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The best spots for music lessons in NYC

We round up the best places in the city to take music lessons and learn guitar, piano, DJing and more

Photograph: Courtesy Mark Jenkinson
92Y

Nervous about taking music lessons? Even if you haven’t expanded your musical horizons since you failed to learn the recorder in elementary school, that’s okay. It’s never too late to take up a worthwhile hobby, and if the thought of standing in the front row in dance classes fills you with dread, something like, say, guitar lessons or learning to DJ are another way to boost your musicality. You’ll be playing the best new songs in no time.

RECOMMENDED: Full guide to the best classes in NYC

Best music lessons in NYC

The Juilliard School

You might think somewhere like Julliard is reserved for the very best musicians to hone their craft—and by and large, you’d be right. But in addition to offering adult courses in several instruments, you can also sign up to get tutored privately by a Julliard graduate.

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Upper West Side

92Y

This multifaceted uptown community center hosts a wealth of lessons for all kinds of creatives, both musical and non-musical. There are classes in music theory, technology and jazz studies alongside lessons in guitar, voice, cello, keyboard and more. While you're at it, you can also pick up some additional artsy skills in a jewelry-making, dance or creative writing class, too.

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Upper East Side

Brooklyn Conservatory of Music

This conservatory, housed in a five-story Victorian Gothic mansion, has been around since 1897, but its comprehensive curriculum is anything but outdated. You'll find group classes here, along with orchestra and Latin music ensembles.

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Park Slope
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Manhattan School of Music

Use their Referral Service to book a top-notch private teacher who can help you get in tune with your instrument of choice. Options include everything from flute to guitar, and you can also request a class by discipline, like classical or musical theater.

Photograph: Courtesy CC/Flickr/Patrick Nelson

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Morningside Heights

Brooklyn Guitar School

For anyone hoping to master the axe, this school hosts a range of experience levels, including lessons for complete beginners, an adult's rock group and an enormous series of online video tutorials. You can even use the center's instruments, so you don't have to lug your Martin onto the subway. And for maestros searching for new techniques, BGS also offers private one-on-one classes.

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Park Slope
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StringSchool Violin Lessons for Adults

If you want to learn the classiest instrument available, then you should probably take up the violin. StringSchool offers classes for all ages and skill levels—you know, in case you find yourself caught in a contest with the devil in Georgia.

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Hell's Kitchen

Dubspot DJ Institute

Sick of running through the same ol' piano etudes? This futuristic electronic music institute offers a curriculum updated for the modern age, with classes on DJ-ing and music production for both amateur and expert knob-twiddlers. The state-of-the-art facilities boast a range of hardware from Native Instruments, Pioneer and M-Audio as well all the latest DAW software including Ableton, Reason and Traktor—not to mention online classes to boot.

Photograph: Courtesy Creative Commons/Flickr/Puma Lab

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West Village

Greenwich House Music School

If learning to tackle Handel organ concerts and Mozart piano sonatas tickles your musical fancy, Greenwich House is the place for you. Having instructed students for more than 100 years in opera’s classical chamber music, this village outpost has established itself as one of the city's most respected spots for music education. Here, you'll find classes for all-ages, ranging from private to group lessons.

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West Village
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Scratch DJ Academy

Attention, rave enthusiasts hoping to transform themselves from mere club-goer to bona fide turntablist: Turn your sights yonder. Jam Master Jay of Run DMC founded this unorthodox music school back in 2002 to make the art of DJ-ing more accessible, and since then, the institute has expanded its curriculum to music production techniques and established multiple locations nationwide. Instructors in the past have included A-Trak, Grandmaster Flash and Evil Dee, so you'll be learning from the best.

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Downtown

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