Visit us!

Back to school time is a perfect time to enroll in music lessons, and Miss Anna’s Music School has a lot to offer.

For the student who says “mom, dad, I want music lessons!” we offer one on one half hour sessions on the guitar, piano, ukulele and voice.  One on one lessons are great for a variety of reasons – for example, if you know your child is serious about wanting to learn an instrument.  Or maybe your child would benefit from having one on one time with a professional music educator.  One on one lessons are great for adults, too, whether it’s the mom, dad, or even grandparent who’s had the lifelong interest in music but hasn’t yet crossed music lessons off their bucket list.  We are happy to start lessons with any student whether they are 6 or 56 years old!

For the student who has an interest in music but you are unsure of where it’s going, we do group guitar classes on Saturday mornings.  Our beginner session is at 10 am, with classes for more advanced students later on.  Our classes are a lot of fun, and the social aspect is definitely a factor.  You may start out with a group class because you aren’t sure how serious your child is, but they may end up choosing to stay in the class because the timing is right, or they just really enjoy the group experience.  Either way, we are happy to have you!

For our youngest students, we are happy to offer the unique experience of Kidzrock.  Kidzrock is a special rock band experience for students as young as 4 and as old as 8.  No experience is necessary to start having fun immediately!  Students will gain experience playing the piano, the guitar and even the drums in this fun setting, learning original rock songs geared towards their age group (songs with titles like “Rollercoaster” and “Birthday Party” are catchy, fun to sing, and definitely fun to play).  To excel in Kidzrock, a student simply needs to show up – all the learning and practicing is done on class time – that means you don’t have to spend any extra money on buying an instrument, and there’s no hassle trying to get your pre-school or kindergarten-aged student to practice throughout the week.  Kidzrock is also a great experience for students who already have some experience on an instrument, but are looking to join a group to have fun, or would like to try out the other instruments Kidzrock has to offer.

If one of these options sounds interesting to you, give us a call!  We would be happy to set up a time for you to tour the studio, learn more about our lessons and classes, and sign up to get started!  If you don’t have an instrument yet and need one, we would can share some advice on purchasing a guitar, piano or keyboard.

Call us at 732-860-5846 or email missannasmusicschool@gmail.com.  If you know you are ready to get started, please fill out our New Student Info Form and we can get you on our schedule!

We are located at 517 New Brunswick Ave. in Fords, NJ.  We are diagonally across from Quick Chek, and share a parking lot with Seeman Chiropractic (the driveway is to the left of our building).  There is also street parking on New Brunswick Ave.

 

Intro to Ukulele Drop in Classes

Do you want to pick up a new, fun instrument?  Want to be able to accompany yourself when you sing?  Want to annoy your poodle? (oh wait, that’s just me)  A ukulele may be perfect for you (and maybe not for your poodle).

This summer, as part of our series of special programming for August Rush, we are including a drop in ukulele class for students of all ages.

If you have never picked up an instrument before, or are interested in adding ukulele to your repertoire, then this class is for you.

We will be meeting four times towards the end of the month, Tuesdays and Thursdays from 5:00 – 6:00 on August 21, 23, 28 and 30.  You can attend as many or as few classes as you want.  If you simply need a refresher, or are a great self-learner, you may want to drop in for just one or two classes.  For more direction, or simply to enjoy the full social aspect, come to all four classes. The cost per class is $20.

 

Students will learn to read music as well as play chords.  All students will be invited to join in our end of month performances here at the studio.

If you are a current student that wants to join the class, log in to the My Music Staff portal, navigate to the calendar, and sign up for the classes you wish to attend.  Or, simply email the office.

If you are a new student, please visit our New Student Sign Up form, and check off the Ukulele class.  Someone from our office will be in touch.

Progress Report Time

How are we doing?  No really – we want to know!

Sure, we are a passionate group of talented teachers, but we wouldn’t be in business if it weren’t for our wonderful students, and so we value your input.  We want to continue to provide new and exciting programs that interest you, and also want to make sure that you are getting the most out of your music lessons!  Please take a few moments to fill out this survey.  We would truly appreciate it.

