I WANT LESSONS

Guitar, Piano, Bass, Ukulele, and more!

WE ARE ALL UNIQUE WITH OUR OWN TASTES IN MUSIC AND IT'S AWESOME THAT WE GET TO CHOOSE WHAT GOES ON OUR PLAYLISTS. WHY SHOULD PRIVATE MUSIC EDUCATION BE ANY DIFFERENT?

Our instructors will tailor the curriculum around your tastes and goals along with exercises to help you succeed. With Philadelphia Guitar School you decide where to begin. No music choice is weird, silly, or boring. We match our students' tastes with our instructors' expertise to make sure you’re paired with someone who will make your learning experience fun!

All levels, ages, and styles welcome! Children (ages 5 - 11), Teens (ages 13 - 19), Adults. If you want to learn, we’re here to teach!

Not sure where to start? Below are brief overviews covering Beginner, Intermediate, Advanced, and more!

Beginner

Never picked up a guitar in your life or had one for years and still don't know how to play a D chord? Here's what you can expect when you're just getting started:

PGS Founder, Dan Levine and his first guitar teacher, Matt Lamborn, c. 1996

PGS Founder, Dan Levine and his first guitar teacher, Matt Lamborn, c. 1996

  • Anatomy: learn the parts of the guitar, how they work and what function they serve, and how to tune your ax.
  • Open Strings, Notes, and Chords: the building blocks of turning sound into music.
  • Songs: beginning with simple melody-based ditties to the three chord blues and cover songs, you'll be playing familiar favorites before you know it!
  • Posture: from holding a pick and the guitar, to proper finger placement on the fretboard, posture counts and correct positioning allows for clearer and cleaner tone, and can even help to prevent tendonitis, Carpal Tunnel Syndrome. 
  • Time Travel: I'm totally serious. 

Intermediate

You know your open chords, a few bar chords and you're ready to go a little further but not sure what that even means? Lessons for Intermediate students include review of and honing your existing knowledge and skills while introducing fun exercises and more challenging songs to expand and strengthen your vocabulary.

  • Language Arts: the language of music is vast, colorful and sometimes daunting. By learning simple music theory and notation, we'll demystify the guitar neck and strengthen the connection between your ears and fingers.
  • Take Requests: create a list of your favorite songs for us to go through, learn the chords, melody lines, and even solos. Capitalizing on your recently acquired knowledge of key signatures, we'll deconstruct and rebuild songs to give them your own style. 
  • Family Tree: do you know your favorite band's favorite band? Just as we all have parents, grandparents, great-grandparents... so does music! 
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Advanced

You can play and probably even have a few guitars. You listen to a lot of music and can hold down your own in a jam, maybe write your own music. You're ready to dive down the rabbit hole, headstock first! Advanced classes are chock full of headier material, philosophical musings on composition and anything else we can think of! 

  • Theory: no need to sugar-coat the "T Word" here. Trade in your I-IV-V for II-V-I, 13th chords, modes, and more! 
  • Metronome madness: your new best friend speaks beats. 
  • Ear Training: learn to trust your ears. 

Special Interest

You know what's up and are ready to create sounds on sounds on sounds on sounds. Maybe you have a looper but aren't sure what to do beyond laying down chords to solo over. Dan is a veteran looper, notorious effects pedal nerd, and loves working with guitarists looking to expand their sonic pallet. 

photo credit: Jacob Klensin

  • Looping: unlock your loop station's full potential. 
  • Pedal Pushing and Toe Twiddling: getting to know your effects. 
    • Distortion vs Overdrive: there is a difference. 
    • Phaser, Flanger, Chorus, Tremelo: modULaTioN.
    • Digital Delay, Echo, Reverb vs Analog Delay, Echo, Reverb
    • Compression Pedals
    • Synthing Pedals
  • Noise: because we can
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At Philadelphia Guitar School, our philosophy is...

Learn what you want, gain what you need.

"The most engaging, meaningful, and enduring education is that which affords students the opportunity to be actively involved - to be actors in their own learning." - Alison Cook-Sather, Ph.D

Photos by Jacob Klensin

Philadelphia Guitar School works exclusively with teachers who are motivated by their students' desires and goals. Our educators have the insight, foresight, and desire themselves to engage in developing an evolving curriculum that encourages their students to take ownership over their music growth. Education expert Dr. Alison Cook Sather of Bryn Mawr college wrote extensively on this topic, stating "the most engaging, meaningful, and enduring education is that which affords students the opportunity to be actively involved -- to be actors in their own learning." Reinforcing imagination in learning and imaginative teaching, Philadelphia Guitar School educators help students use technical proficiency as a means to advancing their creativity. 

