The John Payne Music Center is a non-profit music school founded in 1979 dedicated to providing high quality, caring, and patient instruction to all ages and skill levels with an emphasis on increasing musical enjoyment as well as ability.
No registration fees.
What We Do
The Teachers at the JPMC offer private music lessons on saxophone, flute, clarinet, recorder, piano, guitar, ukulele, bass, trumpet, trombone, baritone horn, violin, drums, and voice. We have 20 small ensembles (student bands), some for adults, some for kids, at various levels and musical styles.
We hire instructors for their talents as patient teachers who enjoy teaching complete beginners, as well as more advanced students, in the family-like atmosphere of the JPMC. We are a small school of about 200 students so we can take time to help students find the teacher or group that makes them happy. You can take just one private lesson or a session with an ensemble group and see how you like it with no obligation to continue or pay for more.
Many schools require students to pay for a full semester of lessons before they've even met the instructor. Here you cantry a lesson or ensemble group just once, and can quit at any time on one week's notice, not just at the end of a predefined semester. (See our Contact page to get in touch with us.)
We also get students who are interested playing in public. For more than thirty years our ensembles (student small bands) have been playing several times per year at our "Battle of the Student Bands" at Ryles', one of the Boston area's best known jazz clubs, as well as at local arts festivals and other events. Most of these groups are jazz ensembles, but we also have rock, blues, and Latin ensembles.
AT NEARLY 60, A WOMAN FOUND POWER PLAYING ELECTRIC BASS
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."
News & Upcoming Events
John Payne will be on tour with David Bromberg later this month in Virginia, New Jersey, or New York. For more details, visit www.davidbromberg.net/
JPMC ensemble The Next Band recently played at a Brandeis University banquet and also for Boston's Project Place, an organization to support the homeless.
JPMC ensemble Stoli performed at Kehillath Israel's annual gala. Guests included Congressman Joseph Kennedy III and a surprise visit by Robert Kraft. They will play a private event at Biogen in Cambridge later in May.
The Shimon Ben-Shir Group once again appeared as part of Roslindale's Jazz in the Square concert series, celebrating Shimon's new CD "IV" and Duncan Martin's "Song for Sandy." Joining them were JPMC instructors John Payne, Dan Weiner, Diana Fischer and Phil Neighbors.
Duncan Martin's CD, Song for Sandy, was released in September. It was recorded at PBS Studio in Westwood, MA and includes JPMC Instructors: Diane Wernick, Diana Fischer, John Turner, Phil Neighbors, Andy Solberg, Peter Kenagy, Ririka Tokushige and Shimon Ben-Shir.
Steve Lehman, former student of JPMC Sax instructor, Duncan Martin, is the recipient of a 2014 Doris Duke Artist Award, an unrestricted prize of $275,000 awarded to "American performing artists of exceptional creativity." Steve also was a participant in the Milton Academy Jazz Ensembles led by long-time JPMC ensemble instructor Bob Sinicrope. Randy Weston, Oliver Lake, Don Byron, Vijay Iyer, Bill Frisell and Meredith Monk are among previous recipients.
Jonah Livingston, former student of JPMC drum instructor, Mick Lewander, has signed with Prosthetic Records, and is touring the US and Europe with the band, Ramming Speed.
Ensemble instructor Andy Solberg's CD of original tunes, has been released. Ensemble instructor Phil Neighbors joins him on drums.
Guitar/Bass instructor Peter Cicco is writing an instruction book on Pentatonic Chord Voicings for Guitar.
Guitar/Bass instructor Dan Weiner and voice/piano instructor Diana Fischer recorded a TV broadcast for Boston Community Cable. (Hear excerpts on YouTube: Transmission Hour Weiner and Fisher)
FROM 6 TO 18-YEARS-OLD, THEY PERFORM JAZZ LIVE WHERE THE PROS PLAY.
John Payne Music Center Youth ensembles show off their chops and passion at Ryles jazz club in Cambridge.
Ask these young musicians what kind of music they like and it wouldn’t likely be what most of their contemporaries would say: rock, pop or hip hop. MORE likely they’d say Miles Davis or George Gershwin. THESE kids are JAZZERS.
piano/keyboard lessons - violin lessons - clarinet lessons - saxophone lessons - flute lessons - recorder lessons - trumpet lessons
trombone lessons - baritone horn lessons - french horn lessons - tuba lessons - singing lessons - jazz ensembles & student bands.