Instruction

How to Get Started

Your 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.

  1. What type of music instruction are you looking for?
  2. See our fees.
  3. Get to know our teachers.
  4. Have questions? Contact us.
  5. Sign Up!

Instruments & Voice A-Z

Private Lessons

Expert teachers. Personalized, affordable lessons.

Private Lessons Photo

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.

Children's Programs

Choose the program that’s best for your child.

Children's Program

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 & Schedule

Spring 2014 Classes

Registration is now open for spring classes which start on April 8th. We will be offering four NEW classes: Finding Your Voice, Sing The Beatles, Folk Guitar I, and Fingerpicking Guitar I. Classes typically include six 90 minute sessions and cost $127 total unless otherwise noted. Classes hold 3-12 students and are subject to class size requirements. In addition to our classes, we are also offering a special one-day guitar workshop, Treasure Hunting in Standard Tuning taught by Gary Lee Joyner. Open to all experience levels, Gary describes this class as "fundamental to everything else one plays on the guitar." Please find additional details on the workshop below. Register now.
  • Electric Blues Soloing I

    Instructor: Paul Storms
    This 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, April 12 – May 17, 3:00 – 4:30 p.m. | $127 | Ages 15+ | Beginners

  • Jazz Theory and Improvisation

    Instructor: Paul Renz

    An eight-week exploration of 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. Students will improvise over simple music forms, chord vamps and 12 bar blues and work toward soloing in jazz standards. 

    Saturdays, April 12 – May 31, 1:00 – 2:30 p.m. | $169 |  Ages 16+ | Experienced 

  • NEW! Finding Your Voice

    Instructor: Bobbi Miller

    Love to sing, but afraid to do it in public?  Learn how to establish 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, April 8 – May 13, 7:30 – 9:00 p.m. | $127 | Ages 15+ | Beginners 

  • NEW! Fingerpicking Guitar I

    Instructor: Gary Lee Joyner

    Learn how music moves through you and your guitar. Simplicity will be the focus in this 8-week class as we explore a mix of blues, folk and rock songs while learning basic strumming, finger-picking, tuning configurations and accompaniment skills. 

    Tuesdays, April 8 – May 27, 7:00 – 8:00 p.m. | $115 | Ages 18 + | Beginners

  • NEW! Folk Guitar I

    Instructor: Gary Lee Joyner

    Learn how music moves through you and your guitar. Simplicity will be the focus in this 8-week class as we explore a mix of blues, folk and rock songs while learning basic strumming, finger-picking, tuning configurations and accompaniment skills.  

    Tuesdays, April 8 – May 27, 7:00 – 8:00 p.m. | $115 | Ages 18 + | Beginners

  • NEW! Sing The Beatles

    Instructor: Bobbi Miller

    If you are a fan of the Fab 4, this is the singing class for you! Advanced vocalists will have the opportunity to explore new approaches to these timeless songs, and beginners will get by just fine “with a little help from your friends” at WBSM! Each week we will learn two new songs, culminating in a final performance

    Wednesdays, April 9 – May 14, 6:00 – 7:30 p.m. | $127 | Ages 15+ | All Experience Levels

  • Open Group Fun Singing

    Instructor: Bobbi Miller

    Sing and harmonize with like-minded singers. We will choose songs from many styles and genres, including pop, jazz, country, blues, R&B and musical theatre, focusing on song interpretation and ‘the basics’ of proper vocalization.

    Wednesdays, April 9 – May 14, 7:30 – 9:00 p.m. | $127 | Ages 15 + | All Experience Levels


  • Introduction to African Guitar

    Instructor: Siama Matuzungidi
    This 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, April 9 - May 14, 6:30 – 8:00 p.m. | $127 | All ages | All Experience Levels

  • Introduction to Balkan Folk Music

    Instructor: Nickolai Kolarov

    Explore 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, April 9 – May 14, 7:00 – 8:30 p.m. | $127 |  Ages 16+ | Experienced 

  • Music Theory for the Guitar Level I and II

    Instructor: Dale Dahlquist
    Great 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, April 9 – May 14, 6:30 – 8:00 p.m., Level II: Wednesdays, April 9 – May 14, 8:00 – 9:30 p.m. | $127 | Ages 15+ | Experienced 

