Elgin Music Lessons

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About James P.

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Wheaton, IL

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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.
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Reviews
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Mike McCullough April 5, 2016
Verified Student · Guitar · In home
Jim is a great instructor, and a great guy. I feel like I am making good progress after only 5 weeks.
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Lisa G. March 12, 2014
Verified Student · Guitar ·
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.
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Julian V. January 20, 2014
Verified Student · Guitar ·
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

About Steven B.

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Elk Grove Village, IL

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About Steven
I have been studying and performing music for 20+ years. After majoring in music at College of Dupage in Glen Ellyn IL, I went to step up my level of study at the Percussion Institute of Technology (P.I.T.) at Musician's Institute in Hollywood, CA in 2001 attaining a Performance Certificate from my time studying there.

Moving back to Chicago after L.A. in 2002 proved to be the right move as this is when I began my teaching career. With 13+ years of private and group music instruction experience, I have worked with Hix Brothers Music, Naperville Music, Roselle Music, Streamwood Park Distri
ct, Roselle Park District, Schaumburg Park District, After School Enrichment Solution's Guitar Stars, Band For Today, Guitar Fundamentals, Chicago Guitar Instruction, Schaumburg Music Academy, Music Makers of Western Springs, Clarendon Hills Music Academy, and also maintain a private clientele. Well into a thousand lessons taught, students have stayed with me for up to 7 years. You, the student, will gain all the experience I have gained from my 20 years of study, performance, and instruction.

Performing with various bands in the 2000's, I pinpointed my style and mastered my technique that gave me many performance opportunities regionally and nationally, noting most current act U2 tribute Vertigo USA.

I am co-founder of the music licensing production company Blue Shade Music, co-writing with astute musicians in the Chicago area for music libraries in Florida and California currently.

With national and international touring experience, I was featured in an exclusive interview for Online Drummer in August of 2011 sharing my knowledge and experience of music and drums.

Thank you for reading, and I hope to have a fun and educational time with you!

*** Lesson Details ***
Practicing everyday with an occasional day off is very important in the student's progress. I always say 10 minutes is better than 0 minutes.

For DRUM lessons, the student can expect to learn:
*to read music notation and music charts
*to read drum notation
*songs by real bands
*timekeeping via a metronome
*hand technique and foot technique
*rudiments
*all styles of music
*double bass
*drum grooves and drum fills
*marching band/concert band material (if involved in school)

For PIANO lessons, the student can expect to learn:
*to read music notation
*to read music charts/lead sheets
*music theory
*intervals
*chords and inversions
*chord progressions
*scales
*fingering
*styles of blues, jazz, pop, rock, and traditional
*songs you wish to learn

For GUITAR + BASS lessons, the student can expect to learn:
*to learn to read music notation
*to learn to read a music chart
*music theory
*scales
*chords
*chord progressions
*fingering
*styles of pop, rock, and blues
*songs you wish to learn

*** Travel Equipment ***
I provide no equipment. The student must have an acoustic or electric drum set, a practice pad, a music stand, a metronome, sticks, curriculum book(s), headphones, an acoustic or electric guitar, and an acoustic or electric piano.

*** Specialties ***
Rock, Funk, Blues, RnB, Soul, Country, Jazz, Latin, Pop, Metal

**Travel available for in home lessons up to 15 miles pending location, scheduling, and availability. 2 weeks or more notice is required for discontinuation of lessons.**
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Reviews
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Melanee J. October 9, 2016
Verified Student · Guitar · In home
I'm a true challenge since I am very green with little music capability. Great introduction with plenty to work on.
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Dui S. December 7, 2015
Verified Student · Guitar · In home
My son is enjoying playing the guitar cause of Steve. He is a great instructor. I would recommend him to anyone.
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Meg D. April 15, 2015
Verified Student · Guitar · In home
Steven is a great teacher! He's flexible, and works well with all ages! He's teaching my 3 kids, drums, guitar and bass. He's very receptive and adjusts his lessons according to what my kids are interested in. For example one of my kids was learning notes, but then the other wanted to learn a specific song and he easily adjusted to focus on what each of them wanted to do to. My kids love him!
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Steven B.

Steven B.

Elk Grove Village, IL 60007
(17)
starting at
$35 / 30-min

About Molly M.

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Schaumburg, IL

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About Molly
I have been teaching for 15 years: kids, teens-even beginner vocalists in their seventies! Rockers, an "Idol" finalist, church musicians, lapsed opera singers, preschoolers. ...these are just a few of singers I have worked with, in person, in the classroom, and ONLINE (I just love teaching singers all over the country and the world!) .

