Brass, Strings, and Woodwind Lessons in Manchester NH

Do you want your child to excel in school band? Sign them up for private lessons at Manchester’s NHTunes, and watch them rise to the top of the class! We offer instruction in nearly all band instruments: flute, clarinet, saxophone, trumpet:, trombone, tuba, percussion, violin, viola, cello and more! Our instructors are full time school music teachers, with the education and skills needed to help your child succeed.
Our private half hour lessons are just $28.50, and you can schedule a lesson below with our convenient online scheduler!
We teach lessons year-round, and can work with the student on techniques of difficult pieces that they may be struggling with, complimenting their in-school studies, making them a more competent and confident player.
Is it summer time? Keep your child moving forward with their school music studies through the summer! Not only will they have a great summer activity, they’ll be at the top of their game when they return to school in the fall! Summer is the perfect season for musical growth and focused study. Give your child the edge with our summer music lessons!
Included with your student’s tuition are free monthly recitals – great for building a student’s performing experience!

Are Pre-Taped Video Lessons a Good Replacement for Traditional Lessons?

Search on YouTube for ‘guitar lessons’ and you’ll see thousands of videos offering free beginner to advanced lessons. Many offer new students an opportunity to learn their favorite songs, techniques, or even classic rock solos. But are these pre-taped video lessons a viable option for new players?

Are Video Lessons a Good Replacement for Traditional Lessons?

Are pre-taped online lessons a viable option for new players?

Our take on it is this: YouTube lessons are great for someone who has some experience playing their instrument (I’ll admit that I use it all the time), but can be discouraging and even a show-stopper for new players. That being said, there IS a place for them. Let’s look at some of the benefits and drawbacks of pre-taped video lessons, and how they can both fit in with, and be a compliment to your learning program.

  • YouTube lessons are free: Here’s the most obvious benefit – if you have an internet connection, you have access to thousands of music lessons on YouTube and other sites for no additional cost.
    You can take your lessons when it’s convenient for you: Unlike traditional lessons, whether in the morning, after work, or at 2am, your lessons are there – you’re no longer on a set schedule.
  • Some lessons can be very good: There are some players that offer great lessons which will save experienced players the time it would take to figure our songs on their own (I use it often for this purpose).

So there are definitely some benefits to pre-taped lessons: they’re free, convenient, and are (sometimes) very good. What are the drawbacks?

  • YouTube lessons are not adaptive: A pre-taped video does not, for example, discern between a 7 and 70-year old learner. As you may have guessed, private lessons are adapted to many learning aspects of the student, and are therefore (in theory) more effective and encouraging.

    Are Video Lessons a Good Replacement for Traditional Lessons?

    Feedback is an important component of in-studio lessons

  • YouTube lessons do not provide feedback: Feedback during lessons is such an important element of the learning process. A video won’t tell you if you’re doing something wrong… or right. Bad habits, which can stall a musician’s progress, can be very hard to break. Positive feedback can be encouraging and inspiring to a student, and in part can keep them motivated and learning.
  • There are no performance opportunities with YouTube: Music should be shared, and performance skills are such an important part of overall musicianship that many studios (ours included) offer their students regular performance opportunities and encourage their students to participate.
  • There are no guarantees that YouTube lessons are correct: Yes,there are some great lessons on YouTube, but there are many that are just plain wrong on so many levels that it can be discouraging to new players.

There you have it; the main pluses and minuses of pre-taped video lessons. Can they be helpful? Sure! Can they be unhelpful and even discouraging? Definitely.

How can they compliment your learning plan? In our opinion, pre-taped video lessons can be helpful to those with some playing experience under their belt. Someone who knows the basics can filter the lessons and learn a lot from them. I use them all the time to quickly learn new songs (I, however, often go through 2 or three videos before I fine one that’s ‘right’ – and this is where experience is crucial). Pre-taped lessons can be great for someone with some skills and experience, but can be discouraging for new players.

Unfortunately one of the biggest concerns about pre-taped video lessons, with the lack of feedback, is that it can be discouraging to new learner – perhaps so much that it will eventually stifle their desire to play. We hear it all the time from new students – “I tried to learn online but got nowhere”. Those same students usually become successful learning at our studio with traditional private lessons.

So some advice to new learners: take traditional lessons out of the gate, develop a level of proficiency, then incorporate YouTube lessons into your learning to expand your skill set and repertoire. With some experience you’ll see that YouTube lessons can be a valuable part of, and compliment to, your ongoing learning plan.