 

Phone

(914) 213-3486

 

Hours

M-F 10a–9p
Sat & Sun By Appointment 

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What Our Students Say:

My 7 year old daughter has been taking lessons with Dan for two years. When she showed an interest at age 5 I was skeptical. Well, it couldn’t be a more perfect match! Dan has a wonderful energy that works well with my daughter. Dan is such a positive force in our lives. Audrey proclaims “I love guitar” after almost every lesson. I hope that Dan continues to teach guitar for years to come. It is his calling.
— Robyn Topkin

Daniel is one of the most positive people I know, and it makes learning guitar from him not only productive, but also fun. He enhances the experience of learning guitar skills by building on your strengths and interests. This has kept me moving happily forward at my own pace and with consistent results. I’m pretty sure I would not have kept playing guitar without Daniel’s wisdom, practical help, and cheery encouragement. I always look forward to our lessons and I leave every lesson ready to practice for the next week. After two years I’m playing songs I could not have imagined playing when I started. I can’t recommend Daniel highly enough.
— Wally Pansing, Ph.D. Associate Director of Academic Advising and Assistant Dean for Advising, University of Pennsylvania

Dan is a very knowledgeable and talented musician. His lessons are always fun and engaging. I have learned a great deal from Dan; not only guitar playing but also music theory and music history. We have been working together for 2 years and I absolutely love his lessons! I highly recommend him as a guitar teacher!
— Fan Zhang

Dan is an amazing teacher. He is extremely knowledgeable about many different genres of music and music theory and he is equally accessible, which allows his students to feel very comfortable. He really makes his lessons fun and caters them to the specific needs and goals of his students. I would highly recommend Dan to anyone with a passion for music and for learning. 5/5 stars!
— Meredith Stern

He is great!
— Rafael Perez

I’ve been playing guitar for almost as long as he has, but his dedication and talent to learning both the playing of the guitar and the aesthetics of music leave him leaps and bounds beyond my own skills. I have played guitar with Dan twice in my life. On both occasions, I learned more in half an hour than I learned in months of self-guided study. Dan is the rare intersection of a great teacher and a great musician, and he is a really friendly, warm, and funny guy as well. I would recommend his lessons to anyone who wants to grow as both an instrumentalist and a musician.
— Joseph Santamaria

I’ve had a guitar since Christmas 1966 and I learned more from Dan in 20 minutes and actually got to smile at my efforts reaching fruition. He’s easy going and has a good approach and I would recommend him to anyone!
— Ron Senbertrand
Dan is one of the most talented and thoughtful musicians I’ve ever met, as well as an especially astute teacher. Whether you’re an old hand or just starting out, Dan knows how to make jam sessions fun and can suit a wide variety of interests, from pop, to hard rock, to jazz and more.

I would highly recommend him for guitar lessons above anyone else.
— Chris Caesar

Lessons are great with Dan! He’s a really good and fun teacher. I feel the homework exercises he gives are appropriate for my level and move me in the right direction towards the goals I’ve set for learning.
— Victoria Guidi

My 6 year old neice was a little shy at first but now she loves her lessons! Dan is wonderful with her; he makes her laugh and smile while teaching her things that are perfect for her age. You can tell he really loves kids, loves music, and plays beautifully. He has great energy and high fives her when she gets things right and keeps her very engaged.
— Holly Spain
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Expectations

Learning to play an instrument is a super exciting, fun, and challenging adventure! But, there are times when learning something entirely new can be a frustrating experience -- that's ok! Don't let it get you down! Together, we will work to best understand and accomplish the obstacle before us, coming out the other side a better, more capable and confident musician. 

Our goal, above all else, is to focus on what you enjoy while we learn and explore together. As such, it is important for us to establish expectations of each other and goals for us to reach.  

What You Can Expect of Your Teacher: 

Patience, enthusiasm, preparedness, honesty, diligence. 

What We Expect of You:

Patience, preparation, practice. passion, persistence.

Contact Us

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Free Videos!

Here is a sample of our free videos. For more, please visit our YouTube Channel by clicking this link and subscribing: 

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