  • The Zen of American Primitive Guitar

    Instructor: Peter Lang
    Students will learn picking styles as well as methods for muting and clarifying lead lines. The class will explore ways in which open tunings can give added dimension and coloring to arrangements.  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, April 12 – May 17, 1:00 – 2:30 p.m. | $127 | Ages 16+ | Experienced 

  • SPECIAL GUITAR WORKSHOP: Treasure Hunting in Standard Tuning

    Instructor: Gary Lee Joyner

    Gary Lee Joyner brings a wealth of guitar teaching experience from Old Town School of Folk Music (Chicago), Swallow Hill (Denver) and Blue Bear School of Music (San Francisco). Guitarists often ask, "How many chord shapes are on the guitar and how can I possibly learn them all?" In this workshop you will explore chord structures in standard tuning. Gary describes this material as “fundamental to everything else one plays on the guitar.” An astute and patient beginner can benefit from these ideas and experienced players will gain a fresh approach to their instrument.

    Sunday, May 11, 2:00 - 4:00 p.m. |  $40  | Ages 18+ | All Experience Levels

  • The Joy of Sight Singing

    Instructor: Paul Renz

    In this eight-week course, you’ll improve your aural skills and build sight-reading chops. We’ll focus on melodic and rhythmic dictation, identification of intervals and triads, basic rhythms, melodic patterns, common cadences and lots of sight-singing. Cost includes a $20 materials fee.

    Saturdays, April 12 – May 31, 2:30 – 4:00 p.m. | $189 | Ages 16+ | All Experience Levels

Bands & Ensembles

Learn and have fun making music with others.

Join one of our ensembles: a group of students who play a variety of instruments. Each ensemble is led by one of our teachers. All are professional musicians who work with a variety of experience levels and musical styles. The ensemble members and teacher set their goals, choose music, work on arrangements, and rehearse weekly. The teacher often plays with the group.

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.

  1. Decide what level best fits your goals. (See ensemble levels below).
  2. Fill out the Ensemble Application Form.
  3. Check out the fees.
  4. 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
Bluegrass Bill Philipp
Blues Contact us
Celtic Jim Plattes
Dixeland Paul Fonfara
Gypsy Jazz Jim Plattes
Jazz Paul Renz
Jazz-Fusion, Jazz-Rock Paul Renz
Rock Contact us
Teen Rock Contact us
Vocal Bobbi Miller

Ensemble program descriptions.

  • Celtic Band for Youth or Adults
    Instructor: Jim Plattes Join this group and learn traditional jigs, reels, hornpipes, polkas, and airs.
  • Gypsy-Jazz Band for Youth or Adults
    Instructor: 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 Renz

    Paul 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.

Summer Camp

Be a Rockstar: Rock and Pop Summer Youth Band Camp

Rock Camps BIGLearn how to play in a band, write sings and play live! Our one week camp sessions includes a t-shirt, pizza party and live performance at local music venue! All levels of music ability welcome for students ages 10-18.

Videos from Past Camps

Dates and Times.

SESSION 1
Orientation: June 12, 6-8pm
Camp: June 16-20, 1-5pm with concert at 7pm on Friday, June 20

SESSION 2
Orientation: June 19, 6-8pm
Camp: June 23-27, 1-5pm with concert at 7pm on Friday, June 27

GIRLS CAMP
Orientation: July 24, 6-8pm
Camp: July 28-August 1, 1-5pm with a concert at 7pm on Friday, August 1

*Note: Sessions 1 and 2 are open to both boys and girls. 

How to sign up

Contact the school’s director, Paul Coate, at 612-333-6651 or paul@wbsm.org.

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.

Basic requirements

Age range is 10 to 18. No experience is required. Beginner to intermediate students are welcome and will be grouped by age and ability.

Instruments and equipment we provide

Tuition includes amps, cords and microphones, guitar,bass, drums, and keyboards. Bring your own instrument if you prefer, or any instrument not listed here.

Play a gig with your bandmates

The final session will include a pizza party, t-shirt, and a student performance at a local venue.

Cost.

$250 for more than 20 hours of focused activity. Some scholarship support is available.