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Guitar Lessons in Aurora: Your Guide to the Local Music Scene

By Ryan B – Aurora Guitar Teacher

Are you thinking of taking guitar lessons in Aurora? The market may not be as large as Chicago (obviously), but there are still a lot of great, unique resources for new and experienced guitar players. From gear shops to music venues and festivals, there's a lot to love about the guitar scene in Aurora.

Here are some of the places you should check out when you’re taking guitar lessons in Aurora:

Hix Bros Music (https://www.hixbrosmusic.com/)

Hix Bros is the second or third happiest place on Earth, as it says on one of their eponymous bumper stickers. If you're looking for a guitar, amp, or any other musical equipment, this independent music store is a great place to start. The staff is friendly and very knowledgeable. They even organize a guitar marching band for local parades!

Blues on the Fox (http://riveredgeaurora.com/events/blues-fox-fest-2015/)

There is a solid line up of blues musicians every year in June at RiverEdge Park. With a good mix of classic blues performers and up-and-coming artists, it's a fun way to spend a weekend listening to some blues and guitar in a scenic, relaxing setting. RiverEdge Park is also a great place to experience music any other time of the year.

Two Brother's Roundhouse (http://www.twobrothersbrewing.com/roundhouse/entertainment/)

One of my favorite venues in the area and a great brewery to boot, Two Brother's brings in a wide variety of bands from bluegrass to funk. One thing’s for sure though, when you go see their music you're bound to see some great guitarists and get a good sampling of the different ways the guitar can be utilized.

Backthird Audio (http://www.backthird.com/studio/)

If you want to do some recording but don't want to go the DIY route, Backthird Audio is your local neighborhood solution. Located in downtown Aurora, it's a cool local studio that offers a wide variety of options to record your next project. From less expensive, affordable options to full professional recordings, they've got you covered. The studio also doubles as an intimate venue for more personal concerts.

There’s a lot to love about the music scene in Aurora, and this is just a small sampling of some of my favorite places. If you're looking for lessons, Takelessons has a variety of friendly, knowledgeable teachers to help you on your way to becoming a guitar master!

I’m here to help, especially if you're looking to go in the folk/fingerpicking direction, but regardless of your interests, you can find a teacher to help you pursue your passion. Thanks and happy picking!

Profile_29258_pi_image

Matthew N.

Naperville, IL

Matthew has studied guitar for over 15 years. He has played professionally in the Chicago area for over ten years.

About Matthew

Matthew N. has been an educator and performer in the Chicago area and suburbs for over 10 years. Currently holding a studio of nearly 30 students he has become one of the area's many successful private instructors. Teaching piano, drums, and guitar Matthew can accommodate any student's needs and musical ambitions in those areas.

Matthew has studied at the collegiate level at the University of Iowa and holds a Bachelors in Percussion Performance. He has also been performing professionally at many of Chicago's finest venues for many years. Matthew is an audio engineer certified in Pro Tools a
nd Logic Pro, which are industry standard programs. Students are able to record and learn the art of production as they learn their instrument if they so choose. This allows students to hear themselves and learn from their performance as well as share their passion with family and friends as they create music.

Students are encouraged to pursue whatever moves them and are never restricted to any one type of practicing or playing. The main goal is to allow the student to find his or her own path in music and develop their own abilities in whatever way they see fit.

BM in Percussion Performance
University of Iowa

Studied with:
Dr. Dan Moore, Vern Spevak, Chic Evans, Ron Spaeth, Jim Dreier

Received Music Scholarship to attend U of Iowa

Conservatory of Recording Arts & Sciences
-Received Many Certifications and Degree
-Certified in Pro Tools Recording Software

*** Lesson Details ***
Students will have full access during lesson time to recording equipment. The best way to learn how to improve is to listen to yourself play. The student will be able to take home recordings of themselves and study what they can work on, helping them to make the decision on what they would like to improve on.

Students are encouraged to use Alfreds Method Books for Snare and Drum Set, Riley Books, and the Chester book for independence. Also, I teach the Faber Piano Adventures Series. Alfred's and Hal Leonard for guitar.

