Weekly Songwriting Classes in Prospect Heights
Your child deserves a breakthrough in confidence.
Let Shyness Disappear
Write songs (not-so-secretly anymore!) with a band and fall in love with being a rockstar.
Discover A Lifetime Of Confidence
Learn how to sing & play an instrument -- starting from nothing, to being on a stage, in 4 months.
Know What Your Kids Are Learning
Parents receive a weekly wrap up via email after every single class with at-home practice guides.
Culminates In A Magical & Exclusive Capstone Event
Celebrate our original songs and inner power at two family-friendly events throughout the year.
in 9 months, we will:
Write, RECORD, AND PERFORM original songs
Perform your all-original music with your band. Channel your energy into playing a beautiful musical instrument. Your choice - guitar or ukulele.
RELEASE YOUR BAND'S MUSIC ON SPOTIFY & ITUNES
Work with an audio engineer and our professional backing band to track and mix live, high-quality recordings of your own personal song and your band's song that you'll perform in June at a record release show.
DISCOVER THAT YOUR VOICE REALLY MATTERS
Extinguish shyness, self-doubt & stage fright by living inside our weekly question:
"If a thousand people could hear your music, what would be worth singing about?"
FOR music LOVERS WHO ARE always making up songs
- Write group songs in every session at our state-of-the-art rehearsal space
- Tell a story, write lyrics, sing your heart out and learn proper microphone technique
- Play simple chord progressions, popular melodies, and quick chords by putting stickers on the fretboard
Get SO EXCITED about practicing at home (and actually become good at it!)
Leave every week knowing your voice matters and that you make a difference
I wasn’t sure if my child would like it at first. But there was not a single session that Avery did not look forward to. She has taken a greater interest in music than ever before. I loved the flexible approach to meeting kids’ needs. There wasn’t a rigid benchmark that all kids needed to meet and I think that made kids feel accepted and supported. I think it’s a great approach to learning music.
- Sara Cangelosi, Assistant principal
Class dates + times
Every week is a 60 minute, drop-off class.
SATURDAY class times:
11:30-12:30 P.M. (ages 7-10 or 11-14)
FALL 2018 SCHEDULE | 13 Classes
Sept 29 | Oct 14, 21, 28 | Nov 4, 18 | Dec 2, 9, 16 | Jan 6, 13, 20
Mid-Year Showcase: Jan 27 @ Complete Music Studios
SPRING 2019 SCHEDULE | 14 Classes
Feb 3, 10 | Mar 3, 17, 24, 31 | Apr 7, 28 | May 5, 19 | Jun 2, 8, 15
Annual Rock Show: June 8 @ Shapeshifter Lab, Park Slope
Teachers: Caroline Getz & Sam Decker
SUNDAY CLASS TIME:
10:15 - 11:15 A.M. (ages 7-10)
1-2 P.M. (ages 7-10)
FALL 2018 SCHEDULE | 13 Classes
Sept 30 | Oct 15, 22, 29 | Nov 5, 19 | Dec 3, 10, 17 | Jan 7, 14, 21
Mid-Year Showcase: Jan 28 @ Complete Music Studios
SPRING 2019 SCHEDULE 14 | Classes
Feb 4, 11 | Mar 4, 18, 25 | Apr 1, 8, 29 | May 6, 20 | Jun 3, 9, 16
Annual Rock Show: June 8 @ Shapeshifter Lab, Park Slope
Teachers: Stephanie Carlin, Caroline Getz, Sam Decker
Classes meet weekly at Complete Music Studios.
Complete Music Studios, 227 St Marks Ave
(between Vanderbilt and Underhill Aves)
Prospect Heights, Brooklyn
Equipped with a relaxing waiting room and multiple restroom facilities, Complete Music Studios often has a place to park the scooters and strollers.
You can usually catch a superstar rehearsing here for shows at Barclays Center and BAM.
Nearby trains: Q train to 7th Ave, 2/3 trains to Grand Army Plaza, C train to Clinton-Washington Streets
Nearby buses: B41, B69, B67, B45
OUR YEAR LOOKS LIKE:
OCT-DEC 2018: INSTRUMENTAL & SONGWRITING TECHNIQUE
1. Elevate your instrumental and vocal technique Learn 4-6 new songs on your instrument, develop finger dexterity and strumming patters, and practice singing and strumming at the same time.
2. Emulate the musicians that inspire you Did you know Adele throws up before most of her shows?" These 3-minute YouTube clips massively impact our mindset. "Look at how Aretha walks around the entire stage while holding the mic close to her lips."
3. Get our handmade, customized 32-page practice booklet No more scattered practice sheets -- everything's inside this practice book. You'll get lifetime access to our online practice hub, too.
