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

Fall 2014 Classes

Registration is now open for fall classes which start on Sept 20th!

We will be offering five NEW classes: Rap/Hip Hop 101, Irish Jigs and Reels for Guitar, Sing the Beatles, Song-Writing Can't Be Taught, and a special class for kids in grades K-3: Jugband for Kids. 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 three special one-day guitar workshops, Fiddle Tunes, Rhythm and Bass Runs, and Lead Playing taught by Bill Cagley. Please find additional details on the classes and workshops below.

Ready to sign up? Register now.

  • NEW! Rap/Hip Hop 101

    Instructor: Contact us
    Rapper “See More Perspective” has shared the stage with artists like Brother Ali, Michael Franti and De La Soul. Now, at WBSM, he also leads this 6-week class that begins from the origins of Hip Hop culture to teach the techniques needed for strong and expressive rap and hip-hop performance. Focusing on content, rhythm, rhyme and delivery, you'll learn to write and perform your own rap songs.

    Final class will be a showcase event & party! Invite friends and family and show them what you've got!
    Wednesdays, October 22 – November 10, 5:00 – 6:30 p.m. | $127 | Ages 15+
    No Class on 11/26

  • Electric Blues Soloing

    Instructor: Paul Storms
    Relative beginners and newcomers to blues will enjoy this class, but some electric guitar experience is preferred. Learn to build your own simple blues solos.  Major and minor pentatonic scales, blues scales and some music theory will be covered.

    Rescheduling as of 10/11 - Check back this week for new dates! 

    3 – 4:30 p.m. | $127 | Ages 15+

  • Irish Jigs and Reels for Guitar

    Instructor: Paul Storms
    Learn how to play instrumental jigs and reels for both lead and rhythm from the traditional Irish folk canon. This class will be equal parts lesson/ jam session.

    Rescheduling as of 10/11. Check back this week for new dates!

    4:30 – 6:00 p.m. | $127 | Ages 15+


    Instructor: Bill Cagley
    Playing fiddle tunes are a fun way to play scales and to learn where the notes are. We’ll learn tunes in several keys and styles. TAB will be available, but ear training is encouraged.

    Saturday, December 20, 1:00 – 3:00 p.m .| $40 | Ages 15+


    Instructor: Bill Cagley
    This workshop will show you how to let your guitar sing the song in a simple and straight-forward manner. Bluegrass, old time and country songs will be used. TAB will be available, but ear training is encouraged.
    Saturday, December 6, 1:00 – 3:00 p.m. | $40 | Ages 15+
  • SPECIAL GUITAR WORKSHOP: Rhythm and Bass Runs

    Instructor: Bill Cagley
    Every guitarist hits bass notes and strums. This workshop will show you how to dress up the accompaniment of a song with rhythmic playing. TAB will be available, but ear training is encouraged.
    Saturday, November  15, 1:00 – 3:00 p.m | $40 | Ages 15+
  • Jazz Improvisation

    Instructor: Paul Renz
    This course will include the study and application of the following improvisation techniques: listening, melodic embellishment, scales, arpeggios, phrasing, cliches, memorization, 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. This class is the entry level course for students interested in joining a jazz ensemble.
    Saturdays, 11:15am-12:45, February 12-May 9  $300

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.

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

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

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

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.


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