A cancellation 24hrs in advance is always appreciated.
...

Reviews

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Leman S. September 6, 2016
Piano · In home
Verified Student
Matt is great we are very happy with him
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Mitch September 5, 2016
Drum · In studio
Verified Student
Can't wait to start up again!
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Cole H. April 22, 2016
Piano · In home
Verified Student
Cole is 10 and has already progressed. Matt is great with him, I would highly recommend him
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Matthew N.

Matthew N.

Naperville, IL 60565
(13)
starting at
$32 / 30-min
271756_wyfm3ljjgnf84zcqd8t3

Eric M.

Villa Park, IL

I play guitar with my band and enjoy playing worship music as well.

About Eric

I am a professional musician who enjoys helping young people reach their musical goals. I perform regularly as a solo act and play with a band at various hotels in Chicago. I went to Millikin University in Decatur for music where I toured the country and played and sang in the top ensembles. I also studied at the Music Industry Workshop in Chicago for music production and engineering. My goal is to help you learn the songs you love and show you how to make the technical side of music more fun than you ever imagined!

*** Lesson Details ***
You can expect a laid back atmosphere that is v
ery productive. I use a custom curriculum that is catered to the needs and desires of the individual. Whether you would like to be a concert pianist, a jazzy horn player, or someone who wants to rock out to your favorite tunes, I have resources and experience to help you reach your goal. After three months you can expect to competently play a couple great songs and have greater fluidity and technique on your instrument.

*** Studio Equipment ***
The In-Studio lessons are taught in a recording studio which includes music stands, keyboards, piano, amps, acoustic guitar, and seating available. Parking on the street.

*** Travel Equipment ***
Students will need the instrument of their study and their purchased study materials. If the student is taking piano, they will need an 88 key weighted keyboard or a piano.

*** Specialties ***
I specialize in jazz, but can teach classical, pop, rock, funk, blues, salsa, bossa nova etc.
...

Reviews

Silhouette-80
Riley D. May 16, 2016
Piano · In home
Verified Student
Very enjoyable to have him.
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Alex E. November 25, 2015
Guitar · In home
Verified Student
Eric was a perfect match for my 13 year old son. My son liked the fact that Eric could show him cords to practice immediately.
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Margie H. September 3, 2015
Piano · In home
Verified Student
He has a nice approach that makes you feel comfortable. Very patient and professional.
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Eric M.

Eric M.

Villa Park, IL 60181
(15)
starting at
$30 / 30-min
233968_7bssbkwm5nt4qldtj86r

Kelvin L.

Bolingbrook, IL

This is an enriching curriculum that will utilize the student’s love of music and provide the valuable skills necessary to play guitar
Students will learn the basics of rhythm and counting while exploring a variety of strum techniques and much more..

About Kelvin

I am a highly organized, outcome-driven and motivated professional musician and educator with solid experience in the classroom. For the past 25 years, I have been employed with Amati music academy and seven years on the faculty of University of St Francis.
I am very comfortable with all aspects of the current music syllabus, including teaching musical concepts (such as duration, pitch, dynamics, tone color, texture and structure) as well as performance, composition. I am fully qualified, with a Bachelor of Education in Music, Double Masters in music performance and education from University
of Nottingham.
I am proficient in classical, jazz and Celtic fiddle violin and possess solid skills in piano (grade 8-13) Royal conservatory system.
Throughout my teaching career, I have been driven to help students achieve their very best. I strongly believe that music has the power to change lives – to enhance the social, cultural and spiritual lives of people, and serve as a profound medium of personal expression. Professional perform experience: The Chicago, Natalie Cole, Smokey Robinson, Three tours with Moody Blues, YoYo Ma etc....
The most important thing I look for in a student is communication skills, as well as talent. I like to nurture students and help identify their individual strengths, which is a key factor in shaping a musical persona that will make its mark both on and offstage. I do not advocate a uniform technique for all students. Physical differences and learning styles are always taken into consideration. Potential is as important to me as early achievements and experience. My goal is to help students become self-sufficient, discriminating artists. I discuss practice techniques often and develop individualized scale routines. I encourage initiative and expressive musicality as well as precision. Above all, music needs to bring obvious joy to the student, regardless of the difficulties.”

