We had a visitor in the TakeLessons office today

Lucky we are animal-friendly around the office…

Our friend was caught in a blanket and returned to the great outdoors…


Featured Instructor: Joe, Drummer from Brooklyn

Here at TakeLessons we work hard to identify and hire only the best instructors that have the right charisma, character, and chops. We do this to guarantee a FirstClass Experience for our students – one that helps them stay involved in music.

We are continuously rating our instructors with an interal TakeLessons Quality Score that consists of timeliness, character, charisma, initiative, and results. We also receive feedback from our students on how they are enjoying the lessons and if they feel they are learning and accomplishing their goals.

We are proud to feature our TakeLessons instructors that receive rave reviews from their students. Today, we'd like to introduce you to Joe – drum teacher in Brooklyn, NY.


Joe specializes in rock, jazz, funk, and Afro-Cuban styles of playing. He comes from Chicago originally and has been playing for many years. He received his degree in Jazz Studies from NYU and is also the house manager for Jazz Gallery, a non-profit culture center in NYC that gives a stage for emerging artists.

Here is feedback from a couple TakeLessons students that Joe teaches:

"Joe is great. He is patient and makes my son want the lessons to
continue. My son gets extremely excited when he sees Joe. He not only
has learned to play the drums, but he is gaining confidence in himself
and is slowly learning to be more focused through Joe's mentoring.
Great teacher!

— Robert S. on February 09, 2009

"Joe, I just want to thank you so much for all the hard work and
effort you put in with Kareem (reem) to help him accomplish what he
need to learn in six weeks….Reem battles with
ADHD and I just wanna
say you did and excellent job…..I looked into a lot of different
teachers/schools. Youself and TakeLessons were the only ones who showed
great confidence right off the back that reem would be able to
accomplish what he needed to know in six weeks….so thank you again!!!!

I also would like for you to continue to work with reem to highest
level possible. I would like him to be able to play anything thing
(sheet of music) that is put in front of him. So please work with him
until you feel he has accomplished what he needs to know te be a
professional drum player (that may be a little to much…lol…but you
understand what I'm getting at)….once again THANK YOU!!!!!!

Kindra M

— Kindra M. on March 09, 2009

Thanks, Joe, for doing such an awesome job! TakeLessons mission is to inspire an entire generation of people to play music, and Joe is doing an incredible job of making that happen!

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We’re Hiring! School Program Education Director

TakeLessons is hiring a part-time consultant for a School Program Music Education Director. This person’s job duties will be to help us develop programs and curriculum for our School Advantage program.

The TakeLessons School Advantage Program provides music enrichment courses and camps for schools, community based organizations, and private consumers. The goal of the program is to become America’s largest provider of music enrichment classes and camps by working with private schools, creating partnerships with national community organizations, and by offering quality, affordable programs anywhere in TakeLessons target markets.

Read more about this job

Artist Residencies Available in Suasalito CA

Headlands Call for Applications

Center for the Arts is an internationally recognized residency program
that hosts artists from across the globe working in all disciplines.
Headlands provides emerging, mid-career and established artists with
the scarce resources of time and space for open-ended investigation,
experimentation and collaboration. Artists are selected based on the
quality of their work and their interest in working at Headlands.
Headlands seeks artists who are interested in exploring new directions
in their work and expand the parameters of their chosen medium, and who
consider art’s role in relation to the larger social, cultural or
political issues of our time. Headlands assembles groups of artists who
are diverse in their aesthetic and cultural mix.

Headlands is now accepting applications for residencies in 2010. Artists are strongly encouraged to apply online. Please visit www.headlands.org for more details on how to apply.

Deadline: 06-05-2009
Headlands Center for the Arts
Sausalito, CA

Contact: Jessica Brier
email: info@headlands.org
Phone: 415.331.2787 x30
Website: http://www.headlands.org


What’s the TakeLessons Nutty Award?

Here at the TakeLessons office, we believe in working hard. At the end of the week, we celebrate with a Friday get-together we call the “Meeting of the Minds”. During the meeting, we may have a soda, glass of wine, or a fine Trader Joe’s dark lager, and we brainstorm on how we can make the business better.

One of our core values is an “Ownership Mentality“. What that means is that each team member is personally responsible to the rest of the team to think and act like an owner. We all have stock in the company, so our actions should be that of a business leader.

Each week, all of the team members takes the floor and describes what they got done during the week and what they learned. They are accountable to the rest of the team for hitting their goals and learning something new. Each team member also gives a shout-out to the person in the office that made the biggest impact that week, or that personally helped them accomplish a goal.

After all team members have spoken, we then vote – “Survivor” style – for the team member who had the greatest impact on the company that week. That person wins “The Nutty Award”.