What you get in voice lessons with me: laughter as you learn! I have learned solid classical vocal technique from the very best . I have trained with respected opera singers who have performed with companies such as Lyric Opera of Chicago, as well as leader
s in vocal pedagogy. I believe everyone deserves the same useful tools- no matter what it is you like to sing!

I am patient and customize each and every lesson. Need more time on ear training? No problem . How about beginning music theory? I can help with that,too. Are you feeling more confident, and want to focus more on song polishing and getting into the heart of your songs? Let's do it! Confidence an issue? I am a pro with very shy people. I'll get you out of your shell, relaxed, and having fun right away so we can free that voice of yours! I have worked with many singers who have been diagnosed with anxiety: you're in good hands and you can trust me with your voice.

I am also a drama teacher who has worked with groups as well as individuals. Currently, I am the drama instructor at a Montessori School. I love working with beginning acting students! I'll assist with monologue prep, improvisation, voice for the stage, body awareness, and more. I love being on stage and want you to see how fun it is to jump in and let go,too!

If you're interested in beginner ear training or music theory, I'd love to help you with that as well. I present it in a no-nonsense and fun manner! I'll provide you with simple worksheets to increase your confidence in learning the language of music, as well as run you through increasingly challenging patterns and sight reading for the ear training. Don't be afraid: I make it easy and customize it all.

I have been singing for over 20 years. Performances with the Lira Ensemble and Opera on Tap Chicago, and in master classes with international opera stars Alan Held and Lorna Haywood. Coaching with Collaborative Works Chicago and Rossini Opera Festival. Additional studies in Rock Vocals, Voice Care, Improvisational Comedy, Holistic Voice, Acting, Foreign languages, Dalcroze, Speaking Voice for Singers, , Commercial Vocal Styles/Belting with Lisa Popeil, teacher mentoring workshop with Maestro David Jones. Bachelor of Music in Vocal Performance. Additional workshops in Vocal Pedagogy with David Sabella-Mills, Jeannie LoVetri. Dr. Karen Prokop, Melissa Cross the queen of healthy scream technique!), Sheri Sanders (musical theatre auditioning), and Chicago Cabaret Professionals.

Certified CoreSinging Instructor- one of only a few in the U.S. trained by Meribeth Dayme, PhD, respected clinician and authority in vocal pedagogy and author of "The Singing Book".

My students do a variety of great things! One was a top 12 "American Idol" finalist. Current students perform in musicals, top rated choirs, and professional rock , jazz,and blues bands. Many have won awards for their singing at competitions such as NATS. Students of mine have also been accepted to prestigious performing arts high schools for both drama and music, as well as undergraduate music programs.

I think if you can speak, you can sing. Everyone can and should sing! Don't let anything hold you back. I am a people person that is very passionate about music and singing, and want to be the teacher you'll trust with your voice. Come laugh and learn with me!

*** Lesson Details ***
I teach in person (Northwest Suburbs of Chicago) and online via Skype or FaceTime or TakeLessons Classroom, of course!

*** Studio Equipment ***
Sing and See Software. Additional materials I use: Funky n' Fun Vocal Exercises, Estelle Liebling Vocal Methods, Bona and Dannhauser for sight-reading, Full Voice workbooks for young and serious singers.

*** Specialties ***
Beginner vocalists! Very shy singers. Children, teens. Lapsed singers, and seniors. Experience in working with those with learning disabilities , special needs, and victims of abuse. Have also worked with the transgendered community. I also love to give workshops.
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Reviews
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Kay M. March 16, 2017
Verified Student · Singing · Online
I had a lot of fun with Molly. She really knows her stuff and has a lot of energy and enthusiasm when she's teaching. After my first day of lessons, even my speaking voice is stronger and it feels great! I highly recommend Molly.
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Kay M. March 15, 2017
Verified Student · Singing · Online
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Fiona March 15, 2017
Verified Student · Singing · Online
Molly was friendly and knowledgeable. She knew exactly how to break down her instructions so that my very young singer could learn and enjoy herself.
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Molly M.

Molly M.

Schaumburg, IL 60193
(117)
starting at
$30 / 30-min

About Paulette L.

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Streamwood, IL
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About Paulette
Hello!

My name is Paulette L., and I am a recent graduate of Elmhurst College, which is located in the nearby suburb of Elmhurst, Illinois. In May, I earned my Bachelor's in Music Business along with minors in Communications and Spanish.

