Chicago Songwriting Lessons

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Popular Songwriting Teachers Near Chicago

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Paul W.

Chicago, IL

I tailor all my lessons to the individual students interests and wants.
Whatever your goals are, I'll help you get there.

About Paul

I have played the guitar for twenty years and have studied a wide variety of music including jazz, classical, folk, blues and rock. I’m skilled in acoustic, electric and classical styles of the guitar. I have an open mind about music and can appreciate any style or type. I have a firm background on music theory, so I am able to explain what I am teaching. I excelled in all my classes in college, music and Gen Eds, with a GPA over 3.75. I also have experience in teaching guitar or bass to students ranging from the ages of six to sixty six. I enjoy taking what I have learned and passing it
on to someone else to experience. I believe this is one way you can leave your mark in music. I believe the experience I have playing in bands, and learning songs with my ability of having relative pitch will make my students improve quicker. I am also a very skilled sight reader and can recognize key signatures and musical notation. I’ve also been playing electric bass guitar for 13 years now and have the same skill set as my guitar playing. In fact I am hired to perform more often as a bassist than a guitarist.
I went to Columbia College between 2000-2003 and I completed a Bachelor Arts in Music, Concentration: Instrument Performance.
I also went to Harper College between 1997-2000 and I completed an Associates in Fine Arts of Music.

*** Lesson Details ***
I tailor all my lessons to the individual students interests and wants.
Whatever your goals are, I'll help you get there.
If you just want to learn music theory or how to write a song, I can teach you all that and more.
I will teach you how to read music but if you don't wan't to do that, I will teach you how to read tablature.
I'll push you to learn your instrument and to practice but I won't force to practice anything that you are not interested in.
After about 3-6 months of lessons with me you will be able to play songs that you wanted to learn and you will also know all the essential fun basics of your instrument.
Learning the guitar or bass is fun! And as your teacher I will make you want to practice.

*** Studio Equipment ***
Lessons will be downstairs which has music stands, guitars, cords and books.

*** Travel Equipment ***
My guitar and music stand. They should have a guitar and an amp if needed.

*** Specialties ***
Anything from classic rock to blues, jazz, classical, modern rock, punk rock, music theory, improvising and songwriting.
...

Reviews

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Tamara May 27, 2016
Acoustic Guitar · In studio
Verified Student
Super cool guy, very knowledgable with music, very patient. I recommend.
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Jeanette May 23, 2016
Guitar · In studio
Paul has been the most amazing instructor. I have never played the electric guitar before and his level of patience has made it extremely easy for me to learn. He writes lesson plans and assigns "homework" appropriate for your level of experience which helps in learning or further developing your skill. I plan on continuing to take lessons with Paul for quite some time.
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Ravi May 21, 2016
Acoustic Guitar · In studio
Paul is very understanding and molds the lesson as per the student interest and capability. He made me fall in love with my guitar in a different way. He is supremely talented and has great knowledge of music n guitar. I have been taking classes from Paul since last 2 months and it has been a great learning.

Thanks You Paul!
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Paul W.

Paul W.

Chicago, IL 60622
(39)
starting at
$20 / 30-min
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Sean H.

Chicago, IL

Besides playing/teaching saxophone, my other passion is writing music. If I'm not playing, I'm writing. I have studied composition and song writing, and my band plays many originals that I have written!

About Sean

I have been magnetized to the saxophone ever since I was introduced to the music of John Coltrane in the seventh grade. Since then I have been in a constant pursuit of deepening my understanding of music and all its beautiful forms, and sharing that knowledge with those who are interested!
Hailing from Flagstaff, Arizona, I attended Western Michigan University on a four year scholarship and received my Bachelor of Music, Jazz Studies in 2009. While I was there I had the incredible privilege of studying with the great Trent Kynaston, as well as performing with some of the most influential jazz
musicians today, including Bobby McFerrin, Stefon Harris, Billy Hart, Fred Hersch, and Randy Brecker. I now live in Chicago where I teach lessons and perform regularly with my band, The Winchester Sound.
I am very passionate about music, and consistently see that passion transferred to my students. It is incredibly rewarding to see someone progress right before my eyes, and know that I influenced the progression.
I teach classical saxophone, jazz saxophone, piano, music theory, jazz/pop theory, music performance, arranging and composition.