Thinking of taking the summer off from music lessons? You may want to think again.

Are you thinking of taking the summer off from your music or voice lessons? Here are a few good reasons why you should consider continuing your lessons year-round.
Many music students decide to take the summers off and resume their lessons in the fall when school restarts. While we all deserve to enjoy our summers, continuing your music education through the summer can add to the summer enjoyment, as well as to keep students moving in the right direction!
Summer music lessons

Which activity would you rather see your kids focus on this summer?

The number one reason we hear for stopping is that the students will be away for a few weeks. We have no problem accommodating make-up lessons for those away weeks, and if you’re serious about learning it’s much better in the long run to take a couple of weeks off rather than a few months.
Without the stress of school work, summers allow for more practice time, and can be a great daily activity for the student. With the additional time, our instructors can set specific music achievement goals with the student for the summer.
One benefit of continuing lessons through the summer is that students won’t need ‘catch up’ time in the fall. It often takes students a full month or more to get back to where they were before the break. That means that students who learn through the summer will be four or five months ahead of those who don’t!

Another reason to continue through the summer is that the student can continue to participate in our recitals, which we do run through the summer. It’s a great opportunity for the student to continue to build on their performance experience!

Summer music lessons

Our flexible scheduling makes continuing your lessons though the summer a breeze!

Lastly, over a third of the students that stop for the summer do not start back in the fall. Their original intention is to take a couple of months off, and in that time off interest is lost, and their original goals are somehow forgotten. It’s sad for some in that they’ve worked hard and come a long way in building a skill that would have been with them for life.
If you’re thinking of taking the summer off, please remember that there are so many reasons to continue throughout the summer, and very few good reasons not to!

Instructor Spotlight: Rebecca Tarling

Instructor Spotlight: Rebecca Tarling

NHTunes Flute & Piano Instructor Rebecca Tarling

Rebecca Tarling has been teaching flute and piano at NHTunes Music Studio since 2017. She began playing the flute when she was 10 years old, and began formal flute lessons at age 14. At 16 she also began taking piano lessons. She is currently studying Music Education at Plymouth State University and will be graduating in May 2019.

Rebecca’s performance experience includes college wind symphonies at Plymouth State University and SNHU, Orchestra at SNHU, flute choirs, New England Intercollegiate Band, Portsmouth Symphony Orchestra, Manchester Community Music School Performance Competiton, and her Irish Band. She won first place at the MCMS Performance Competition in 2016 and 2017. She has also been chosen to play at the New England Intercollegiate Band in 2017 and 2019.

Rebecca loves her chosen career of teaching music, and what she enjoys most about teaching is “seeing my students grow as musicians and start to show what interests them through their musical experience.”

“I help my students achieve their musical goals by incorporating their interests within their lessons. If a student enjoys a certain genre of music, I’ll do my best to find music in that genre and teach them all about that type of music while also incorporating basic musical skills. ”

We’re very fortunate to have Rebecca on our team of instructors, and are glad that she chose NHTunes to begin her teaching career! If you are interested in scheduling a lesson with Rebecca, you can do so below.

 

 

If I Want to Record, Mix And/Or Produce Music, Should I Learn an Instrument?

This question comes up all the time: “If I want to record, mix and/or produce music, should I learn an instrument?” The resounding answer is YES! There are so many invaluable benefits of musicianship that will help you to craft great sounding mixes. I’ll go on a limb and say that I don’t understand how someone, without this background, can create well balanced mixes (I am sure there are some examples, but I bet most mixing engineers are also musicians themselves).

Here are three important benefits of learning an instrument that will help those to record and produce better mixes:

If I Want to Record, Mix And/Or Produce Music, Should I Learn an Instrument?

Learning an instrument will help you immensely with your recording and mixing skills.

1) Ear Training
Training your ear to ‘hear’ music is a natural process that occurs as you become proficient at an instrument. It doesn’t happen overnight, but in time, and with steady practice and progress, it will. Your ability to discern different frequencies intensifies. You’re better able to isolate different elements of a mix. You’ll change from hearing music as coming from one big ‘pipe’, to all of the individual instruments.
I’ve listened to music that I hadn’t heard since before I started playing and I couldn’t believe it was the same song! I could literally hear everything! This ability to hear all elements of a mix will help you to place your instruments in a manner that will better support a well-balanced mix – both frequency and dynamic balance.