*** Lesson Details ***
I use Suzuki and traditional method for my students... for Suzuki beginner they will play a song in four days....

*** Studio Equipment ***
In-Studio- Lessons in separate music lesson room, piano and violin are available. Students and parents will enjoy comfortable and clean studio environment with recent remodeled new hard wood floor and studio patio window over looking at beautiful garden. Free WiFi available for parents while waiting during the lesson appointment.
University of St Francis Joliet- can teach in rehearsal rooms at the university.
Online class at world class teaching studio

*** Travel Equipment ***
violin, viola, cello, piano and guitar

*** Specialties ***
I specialize in Suzuki teaching method for beginners, traditional conservatory method for intermediate and Royal conservatory recital program for advanced level students..I also teach orchestration program to help students prepare their auditions for major symphonies through out the country including Chicago symphony orchestra etc...
...

Reviews

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Jasmine Powell September 20, 2016
Drawing · In studio
Verified Student
I have really enjoyed my drawing lessons with Kelvin! He is very detailed in his instruction and ensures that his students learn the essential skills necessary to become good drawers. He is very encouraging and honest in his feedback. I appreciate his transparency when critiquing my work. I need to hear the truth in order to get better. When I draw something that he is astounded by, I will know that I have truly earned his respect. My lessons fly by because we're having such a good time. I'm enjoying the journey.
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Jack E. September 2, 2016
Mandolin · Online
Verified Student
Kelvin is a talented, caring and effective teacher, able to spot technical, as well as musical, errors online. It has been a pleasure to take lessons from him - and I have progressed well beyond my expectations thanks to his expertise. I highly recommend him.
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Melissa T. August 19, 2016
Violin · Online
Verified Student
Kelvin did it again! He supported and prepared my son for his orchestra audition. Nicholas was accepted into the Metropolitan Youth Symphony Orchestra for the third year in a row. Kelvin has helped him to achieve this goal each time. Thanks Kelvin for being such a great instructor and truly investing in my son.
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Kelvin L.

Kelvin L.

Bolingbrook, IL 60440
(71)
starting at
$35 / 30-min
214109_275778_29837

Rick T.

Elburn, IL

About Rick

A bachelors degree in music ed and 20+ years of playing, teaching and performing experience comes with you to every one of our lessons. Whether it be on trumpet, guitar, piano or voice I will consistently stress fundamentals that lead students towards the musicians they strive to be. I feel incorporating music that is relevant to the student and his or her goals is paramount and doable! I will always demonstrate the techniques and ideas I espouse. Lastly, I show my students the joy music has put in my life and in turn, show them how to play music towards the same ends. I am currently workin
g towards a masters in Jazz Studies at Northern Illinois University (2015) and perform regularly in the area.

*** Lesson Details ***
Lessons are typically broken up into 5 main parts
1) physical technique and warm up
- this refers to the mastery of the physical movements involved in playing the instrument
2) vocabulary practice (either by reading and/or by ear)
- scales
- chords
3) reading
- sight reading
- prepared reading
4) learning to play by ear
- song transcription and analysis
5) warm down and re-emphasis of key concepts

*** Studio Equipment ***
The teacher's home studio lessons are taught in the front room of the house. There is an acoustic piano, an electric piano, a music stand, stereo, guitar, amp, laptop, trumpets, books, and seating are all available.

*** Travel Equipment ***
I will have everything I need and can furnish music. I expect student to have a stand and a working instrument.

*** Specialties ***
I can improvise proficiently and understand music theory very well

***Special Notes***
-if you are located slightly outside my travel radius especially fox valley usually I can accommodate
-if you cant find a time that works usually i am able to fit you in somewhere else. i am flexible!
...

