Chicago Songwriting Lessons

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Popular Songwriting Teachers Near Chicago

Daniel A.

Schaumburg, IL
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Kirk M.

Joliet, IL
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Dan P.

Morton Grove, IL
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Daniel A. Schaumburg, IL

Subjects Taught

Acoustic Guitar, Arrangement and Composition, Bongo, Calligraphy, Choir, Classical Voice, Composition, Ear Training, Film Scoring, Gospel Singing, Guitar, Kung Fu, Meditation, Music Performance, Music Recording, Music Theory, Philosophy, Piano, Public Speaking, Religious Studies, Singing, Songwriting, Study Skills, Tai Chi Chuan, Vocal Training, Writing

About Me

My name is Daniel. Jazz piano and vocal instruction are my two main areas of expertise. However, I have also been composing, recording, and playing guitar almost my entire life. I fully believe in music not only for entertainment and personal enjoyment, but for many other means. Beyond its capacity for being used as entertainment, music aids in learning, helps develop advanced motor skills, increases memory function, and many other purposes for a well rounded education. It is my goal to help educate the next generation in traditional music practices as well as incorporate new techniques that are relevant to our current day and age.

*** Lesson Details ***
Lesson plans vary from person to person. I always make it a point to get to know the student's existing musical knowledge, goals, and background before I create a personalized lesson plan. All important concepts are covered as they are needed so students can understand theoretical concepts based upon actual application and usage. In short, I teach in a way that students can "dig in" right away and play, create, improvise, sing and/or compose freely and naturally. I always encourage students or parents to contact me with their goals, previous musical training, etc., and discuss what they really want out of lessons so they can get the most out of taking me on as an instructor.

*** Studio Equipment ***
Acoustic and Electric piano, Digital Recording Studio, Extensive library and teaching resources

*** Specialties ***
*Teachers marked as a Student
Has taught a minimum of 25 lessons and has received the highest
feedback rating from students.Jazz Piano, Composition, Choral

Kirk M. Joliet, IL

Subjects Taught

Guitar, Music Theory, Piano, Singing, Songwriting

About Me

About two decades ago, I bought my first guitar from a pawn shop in Las Vegas and have been playing and loving guitar ever since. During and after college, I spent most of my time in the music scene of Las Vegas. I also spent much of that time (about 12 years) studying and gathering information about playing guitar and music composition.

Benefits from taking these lessons...
I have years of music theory, guitar education, self teaching and playing experience. The unique lesson course I have developed can easily benefit any student. From the very first lesson, I teach the universal language of music theory (the structure of all music) and show how to apply the theory to the entire guitar. With such knowledge, a student can not only play the guitar, but also apply the same knowledge to many other instruments. A student can also read music, write songs, improvise, understand how to make music, and know why music works the way it does. Once a student has mastered the basics of music structure, they can play music with other players and even teach others how to play.

*** Lesson Details ***
What students can expect when taking lessons?
Upon arriving at my home, the student will be greeted by my smiling face. We will then continue to the roomy, open and comfortable studio space, featuring computers and musical instruments for both the student and the teacher. We will start by talking about the student'™s goals, ambitions and about how much or little the student already knows about playing the guitar. We will also talk about what will be expected and go over a basic outline of what will be taught. At the same time, I will be taking notes so we can monitor the student'™s desired progress in the future. First the student will learn a hand strength exercise to use every day to warm up and strengthen the fingers and wrist. We then immediately start the lessons at the very beginning of basic guitar theory, no matter what the student already knows or does not know. We will go through the lessons as fast as the student'™s previous knowledge allows or as slow as the student'™s limitations dictate. Before leaving, the student will be reminded what to practice and receive a small preview about upcoming lessons (I do this to keep them motivated and excited). Throughout every lesson, I continually remain aware of the student's facial expressions and struggles. I will stop to explain the lessons in more detail if needed and/or assure the student that we will continue to go over it again until they fully understand everything.

What curriculum is being used?
I teach using the timeless system of music theory as applied to the guitar. This form of learning music, educates the guitar student, in a way that reading tablature or memorizing a few songs and chords can not. By learning music this way right from the beginning, a student understands what makes music sound great. I also integrate my trademarked Lesson Mode of the Day routines, so that the student has daily exercises they can practice at home, to keep them focused and motivated.

