Park Slope’s destination for music education. We offer private lessons in voice, guitar, bass, ukulele, piano, and drums to adults, teens and children ages 8 and up, as well as group workshops and ensembles. Music lessons are available on a semester basis.
— MUSIC EDUCATION —
a unique space to learn
Acme Hall Studios is Park Slope’s destination for music education. We offer private lessons in voice, guitar, bass, ukulele, piano, and drums to adults, teens and children ages 8 and up, as well as group workshops and ensembles.
Learning at Acme is a unique educational experience. Acme’s superb teaching faculty is comprised of some of the most in-demand musicians in the city. Our space is also a real working recording studio. Students receive the attention and mentorship of influential composers and performers inside an inspiring, top level recording environment.
— Lessons —
private lessons with creative teachers
Lessons run on a semester basis so both student and teacher can properly devote themselves to the learning process. Students enrolled in lessons may also have the opportunity to be a part of concurrent recording projects happening in our recording studio and to attend programming such as master classes and performances. We offer lessons in voice, guitar, bass, ukulele, piano, and drums with our exceptional faculty. Our semester calendar lists all lesson and concert dates.
2018 - 2019 RATES
PEAK (after 3pm):
$875 for 30-minute lessons
$1195 for 45-minute lessons
$1485 for 60-minute lessons
OFF PEAK (before 3pm):
$787 for 30-minute lessons
$1075 for 45-minute lessons
$1336 for 60-minute lessons
SUMMER LESSONS (6 Weeks):
$330 for 30-minute lessons
$450 for 45-minute lessons
10% discount for family members or second instrument
— WORKSHOPS & ENSEMBLES —
group learning & collaboration
Acme offers opportunities for students to work in a group setting. We run an intensive summer band program as well as ensembles during fall & spring semesters. Our audition prep program has helped many students succeed at NYC public high school vocal auditions. All upcoming workshops and ensembles are listed below:
6-Week High School Vocal Audition Prep Class
Students will learn the skills to succeed at auditions for LaGuardia, Murrow, PPAS, Frank Sinatra, and other performing arts high schools in New York City. This popular class at Acme prepares students for both the required rhythm and melody testing, as well as for singing a cappella in front of judges. Students learn what makes a great audition and workshop songs for each other. Curriculum is designed by Acme's Director, Rebecca Pronsky, who has been working with vocal students on high school auditions for over a decade. The class has expanded in the last two years to include the valuable expertise of Acme vocal instructor Shelly Girolami (see faculty) who has worked extensively on high school auditions with her students.
TUESDAYS: Sep 18, 25, Oct 2, 9, 16, 23
5:45 - 7:00 with Rebecca Pronsky SOLD OUT
WEDNESDAYS: Sep 12, 26, Oct 3, 10, 17, 24
4:15 - 5:30 with Shelly Girolami SOLD OUT
5:45 - 7:00 with Shelly Girolami SOLD OUT
$250. The class is capped at 6 students and sells out quickly. Please email email@example.com to register.
FALL SEMESTER BANDS
Students will learn a repertoire of classic and contemporary rock, jazz and pop tunes, as well as write original music. Students must have at least 2 years of experience playing their instrument and be currently enrolled in lessons at Acme. 5 students max. One drummer only.
5th GrADE BAND
Thursdays 4:00 - 5:00 with Heather Wagner
$465. 5 students max. Begins Sep 20
MIDDLE SCHOOL BAND
THURSDAYS 5:30 - 6:30 with Marcio Garcia
$465. 5 students max. Begins Sep 20 [SOLD OUT]
HIGH SCHOOL BAND
WEDNESDAYS 5:45 - 6:45 with Rich Bennett
$465. 5 students max. Begins Sep 12 [SOLD OUT]
To register for an ensemble, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Summer BAND & RECORDING INTENSIVE: July 8 – 12, 2019
Section I: rising 7th & 8th graders
Section II: rising 9th and 10th graders
Acme’s week-long intensive summer band a recording program is for advanced students and provides a supportive learning environment with lots of personal attention.
Students will play together as a band, write original songs, get exposure to varied musical styles, learn about audio engineering, and record a final song in our recording studio. Program ends with a final performance/listening party on Friday afternoon.
Daily special guest speakers introduce students to new musical ideas and instruments! Past topics include Latin rhythm, music for horror movies, Indonesian Gamelan, touch-sensitive electronic instruments, lyric writing, and Abelton.
Students must be proficient on an instrument with at least two years of study. Maximum 5 students per section. $685
Email email@example.com for more information and to register.