Reviews

Silhouette-80
Mary Ellen July 8, 2016
Piano · In home
Verified Student
I loved working with Rick. He works in a very different way, an approach that is really beneficial for me as an adult beginner. He teaches music structure and we worked with a singer songwriter that I love. He is pleasant and patient and very knowledgable. I highly recommend giving Rick a try for looking at playing music from a new angle.
Silhouette-80
Jadyn D. October 23, 2015
Guitar · In home
Verified Student
Rick is the best. we are so glad we found him. I can't say enough good things about him.
Silhouette-80
Kristin Deyle October 11, 2015
Guitar · In home
Rick is a great instructor. He guides hew well and motivates her to participate and be engaged. He works well with kids who have had no experience.
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Rick T.

Rick T.

Elburn, IL 60119
(8)
starting at
$29 / 30-min
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James P.

Wheaton, IL

About James

Early Guitar Studies & Pit Orchestra Performances (1995-2002)

I began taking guitar lessons at the age of 11 with blues/jazz guitarist Tom Castonzo, a frequent performer, bandleader and teacher in and around the Chicago area. My studies with Tom lasted for many years and covered various musical and technical aspects of many different styles ranging from jazz to classical and everything in between. In 2002, I began performing in pit orchestras for various musicals including Jesus Christ Superstar, Les Miserable, The Wiz, Little Shop of Horrors, and Seussical the Musical.

Original
Music Projects (2003-Present)

From 2003-2008, I wrote and performed music for 2 different progressive rock bands: Dream Haven and The Unit Theory. Dream Haven released the EP entitled “Nostalgia is Five Frame” and The Unit Theory released a full-length album entitled “Seed.” Both bands performed all over the greater Chicago-land area and helped me hone my skills as an electric guitarist. Throughout this time, we shared the stage with national touring & recording acts Fear Factory, Mastodon, Enuff Z’nuff, and Algernon, to name a few. I now play lead guitar in the Chicago-based alternative rock band Davenport Ed and am having started an all-instrumental acoustic/rock trio with two percussionists.

Undergraduate Studies (College of Dupage and Northern Illinois University: 2002-2008)

After high school, I attended the College of Dupage (COD) and began studying jazz guitar with Dr. Zvonimir Tot. Towards the end of my studies at COD, I developed an interest in classical guitar and took lessons from Steve Ramsdell. After I received my Associate’s Degree in Music from COD I started teaching private guitar lessons at various suburban Chicagoland locations. I graduated from COD in 2004 with an Associate in Music degree. In the fall of 2005, I started my Bachelor’s studies in Classical Guitar Performance at Northern Illinois University (NIU) with Fareed Haque (Winner of “Best World Guitarist” in Guitar Magazine). While at NIU, I continued to teach & perform up until I graduated in May 2008 with a Bachelor’s degree in Classical Guitar Performance.

Graduate Studies (New England Conservatory of Music: 2008-2010)

I started my graduate studies in August 2008 at the New England Conservatory of Music (NEC) in Boston, under the tutelage of world-renowned guitarist Eliot Fisk. As an active performer in the greater Boston area, I made it a goal to bring the classical guitar to unorthodox venues such as senior centers, local TV, hospitals, dialysis treatment centers, and even juvenile halls! While at NEC, I started to take an interest in transcription, which is the art of adapting a composition for a voice or instrument other than the original. Eliot Fisk is a master at this, and his guidance was profound. In June 2010, I graduated from NEC with a Master’s in Music (with Academic Honors) for Classical Guitar Performance. My master's recital was a tour-de-force of virtuosic classical, acoustic, and electric guitar pieces with music ranging from J.S. Bach to Joaquin Rodrigo to Steve Vai.

Flamenco Guitar & Ritmo Flamenco (2009-Present)

During my time at NEC, I was fortunate enough to meet Grisha Goryachev, a master flamenco guitarist. Grisha introduced me to the basic principals of flamenco guitar and proved to be a wonderful resource. I continue my flamenco guitar studies by learning historical flamenco recordings entirely by ear. Short of living in Spain for extended periods of time, I have found this to be the purest way of learning. I am now the flamenco guitarist for Ritmo Flamenco, an ensemble that features dancer Diane Campbell.