2) Music Theory
As an engineer and producer, understanding music theory is invaluable. Starting with the basics, to provide any type of useful input when asked, you’ll need to understand song structure, keys, and progressions. Understanding keys and time signatures is also necessary to use many modern processing tools. For example, in order to use auto tune, you need to set the plug-in to the correct song key so it knows which notes to correct to (not doing so results in a very poor auto-tune job). In order to use the sync function on a digital delay, you need to understand the difference between music notes – whole, half, quarter, etc. Knowing music theory basics, and ‘speaking the language of music’ leads to both a smoother session, and better end results.

3) Respect
As the engineer, inevitably the band will ask for your input. Being a seasoned musician, I’m ready to give it – be it “it sounds great as is”, or “maybe try this”. If you expertly demonstrate to them a possible change, it builds an immediate level of respect. It’s not about “showing off”, it’s about competently demonstrating something that may make their song a better one. You’re working with them, and instantly become a valuable team member. And with that, the client now feels that “he knows what he’s doing” feeling, and hopefully rightly so. This respect only comes from being a competent musician.

So, if you’re looking to better your recording, mixing, and/or production skills, and don’t yet play an instrument, strongly consider learning to do so! Although it takes time, effort, and dedication, learning piano, guitar, or another instrument is without-a-doubt the BEST way to bring your recording, mixing, and production skills to the next level. Start your piano or guitar lessons today!

Instructor Spotlight: Matthew Hasty

Matthew Hasty has been teaching piano for over 15 years, and began teaching at NHTunes Music Studio about three years ago. Beginning piano at age 8, he continued playing all the way through High School, College and Grad school. He has a B.A. in Piano performance from Pensacola Christian College and an M.A. in Church Music with a Piano emphasis from Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary.

Matt has been leading worship from the piano for 15 years (piano & rhythm band in an improve style) for his church, and for several regional conferences.  He enjoys accompanying soloists and choirs, playing for weddings, funerals, & dinner parties.

Instructor Spotlight: Matthew Hasty

Matt has been leading worship teams for over 15 years!

“I enjoy helping students, both children and adults, fall in love with the art of making music, and seeing them flourish as a musician – hearing them begin to express emotion through their music.”
“I teach students to be relaxed as they learn proper technique.  I work music theory into each lesson to ensure they understand as much of the ‘how and why’ as they can.  I also encourage learning to play from chord charts and beginning improvisation.”
“Overall, my goal is to help inspire a love of music that will fuel a lifetime of musical activities.”
Matt has proven himself as a valuable member of the NHTunes instructor staff, and we’re extremely happy to have him on our team!
If you are interested in scheduling a lesson with Matt, you can do so below.

Instructor Spotlight: Samantha Tramack

Samantha Tramack teaches voice, piano, ukulele, and clarinet at NHTunes Music Studio, and has been doing so for just over a year.  She began singing in 2nd grade music, and began playing the clarinet in the 4th grade, beginning her formal music lessons in the 5th grade.  She began teaching private music and voice lessons about three years ago.

Instructor Spotlight: Samantha Tramack

NHTunes instructor Samantha Tramack

Samantha is currently enrolled at Plymouth State University as a Senior studying Music Education. She will be doing her student teaching in the fall of 2019.  Samantha’s performance experience includes singing in barbershop groups and performing all over the world. She is currently the assistant music director of the “Harmony, Incorporated” barbershop chorus and won the International Championship in her quartet, Taken 4 Granite, in 2016. Additionally, she has also done multiple solo recitals including her senior recital at Plymouth State University.

“I love watching people grow as musicians and as people, and I love helping people accomplish personal goals with music. I can best help students sing with their healthiest voice, learn technical musical skills, read music, and perform to the best of their ability.”

With her educational background, strong teaching skills, and her ability to connect well with students of all ages, we are thrilled to have Samantha as a valuable member of our instructor team!

If you are interested in scheduling a lesson with Samantha, you can do so below.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Instructor Spotlight: Ethan Brown

Ethan Brown, a Manchester public school music teacher by day,  has been teaching in the evenings at NHTunes for over three years.  Ethan began taking formal music lessons when he was in the 5th grade, and went on to receive both his Bachelors of Music Education and Bachelors of the Arts Jazz Guitar Performance from the University of New Hampshire. As an active musician, Ethan received the following scholarships: a UNH Music Department Scholarship, the Jack Fallon Memorial Scholarship, and the Smyth Trust Fund Scholarship. Ethan has a wealth of performing experience; in college he performed with the A24 Jazz Coalition. the UNH Jazz Ensemble. the UNH Concert Choir, and the UNH Guitar Ensemble!