*** Lesson Details ***
I believe everyone gets into music for a different reason, and therefore each student deserves their own custom curriculum. It is important for students to work at a pace and in a direction that is comfortable for them. For this reason, we will start with a consultation so I can figure out exactly what you aim to get out of taking lessons. From there we will incorporate some standard curriculum and method books that I enjoy using, as well as my own techniques that involve plenty of ear training and exercises to improve one's facility on the instrument (scales, patterns, technique).
Most importantly, we're going to have a lot of fun! If you are not having fun it's not even worth your time. I am very laid back and promote a stress-free environment!
Remember, I was once a beginner, too. I know what it's like to learn something new, so I want to be there to guide you through it!

*** Studio Equipment ***
extra music room f/w keyboard w/ seating for parents

*** Travel Equipment ***
I provide no equipment. Student must provide saxophone, reeds, books, etc.

*** Specialties ***
My passion is jazz. Not just jazz saxophone, but the art form in general. I love to teach people the theory behind improvisation and watch them as they explore and internalize the endless possibilities thereafter.
I am also classically trained and am equally proficient in that area, although I would say I do prefer jazz.
In summary I guess my specialties would be: jazz saxophone, jazz theory, improvisation, jazz arranging, saxophone performance, composing.
...

Reviews

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Jon T. January 23, 2016
Saxophone · In studio
Verified Student
Sean has been a great teacher. He's extremely flexible in terms of scheduling, and exceptionally passionate about helping others improve. I've been playing pretty consistently for ~15 years and can still see progress after just the first few lessons with Sean.
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Matthew L. October 30, 2015
Saxophone · In studio
Verified Student
My son had one half hour lesson (so far). He was very happy with the amount of knowledge gained in a very short time. I anticipate (but don't know) that this will be very beneficial to his saxophone skills and we look forward to continuing lessons with Sean
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Charles S. September 27, 2013
Saxophone
Verified Student
Outstanding teacher

Sean has been a fantastic sax instructor; very knowledgeable, fun to hang around with, soulful and passionate about the instrument.
He's very patient, and willing to adjust his teaching plan and style to accommodate his students' personal likes, strengths, and weaknesses.
Strongly recommend.
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Sean H.

Sean H.

Chicago, IL 60647
(7)
starting at
$30 / 30-min
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Margo L.

Chicago, IL

No matter the genre, my songwriting techniques are guaranteed to help you write hit after hit. We can write to tracks or with no music at all. Either way, I will assist you in constructing melodies, lyrics and content that will be a sure win!

About Margo

Are you ready to fall in love with your voice? Do you want to have fun while doing so? If so, look no further!

I am the most effective voice and performance coach. No bells, no whistles, just GUARANTEED RESULTS. If your voice isn't becoming to you, you should be coming to me! I am the founder and director of the Pullman Jazz Society and have been the private vocal coach for multiple contestants on American Idol, America's Got Talent, The Voice and several other vocal competitions spanning over 10 countries.

I am available 24 hours a day for online coaching and as early as 6:00 am for i
n-person sessions.

*Please note that 15-minute sessions are ONLY available for Skype. In-person sessions must be a minimum of 30 minutes. 46 minute option is ONLY for 7:30 am Early Bird lessons at my Hyde Park location Monday, Wednesday and Friday. 61-minute sessions are ONLY available for groups of 3 or more people in the same class session. The reduced rate is PER PERSON. Please contact me to inquire about when these sessions are available if you don't have at least 2 additional people to accompany you.

My approach is designed to train and condition the entire body as an instrument, not just the oral portion of the voice.