4. Establish a practice plan and empowering mindset. Practice doesn't have to be boring. We'll set up a plan to make it quick, habitual, and dare we say... thrilling.
JAN-MAR 2019: CREATE YOUR SONGS
1. Begin your 5 private lessons. In these 30-minute lessons, your child will write their own original song. Lessons take place right at Complete Music, either before or after your child's class time.
You'll receive a custom lesson schedule before classes start, and you get to approve all the scheduled dates and times. These 5 lessons are included in tuition ($500 value).
2. Write your group song. We'll live inside the question: "What would you write about if you knew a thousand people were listening?" Past hits include "Age Is Just A Number," "California Wildfire," "Nature (When The Sun Cries It Rains)," and dozens more.
3. Advocate for yourself and fulfill your highest vision. It took some of our staff 20 years to get the courage to say, "No, I don't want that in my song. I'd rather it this way..." We're going to teach your child to do that NOW.
MAR-APRIL 2019: RECORD YOUR SONGS
1. Be approved to record. We care about quality, and we want your child to care too. Each rocker will be approved to record their song to make sure she's confident and clear.
2. Schedule your recording session. Sessions will be live and will happen right at Complete Music Studios during class times.
3. Learn how to copyright intellectual property. Copyright your songs through the US Copyright Office (all fees included in tuition).
4. Learn how to distribute it on Spotify and Apple Music. We'll make some album art for that!
MAY-JUNE 2019: PERFORM AT YOUR RELEASE SHOW
1. Perform your band's group song. Play the song in its entirety without stopping, without prompts and cues from the teacher. Totally in your own power as an artist.
2. Perform your own song. Our professional band will back you up. Trumpet solo? Sure! Wailing lead guitar? You got it. Design your arrangement and we'll make it happen.
3. Shine at your record release party. OK, you didn't make a whole album... it's more like a single release party. But it's still SO COOL.
"THIS IS INCREDIBLE!"
"I haven't found any other program that does this with this age group. My daughter is still a little shy performing on stage, but she's improved a LOT!
It's amazing to have such small, focused classes where the kids are truly inspired to shine and are celebrated for their individuality. She went from complaining about having to go to class, to enjoying it, practicing without complaint, and even though she switched instruments mid-year, she was able to pick-up guitar and play well with kids who'd been playing for years. Thank you, Stephanie!”
- Izabela Frank, Media Producer izabelafrank.com
Once you REGISTER, we'll take care of everything...
"As soon as I registered I got an email in like 15 minutes with calendar invites for the entire year. I was able to figure out if we needed the makeup classes almost ASAP.
And once classes started, I could just drop him off and relax with a latte across the street.
Every time I picked my son up he came out smiling, and then I got an email the next day explaining everything they did in class and how I could practice with him at home.
Best part? The whole no pressure thing. If we didn't get to practice this week, the teachers were fine with it and he still was amazing at the rock show. This was really great for us!"
- Laura, busy Brooklyn momma and proud parent
YOUR KID DESERVES
COME JOIN US. CLASSES START in...
yoUR TUITION INCLUDES:
- 2 teachers in every class
- Small class sizes - 6 kids, max
- A beautiful songwriting notebook
- Weekly wrap ups of every class
- Weekly scheduling reminders via GoogleCal
- Handmade booklet of 25+ songs
- Lifetime access to the online practice hub ($197 value)
- "Trick Your Kid Into Practicing" video training for parents ($57 value)
SEPTEMBER 2018 - JUNE 2019
Full Year Tuition Includes:
- 25 weeks of intimate classes
- Perform Twice: January showcase & June record release show
- 5 private lessons outside of class to craft the individual song you'll record
- Live Studio Recording of 1 Group Songs
- Live Studio Recording of 1 Individual Song
- 100% copyright of your child's individual song belongs to him/her
- Mixing/Mastering Of Group Song(s) For Full Distribution On iTunes and Spotify
- All copyright/distribution fees associated with the U.S. Copyright Office, Spotify, and Apple Music ($250 value)
- Professionally Filmed & Edited Music Videos of The Live June Rock Show
- 3 Themed Makeup Classes (if you need to miss a few weekends)
- 2 tickets to our June rock show ($24 value)
SEPTEMBER 2018 -JANUARY 2019
Half-Year Tuition Includes:
- 13 weeks of intimate classes
- Perform in our winter showcase
- Access to 1 makeup class (if you need to miss a few weekends)
- Priority access into Spring Recording Semester
A portion of our profits will be donated to Together Rising,
who recently raised over $1M for migrant children:
specifically, they're working with the Florence Immigrant and Refugee Rights Project to represent children detained in Arizona detention centers and their families; and the Young Center for Immigrant Children’s Rights to cover the costs of lawyers and social workers on the border to provide advocacy and healing to unaccompanied, detained children.