Music has played a significant role in my life since I began studying piano at the age of 5, and it continued to play this significant role after I began taking guitar lessons at the age of 10. After about 7 years of piano studies and 2 years of guitar studies, I decided to take a small break from my overall music studies and instead place my
focus on my academics and additional extracurricular activities. Shortly after beginning high school, however, I started up my guitar studies again through my involvement in my Parish'€™s Young Adult Choir/Band. Shortly afterwards, during my sophomore year of high school to be precise, I was walking by the piano in the living room of my house and felt a small tug to sit down and try to plunk out a few measures of a slightly familiar song; ever since then, I have not been quite able to stop wanting to keep learning!

Throughout the four years I studied and enhanced my skills at Elmhurst College, I took private lessons for Piano, Classical Guitar, and Voice, and I have completed four levels of Music Theory. I am organized, hard~working, detail~oriented, accustomed to working with people of a variety of age groups and learning preferences, sociable, adaptable, easy to get along with, fair, creative, pro~active, and proficient in English and Spanish.

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact TakeLessons and I wish you the best in your future music studies!

Paulette L.
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Reviews
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Dylan L. June 5, 2016
Verified Student · Piano · In studio
Paulette is a phenomenal teacher. She's been very patient and tried different approaches with my 5 year old son and that has worked very well for Dylan (including him telling her the names of dinosaurs and cars characters he has and quizzing her on it :)) I hoped that at the end of the first 5 lessons Dylan would have an appreciation for and want to learn piano and thanks to Paulette, he not only wants to learn but also is excited about it and teaches his dad what he learns. I am so happy with this that I just bought and additional 12 lessons! I would recommend Paulette to anyone looking to learn to play the piano!!
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Bella April 12, 2016
Verified Student · Piano · In home
Paulette is wonderful! My daughter was very excited to learn piano, although she had never had formal lessons in the past. Paulette was very patient with her, and continued to tailor the lesson to her pace. Very excited to continue!
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Anthony M. March 8, 2016
Verified Student · Guitar · In studio
She very good my son its happy with her 👍🏽
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Paulette L.

Paulette L.

Streamwood, IL 60107
(4)
starting at
$25 / 30-min

About Eric J.

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Elgin, IL

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About Eric
Hi.
I'm Eric and I own a Music Lesson Studio in Elgin, IL.

I specialize in working with beginners of any age as well as advanced students who are interested in taking their playing to the next level. Here are some of the things I like to focus on.

Child beginners: Learning to read music. Building confidence and self esteem through learning to play guitar. General music education. Teaching children songs they enjoy to listen to.

Adult Beginners: Learning to play popular rock songs. Chord strumming. Having a nice, relaxing, no pressure lesson.

Advanced students: Learning to read mu
sic at a professional level. Lead guitar. Jazz improvisation.

I'm a professional, full time musician and educator and my guitar has been paying my bills my entire adult life. I have real world, professional experience playing and teaching guitar as well as bass guitar, drums, piano, mandolin and more on countless gigs here in Northern, IL. I teach between 30-50 private students per week. I have taught hundreds of students in the past 12 years how to reach their musical goals. I've played tons of theater. I played guitar, mandolin, and drums as a swing musician for the Chicago Production of Jersey Boys at the Bank of America Theater in 2008. In 2014 I played a lot theater gigs for local productions such as Little Shop of Horrors (bass), Hands on a Hardbody (Guitar, Steel/Slide) and Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dream Coat (guitar). I grew up as a gigging rock n roll/blues guitar player, but my heart is in jazz. I am confident and fluent in, and have gigged most styles of guitar playing.
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Reviews
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Josh August 4, 2016
Verified Student · Guitar · In studio
My son is thrilled. Eric was friendly, funny and patient. Josh is so excited for his next lesson.
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J.R. M. June 29, 2016
· Guitar · In studio
I met with Eric at his studio in Elgin, and he was extremely friendly and welcoming. He gave me a very good and informational lesson on some specific musical questions I had about progressing in my saxophone career. He gave me specific instructions on places to visit, useful websites, and names of people. This information may seem trivial, but I was at a personal stopping point on some issues, and Eric provided the tools for me to continue. I highly recommend Eric to anyone looking to learn what it means to be a professional.
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James D. February 8, 2016
Verified Student · Guitar · In studio
Great teacher. He is knowledgeable and patient with kids.
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Eric J.

Eric J.

Elgin, IL 60120
(11)
starting at
$22 / 30-min

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