My method of assessing and meeting the needs of each student enables me to assist them in bringing out the very best in their capabilities. If you desire quality, effectiveness and noticeable improvement in your singing, writing, public speaking or overall performance, then I am the coach for you!

Not only do I promise results, I guarantee them! If you follow my specific instructions, I assure you that you and others will hear the difference.

Whether you are a beginner or professional, I make sure that you are comfortable and have a great time while learning. I am compassionate and flexible with your needs so feel free to let me know what you want from your lessons and we can work towards your goal to your satisfaction.

I have been trained in Classical, Appoggio, jazz/improv, Seth Riggs' speech-level singing and other methodologies of singing and speaking.

ATTENTION ALL PUBLIC SPEAKERS!
Are you nervous in front of a crowd?
Is your voice weak?
Do you forget your speeches?
Do you lack self-confidence?
Do you want to command the stage and captivate your audience?

If the answer is "yes" to any of the above, then you need my assistance. I will empower you with the tools you need to deliver the best performance.

I currently have multiple songs in mainstream rotation (under an alias), with over 400 spins per day worldwide and am highly-acclaimed by many jazz, pop, r&b and hip-hop notables. I am also a NESTA certified wellness coach. I have the privilege of being a classically-trained pianist and vocalist, having studied at Sherwood Conservatory of Music, Vandercook College of Music, The Second City, University of Chicago, ETA Performing Arts Center and many other fine institutions.

My five-octave vocal range, impressive whistle-register and fine-tuned ear have afforded me opportunities to work with many popular artists. Additionally, I sing in seven languages(English, Spanish, Portuguese, French, Italian, Mandarin and Latin) and am adept in aiding my students in overcoming speech impediments and enhancing their own vocal range.

I also specialize in post-surgical voice re-immersion and students with special needs including down syndrome, autism and speech impediments.

My methodology helps students feel comfortable and each session is tailor-made to the student's individual needs.

Children love working with me because I make learning fun and they have a high retention rate of the techniques that I teach them. I am easygoing, funny and offer a minimalistic casual and relaxed environment for everyone.

My adult students have a blast because our lessons feel more like a friendly visit. I pull your potential to the forefront and together we create perfection.

I am excellent at preparing people for public speaking engagements, competitions, showcases and concerts and even help develop a winning show lineup and presentation.

Group classes are also available.

If your voice isn't becoming to you, you should be coming to me!

*** Lesson Details ***
Each lesson is tailor-made to suit the student's individual needs. A custom lesson plan will be made for each student on a case-by-case basis. No instruments are used in my lessons, as I train the voice to be a standalone instrument.

Skype Disclaimer:
If you choose Skype lessons, please make sure that your system is functioning properly, that you know how to use the platform, that you have a good internet connection and that you are logged in on time, as no concessions will be made for technical difficulties.

Timing Disclaimer:
Our time together is very valuable. If you are not on time for your session, the missed portion will not be made up at the end of the session. If I am not on time, I will make up the missed portion at the end of the session or alternate agreed-upon time. No exceptions or make-up sessions will be made for illness, weather, transportation issues (including car trouble), or any other short-notice reason. Rescheduled lessons must be made a minimum of 48 hours in advance and must be made up within the calendar week of the original lesson. If it is not made up within that week, it will still count as a paid session and cannot be made up at a later time.

*** Specialties ***
Pitch Correction
Overcoming Performance Anxiety
Accent Reduction
Repertoire Selection
Concert and Competition Preparation
Public Speaking
Physical Maintenance of the Vocal Instrument
Overcoming Speech Impediments
Movement
Studio Recording Techniques
Songwriting
Image Development
On-Location Assistance
Vocal Range Enhancement
...

