Helpful tips and funny thoughts from a musician's mind

Tag: Group lessons

Torn about summer lessons? Here are some of the benefits!

Torn about summer lessons? Here are some of the benefits!

It’s almost summertime — and summer means more time for growing, learning, playing, and exploring your community. Here are five great reasons to make music lessons part of your summer plans in 2019:   1. MUSIC IS FUN! Learning an instrument can be an awesome experience — […]

Does music REALLY make a difference for toddlers?

Does music REALLY make a difference for toddlers?

For a decade, Learning Allegro has been offering group music classes for toddlers — and from time to time, someone will ask us, “Does music really make a difference at THAT age?”    It’s a valid question! After all, the average two-year-old can barely talk, struggles to […]

A Year in Review: Learning Allegro

A Year in Review: Learning Allegro

Learning Allegro has been blogging for a whole year! Here’s what happened since last October.



Since the Learning Allegro blog has now been active for a full year (woohoo!), we’d like to take a minute to look back on everything that has transpired since last October.


1. WE STARTED A BLOG. Let’s go with the obvious first. Blogging lets us connect with our families and friends beyond the studio. It’s also like a real-time scrapbook, in some ways! We’ve thoroughly enjoyed our venture into the blogosphere this year, and we plan to keep on flooding your feed with great musical content.


2. NEW STUDENTS. We’ve seen our student population grow–and with that growth, we’ve seen a great new diversity in the types of instruments and musical styles being taught in our building. Thank you for helping us make Learning Allegro a bigger family!


3. NEW TEACHERS. Where would we be without them? In the last twelve months, we brought new guitar, voice, piano, woodwind, and drum teachers on staff. Each one brings something special to the studio and clearly loves what they do. We’re so blessed to have awesome teachers under our roof!


4. GROUP CLASSES. We started a group strings class this year, which has been great (shout out to Miss Amanda!). We’ve also seen group guitar and rock band classes take center stage.


5. ART! The people have spoken: art at Learning Allegro is a huge hit! Budding artists of all ages have composed their own creative works under the skilled eye of Miss Sarah. Our walls are getting full of paintings, and we wouldn’t have it any other way!


6. OUR LIVE MUSIC BUSINESS TOOK OFF. This year, we started a live music group for special events. We never dreamed it would take off so quickly–but WOW, were we busy! Allegro Music played for a small army of events, including weddings, memorial services and corporate dinners. We also became the preferred musicians for several venues in the PA and New Jersey region. (Thank you!)


7. WE VOLUNTEERED. We played at local festivals, farmers markets, in pits for community theatres, and volunteered at a local elementary school’s talent show. We love doing our part to make the community more musical and cohesive.


8. WE HAD TWO GREAT RECITALS. See videos at the bottom of this post!


9. WE DISCOVERED THAT MUSIC IS AWESOME. Okay, this one is a freebie…but seriously. This is a discovery that we make every day at the studio. Every time a student aces that “impossible” song, or one of our teachers creates something awesome, we realize how blessed we are to be on this crazy ride as a music school.




2017-18 was a year of real growth for Learning Allegro, and we can’t wait to keep growing right alongside the rest of the Chester County region. Thanks for being part of our family!


To learn more about Learning Allegro, visit our website

Five ways to jazz up your summer music lessons

Five ways to jazz up your summer music lessons

Are you struggling to keep music lessons fun and exciting during the summer? Here are five easy ways to jazz up your studies, keep learning, and make the summer months feel fresh.   1.  EXPLORE A NEW GENRE OF MUSIC.   Are you a classically trained […]

Some presents don’t fit under the tree

Some presents don’t fit under the tree

If you’ve managed to pull out of your Thanksgiving food coma, congratulations! You’ve come to your senses just in time for everyone’s favorite month-long shopping spree — that dreaded stretch between Thanksgiving and Christmas. At least there’s Christmas music on every radio station. That should […]

Confessions of a former bad student: how group music took the “FRIGHT” out of me

Confessions of a former bad student: how group music took the “FRIGHT” out of me

“Confessions of a Former Bad Student” is a series by Miss Haleigh — Learning Allegro teacher, orchestra violinist, and former bad student.

I never celebrated Halloween growing up. I went trick-or-treating exactly twice in my life: once when I was two (my parents, kind souls, ate the candy on my behalf) and once when I was fourteen (when my parents felt badly for eating my candy and sent me out into the world to get my own).


I was never big on the whole “getting scared” thing. Halloween and horror movies sounded like as much fun as an appendectomy.


But whether you’re two or two hundred, the world is full of frightening things. For me, as a former bad student, one of those frightening things was…wait for it…recitals.


Growing up, I was incredibly self-conscious whenever I had to play violin or piano for another person. I honestly can’t explain why. Looking back, I think part of it was that I was always incredibly eager to please–and as any parent or teacher can tell you, the violin does NOT sound pleasing at first. Between bad practice habits and my own self-consciousness, recitals were torture.


Even lessons were awful at times. In high school, I switched violin instructors, and at my first lesson with that teacher, I literally cried. And I was a teenager. Talk about embarrassing! (You can verify this story with Wendy, the founder of Learning Allegro; she was that teacher. And she’s not at all scary.)


I started private violin lessons when I was four years old. I switched teachers four or five times and played in a number of recitals. But many of those recitals weren’t exactly fun.


But believe it or not, after a few years, I did ditch the stage fright. And learning to play with a group was a big part of that change.


During my junior year of high school, Wendy encouraged me to audition for a local youth orchestra. Since my school didn’t have a music program, I had had very little experience playing in groups, but I decided to give it a shot.


The fear factor definitely came with me to auditions. My hands were shaking so much that the conductor stopped me and asked if I was okay. But somehow, I made the cut–and at that first rehearsal, I totally fell in love with playing in groups.


Instead of focusing on the soloists, orchestra focused on the unit. We were taught to listen for each other and to play our parts well while remaining sensitive to the dozens of other melodies happening around us. I made great friends who also loved music–some with way more talent than me and some who were just getting started in the music world.


But most importantly, playing in a group gave me, the shy musician, a chance to fade into the background and actually take in the music.


Private lessons were great, but the focus was always Haleigh front and center. Orchestra wasn’t about me; it was about playing something beautiful and working together to make it sound great.


Today, I continue to play in a local orchestra. I’ve been a member of Immaculata Symphony for seven seasons, and it continues to be something I truly enjoy. I also play in a number of other settings, including for weddings and at my church–and yes, I play alone.


And the best part is, as I grew more comfortable in my group setting, I stopped “getting scared” of performing solo. Playing in a group gave me a new appreciation for music itself–and now, instead of thinking of people staring at me, I can play for my own enjoyment, no matter who is watching or who is standing beside me.







Group Lessons: Why They Matter

Group Lessons: Why They Matter

Although most of the lessons we teach at Learning Allegro are one-on-one with students, we get questions from time to time about group classes (which yes, we do teach). Are there any benefits to putting your child in a group setting to learn an instrument? […]