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Rockno Music Player

Music Lessons with Boogie Bennie

Imagine Dad on the guitar, Mom on the drums, and little Tommy on the keyboard, while neighbor Tina rocks the lead vocals! Even if you don't become the next Jackson 5, you can still have a lot of fun learning to play music with your family.

Boogie's Philosophy

A lot of parents tell me they wish they had “stuck with the piano”. You probably didn’t stick with it because it wasn’t fun. And if it wasn’t fun, I bet you were learning to read music instead of learning to play music. There is a difference.

There is so much more to playing music than just learning how to read notes. MANY influential musicians NEVER learn to read music, and it doesn't stop them from becoming enormously successful. Music is a language. Children don't learn the rules of grammar before they start to speak. Similarly, I think learning the "rules" of music before you start to play can take a lot of the fun out of playing music.

In my lessons, we start by playing songs on the very first day. Like most things, the more you do it, the better you get, and the easier it becomes. Over time, as you learn more songs you'll start to recognize patterns within songs. The more familiar you are with those patterns, the easier it becomes to learn new songs. Eventually, you might even be able to play a song after hearing it only one time!

How it works

  • The lessons will be at your home in the VA-MD-DC metro area.
  • We will sing. I won't force anyone to sing, but I encourage everyone to try. Anyone who wants to learn music should sing, even if they're not a good singer.
  • We will play rhythms. Musicians play wrong notes all the time, and you probably don't even notice it, BUT if a musician plays "out of time", it is disastrous. So, each lesson we will spend some time improvising with rhythms. It will be like a drum circle, but in your house instead of in your dorm room.
  • We will play instruments. I recommend that students younger than seven start on the piano (or keyboard). At around 7 years old, they may also be able to play the ukulele, but I still recommend to continue on the piano. At about 10, they may be able to add in the guitar. Young children can also play the drum set, but they may require a 'small' set. Several companies manufacture quality drum sets for children at reasonable prices.
  • We will play songs. If your family has some favorites, send me a list of songs you'd like to learn.
  • I will bring some instruments, but you'll want to buy or rent the instruments that you want to learn to play.
  • It is recommended that the number of band members be limited to four, that each member be at least 5-years-old, and that at least one member be a parent or guardian.
  • Lessons are $75 for one hour. Contact for more info.

Why take lessons from Boogie?

  • There is a lot of research showing that learning to play music is good for your child’s development.
  • As you continue lessons, you will become familiar with the process of learning songs, and may eventually find that you can play songs "by ear".
  • Boogie plays piano, drums, guitar, bass, and other instruments. Just tell him what songs you want to learn, and what instruments you want to play.
  • Boogie studied music composition at James Madison University, jazz piano with pianist Wayne Wilentz, and percussion with Randy Eyles (United States Air Force Concert Band).
  • Boogie has experience teaching. He taught piano lessons privately, "rock band" at Day Jams rock music day camp, and chemistry with Fairfax County Public Schools.
  • Boogie has performed at The Kennedy Center, Lollapalooza, Austin City Limits Music Festival, Wolf Trap, and the National Theater.
  • Boogie's original music has been used on MTV and the History Channel.