— FACULTY —
exceptional musicians, dedicated instructors
REBECCA PRONSKY (Creative Director, Education & Events Coordinator) is an accomplished vocalist, songwriter, performing artist, and co-founder of Acme Hall Studios. She is also a Park Slope native. A singer since she could talk, Rebecca was involved in rock bands, musical theatre productions, and choirs growing up in New York City. She spent her college years at Brown University, earning a degree in Ethnomusicology and upon returning to Brooklyn, taught music at the Berkeley Carroll School, Willie May Rock Camp for Girls, and the National Guitar Workshop. Over the last 15 years, Rebecca has released five full length albums of original songs and toured extensively in the US, UK and Europe, sharing stages with Grammy winners Shawn Colvin and Loudon Wainwright III, among others. Rebecca’s music has been featured on NPR and BBC Radio and on television networks such as the CW and TLC. She is currently performing live in an original cabaret show about Hillary Clinton. The show is part of both the NYC and Baltimore Fringe Festivals in Fall 2018.
RICH BENNETT (Recording Studio Director & Guitar, Bass, Ukulele) is a mulit-instrumentalist, composer, producer, recording engineer and co-founder of Acme Hall Studios. Rich began playing guitar at the age of 12 and won a Bertelsmann award for composition as a high school senior, sending him off to NYU, where he graduated with a degree in Jazz Guitar performance. A decade of performing and writing saw Rich on tour internationally with a number of bands and as a solo artist. Some of his production credits include gothic metal group Sabbath Assembly, dream pop outfit Monocle, electronica artist Morgane Lhote (Stereolab, Hologram Teen), and singer/songwriter Rebecca Pronsky. Rich currently plays guitar in the newly reunited outsider/60s proto-punk group The Shaggs. His compositions have been featured on MTV and The Discovery Channel. In his nearly 20 years of teaching in New York City, Rich served on the guitar faculty at the prestigious Third Street Music Settlement and was the guitar instructor at PS 41 The Greenwich Village School for a decade before opening Acme. A student band he recently coached was featured on NPR’s Studio 360.
JULIET STRONG (Voice, Piano) grew up in the San Francisco folk scene, and was exposed to many traditional styles of music and dance including Balkan, Turkish, Flamenco, Americana, Irish, Scottish, Indian and Brazilian. Juliet has a background in classical and jazz piano and earned a degree in Vocal Performance from the University of Oregon. She has also received theatre training from the California Shakespeare School and Berkeley Rep School. She has been seen on stages with the Oregon Festival of American Music, Shotgun Players, A Traveling Jewish Theatre, Bootstrap Theatre Company, and in Yosemite National Park. Juliet has taught privately for many years as well as through the Williamsburg School of Music. As a teacher, she is heavily influenced by Hatha Yoga and meditation, with the focus being on creating body awareness, proper alignment, and freedom from tension for both singers and pianists. With younger students she employs imagery and story telling in lessons. Juliet performs original music at clubs and concerts in New York City and tours on both the east and west coasts.
MARCIO GARCIA (Piano) began his musical studies at age seven at the Conservatorio Nacional de Musica in his hometown of Santo Domingo in the Dominican Republic. His talent brought him to the US where he received a degree in Classical Piano Performance from the Lamont School of Music at the University of Denver, followed by a Masters in Jazz Performance and an AD in Jazz Studies from SUNY Purchase Conservatory. Marcio has performed at the Stanford Jazz Institute, 2016 Monterey Next Generation Jazz Festival, Five Points Jazz Festival, and, in NYC at The Blue Note, Birdland, and live on WBGO Jazz 88.3. He has collaborated with renowned jazz musicians Ann Hampton Callaway, Ignacio Berroa, Jon Faddis, Ingrid Jensen and Steve Davis, as well as with DEVO co-founder Mark Mothersbaugh for the original project “Myopia” , salsa ensemble “Los Lunaticos”, and with singer Viktor Kiraly (NBC The Voice 2015 – Top 24). Marcio is bilingual in Spanish and proficient in both Portuguese and German.
DAVE RICHMAN (Drums) is a graduate of Berklee College of Music, and has played professionally since 1989 on thousands of gigs with bands of all stripes: rock, jazz, heavy metal, lounge, punk, fusion and who knows what else. Dave is perhaps best known for his drumming with the Original Punk Rock Heavy Metal Karaoke band, a much-loved New York institution, now in its 15th year. In his capacity as drummer for the group, Dave has backed up everyone from rank amateurs dragged onstage from the bar to Ryan Adams, Britt Daniel (Spoon), Jimmy Fallon, Craig Wedren (Shudder to Think), Robbie Williams, Ween, the Beastie Boys and more. An accomplished studio drummer, Dave has played on album projects with Century Club, Mac Randall, and Bunny Jammers. As a drum teacher, Dave stresses fun while instilling necessary technique and timekeeping knowledge, along with drum and music history. He is currently writing and recording with doom metal band St. Bastard.