Progress Report

Intro to Music Theory Class coming in August!

In August we are having a special four-week Intro to Music Theory class, taught by our piano and voice instructor Mathew Tartza.  This class will be great for our middle school, high school and even adult students who have been taking lessons for a few years.  Understanding music theory is an important part of being a well-rounded musician.  Knowing the way the notes work together to create scales and chords, makes you an overall better player and gives you a deeper understanding of music.  It’s not just knowing how to drive a car, it’s understanding all the parts under the hood, too.

If you’ve ever wondered how someone can listen to a song for the first time and instantly start playing along – that’s knowing music theory.

If you’ve ever wanted to write your own music – you need to know some basic theory.

If you want to be able to memorize pieces quickly and more thoroughly, that’s music theory, too.

This four-week course will introduce students of all ages to notes, scales, chords, common chord progressions and understanding time signatures.  The class will be held Mondays in August from 7 – 8pm (students may be dismissed closer to 7:50).  Tuition for the class is $80 for the month.  Since classes will build on knowledge from the previous week, it is important that you attend each class.

If you are ready to sign up and a current student, please email us at missannasmusicschool@gmail.com to register.  If you are a new student, please fill out our New Student Signup Form.    Class will be held in Studio 1 and while it is our largest room, space is still limited.

Get ready to rock out with Kidzrock and Rock bands!

One of the most exciting music programs in the country is coming to Miss Anna’s Music School.

Beginning July 11, Kidzrock rock bands will begin rehearsals, and we are looking for your preschool or elementary aged child to join us.

SAY WHAT?!

That’s right, Kidzrock is a rock based music program for children aged 4 – 8 years old.  All kids love music, but not everyone is ready for one on one lessons or the practice commitment that entails.  Kidzrock is the perfect setting for young students to learn music fundamentals and to be introduced to guitar, keyboard, and even the drums!

By the end of the summer – really, by the end of the first class – students will be playing and singing together as a band on rock songs written specifically for their age group.  At the end of August we will be performing to show off all our skills – and it’s going to be amazing!

Classes will meet on Wednesday nights, will be about 50 minutes long, and tuition is $80 per month.  We will be holding two trial classes on Sunday, June 24 at 2pm, and Wednesday June 27 at 5pm.  The trial class is $5 to attend.  To sign up for the trial class or to jump in already and get enrolled in Kidzrock, please visit our New Student Sign Up form.  Someone from our office will be in touch with you shortly!

 

ROCK BANDS

If you’re a little older and have already been playing or singing for a few years, you may be interested in joining a rock band.  Rehearsals will be on Tuesdays in July and August.  All guitarists, bassists, pianists, and singers are invited to join us.  Instrumentalists should already be comfortable with chords in the key of G and C, and singers should be confident with singing solo.  Students will learn a mixture of songs selected by our instructors and songs of their own choosing!  They’ll be preparing an exciting program for a performance at the end of August.

Classes will meet on Tuesday nights, will be about 50 minutes long, and tuition is $80 a month.  The class size will be limited, but we also can only have 2 – 3 guitarists or bassists, 1 – 2 keyboardists, and 1 – 2 singers per group to keep things balanced.  Please contact us for more information or to get signed up at missannasmusicschool@gmail.com

Adult Guitar Classes Starting in July

Mondays in July and August are about to become a lot more fun!  Intro to Guitar for Adults is starting on July 2 and you’re going to love it!

Students must come to class with their own guitar and we’ll provide the rest!  Students ages 21 and up will learn the basics of note reading and chord strumming.  By the end of class students will be able to strum simple pop or rock songs and accompany singers.  Maybe you want to sing songs with your kids or grandkids, or maybe it’s just something you’ve always wanted to do!  This is your time to pick up and play – this is the summer you’re going to learn how to play guitar!