Instructor Spotlight: Ethan Brown

With his school teaching experience. Ethan Brown is perfect for connecting with younger students.

Ethan enjoys his role of being a music teacher at NHTunes, and with that the ability to assist students by “helping deepen their musical perception, increase musical imagination, and increase technical skill.” With his music experience and education, Ethan not only teaches guitar, but has developed competency to also teach voice, piano, saxophone, and drums/percussion. Combine that with his school teaching experience, and Ethan is the ideal instructor for young beginner students looking to explore different instruments and musical genres.

“I enjoy making supportive relationships, helping people achieve success and perceive music on a deeper level.”

Ethan is an important member of our staff of instructors here at NHTunes, and we are very fortunate to have him as part of the team.

If you are interested in scheduling a voice, piano, or ukulele lesson with Ethan, you can do so below.

 

Instructor Spotlight: Marie Hasty

Marie Hasty has been teaching voice, piano, and ukulele for over 15 years. She began teaching at NHTunes eight years ago (2011), and was one of our very first instructors.

Instructor Spotlight: Marie Hasty

NHTunes voice, piano, and ukulele instructor Marie Hasty

She began piano lessons in kindergarten and continued through high school. She began studying voice as a teen and realized that music was what she wanted to pursue in college. She went on to receive her Bachelor of Arts in vocal performance from Pensacola Christian College. In addition to teaching private voice, piano, and ukulele lessons, Marie has also taught children’s choirs and preschool music classes.

Marie sings and plays weekly in her church worship band. She occasionally sings for weddings and other events, and will sometimes participate in our monthly recitals.

“I love when something clicks for a student and they suddenly get a concept that they’ve struggled with before… music is a language, so the more fluent you are, the better it is all around.”

“I incorporate music theory into every lesson. That knowledge transfers to any instrument, so whatever a student may pursue in the future will tie back to it.”

We are very fortunate to have Marie as an important member of our staff of instructors here at NHTunes.

If you are interested in scheduling a voice, piano, or ukulele lesson with Marie, you can do so below.

Learn The Ukulele The Easy Way!

Learning the ukulele is easy, and it’s a journey that should be FUN!! Anyone can learn to play simple songs at their first lesson, and this article will show you what to expect. Whether your first lesson is in our studio, or online, our professional music instructors will insure that you’ll be playing fast!

Learn The Ukulele The Easy Way!

Playing the ukulele is FUN and Easy!

The ukulele is easy to play because it has only 4 strings, and almost all chords use all 4 strings, so, unlike the guitar, there is no muting needed. Also, many chords are just one or two fingers, so they’re easy to learn. Lastly, the nylon strings are much easier on the fingers than steel guitar strings – and much less pressure is needed to get a clean tone.
So, where do you start? Let’s learn the ukulele the easy way! Here’s what you can expect at a first lesson.
1) Learn to tune your instrument. 
   If you have a tuner, we’ll show you how to use it. If you don’t, we’ll use a free app which you can download yourself, and we’ll work with you to make sure you can tune your ukulele on your own.
2) Learn your first chord – ‘C’. 
   The ‘C’ is particularly easy, using just one finger. A “C” chord chart is below. If you don’t know how to read this, and we expect that you won’t, don’t worry – we’ll show you!
3) Learn to strum the right way. 
   Strumming can be challenging. We’ll start you off with a very basic quarter note strum which is all you need to learn some simple songs. We’ll work up from there once you’ve mastered that.
4) Learn some simple one chord songs!
   Now the fun begins! We’ll start off with some simple one chord nursery-rhyme type songs that you can play and sing along to. Do you have young children, or grandchildren in your life? They’ll love to sing along with you and your ukulele!!
After you’re first lesson, you’re playing songs! Congratulations! Where do we go from here? If you decide to take more lessons, you’ll learn:
1) More chord shapes to use with your simple songs (learn “A”, “G” and “D” chords next).
2) Transitioning between chords so that you can play more songs.
3) Once you can transition between chords relatively smoothly, you can learn some pop standards, such as ‘Brown Eyed Girl’, ‘I’m A Believer’ and more!
So, as you can see, we really try to have you learn the ukulele the easy way! Just a few simple steps is all it takes for you to begin strumming and playing songs!
If you’re interested in trying a lesson, whether online or in-studio, we’d love to have you! You can sign up for a single lesson below, or read more information on our ukulele lessons HERE.