Our Story

Bright Lights Music Academy opened in the Spring of 2017 to fill a music education void present in the Manayunk neighborhood of Philadelphia.  Our mission is simply to foster and encourage individual growth through private music instruction.  Our instructors are active members of the local community who are passionate about sharing their musical experience and talents with others.  We're currently enrolling students for private lessons in piano, voice, musical theatre, guitar, drum set, snare drum, saxophone, clarinet and flute. 

Why choose us? 

Our team is comprised of instructors who are passionate about music education, who want to build a musical community in Manayunk and the surrounding neighborhoods through education.  We strive to build a personal relationship with our students and their families and go the extra mile to ensure an enlightening and positive experience for each student who comes through our door.  This is different than the music lesson "factories" which shuffle students in and out, or impersonal teacher referral services.  Our instructors are chosen for their ability to adjust their teaching style for the individual needs of each student, therefore, there is not a standard curriculum forced on all students. We focus on identifying music which will motivate the student to continue to learn while encouraging growth through exploration of styles which may be new to the student. We also offer two recitals per year at our large facility in Manayunk.  This gives students a unique opportunity to showcase their talents to family and friends and track their progress as developing musicians. 

Mark Kuczynski - Director / Drum Set & Guitar Instructor

Mark is a graduate of Saint Joseph's University and has been playing music for over 25 years.  He grew up near Philadelphia, studying for 6 years with master drum educator Mike Merlino, learning complex rock, jazz and Latin patterns as well as the rudiments of drumming.  Performing since his late teenage years, his extensive performance experience has taken him to celebrated music venues such as the 9:30 Club and Rock and Roll Hotel in Washington DC, as well as overseas, touring across multiple countries in Northern Europe.  He currently performs weekly at some of the largest music venues, high-capacity clubs and casinos and vacation destinations throughout the United States and Caribbean Islands.  Over the past nine years as a music instructor, Mark has taught hundreds of students throughout the Philadelphia metropolitan area, learning every day from his students, fellow instructors and his mentors. He prides himself on being well-rounded and versatile, a product of his formal education at Saint Joseph's University.  Mark has experience teaching students of all ages and levels, and encourages everyone to explore their musical interests to the fullest.  In addition to music, Mark is passionate about all Philly sports teams, has competed in half-marathons and long distance road races, and enjoys a friendly tennis match.  


Our Team

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Nicole Renna - Voice, Musical Theatre and Piano Instructor

Born and raised in southern New Jersey, Nicole Renna is an actor and classically trained soprano. Nicole completed her Master of Music degree in Voice Performance at Temple University. She also holds a Bachelor of Music degree in Music Education from Rutgers University. She is an active performer in the Philadelphia area and has worked with the Arden Theatre Company and Mauckingbird Theatre.  While performing is very important to Nicole, she has been a passionate and dedicated private voice and piano teacher for ten years. Her voice students have gone on to major in music at the collegiate level, perform leading roles in their school musicals, and even compete on NBC's The Voice. Nicole believes that music is one of the ultimate forms of creative expression, and that any genre can and should be performed with healthy and efficient technique and musicality. She strives to cultivate performers who are master musicians as well as exciting storytellers!

Isak Gaines - Saxophone, Clarinet, Flute, Guitar, Piano Instructor

Award-winning composer, producer, and multi-instrumentalist Isak Gaines is an artist who has embraced a broad array of styles and influences. His chamber pieces have received international attention. His jazz compositions have been featured in Downbeat Magazine. His saxophone playing has brought him to some of the biggest stages of Europe, South America, and the United States. Born and raised in Seattle, Isak moved to New York in 2014 to study at the New School for Jazz and Contemporary Music. It was there he connected with his greatest mentor - Grammy award winning producer Robert Sadin - under whose oversight he wrote and recorded his first major chamber and orchestral pieces. The instruction provided by Robert and several other key teachers proved to be vital to Isak’s growth as an artist, and it’s with this spirit of mentorship; of working with a student to help them find and cultivate their unique musical voice, that Isak continues to expand his teaching portfolio. He graduated from the New School in May 2018 with a BFA in jazz performance and a minor in classical composition, shortly before relocating to Philadelphia where, along with frequent returns to New York, he is currently active.