Students will perform for each other in class at our last meeting on Monday, August 27.  To sign up, new students can visit our student sign up page!  Parents already at the school wishing to join can simply talk to the office, AKA, Miss Anna, about getting set up with the class.  Tuition is $80 a month and payment is due at the beginning of each month.

Summer Camps are Coming!

Dear MAMS fam and friends!

We’ve been looking forward to music camps for longer than we’ve even been a school.  In fact, being able to run a music camp is one of the main reasons we opened a school in the first place!

Music camp is a unique way to experience music, for both total beginners and seasoned players of all ages.

Each morning starts out slow (because, hey, it’s the morning!), reviewing the basics of note reading and rhythm to get all our students on the same page.  Once we’ve warmed up our musical brains, we can dive into games and activities, both as a whole camp and in smaller groups.  Students will have the opportunity for some self-directed work, too, if that’s more their thing – whether it’s hanging out in our music cave reading, coloring, or doing some listening activities.

After lunch, students will work one on one with one of our instructors on their instrument of choice: guitar, piano, ukulele or voice.  This is a great chance for current MAMS student to learn a new instrument or try out the different teachers at our studio.  This is also a great way for beginners to really try out an instrument – over the course of the week they will get almost a full month’s worth of instruction in addition to all the other musical activities they enjoy.

At the end of the week, students will give a short performance for parents.  You’ll be amazed at the progress made in just one week!

Camp runs one week in June, July and August.  Attend one or attend all three!  A deposit is due at the time of signup, with the balance for camp due by the first day.

Lunch on the last day and snacks all week will be provided by us – please send your child to camp Monday – Thursday with their own lunch. We do have a refrigerator to store lunches and drinks. Camp runs from 9am to 3pm, with some before and after care available (please let us know if you will need those services).

Are you a new student interested in joining us for camp?  Visit our New Student Sign Up form and someone from our office will be in touch.

Are you a current student interested in coming to camp?  Ask your teacher for more information or email Miss Anna at missannasmusicschool@gmail.com.

We’ve been looking forward to camp for longer than you can imagine and we can’t wait to go on this adventure with you!

It’s Never too Late

“I used to take lessons…”

“It’s something I’ve always wanted to do…”

“I just don’t have the time to practice…”

“I was never good at it…”

You might be an adult who has said something along these lines.  We’ve definitely heard enough adults through the years say things like this.  Many times, in between the lines, the sentiment is often the same, “I really want to take lessons again!” but a lot of other stuff keeps bubbling up and getting in the way.

We’re here to tell you, in the immortal words of Shia LaBeouf, “JUST DO IT!

Let’s follow some of these most common trains of thought to see where they lead to, and if we can’t change course.

“I used to take lessons when I was younger.”

This might be the most common one we hear.  Lots of parents had music lessons as a kid, and often, that is why they enroll their children in lessons. Interestingly, some parents get their kids started with lessons because of the experience they had as a child, while some parents start their children in spite of the experience they had themselves.  Even if a parent had a less than stellar exposure to music as an adolescent, they can still appreciate the importance of lessons, and the impact it can have on their child’s life.

But here’s the thing – there isn’t one path to music lessons and music mastery.  You don’t have to start at age 7 and work diligently for a decade or two before you can do something meaningful with an instrument.  You can start lessons at 27.  You can take a 27 year break.  The piano, the guitar, they’ll still be there whenever you come back to it.

And when you do come back to it, it’s going to be a completely different experience.  When you come back to lessons as an adult, you usually have a much better idea of music you want to learn, rather than your teacher spoonfeeding you every new piece.  You might also be more open to the choices your teacher makes for you (even I, Miss Anna, was that stubborn little kid sometimes).  Musical concepts you didn’t grasp as a child may come more easily to you now.  You might be more interested in the fundamentals of music than you were back then.  Where you may have learned more classical pieces as a child, you may be more interested in learning pop music or learning about improvisation or composition now (there’s definitely more of a trend to incorporate these things into lessons than there was 20 – 30 years ago).