Reviews

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Paris A. February 29, 2016
Singing · In studio
Verified Student
Amazing
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Teryn January 17, 2016
Classical Voice · Online
Verified Student
We had a very good first lesson. I had an online class so the only drawback is that there is a little limitation when trying to focus on head and neck placement specific to voice coaching with the distance learning. However Margo was Great! I'm looking forward to our next session.
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Stephen R. January 14, 2016
Singing · In studio
Verified Student
Margo does a great job of tailoring the lessons to your needs. As a beginner and even having a much lower register than her, she's helping me make large strides after only a few lessons
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Margo L.

Margo L.

Chicago, IL 60653
(26)
starting at
$39.99 / 61-min
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Matt B.

Chicago, IL

I teach composition in a wide variety of styles. Regardless of whether you want to write songs, write for band/orchestra, etc., I can help you reach your goals.

About Matt

Matt earned a Bachelor's of Music in Classical Guitar Performance from Capital University in Columbus, OH.

He currently teaches private guitar lessons, sings and plays guitar in the Chicago rock band Dead Parade, and transcribes music professionally for a wide variety of clients. In the past, he worked for 8 years as a guitar teacher, transcriber, consultant, and free-lance writer for a popular subscription guitar site. He also served as a guitar instructor/lecturer at Capital University's Community Music School under the direction of renowned music educator Dr. Rebecca Johnson. Over the du
ration of his 16 year teaching career, Matt has taught over a 100 students of all ages and levels of experience.

Matt has a developed a reputation of being a musical jack of all trades. He is proficient in teaching and performing any style of guitar. However, he is best known for his rock guitar playing, his songwriting abilities, his classical guitar performance skills, and his ability to teach these skill sets effectively.
...

Reviews

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Christa Sharp February 25, 2016
Acoustic Guitar · Online
Verified Student
I have had 6 lessons so far, and I highly recommend Matt as a teacher. He is very knowledgeable and he has challenged me to go beyond chord playing and learn to face new challenges and techniques. I have started learning to read music for the guitar (although I had the option of tab) which will greatly expand my ability to play. He was also flexible with me when I ran into scheduling difficulty early on when my small biz got crazy. If you are interested in taking your playing to the next level and learning a lot about music along the way, Matt is a great choice. I am purchasing another set of lessons and am very happy with the ease of Skype lessons.
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John Carnevale January 8, 2016
Guitar · Online
Verified Student
Matt quickly assessed my knowledge and experience playing guitar and got me started on exercises that are certain to improve my playing.
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Zach November 12, 2015
Guitar · Online
I have seen Matt develop as a guitar player for many years. I have seen him play in a variety of settings: classical and rock. We grew up playing together. I played bass.

But, when I decided to pick up the guitar over the last couple of years, I turned to Matt. He always gives me sound advice, techniques, and insight on how to be a better musician. He has provided tabs when I could not figure out a certain part of a song on my own. Moreover, I have watched his videos to learn songs.

He is a great teacher with sound theory! He loves music, and it shows...

..you want a top-notch teacher, Matt Brown is your man!
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Matt B.

Matt B.

Chicago, IL 60622
(13)
starting at
$25 / 30-min
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Shaun Z.

Chicago, IL

Instrumental acoustic guitar composition.

About Shaun

A little about myself, I am a graduate from VanderCook College of Music where I received my Bachelors of Music Education degree and Illinois Teaching License. I focused primarily on classical guitar as my major instrument. I have a strong passion for playing guitar and teaching it. I have been teaching lessons for 7 years, and have had a wide array of students. I teach all ages and all skill levels.

Here's a quick list of the type of things you can expect to learn through my lessons;

Proper holding position, posture, and playing technique.

Finger picking playing style

Ability to re
ad written sheet music

Ability to read and count rhythm

Play a wide variety of repertoire ranging from pop to classical

Improvisation of grooves, melodies, and harmonies.

And most importantly, musicianship.

I prefer to have one, one hour lesson per week. I offer "in home" and "in studio" lessons.
...