The Nutty Award is in recognition of the person who makes the most significant impact on the goals of the company, and demonstrates the core values of what we believe in. We don’t have certificates or cash prizes (we’re a start-up), but we do have a really cool (empty) bottle of tequila that Felipe’s dad was kind enough to donate to us a long time ago. The award was named after our mascot and fearless tennis ball chaser, Nutty FaDuddy.

This week’s Nutty Award goes to…

The award goes to Denise! Denise has played an integral role in client services and student counseling. Recently, she became our lead recruiter, responsible for hiring our awesome instructors all around the country. Without missing a beat, Denise took ownership of the job duties and the results are starting to show.

Congrats Denise! You Rock!!!

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For New York Singers: Free Vocal Screening

When: April 4

New York Eye and Ear Infirmary
Voice and Swallowing Institute
New York, NY

Are you a pro, or taking singing classes in New York? In honor of World Voice Day 2009, MusiCares,
along with the New York Eye and Ear Infirmary and KayPentax, is
co-sponsoring a day of free voice screenings for New York-based
professional vocalists. The event will take place on April 4 from 9
a.m. to 4 p.m. at the New York Eye and Ear Infirmary’s Voice and
Swallowing Institute. The screenings will be provided free of charge
and are needs-based. Each eligible singer will receive a complete vocal
assessment, including assessment by a laryngologist, a stroboscopic
exam of the vocal folds, and vocal function testing.

Vocalists must be pre-screened for eligibility and schedule their appointments through MusiCares. For more information and to schedule an appointment, call 212.245.7840 or 877.303.6962.

What Song Was #1 When You Were Born?

Here’s a fun site by Josh Hosler that shows what was the big hit song, according to Billboard, when you blessed the world with your presence. Check it out!

Tech Updates to the TakeLessons Site

Chuck and Jason - TakeLessons developers rockin' da house
(Chuck and Jason making things happen on the site)

As a public service announcement to all of our wonderful and fabulous users, we did a site upgrade last night. Here are the upgrades, changes, and additions:

New Feature

  • Did a Facebook integration launch. It’s still secretly hidden for a week or so until we do further testing on it. But it’s going to be very cool!
  • Changed wording on “subjects taught” in the application to all instructors to specify levels. We need them to be able to teach at both beginner and intermediate levels

Job Application and Hiring

  • We did a bunch of stuff here. It’s proprietary, so we can’t name it. But it’s cool and will help us hire better teachers in areas where we need them.

NAMM Partnership

  • As you may know, we signed an Agreement with NAMM to power a joint effort to help students find good instructors. This is coming along nicely.
  • Added phone number and website URL to NAMM search results

Bug Fixes
Thanks to all of you for reporting bugs. Here’s what we got fixed:

  • Fixed issues with lesson rescheduling through admin where first lesson discounts were being lost when the day/time was changed
  • Add full category list to the header of teacher profiles so potential student can quickly see them all
  • Fix to show student name (not billing contact name) under flex lessons list

Keep Rockin!

How One Musician Uses Twitter to Gain Fans

Are you new to Twitter? Here’s how Steve Lawson is using Twtter to market his music. In essence, like Steve (who is an awesome bassist), we believe that Twitter is about opening dialogue and having conversations with people. Talking about music is simply an awesome way to interact with another person – especially if they are digging your music.

“I think the everyday life of musicians is fascinating – you practicing, you struggling to write songs, the hardships of being a creative person, is way more interesting than your marketing ideas.”

Interview from from Andrew Dubber on Vimeo. Andrew writes for New Music Strategies.

You can follow Steve on Twitter at: @solobasssteve

Read Steve’s full post:


Schwarzenegger Declares March as “Arts Education Month”

Governor Schwarzenegger declared March 2009 as "Arts Education Month" through an official proclamation on March 6.

"It is crucial
that the future leaders of our state receive a complete education, and
arts instruction ensures that they will be well rounded," stated
Schwarzenegger in the proclamation.
"The arts enhance imagination and creativity, encouraging our young
people's sense of innovation. Additionally, California's economy is
well supported by artistic industries, and a solid background in these
areas and music education will help continue our prosperity." (In 2008, California had
almost 100,000 creative businesses that employ over a half million
employees, according to the 2008 Creative Industries State Report from Americans for the Arts.)

While March may
be highlighted for arts education, the Governor noted that the arts
should be part of Californians' lives every day. "The arts offer us a
wealth of knowledge and teach us to see our world in a new light, and I
encourage all Californians to engage in the arts in their community,
not only this month, but all year as well."

Wynton MarsalisImage by volume12 via Flickr

The full proclamation
was made available on the Governor's website on March 6, and coincides
with the national arts activities in Washington, D.C. like the Nancy Hanks Lecture on Arts and Public Policy,
a leading national forum for arts policy intended to stimulate dialogue
on policy and social issues. This year's speaker will be Wynton Marsalis, musician and Artistic Director of Jazz at Lincoln Center, on March 30.