"a dream come true."
MEET YOUR SOULFUL, COMPASSIONATE TEACHERS:
+ Stephanie Carlin
Hey there, I'm Stephanie. I am a singer-songwriter and the Founder of Free Spirits Music, and my mission is that every child gets that she is a powerful artist and her voice matters. I cannot wait to meet you.
Before I created Free Spirits Music I taught at a half-dozen music schools. The staff was underpaid and overworked. Classes were a beat up church or the basement of a school, with little to no aesthetic or equipment. Teachers did their best to squeak a couple chords out of the kids, but they had limited training on how to comfort, encourage, or nourish the profundities of their students' thoughts.
At Free Spirits Music, I've changed all that. Classes are taught in high-performing studios built for rockstars. We play rock shows with packed crowds overflowing with excitement. Every moment is action-packed with technique, power, and intimate support.
Over the past 6 years, I've supported over 1200 songwriters in dealing with self-doubt and being creative every day. I also get to write songs with children with cancer, and I have the warm support of Yoko Ono on that project. I'm an introduction leader at Landmark Worldwide and an Advanced ThetaHealing practitioner.
My name is Sam Decker, and as a versatile multi-instrumentalist, I perform and teach keyboard, drums, composition, and woodwinds.
Originally from the Chicago area, I attended New England Conservatory in Boston, where I studied with George Garzone, Jerry Bergonzi, Bob Moses, Ken Radnofsky, John McNeil, Frank Carlberg, and Cecil McBee. I also studied contemporary classical composition and improvisation with Katarina Miljkovic. During my time at NEC, I was selected to perform with John Hollenbeck, Dave Holland, Jason Moran, Lee Konitz, and under Christian Wolff during residencies, and was featured on New England Conservatory’s Jazz 40th Anniversary CD.
I am a member of the band Green and Glass and I co lead the Decker/LoRe Quartet with Alex LoRe, which released its first EP in 2012. I'm also a part of the Logan Strohsal Group, and our first record Up Go We was recently released by Sunnyside Records.
I currently teach at the Woodside Music Studio in Park Ridge NJ and I am a Teaching Artist with Arts Connection. I am a proud member of the Free Spirits Music family.
+ Caroline Getz
Hello! I'm Caroline. I'm a singer, guitarist, and songwriter. I'm a big believer in the power of self-expression, and it is my joy to help others find their voices through song.
Outside of teaching, you can find me singing jazz standards and bossa nova at downtown venues such as Zinc Bar (I go by my middle name, Ambrose Getz), or catch my band, Hexual Ceiling, groovin' at places like Rockwood Music Hall and Pianos.
I'm excited to bring the creativity + thrill of making music to each and every person who walks through our studio doors. Can't wait to create with you!!
FOLLOW THE JOURNEY OF:
THE ROYAL WARRIORS
STEP ONE: technique TIME
They started by learning 2 chords: Em and Am.
Once they got good at those, we added G and C.
They wrote a few songs with these chords and practice switching from chord to chord. We worked on using mics properly, staying inspired, and being unstoppable.
STEP TWO: CREATE YOUR SONG
"If 1000 people could hear your song,
what would you write about?"
We're starting to think of ourselves as powerful artists who could make a difference in the world. Then, they wrote their song "California Wildfire."
step three: time to record!
Next, they made a live studio recording with a sound engineer.
We mixed it, copyrighted it, and sent it it Spotify & Apple Music
step FOUR: THE BIG ROCK SHOW
Finally, The Royal Warriors performed a live arrangement of their song with with a professional backing band to an audience of 60 people at Free Spirits Music's annual rock show.
Listen to OUR STUDENTS' ORIGINAL SONGS:
WITH 300+ kids
transforming their creative mindset and creating music on their terms...
you’ll be in great company.
TESTAMONIAL: Mark Kennedy, Journalist (Aidan's dad)
"He's learned to read music, play his guitar, explain chords, play live, teach his younger brother to play and become a happy, music-crazed member of society, appreciating everything from Motley Crue to Steely Dan.
Whatever happens in that studio room allows my son to express himself and feel confident. The patience and infectiousness of the teachers clearly rubs off. I love that there's no condescension and no limits. Plus, the songs are actually pretty catchy.
I would absolutely, totally, unequivocally recommend Free Spirits Music. I would say that watching my kid perform is an absolute gift, but watching Stephanie mouthing all the words for every performance in encouragement onstage beside them is what dedication and encouragement really looks like.
Please find a way to bottle this. Confidence onstage and creating with others transcends the music studio to touch every aspect of young people's' lives. I wish I had a class like this when I was young."
