Tuning up a guitar in Manhattan's Washington Square Park
Guide to NYC Things to Do

Guide to City Living for Music Lovers

July 2, 2018

New York’s music scene is unrivaled throughout the world, but you don’t need to be a lifelong musician to take advantage of the many resources available in the city’s creative community. Here are just a few of the best musical institutions where you can learn an instrument, find a teacher, or book a rehearsal space to learn or master the musical instrument of your choice.

Music Lessons

Williamsburg School of Music

400 Bedford Avenue
Brooklyn, NY 11211

This family-operated music school makes learning music a fun and creative process, offering private instruction in guitar, bass, woodwinds, and more. It also offers group courses for adults wishing to learn guitar, drums, or ukulele in a warm, friendly setting.

Brooklyn Conservatory of Music

58 7th Avenue
Brooklyn, NY 11217

The Brooklyn Conservatory of Music is a beloved neighborhood resource for music instruction, offering group classes and private lessons in every major musical instrument as well as top-notch Suzuki-method training and innovative music therapy. Students looking to explore new genres of music can try the school’s Klezmer Ensemble, Jazz Vocal ensemble, or Community Brass Band.

Vienna Music

41-08 Bell Boulevard
Bayside, NY 11361

Since making its debut in 2013, Vienna Music in Queens has built a reputation for high-quality classical instrument and voice training for ages three and up. Offering group lessons, individual lessons, rehearsal studios, and concert space, Vienna Music is a one-stop-shop for musical excellence.

Sage Music

44-02 23rd Street, Suite #414
Long Island City, NY 11101 

More than just a music school, Sage Music is a community of music lovers of all ages, walks of life, and musical skill levels. Sage Music’s philosophy revolves around empowering students with the skills they need to “play any song,” and its consistent excellence has won it the Queens Courier title of “Best Art School in Queens.”

Dan Smith Will Teach You Guitar

Broadway & 72nd Street
Manhattan, NY 10023

Although Dan’s marketing signs are no longer on every cafe bulletin board and phone booth in Manhattan, Dan Smith will teach you guitar—as long as you take at least one class per week. His lessons are well-reviewed, cost $125 per hour, and are conducted at his Upper West Side studio.

Silver Music

218 West 72nd Street
New York, NY 10023

This music school and summer camp works to foster an appreciation for music in children at an early age, offering classes for young people from babies to teenagers. With regular recitals, outreach performances throughout the community, and a yearly festival, Silver Music provides the motivation that children need to flourish.


Music Shops

Main Drag Music

330 Wythe Avenue
Brooklyn, NY 11211

This is Williamsburg’s prime spot for new and vintage guitars, drums, keyboards, amplifiers and more, in all price ranges. Every item has been handpicked by the store’s staff of professional musicians, and the place is full of unusual effect pedals and acoustic instruments you never knew you needed.


Rudy’s Music

461 Broome Street
New York, NY 10013

Since opening its doors in 1978, Rudy’s Music has been the city’s go-to guitar store for acoustic and electric models alike. The store’s owner, Rudy Pensa, is a highly-respected guitar builder known for his first-rate service and guitar-savvy. More than just a store, Rudy’s is a shrine to rock music’s favorite instrument.


Rogue Music

220 West 30th Street
New York, NY 10001

An audiophile’s dream house, Rogue Music is the spot to track down used and vintage analog equipment. With a well-stocked store and professional team of repair technicians, Rogue is the place to find or fix your most treasured musical instruments and accessories.


Astoria Music

34-17 28th Avenue
Astoria, NY 11103

Selling everything from keyboards to speakers to banjos, Astoria Music has a well-rounded supply of state-of-the-art instruments and a wide range of repair services.


Rehearsal Spaces

Rivington Music Rehearsal Studios

188 Stanton Street
New York, NY 10002

Located in the city’s music mecca of the Lower East Side, Rivington Music Rehearsal Studios has offered New York musicians affordable rehearsal space for the past 30 years. Today, it boasts newly-refurbished, state-of-the-art studios starting at just $20/hour.


Threshold Recording Studios NYC

440 West 41st Street
New York, NY 10036

Threshold Recording Studios NYC facilities include a world class recording studio rich in 20+ years of NYC music history as well as a fully stocked rehearsal space complete with upright and electric piano, amps, instruments, and full backline. The rehearsal room starts at $40.00 per hour with a two hour minimum and is by appointment only. For higher end writing sessions and rehearsals, the recording studio’s live room is also available for rent.


The Sweatshop

262 Meserole Street
Brooklyn, NY 11206

The Sweatshop aims to provide affordable pricing to NYC musicians, and offers a range of rooms with hourly rates from $18 to $38, depending on the size of the room and equipment offered. Reservations are required and rooms can be booked for a minimum of one hour.


If you’re looking for an alternative space to rehearse with your band, check out nyc.spacefinder.org for a range of options ranging from Flatbush, Brooklyn to Woodside, Queens, to Harlem, Manhattan, and everywhere in between.

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