Professional Musician & Awards (2010 – Present)

I moved back to Chicago in July 2010 and have since had hundreds of performances that include weddings, corporate events, restaurants, recitals, and more. My reputation as a premiere performing guitarist has grown rapidly in the past 2 years, and I earned 2 awards at the end of 2012: “Top Solo Guitarist” on the world’s largest entertainment site which is Gig Master and “Best of Wedding” (the world’s largest wedding-planning site). I am a regular featured performing artist at premiere restaurants in the Chicago suburbs including The Cellar Bistro in Wheaton, Eddie Merlot’s in Warrenville, and Wildwood Steakhouse in Geneva.

*** Lesson Details ***
***Teaching students ages 10+***

My first goal as an instructor is to get an idea of what the student's goals are as a guitarist, and then we start working towards that goal. This means that while the basic concepts are covered (chords, some sight-reading in most cases, scales, etc), no student curriculum is exactly the same. After a few months of studying with me, no matter what style of music, we will have learned notes, chords, and songs that are of interest to the student. Then, we will discuss how all of those elements tie together and map out a practice routine. A goal I have for every student is to create a realistic, efficient, and enjoyable practice routine that produces results.

*** Studio Equipment ***
Music stands, guitars (acoustic, electric, classical), cable/amp, appropriate paper materials & books for learning music.

*** Travel Equipment ***
I do not travel to lessons.

*** Specialties ***
I specialize in classical, rock, pop, & music theory.
...

Reviews

Silhouette-80
Mike McCullough April 5, 2016
Guitar · In home
Verified Student
Jim is a great instructor, and a great guy. I feel like I am making good progress after only 5 weeks.
Silhouette-80
Lisa G. March 12, 2014
Guitar
Verified Student
Talented Teacher and Guitarist

Jim teaches my daughter guitar. He is her fourth guitar teacher and by far the best one of all. She has had lessons from him for the past two years. Besides talent, he has the schooling to back him up. She has learned a lot from Jim, and he truly listens to her input. It's amazing how good he is and how good my daughter has become. Jim is also very patient, positive and motivating.
327266_xmwpft4c5wtmzj6rthrz
Julian V. January 20, 2014
Guitar
Verified Student
Jim is a top-notch professional

I contacted Jim through TakeLessons because I saw that he had the best reviews on the site and he is not far from where I live. I came to him as a beginner guitarist, with my only experience being teaching myself some basic stuff with the aid of YouTube.

Jim started out by first figuring out what my goals were in playing guitar so that he could take the most suitable approach in teaching me. At our first lesson, he had me play what I could and he gave me advice on all the fundamentals that are really important. He even noticed that I had an unorthodox way of making a G chord and gave me tips on the proper way to position my fretting hand so that, decades down the road, I do not run into trouble with pain and that sort of thing. Whheeeeeewwwww. Good save there.

Jim is very good at seeing the big picture in context with your goals as a student and delivering the lesson accordingly. He takes notes and emails them to you after the lesson, which is very nice to have. He makes videos during the lesson and then sends you a link to the video so that you can watch it a million times if you need. He does his best to accommodate your schedule if anything comes up and you have to reschedule, which I have done several times.

Jim is easy-going and has a good sense of humor, which makes the lesson more enjoyable.

In addition, Jim also performs very often in the local area and one time I was fortunate enough to see him perform in his band. His guitar solo gave me chills in my spine. This might seem off-topic, but it's not, because the reason I bring it up is because I was inspired to want to play more often and learn more because I see my guitar teacher rocking the stage and who doesn't want to do that, and also if you're going to pay for something, don't you want to make sure you're getting the best product out there? Jim is a true professional and boy can he play. Please excuse the run-on sentence.

I'm leaving this review because I'm moving and I just had my last lesson with Jim and the money I invested was money well spent.
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James P.

James P.

Wheaton, IL 60187
(9)
starting at
$30 / 30-min

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