Reviews

Silhouette-80
Pedro V. April 8, 2016
Guitar · In home
Verified Student
Shaun is really patient and explains you pretty well any question you got. He has a lot of experience in playing guitar.
Silhouette-80
Jim October 18, 2015
Guitar · In home
Wow! Shaun has far exceeded my expectations. He is an amazing teacher. He is prepared every week with lesson plans, he is a walking Encyclopedia for all things music and he is an extremely nice guy. Shaun is the real deal. He has the skills to teach everyone form the beginning guitar player to a seasoned professional looking to advance their skills. He is a patient person that takes the time to make sure you understand what he is teaching and more importantly he can explain why something has to be done a certain way. Shaun takes some the most complicated aspects of the guitar from rhythm to scales and makes it easy to understand and apply in the real world.
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Ashley September 10, 2015
Classical Guitar · In home
I have been working with Shaun for about a year, and have truly enjoyed my experience with him. He is an excellent instructor, very focused on technique and learning to play guitar the RIGHT way. I have learned to read music, improv, and am now learning performance pieces. I would definitely recommend him as an instructor.
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Shaun Z.

Shaun Z.

Chicago, IL 60647
(9)
starting at
$20 / 30-min

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Songwriting Lesson Reviews from Students

Students are raving about their Songwriting instructors on TakeLessons. Check out some of these recent reviews.

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Recent Songwriting Articles from the Blog

Whether you're just starting out or a seasoned pro, check out the Songwriting articles on our blog.

The Anatomy of a Hit Pop Song [Infographic]

When you're learning how to write a song, looking at how other songs are structured can be a great place to start. Like looking at a map before you go on a roadtrip, checking out the basic elements of songs you love gives you a sense of how they were written and what you need to do to write a song of your own. If analyzing all your favorite songs sounds like a daunting task (it is), you're in luck. The Billboard Experiment wanted to know if there was a formula that could determine which songs … Read More
The Anatomy of a Hit Pop Song [Infographic]
When you're learning how to write a song, looking at how other songs are structured can be a great place to start. Like looking at a map before you go on a roadtrip, checking out the basic elements of songs you love gives you a sense of how they were written and what you need to do to write a song of your own. If analyzing all your favorite songs sounds like a daunting task (it is), you're in luck. The Billboard Experiment wanted to know if there was a formula that could determine which songs
25 Ways to Break Free from Songwriters' Block
Every songwriter runs into writers' block at some point in their career. To help you dig your way out of the dreaded doldrums of songwriters' block, we put together 25 songwriting tips and prompts plus great songs to inspire you. Check out these songwriting tips and find your muse today!   Bonus: Take the quiz to find out what you should write your next song about! Write about your day. Think your life is boring and you have nothing to say? Check out the lyrics to thi
5 Reasons Why Songwriters Should Collaborate
This article was originally published on Soundfly and is being shared as part of Songwriting Week! Join the conversation on social media (#SongwritingWeek) for even more tips, articles, and resources.   So many musicians and songwriters stress the importance of collaboration. But without knowing how collaboration could benefit your work, why would you share an idea you’ve spent countless hours thinking about, only to open yourself up to criticism? As it turns out, all those advice
Quiz: What Should You Write Your Next Song About?
Writing songs is hard enough work without having to deal with songwriters' block! To help you find inspiration for your next song, we created this easy personality quiz. Take the quiz and find out what your next hit single will be about... For more songwriting tips and songwriting prompts, check out our infographic guide 25 Ways to Break Free from Songwriters' Block! Share your songwriting ideas, struggles, triumphs, and questions in the comments below.   Interested in
How To Write a Song Today: 4 Easy Steps
Learning how to write a song is easier than you think! Greeley, CO teacher Andy W. outlines the steps here...  Don’t you wish you could write a song that tells your own story - whether it’s about love, hardships, or finding humor in life? There’s no reason that you can’t do that today! To help get you started, here are four easy steps to writing your own song: 1. Play chords or a riff. 2. Sing or hum over the harmony. 3. Repeat steps 1-2 to form a chorus and then a bridge. 4. Place

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