The point is – regardless of the experience you had as a child, if the spark of interest in music is still there inside of you, we say go for it!

“It’s something I’ve always wanted to do…”

Maybe you didn’t have lessons as a child.  For many of the reasons we already listed above, adulthood is an absolutely opportune time to start with music!  You’ve matured, you’re more disciplined, you know how to manage your time, you know what you do and don’t like, you’re able to commit to learning something new.  You understand, better than a child usually can, the lasting, positive impact that music lessons can have on your life.  You understand the importance of keeping an active mind as you mature and eventually move towards your senior years.  You know how important it is to have a hobby, if nothing else than as a stress reliever.

Your teacher will understand all your reasons for starting music lessons, too, and, because you’re both adults, you’ll be able to clearly communicate your “whys” when it comes to music lessons.  Adults are sometimes some of the best students to have because they know why they want to take lessons.  When you’re clear on the “why” then everything else becomes a lot easier.

So if you want to take music lessons, what’s holding you back?

“I just don’t have the time to practice.”

I don’t even know you, but if you’ve ever thought this to yourself, I can tell you, with confidence, you’re probably wrong.

“But, Miss Anna,” you protest, “I have a job, and two kids and all their activities, and, and, and…”

I know.

But here’s the thing about practicing.  You think you need to practice 30 minutes a day, every day.  But most days, you just barely have 10 minutes, so what’s even the point?  Well, as I say to my students young and old, 10 minutes is better than zero minutes, isn’t it?

In a perfect world, we’d all get to practice for an uninterrupted 30 minutes every day of the year (what a glorious world that would be!), but this sure isn’t a perfect world.  You live in the real world, and we teach in the real world, and we teachers can work with you on your practice goals, developing good practice habits, and effective practice techniques that will make the most of the spare 5 or 10 minutes you can put into your practicing.

And here’s something interesting that often happens, with students of any age.  If you can just make it to the piano bench, or pick up that guitar, that 10 minutes you think you just barely have in your day, very often magically becomes 20 or even 30 minutes.  Think of all the times you are just going to very quickly check something on Facebook, and an hour later you’re still scrolling through pictures of puppers and doggos!  That very same thing can happen to you if you just let yourself “check something on your instrument” for a few minutes.  An hour later, you’ll still be there playing away!

If you’re afraid you won’t have the time to have a meaningful experience with music, then let us assure you, we can help you have a meaningful experience with music with whatever time you have to give to it.

Finally, the worst thing to hear from any student of music, of any age…

“I was never good at it.”

Well, hold your horses, and stop right there.  Were you never good at music because you felt that way, or because some judgemental adult in your life made you feel that way?  Natural talent helps a lot – in anything – but the naturally gifted musicians are not the only ones out there making music.  The music world, just like any other area of life, whether it’s the arts, sports, business or politics, is full of people who are working with their natural talents and people who have had to work hard for every little skill they possess.

And anyway, you don’t have to be the next Arthur Rubenstein, Jimi Hendrix, Chick Corea, Renee Fleming, [insert famous musician here] to enjoy making music.  If you want to be the next big thing in music, you can work hard at it – Pharrell Williams was 40 when his hit “Happy” debuted.  And if all you want to do is be able to play some songs around a campfire or impress your friends at karaoke, those are important – and fulfilling – goals, too.

So if the thought that “you were never good at music” is the only thing holding you back, throw that idea right in the trash, and give it another try.

Taking lessons as an adult can be one of the most rewarding experiences of your lifetime.  You will be happy you took the chance, and we will be happy to work with you.  Head over to our New Student Signup Page to get started.  We can’t wait to see you at the studio.

 

Sail Away to Spring Break Camp

You’ve heard Miss Anna mention Spring Break camp a few times now and maybe you have some questions.  Well, here’s the long and short of it.

WHEN: April 2 – 6, 9am – 3pm.  If you require before or after care, please let us know so we can arrange something.

