Student Stories

 

As a child, Nancy Gregg hated piano lessons. She never practiced and gave up on playing any instrument.
But decades later, the rock and roll fan was suddenly drawn to the sound of the bass guitar.
"It resonated physically, the stirring sound and vibration of it," said Nancy.
So at 58, she bought a cheap bass and started lessons. Two years later her teacher said she had to start playing with other musicians.
"He said I couldn't keep sitting on the couch accompanying Steely Dan CD's. He said I needed to be in an ensemble playing with others," said Nancy.
Nancy has now been in an ensemble at the John Payne Music Center for 11 years.
"I was so nervous and anxious and everyone was very encouraging and supportive. So I kept hanging in, even though I was uncomfortable," said Nancy.
With the full tilt energy of drums, piano, guitar and horns behind her, she is even learning how to conquer her biggest fear-soloing.
"I like to play the solid bass line. But soloing flummoxes me."
But Nancy is learning to get out front and now looks like she was born to have the bass guitar strapped on.

"Playing music with others fills an empty space in our lives."

 
Nancy G., Boston

Nancy G., Boston


 
Julie S., Roslindale

Julie S., Roslindale

“If you don't want to give up your day job but still want to get together with a group of people to play music, this is the place for you! And you won't be playing with just any group of people; you'll find them to be a very supportive group of people.  They are your ensemble mates and they are certain to become your new best friends. 

Years ago when I was still single and unfettered, I knew nothing about jazz, but knew I wanted to be a singer and wanted to learn how to "scat." Luckily I found my way to the John Payne Music Center where I encountered the most encouraging and enthusiastic teachers. Within a year of singing with my first ensemble, I got to play out with that group at a real gig! Our ensemble teacher had arranged it.

If someone had told me back then that I was going to be spending every Monday evening for the next 15 years at the JPMC, I would not have believed it. Yet, here I am, and not only do I show up for my ensemble sessions religiously, I also take private voice lessons.  And, I now have a son who has been taking private guitar lessons and recently expressed an interest in taking voice as well.  

The John Payne Music Center is more than a school. It's a comfortable and welcoming atmosphere.  The JPMC makes you feel as if you are a member of an extended family of musicians who will offer you a variety of opportunities to grow your musical interests and expand your musical experiences.  

I recommend it to anyone who wants to explore their musical inclinations.”


“I have been taking lessons at the John Payne Music Center (JPMC) for thirty years and have always deeply enjoyed it.   

I started at the JPMC as an adult in my thirties with no musical experience.   My regular lesson with John Payne has been one of the highlights of my week for many years.  Through these lessons I have learned to play the alto sax and to improvise -- something I barely dared imagine I could ever do.  And, as a result of my experience, learning and playing the alto sax, I hear music differently than I did before -- and enjoy it even more

I have loved playing in the Sax Choir with Duncan Martin and as part of an ensemble with two different teachers.   All of my teachers there have been outstanding:  excellent musicians and warm, caring, supportive teachers.  They are very good with both adults and children -- and believe firmly that adults with no previous musical experience can learn to play, to perform and enjoy it.  JPMC provides a safe environment in which you can learn alone, learn to play as part of group, and perform!  

John Payne is not only an inspiring teacher and a wonderful human being, but also is a superb musician who plays some of the best jazz and blues you will hear anywhere. Playing in the Sax Choir means you get to perform onstage with John and his professional band -- one of the peak experiences of my life!  

I recommend the John Payne Music Center to anyone who wants to learn to play jazz, blues or a wide variety of other types of music.”

Richard W., Belmont

Richard W., Belmont


Manuel B.

Manuel B.

“I was trying to find a place to play in the Boston area and while I was doing some Internet search I found the John Payne Music Center website. I realized immediately that this studio is a very well organized school with an impressive number of ensembles, experienced teachers and accessible prices.

I am truly pleased that I joined the ensemble. Phil and the rest of the ensemble are so friendly. I hope to stay playing with these guys for a long time. Iʼve learned a lot in my first two sessions. Phil has given me some advice to improve my technique and I try to practice every day.”


“As a kid I always wanted to play the saxophone, but it wasn't until my 30s that I discovered the John Payne Music Center and actually started making music. John and his staff of truly gifted musician/teachers really do live up to their claim of being the "most patient teachers in town." Whether it's a private lesson or my regular Wednesday night ensemble, whether I'm "on" or it's one of those times when I feel totally inept, time at the Center is time incredibly well spent.

If you're looking for  outstanding teachers, a funky, relaxed learning environment, and a chance to satisfy your inner "Bird,"  this is absolutely the place to go.”

— Anonymous


“JPMC is a community. Teachers, students of all ages and John Payne himself share a love for music of all kinds and, uniquely, for actually performing together. It's such a kick to see JPMC ensembles of all levels and all ages, playing in real venues, and really swinging! 

Great teachers, great vibe. We are lucky to have it.”

— Anonymous


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