After 6 months or so, what will a student learn?
By learning these lessons in this format, a guitar student should start to be familiar with all the common; modes scales, chords and arpeggios and be able to play them in every key over the entire fret board within 5-6 months, (much sooner for actively participating students). A student should also be able to understand how all the lesson elements relate and fit together. Within just a few months more, the student should be able to move on to the ever popular and very fun, œimprovising and writing lessons, which we will be doing together, along with computer generated background music.

Are the lessons strict or laid back?
I show students how music is structured in an easy laid back way, which students of all ages can understand and enjoy practicing. All my students and I have lots of fun learning guitar this way, by actually learning and not just memorizing. Nothing makes me feel better than seeing a students face light up with those many œah ha moments of understanding!

*** Studio Equipment ***
Electric guitars
Classical Guitars
Keyboard Synth
Music composing software
Guitars Amps
Guitar effect sound processor

*** Travel Equipment ***
I provide no equipment, but do provide paperwork or web samples. I expect my students to have a guitar.

*** Specialties ***
I use a trademarked method program I created for a software program which gives students daily guitar theory lessons in a logical order to show how all the popular scales, chords and arpeggios work/relate together in every key and over the entire fretboard. Then I teach them to apply what they learned to song writing. I specialize in rock music.

Dan P. Morton Grove, IL

Subjects Taught

Acoustic Guitar, Arrangement and Composition, Bluegrass Guitar, Blues Guitar, Classical Guitar, Composition, Country Guitar, Ear Training, Guitar, Music Performance, Music Theory, Songwriting

About Me

*** Travel Equipment ***
I would bring my guitar, metronome, pen, etc.
The students should have their own guitar and amp if electric.
They should also have the appropriate books - mel bay note reading and a blank music staff and tab book.

*** Specialties ***
My method focuses on learning scales, chords & arpeggios and then showing the student how to apply them through knowledge of music theory. They will learn how to create music on their own as well as understand the music they listen to. I will also show my students how to play various popular songs and how to improvise. My areas of expertise are in rock, pop, blues, rockabilly, metal, country and jazz. I also teach note reading, fingerstyle and classical guitar.

Brett R.

Chicago, IL
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David B.

Chicago, IL
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Christopher M.

Chicago, IL
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Brett R. Chicago, IL

Subjects Taught

Guitar, Music Performance, Music Recording, Songwriting

About Me

Brett is a professional guitar player with more than 20 years of experience. Brett's music can be heard on more than 80 network and cable television shows. These include The Office, Oprah, My Name Is Earl, King of the Hill, Access Hollywood, MTV's The Real World, Saving Grace, and Guiding Light. Brett has also composed and performed music on commercials for Wal-Mart and Pacific Gas & Electric. In addition, he regularly performs at weddings, corporate events, and restaurants in the Chicago area.

Over the years, Brett has maintained a roster of 30 or more guitar students, ranging in age from seven to 70. The reason for his success is that Brett makes lessons fun. Regardless of your musical taste and personal goals, he teaches you what you want to learn.

*** Lesson Details ***
Brett likes to tailor lessons to the needs and goals of the student. Beginners will likely start with a standard lesson book and grow from there. More advanced players may want to spend time learning their favorite songs, "jamming," or focusing on specific aspects of their playing such as improvisation ("soloing") or rhythm guitar. All students should expect noticeable improvement over a three-to-six-month period, and be able to transcend merely playing notes and chords, but instead learning to play songs.

*** Studio Equipment ***
Electric guitar, acoustic guitar, bass guitar, amps, music stands and lesson books

*** Travel Equipment ***
Brett can happily provide extra guitars, lesson books, and music stands if that will make it more convenient for the student. For best results, students should have a decent guitar, lesson book, and music stand at home for practicing.

