Teaching

Lessons

I offer private lessons on all brass instruments (Trombone, Tuba, Trumpet, French Horn, etc.) for students and professionals of all ages and levels. Lessons focus on strengthening the fundamentals of music and brass playing through deep and fun explorations of technique, music theory, playing by ear, and learning about how we use our bodies to play brass instruments. I work closely with students own musical interests to develop a personalized set of exercises and assignments.

While I specialize in klezmer music and improvisation, students have studied all sorts of styles in lessons: from classical to jazz, rock, klezmer, even solely focusing on yacht rock (Steely Dan, Hall and Oats, etc.). I also specialize in working with professionals and other experienced players who are looking to overcome specific technical barriers in their playing.

Lessons are available at my home in West Philadelphia, at student’s houses, or via skype/google hangouts for affordable rates.

I bring to lessons over ten years of experience teaching privately and in group workshop settings locally and internationally. These include Klezmer Festivals (Klezkamp, Klezkanada, Yiddish Summer Weimar), non-profits and religious institutions (Pew Center for Arts and Heritage, Kol Tzedek), and colleges (University of Virginia, Univeristy of Wisconsin-Madison, and Rowan Univeristy).

Testimonials

“You have done an amazing job with Michael. My wife and I truly appreciate all you have done. This Spring [2012] he won the Marion Anderson Music composition even though he had only been playing trombone for 8 months. He was also selected as most improved musician in the Creative Arts Jazz Band and he is the lead trombonist in the Tuesday (number 1) small group at Creative Arts. All of this is because of you! Working with Michael is not always easy. He is very relaxed normally and not every teacher can motivate him. Not only have you connected with him you have opened up a side of our youngest son that we did not know was there.”

– William Spearman

Working with Dan improved my playing and approach to music in many ways. He has a deep understanding of the mechanics of brass playing and was always able to respond to my needs and questions with useful knowledge and exercises to practice and experiment with. His approach is head to toe, mind and body, and I always felt that it addressed issues with my playing at their very root, forming a foundation for real sustainable growth as a player (and person).

Musically, working with Dan opened my ears to new ways of listening, of communicating, and expressing myself. He challenged my perceptions about what it means to make music and I believe I became a more understanding person generally as a result.

Finally, Dan’s approach is rooted in self-care and love, and is not dogmatic in any way. There is a conversational element between student and teacher that makes learning very easy. I would recommend Dan to a novice or advanced player alike!

– Marty Gottlieb-Hollis

Klezmer in the Afternoon

I also teach an klezmer workshop on the first Sunday of every month at 1PM in West Philly. At Klezmer in the Afternoon, we focus on delving deep into one klezmer tune, which we learn first by singing, then on our instruments. All levels are welcome, though some instrumental experience wirh learning by ear and some knowledge of chords is recommended.