Shanna P. - Hey Joe Guitar

In-home music lessons. Manhattan and Brooklyn. Any age. Any instrument.

Shanna P.

Shanna P.

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What is your teaching philosophy?

Studying Music Composition and Technology at Columbia University was such an amazing experience for me, I just knew I wanted to share the joy of music education with others. That’s why I decided to teach — to help students discover all the wonders of music.

My teaching philosophy is based on being an active participant, rather than just instructing. For instance, I often find myself teaching songwriting with my students. It seems that everyone has a song in them that is trying to get out! I love to help them accomplish that.

In your opinion, what is the right way to teach and what do you do in your lessons that makes you a good teacher?

I believe there isn’t one single “right way” to teach. Each student is different. Some are quick learners, while others need more time to master skills. So my teaching technique depends on what’s best for the student.

My goal is to end each lesson on a positive note — no pun intended! For instance, I love it when a student tells me how much he or she enjoyed the session. I am also touched when they tell me they don’t want the lesson to end. This happens more often that you’d think!

How many years have you been teaching music lessons?

Three, and looking forward to many more!

What are you most proud of in your musical career?

I have been writing songs and making albums, and I enjoy this process very much. But in terms of teaching, I am most proud of a song I wrote with one of my nine- year-old students. To see the smile on her face when we finished made me really happy.

What’s the best compliment you have ever gotten as a music teacher?

I once received a message from a parent after a first lesson with her daughter. It read: “When I picked her up from school, the first thing she asked was ‘do I have a guitar lesson today?” I said no. She started to cry! She said, “I want a guitar lesson every day!” Awwww. This kind of reaction just melts my heart.

What country have you travelled to that you like the most and why?

I lived in China for two years. I love its culture and traditions. And I found the people to be very friendly and approachable. The highlight for me was street food in Shanghai, which is different from what you get here in NYC. Although a specialty like xie ke huang, which is a hairy crab, doesn’t sound very appetizing by Western standards, it was delicious!

What languages do you speak?

English and basic Mandarin. And I am fluent in music, which is the universal language!

If you could perform with any musician (alive or dead), who would it be and why?

Neil Young. I just love him and his music. Many people think of him as an “American classic,” but he’s actually Canadian!

Do you have any interesting or unusual hobbies? If so, tell us about it.

I do sound synthesis computer programming, which is the technique of generating sound using electronic hardware or software. But I enjoy creating and playing “mainstream” music as well.

What are you currently listening to on the radio, iPod, iTunes, Spotify, etc.?

Cocteau Twins, Suzanne Vega, Al Stewart, PJ Harvey, REM. And let’s not forget my idol, the legendary Neil Young.