines and melodic embellishment. Arranging and composition techniques will be covered, as well as jazz rhythms, notation and terminology.Saturdays, time TBD, Sept 21-Oct 26
Open Group Fun Singing ClassDo you love to sing and harmonize, but don’t get the chance as much as you’d like? Open to all levels of vocal ability, this is an open-ended group class designed to keep your pipes in shape and bring you together with like-minded singers. We will choose songs from a master repertoire list each week, and many musical styles will be covered, including pop, jazz, country, blues, R&B and musical theater. For 90 minutes each week, we will focus on song interpretation, basics of proper vocalization and having a blast! Sign up for as few as six sessions, as many as ten and show up when you want during the ten week semester. Sign up, bring a friend and get ready to sing your hearts out! ($127 for 6, $210 for 10)Wednesdays, 7:30-9pm, Sept 25-Nov 27
The Sultry Ladies and Suave Gents of JazzWhen you think "Lady" of music, do you think Lady Day (Billie Holiday), not Lady Gaga? Do you think you can give Ol' Blue Eyes a run for his money? Whether you're a beginner or an advanced vocalist, this song will focus on the song stylings of some of the greats: Billie Holiday, Ella Fitzgerald, Dinah Washington, Sarah Vaughan, Frank Sinatra, Mel Torme and Tony Bennett. Each week we will learn two new songs, culminating in a final performance of some old school repertoire. No experience required, just the desire to sing some of the classics!Wednesdays, 6-7:30pm, Sept 25-Oct 30
Bands & Ensembles
Benefits of playing in an ensemble.
- Get expert help in matching you up with others who think like you musically.
- Improve your sense of timing and hone your listening and practice skills.
- Pick up songs you might not otherwise learn.
- Experience the joy of musical collaboration.
- Make enduring musical friendships.
Ready? Sign up now.
- Decide what level best fits your goals. (See ensemble levels below).
- Fill out the Ensemble Application Form.
- Check out the fees.
- Mail or email us your application for review. Some bands require a follow-up audition. Have questions? Contact Us.
Our ensemble choices.
|African Music||Siama Matuzungidi|
|American Folk Music||Dale Dahlquist|
|Balkan Folk Music||Nickolai Kolarov|
|Gypsy Jazz||Jim Plattes|
|Jazz-Fusion, Jazz-Rock||Paul Renz|
|Teen Rock||Contact us|
Ensemble program descriptions.
Celtic Band for Youth or AdultsInstructor: Jim Plattes Join this group and learn traditional jigs, reels, hornpipes, polkas, and airs.
Gypsy-Jazz Band for Youth or AdultsInstructor: Jim Plattes Inspired by the Hot Club music of Django Reinhardt and Stephane Grappelli, this band offers students an opportunity to play classic swing music on stringed instruments and has room for 2-3 guitars, violin, string bass, clarinet, and maybe even a little chromatic harmonica.
Jazz and Jazz-fusion Bands for Adults
Instructor: Paul RenzPaul Renz, Director of Jazz Studies, directs and performs with three student jazz ensembles. Caterwaul features original music composed by two of its members. Laughing Sweaters specializes in vocal arrangements, and Good Question is building its repertoire of jazz standards.New ensembles are formed based on student interest and skill level. These ensembles represent the core of a wonderful music community of like-minded adults, highly motivated students of jazz who meet weekly to rehearse, and work hard to develop their improvisation and composition skills. Invariably, the participants are very supportive, friendly, and bring wonderful energy to the setting. Renz asks for a minimum 9 month commitment, September to June. The more accomplished groups occasionally perform in the community.
Be the Band: Rock and Pop Summer Youth Band Camp.Sign up your young musician for a one-of-a-kind, fun and focused experience: Rock and Pop Summer Youth Band Camp. Camp will be led by experienced WBSM teachers at the school Monday through Friday with a final concert Friday evening in June or July. We offer both co-ed sessions as well as a special Girls Only session. Check back later for 2014 camp info!
Photos & Videos from Past Camps.
Dates and Times.Check back later for 2014 dates or Contact Us!
How to sign up.Contact the school’s director, David Alderson, at 612-333-6651 or email@example.com.
Students will learn:
- Fundamentals of playing an instrument.
- How to compose songs and write lyrics with band mates.
- How to prepare for a performance.
- How to communicate with band members.