*** Specialties ***
*Teachers marked as a Student Favorite have taught a minimum of 25
lessons and have received the highest feedback rating from students.Rock, Blues, Pop, Singer-Songwriter

David B. Chicago, IL

Subjects Taught

Bass Guitar, Clarinet, Drum, Flute, Guitar, Music Performance, Music Recording, Music Theory, Percussion, Piano, Songwriting

About Me

Originally from Indiana, David has been teaching music in both the private and public school sectors for 12 years. Getting his start as a drumline instructor with only 4 students, David soon expanded his teaching to include both guitar and piano, which he studied under Frank Puzzulo (of Miles Davis' group) at Ball State University in Muncie, Indiana.

Upon graduating Ball State, David moved to Colorado to study jazz and classical music with Dr. Douglas Walter, an accomplished percussionist who is known for his versatility and multiple percussion talents. He also studied piano and guitar in his off time, jamming with several rock and jazz groups both in and out of school.

In 2006, David left the college scene with a Masters in Music and moved to Florida where he began his teaching career. In Florida, David taught roughly 70 students, ages 5 to 18, at Wewahitchka High School and Middle School. He was beloved by the town, helping out in the community as a local organist for the Presbyterian Church and as a frequent contributor to Wednesday night worship.

As wonderful as this time was, David gave up the gators and swamps to move back home to Indiana in 2007. Here, he took a job at Kokomo High School and Maple Crest Middle school where he resumed teaching students from 5th graders to seniors in all areas of music, including wind, strings/guitar and percussion. David established the first ever "rock and roll" class at the high school in 2008, a program that started with only 5 students and has ballooned to 38 in this current year! The class consisted of guitars, keyboards, bass and drums, all of which David can teach at a professional level.

Most recently, David graduated with his second Masters in Jazz Performance from DePaul University. He studied primarily with professor Ron Perillo, unquestionably the most innovative piano player in Chicago and with Bob Palmieri, a gifted guitarist. Having now graduated, David is devoting himself full time to teaching private students and looks very much forward to working with you!

*** Lesson Details ***
Although David has a laid back personality and approach to life, he takes his job very seriously. He prides himself in not being the kind of teacher who is there simply to entertain and hope the student learns something in the process. Though you will most certainly have a good time, you should only take from him if you really want to become a great musician/player. Having been a highly qualified public school teacher for 5 years, David has more experience than most private teachers you can find. He knows what it takes to achieve greatness and he knows that most students, in the end, respect that more than a half hour "jam session."

David will tailor his curriculum to each student. Every student is expected to have a notebook with staff paper and a pencil at their lesson. Students will also be assigned a book to purchase (in some cases more than one) and he/she will progress through it at a pace appropriate to his or her level.

More than anything, what you will see in David's lessons is his love for music and teaching music. It is truly a special thing to be gifted in this art, and he believes that anyone who is willing to put in the time, the effort and the dedication needed will be rewarded and enriched in the end.

David is also available for online lessons via Skype! He loves taking advantage of this modern technology in his lessons and is happy to take on new students in this format.

*** Studio Equipment ***
He has a fully weighted digital piano, electronic keyboard, acoustic guitar, bass guitar, clarinet, flute and various percussion equipment in a room completely devoted to music. Can accommodate seating for parents.

*** Travel Equipment ***
I can bring my own guitar/bass, but any drum lessons or piano lessons would require the student to have the necessary instrument at home.

*** Specialties ***
I specialize in non-wind instruments, especially drums, percussion, bass guitar, piano and rock guitar. I consider myself extremely versatile with various styles and genres. Piano lessons are taught on a wonderful, fully weighted 88 key keyboard. I apply several teaching methods to reach as many kids as possible, with a focus on hands-on learning.

*Teachers marked as a Student Favorite have taught a minimum of 25 lessons and have received the highest
feedback rating from students.

Christopher M. Chicago, IL

Subjects Taught

Bass Guitar, Guitar, Music Performance, Music Theory, Piano, Songwriting, Violin

About Me

Currently serving as the Principal Educator at Rico Music and Art Center (RMAC) for the past two years. RMAC is a busy music center in Chicago at Six Corners (Cicero & Irving Park) where I teach private lessons and manage the day-to-day business. I inspire and motivate colleagues and students of all ages alike, to achieve our goals and seek higher levels of learning.