WHO: All current or prospective students at MAMS – any age level!  We will custom tailor activities with our “castaways” in mind.  Everyone will walk away from Spring Break feeling like they learned something.

WHAT:  Students will enjoy daily classes on beginning theory and listening skills, group activities and games, some singing (we’re putting together a great tropical playlist!) and one-on-one instruction.  Each student is guaranteed a one-on-one lesson at least once throughout the week.  Depending on the exact scheduling, we hope students will ideally have individual lessons 2 – 3 times over the course of camp.  At the end of the week we will put together a short performance for parents.

FOOD: Students should bring lunch daily Monday through Thursday.  Lunch will be provided on Friday (you can choose to send lunch in on Friday as well if you wish).  We will provide some snacks daily including pineapple and mango, plus coconut water and fruit juice.  We do have a small fridge at the studio so lunches and drinks can be refrigerated but we do not have a microwave to reheat anything.

CLOTHES: This might seem like a silly thing to list, but we absolutely 100% encourage (as long as the weather is agreeable) tropical wear – anything floral or beachy, flip flops or hawaiian shirts.  Pirate hats are always welcome though for safety reasons we discourage eye patches.  It hasn’t been very springy much yet in central NJ, so we can at least pretend a little bit for Spring Break!  The only thing we really advise against (besides eye patches), are bathing suits.  Otherwise, feel free to be creative!  Or not.

INSTRUMENTS: If your child plays guitar or ukulele, we encourage you to bring your instruments, plus music.  It is not a requirement, but if you would like a lesson, you will need your instrument.  If we have enough interest in ukulele, we will have a small group each day working on chords and strumming patterns. (Don’t have a uke but want one?  We suggest buying from Musicians Friend – their shipping costs are WAY low, starting at FREE for standard 4-6 day shipping).

If your child is a piano player, they can bring their music (and if they forget, chances are we have extra copies at the studio).

If your student is interested in lessons but is not yet on our schedule, then we would be happy to get you started during camp week.  If you need a guitar, ukulele, piano or keyboard, we would be happy to advise you on your purchase.

HOW MANY?: We will be sailing off with a minimum of 4 students, and our ship only has room for 10, maximum.

HOW MUCH?: Tuition for camp is $250.  A $50 deposit is required to hold your spot.  As stated above, space is limited!

If you are ready for camp – email missannasmusicschool@gmail.com to sign up.  $50 will be due the next time we see you, or it will simply be added to your March invoice.  The remaining $200 balance will show up on your April invoice.  If you are not yet a student at MAMS, please head over to our New Student SignupNew Student Signup to get into our system, and someone from our office will be in touch to confirm with you!

Welcome Will Genovese!

Miss Anna might be cool and all, but there’s only so many hours a day she can teach.  Now that MAMS is in a new space with great visibility, demand for music lessons is growing, and one teacher just can’t keep up.

So it is with much excitement that we are happy to welcome a new teacher to our MAMS family, Will Genovese.  Will is an established, experienced guitar instructor, well-versed in many styles, from rock to classical and almost everything in between.  A graduated of City College with a degree in Music Education, Will has performed across the NY and NJ area, both solo and in ensembles such as the Hunterdon Hills Orchestra and Esteem Entertainment.

Miss Anna has known Will for many years, and even took lessons from him at one point to learn more about flamenco style guitar playing.  There are very few teachers that she trusts to join the school at this early stage in our history, and Will is definitely on that list.  It is our hope that you will enjoy learning with Will just as much as you have enjoyed lessons with Miss Anna over the years.

To welcome our new guitar instructor, we invite all interested guitar students and their families to a special event on Saturday, March 3.  Following a brief performance by Will, students may sign up for a 20 minute trial lesson.  If students like his style, parents are welcome to sign up their children to become one of his students.  He will be teaching at the studio on Saturday afternoons and Monday nights.  Refreshments will be served.

Attendance is free but we ask that you reserve your spot before March 1 by emailing us at missannasmusicschool@gmail.com.

See you next Saturday night!