Family Music Lessons

in Washington, DC area with Boogie Bennie from Rocknoceros



Parents at Rocknoceros shows frequently tell me that they wish they had kept playing the piano, and I tell them, "start playing again." Music is fun to play, and it's good for your brain. Inevitably, these parents then tell me how much they HATED to practice, at which point I tell them that they were probably learning how to READ music rather than to PLAY music.

After years of traditional piano lessons (as both teacher and student), I have concluded that the formidable task of learning to READ music will often get in the way of learning to PLAY music. 

Reading music is a difficult skill to learn that requires a LOT of time and patience. There are no exceptions to this rule.

Playing music is a skill that comes effortlessly to many people.

So let's play music! We'll learn the notation that serves us along the way, but the most important thing is that we learn to play and to feel the music.

Ultimately, music is heard and felt. It is not seen and read. 


Music is most fun when played with other people. I encourage the whole family to participate. My experience is that children of age 6 are really ready to explore how music works. I like to start them (and their parents) on the ukulele. We strum the chords, and we sing the songs. Even some toddlers will join the fun and will howl along (but don’t expect toddlers to be engaged for the full hour.)

Most of my students are playing the ukulele; some are playing the piano; and some are playing both. Some are reading and writing music in standard notation, but most are not. Most are families, but some are individuals. My youngest student is approximately 3 years old, my oldest is 76.

The lessons are at your home in the Washington, DC area, and cost $75/hour.


“Learning about music from Marc has been a very special gift to our family.  We are ever so grateful for him.” - Tupelo & Bodhi Cash

“I find it amazing how much we have learned and how much fun we have had. My kids absolutely adore him.” - Kaycie B

“Marc is the best music teacher I’ve had.  His warm, fun, engaging style works wonderfully with kids and adults.” - Keith K

“Marc is a pure musician and a delightful human.  He taught my daughter and I how to play ukulele and then encouraged my daughter to start learning piano.  Her confidence grew as she learned and she had the courage to try out for and perform at her school talent show.  She blew everyone away with her singing and playing all thanks to Marc’s encouragement and lessons.  I couldn’t recommend him more highly.  He’s a kind, gentle soul who brought our family so much joy.” - Kristin S


The man known as Boogie Woogie Bennie to Rocknoceros fans, was born Marc Capponi. He graduated from James Madison University with a degree in chemistry, while also studying music theory and music composition. He worked for several years as a chemist and teaching high school chemistry in Fairfax County, before transitioning to music full-time in the year 2000.

Marc has earned 8 Washington Area Music Awards as a composer, solo artist, and as a member of Rocknoceros. He has performed at The Kennedy Center, Lollapalooza, Austin City Limits, the 9:30 Club, and Wolftrap. His original compositions have been licensed and heard on MTV and the History Channel. He is a proud member of Rocknoceros.


Boogie and Cash perform Clementine

More ukulele tutorial videos here.


If you live in the Washington, DC area, and have questions, please contact me!

email: marccapponi @ gmail. com

phone area code (202) number: 421 - 8533