1. I am comfortable teaching private or group lessons for Piano, Guitar, Bass Guitar, Violin, Music Performance, Music Theory, and Composition.
2. I have lifelong experience in the arts from private lessons, Interlochen Center for the Arts, and Columbia College Chicago. (B.A. in 2014)
3. My specialties are classical music and modern rock genres.

My recent history begins from my graduation from McBain Public High School in Michigan, where I received my diploma in 2005.

- 2005-2008 As soon as high school graduation was over, I was on tour almost non-stop with Deja Normal (Mike Mains and the Branches) Arescyn (Static Factory Records) playing the piano/bass/vocals and taking an intimate role with the song and lyric writing. Tens of thousands of miles traveled with hundreds of performances from the East coast to the West to play the smallest of venues tucked away in the woods of West Virginia to major music events such as Vans Warped Tour dates.

- 2008-2010 Left the touring road to start an event lighting company (Light it Up/ EDC Productions/GOBI Project), which lead me to Chicago where I ran my business efficiently, while still practicing music.

- 2010-2012 Ended my lighting business and became a part time student at Columbia College Chicago pursuing degrees in music composition and piano performance. By making new connections, I began teaching at RMAC and taking on creative music projects to compose music for student films. (Films are available upon request)

- 2013- Present I Now my repertoire includes Bach, Mozart, Rachmaninoff, Chopin, Debussy, and more. Studying with the masters of the field such as Columbia College Head of the Composition Dept. Dr. Marcos Balter, Dr. Ilya Levinson, University of Chicago Piano Performance Dr. Amy Briggs, and many others continue to share their great insight to the fine details of music and life.

I am very excited about my future in music within the educational realm, by the magnificent challenge that it provides. Hopefully, by sharing my perspective with my friends, colleagues, students, we can share the great feeling of accomplishment together.

*** Lesson Details ***

I follow the ABRSM examination syllabus with my students so that if they desire to receive a internationally recognized certification of achievement, they may do so at any point. This means having the skills and understanding necessary to achieve the levels of examination offered by ABRSM.

Which include :
-Scales and Arpeggios
-Memorized Music
-Sight Reading Music
-Listening Skills

What motivates my lessons

To better inform the importance of how, what, and why we learn music. Generating scientific minds that think more clearly and to act more decisively by using concepts from the psychological studies of nurturing and comfort at University of Wisconsin-Madison by Dr. Harlow and "Motivation and Reward in Learning" at Yale University by Dr. Miller and Dr. Hart. This creates a better learning process of music for the student, family, and teacher to instill a desire to achieve excellence in the student. My approach is unique but most similar to the Suzuki method, with plenty of ear training by using music the student already knows. A student must develop their ability to interpret music with their own unique potential and build confidence in themselves. When learning new music, students need to be guided step by step to clearly point out areas of needed improvement. Lot's of performance opportunities is crucial to the learning process, it is the best tool to further refine their practice and performance skills.

By increasing their self awareness, along with building memory skills, the student should be free to chase their definition of perfection. This approach is healthy and fun, founded on the principles of doing what is right for the student, family, and teacher. This will serves us best in the moment, and in the long run.

*** Studio Equipment ***
6 Spinet Pianos
40 Electric/Classical/Acoustic Guitars and Bass Guitars (all sizes for guitars)
20 Violins (all sizes)
Hundreds of books by many different authors and publishers
and so much more!

*** Specialties ***
Classical music and modern rock genres, most similar to the Suzuki method.

Songwriting With TakeLessons

TakeLessons offers private in-studio and in-home Songwriting in Chicago and nearby areas. Learn how write songs by working with a qualified TakeLessons instructor. Review Chicago Songwriting teacher profiles and contact a friendly TakeLessons student counselor by phone or email for assistance with scheduling your Songwriting lessons.

Whether you are a beginner Songwriting student, intermediate Songwriting student, or advanced Songwriting student, a TakeLessons Instructor can help you learn or enhance your Songwriting skills. Your choices for a Chicago Songwriting instructor come from a variety of backgrounds, making it easy to find one that matches your interests and skill level. Each Songwriting instructor's specialties are listed on their profile, along with helpful details like ...

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