HEATHER WAGNER (Drums) is a Jersey girl who has been living in New York for almost 30 years and has been pounding the skins for about that long too. Heather has traveled the world playing drums with anti-folk artist Jeffrey Lewis, noise rock duo ps xo, and oddball indie rock band Morex Optimo. She also plays with the legendary Peter Stampfel (of the Fugs and Holy Modal Rounders), the Walking Hellos, Ghostwise, country outfit The Gentlemen Callers, and occasionally fills in with Dolly Parton cover band, the Doll Parts. Heather is a member of the drum faculty at the Willie Mae Rock & Roll Camp for Girls. She is also a certified Eden Energy Medicine practitioner and has a deep interest in exploring the connections between music and the healing arts.
MICHELLE "SHELLY" GIROLAMI (Voice) has been singing for as long as she can remember. A Montana native, Shelly moved to New York to attend NYU, where she earned a degree in Music Education with a concentration in Classical Voice. During her time at NYU, she had the pleasure of student teaching voice at LaGuardia High School and also served as a chapter vice president of the National Association for Music Education. Shelly is an accomplished commercial and theatrical actor. She has appeared in several national advertisements for brands such as Starkist, Verizon, and Citizen’s Bank, and has appeared on many New York stages including The Beckett Theatre, The York Theatre, and The Barrow Group Main Stage Theatre. Shelly is also one-half of the Brooklyn-based musical duo, Shelly + Spence and is currently in the midst of producing and starring in the short film “Winning Friends”. In her teaching, Shelly aims to create a safe, serene space for vocal exploration. She encourages learning through positivity and self-discovery.
JOELLE LURIE (Voice) is a powerhouse vocalist who has spent the last decade in NYC singing everything from opera to pop to jazz to musical theatre to ad jingles. She holds a degree in Voice Performance from Boston University’s College of Fine Arts and also received training at NEC’s preparatory jazz program. Joelle has appeared in productions such as the Broadway community’s 24 Hour Musicals, Jerry Springer The Opera (Speakeasy Stage Company), and as a soloist with the Boston Holiday Pops. She has entertained audiences at The Wendy Williams Show, The James Beard Gala & Awards, and at NBC’s Annual Rockefeller Center Tree Lighting Ceremony. Her band Joelle & The Pinehurst Trio has performed at Lincoln Center, The Rainbow Room, Birdland Jazz Club, and Top of the Rock. Her children’s band JoJo & The Pinecones is currently a Lincoln Center Kids Resident Artist and has performed at Lollapalooza. In addition to her teaching at Acme, Joelle is also a voice instructor at the Bank Street School. Joelle was recently featured on NPR’s Song Travels with Michael Feinstein.
— FAQs —
frequently asked questions
Is there a performance opportunity for students?
Yes. At the end of the semester we put on a day of student performances at Shapeshifter Lab, a beautiful jazz venue in Gowanus/Park Slope.
Why a 16 week commitment?
A student needs regular lessons (and regular practice between lessons) to improve at an instrument. Dedication is the key to progress. We are able to attract such a high level of faculty talent because we guarantee teachers a full semester of reliable work, where they can devote their time to developing relationships with specific students. Both students and faculty benefit from the consistency and it’s a rewarding semester for everyone.
What if I decide I want lessons after the start of the semester?
Students may begin lessons at any point in the semester is space is available. The fee is pro-rated to reflect the number of lessons remaining.
What is your cancellation and make up policy?
A student’s regular weekly lesson slot is reserved exclusively for them, meaning that this time slot will never be used for any other bookings by Acme during the semester. Therefore, there are no refunds for lessons missed due to student absence or cancellation. Due to scheduling considerations, Acme does not require instructors to make up lessons missed by students. However, instructors may make up lessons at their discretion. Make up lessons occur either during the predetermined Make Up Week at the end of the semester or at other times, space permitting. A lesson cancelled less than 24 hours in advance cannot be rescheduled.
Do I need to buy an instrument?
Having daily access to your instrument is central to regular practice. Drummers may work at home with pads if volume is an issue. Rentals are a possibility and we are happy to connect you with a good music store that rents instruments.
Interested in lessons? Please fill out our lesson request form and we will get back to you quickly with available faculty and open lesson slots.