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Band Instrument Teachers

Bill Brown and a piano

Ryan has been performing in the capital district and the northeast for about 20 years. He grew up playing guitar and saxophone in Central NY. After graduating high school Ryan went on to study music performance and education at the College of St. Rose in Albany NY. At St. Rose, he graduated with a Bachelors degree in K-12 Music Education, and minored in Music Performance. Ryan also has a graduate degree in Music Technology. As a working musician, Ryan has primarily focused on jazz but performs with many different musical groups with different styles. Ryan also works as a free-lance jazz musician in the capital district with many different jazz musicians. Currently, Ryan works with Brass-O-Mania Big Band, the Joey Thomas Big Band, Silver Arrow Band, Rebel Alliance, and the RSG group. Ryan has been a private instructor and public educator for about 20 years. He teaches all levels of saxophone, flute, and clarinet, and beginning to intermediate guitar. As a public school music teacher, Ryan as taught K-5 general music, middle school band and chorus, middle school general music, and high school band.

Bill Brown and a piano

Bill comes to Hilton Music Center from a varied background. He earned his undergraduate degree in music from The King’s College originally located in Briarcliffe Manor, New York. There he studied trumpet, piano and French horn studying under Harry Berv, the principal horn player in the NBC orchestra directed by Arturo Toscanini. He did further studies at the University of Maryland, University of Southern California and Nova University where he earned his advance degree. He taught in a number of schools in Florida, Vermont and New York. He also was a member of the United States Army band in Europe, touring for three years. It was there that he developed his love for big band style music. He recently retired as a public school teacher.

Wendy Curtis and a piano

Wendy has been teaching music since 1996 and has received her BS from Houghton College and MS from Oneonta.  Wendy offers encouragement and enthusiasm to each lesson to support the individual needs of her students. She supports her students in numerous recitals and competitions and has been with Hilton Music for over 7 years.

Lessons Inquiry

Fill out the form or call in to sign up! (518) 459-9400

Frequently Asked Questions

Questions about our Lesson Program

Am I too old to learn an instrument?
At Hilton Music Center we are asked this question everyday! You are never too old to take private lessons.  Our lessons are designed around the the students learning style and their individual goals. We make it fun and enjoyable learning the music that you want to play.

Are lessons private or in a group?
Lessons are private and held once per week for a 30 minute session.  We do encourage the parents of young children to sit in on the lessons if this is more comfortable.

Is there and application fee?
No, we do not charge any additional fees.

How much do lessons cost?
We charge $100.00 on the first lesson which will guaranty your lessons with the same instructor for 4 weeks, and every 4 weeks you simply pay the $100.00 to remain on the schedule. We have many students who have studied with us from age 5 until college age.  You will see the advantage of studying music with a seasoned and qualified instructor!

What if I only want one lesson?
If you want to drop by and schedule only one lesson and not expect to be holding your lesson time, that one lesson is $30.00 and the slot will not be held. 

What if I want to come more than once per week?
We find that a solid week of practice is necessary prior to the next lesson.  Coming in bi weekly really does not benefit the student.  

How old must my child be for private lessons?
We typically feel school age is best but depending on the child and their attention span we have some four year olds that do very well.  Parent involvement makes a big difference.

Do I have to learn to read music?
We have experienced and seasoned teachers who not only want to give their students the ability to love music but to be able to grow to their full potential.  Because it is all about the student, and not in a group each lesson is tailored to keep that student enthusiastic and with achievable goals whether it is more formal or not.

What if I can not make it to the lesson?
Remember you are reserving the time with a professional instructor in a private session held just for you.  If you give advance notice your teacher will do their best to give you a make up or additional material to work on if their time allows. In the event of bad weather please check with your teacher or our Facebook page for store closings and of course that lesson will be continued the following week.  You never are charged when the store or your instructor has cancelled.

I have a special needs child, are your teachers patient?
We pride ourselves on having the most experienced and versatile instructors here at Hilton Music Center. We will be happy to work with both student and family in finding the right fit to make the most rewarding experience possible. 

Why does taking lessons at Hilton music Center an advantage?
We love what we do.  There is great passion with our teachers to offer music in your lives. Having experienced teachers who can adopt to the student and their needs and wants and to teach correctly to enhance that student's ability and goals and to customize the session each week is what sets us apart. 

Do you offer recitals?
Yes!  We love to showcase our student's progress with recitals that we hold yearly typically spring or summer each year. Please see our Facebook page for pictures of last years events.
This is not a mandatory  event, only if the student is ready and willing.

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