Want music lessons on Manhattan’s Upper West Side? You’re not alone. Long before Paparazzi and Bad Romance hit the charts and quirky costumes defined her on-stage persona, Lady Gaga was a young, musically gifted girl by the name of Stefani Germanotta, growing up on NYC’s Upper West Side.
Her website mentions how, as a child, she used to go to fancy restaurants in the neighborhood and dance around, using her breadsticks as batons. Later, she waitressed at an Upper West Side diner and bought herself a Gucci handbag with the money she made at that job. However, the multi-platinum and Grammy Award-winning artist is not the only famous musician who lived on Upper West Side or sought Manhattan music lessons. Scores (no pun intended) of music greats also flocked to the neighborhood at one time or another: Duke Ellington, Miles Davis, Judy Collins, Billy Joel, Carly Simon, Sting, James Taylor, and Madonna are just some of the celebrated performers who made their home in this part of Manhattan, nestled between Central Park and the Hudson River, and West 59th and 110th Streets. As a matter of fact, some neighborhood landmarks had become indelibly linked with the music industry legends who lived or worked here over the years. For example, the iconic Dakota building on West 72nd Street has become known as the home of John Lennon, Leonard Bernstein, and Judy Garland; Igor Stravinsky, Sergei Rachmaninoff, and Gustav Mahler composed at the storied Ansonia at 2109 Broadway, also the stomping ground of Enrico Caruso and Arturo Toscanini. There may be a reason why the Ansonia, originally a hotel, was a favorite haunt for performers. According to a New York Times article, the building’s architect, William Earl Dodge Stokes, “built it for musicians, and that’s why the doors to each apartment were double-width, so grand pianos could easily be moved in and out. It’s also been claimed that the temperature-control system, a great benefit for sinuses, lured singers.” Alive with the sound of music A diverse and vibrant part of NYC, the Upper West Side is a veritable treasure trove of arts and culture. The famous Julliard School of Music, Lincoln Center, the Avery Fisher Hall — home of the New York Philharmonic — as well as Metropolitan Opera are also located here. But classical music is not the only kind that resounds through the neighborhood. Various local venues offer excellent live jazz, blues, rock, and other beats to satisfy all tastes. And since Upper West Side is part of the city that never sleeps, most of these clubs are jamming it up into the wee hours of the morning. For example, The Smoke Club at 2751 Broadway, Cleopatra’s Needle, 2485 Broadway, or Dizzy’s Club Coca Cola (33 W 60th St), are just three the of many great places where you can listen to hot live jazz or jazz and blues. Have instrument will travel Given such a rich and eclectic musical tradition, is it any wonder that we at Hey Joe Guitar music school absolutely LOVE the Upper West Side? We are happy to be a part of this neighborhood and nurture its residents’ love and appreciation of music by teaching them to play a variety of instruments in the comfort and convenience of their Upper West Side home or office. And don’t be misled by our name – we are not just a guitar school and don’t only offer guitar lessons. Like the neighborhood we live in, we are much more versatile than that. With Hey Joe Guitar, you can learn to play practically any instrument: guitar, piano, voice, drums, trumpet, trombone, brass, reeds, saxophone, clarinet flute, violin, viola, cello, strings, accordion, ukulele, banjo, recorder, and mandolin. We also offer composition, songwriting, and voice lessons; in fact, we can give you any type of music lesson you can think of. With such broad and diverse offerings, we are a good fit with Upper West Side, a bustling neighborhood that Lady Gaga and many other prominent artists call “home.”Photo Credit: Fredrik