TESTAMONIAL: Ayla Daley, Real Estate Salesperson (Aliyah's mom)
"Oh gosh, I just love it. Seeing these young people being supported to create from their hearts and share it with the world is so amazing and truly such a wonderful gift.
So grateful to Free Spirits for the vision and creation of such a great program that supports the individual's voice and grateful as a parent to be able to offer it to Aliyah.
This year Aliyah had much more connection with the audience and was much less nervous. More confident overall. At times I noticed that she projected more than past years too. I also loved the cohesiveness and support she and her band members shared."
TESTAMONIAL: Lazette Lafontant, Willow's mom
"Willow would not let me hear or see the song in advance so I had no idea that it would move me to tears. It was AMAZING.
The words, the melody, your harmony - I felt the song. She was so nervous and I saw the moment she looked at you and got her confidence to belt out HER SONG!
I appreciate you and all you do for these children. The space you give them to create is life changing. I listened to Willow's other performances and it is clear how much she has developed and grown under your direction."
"Since joining Free Spirits Music, Roberto has had more comfort with singing and inventiveness. I really liked the colored dots for notes. I recommend Free Spirits Music because the focus is on love of music and confidence and not perfect playing."
"I absolutely recommend Free Spirits Music. The best was the lack of pressure to be perfect at anything but instead just try. This worked for us!"
"I noticed a big difference in confidence level from the Fall to the Spring. I really like the wrap up emails and the audio/video to help her practice her songs at home. And I love the stickers for the guitar! Genius!"
+ What is your return policy?
Our classes are meticulously priced based on how many students we have. It's what keeps 6 kids/class and 2 teachers/class!
Half Year Tuition: We will happily offer a full refund up to 3 weeks prior to the first day of class. After that, your tuition is a non-refundable investment. You may transfer it to another child at no additional cost. We trust you to make a wise and thoughtful decision.
Full Year Tuition: Investing in an entire YEAR of weekend classes may feel risky, and we want you to feel so safe and taken care of:
The not-so-fine-print is that we work in a “semester” structure. If you reserve a spot for the full year, and then decide for whatever reason you don’t want to participate in the Spring Semester, we will give you the option to cancel your subscription. You’ll have that option until 3.5 weeks before the first class of the spring semester. After that, these programs are a non-refundable investment. It’s how we are able to offer small class sizes with many teachers. We trust you make a wise decision.
+ Will you feed my child?
It depends. Healthy snacks are given to students in any classes longer than 60 minutes. Please make sure your child is well fed before class - it will keep away the grumpies.
+ This seems expensive. Why should we do this instead of something cheaper?
You should always do what's best for your financial budget! We offer a high-value, high-quality learning experience. Our end-of-semester performance is superior to many music programs in NYC. All that being said, scholarships and payment plans are available!
+ We are going to miss a few classes. Can you pro-rate us?
Because keeping a small class size is important to us, we cannot offer pro-rated prices for missed classes. The tuition from every child is carefully calculated so that we can afford finest studios, concert halls, equipment, and staff. However, we offer a makeup class every semester, and we'd love to have you there.
+ Can you explain how the copyright will work?
Personal songs will be in 100% copyright to the child who wrote it, even if they had support from our staff in writing it. Right now, group songs will be copyright to Free Spirits Music, simply because we’re not able to manage the copyrights of 6 different people - it’s complex. The children will also be taught a step-by step walkthrough of how to copyright their song and why intellectual property is important.
+ What is the girl/boy ratio?
It varies every year. We really champion girls in music, and our classes show it! In the past, classes have been about 60% girls and 40% boys.
+ Do you offer scholarships?
Yes! Every year we offer 4 partial scholarships and 1 full scholarship to families who otherwise wouldn't be able to participate in our programs.
If you'd like to apply for a scholarship, please fill out the form here. Scholarship recipients will be notified in early September 2018.
+ Where is class located?
Complete Music Studios, 227 St Marks Ave, between Vanderbilt and Underhill Avenues in Prospect Heights. Next to Ample Hills Creamery.
+ How much one-on-one time does my child get with their teacher?
There are 2 teachers in every class, and classes are VERY personalized and custom-created to each child's individual needs. Private lessons are the perfect addition to these custom classes. Superstar Songwriters have lessons included in their tuition, and Mini Singer Songwriters can purchase a 5-pack. Lessons happen the same day as class, either before or after class time.
+ Is the Free Spirits Music community really all that and a bag of chips?
It really is! The Free Spirits Music community is one of the most vibrant, supportive communities you can possibly join.
It’s a safe place for your chld to explore their confidence blocks with no arrogance or judgemental people.
Everyone is rooting for their success. It's so special.
+ What should I do if I have a question that isn't listed here?
Email firstname.lastname@example.org and we'll get you the answer!