I request that my Classical guitar students have some prior knowledge of basic left and right hand guitar technique and some basic chords.
I have been playing guitar for 30 years, starting with Rock/Blues before studying both Classical and Jazz guitar in college. I received my Bachelor of Music degree from Berklee College of Music in Boston in 1995. I am currently a guitar teacher in the NW Chicago suburbs and in Chicago currently with 45+ students, teaching all ages, all levels and all styles. I have been teaching guitar and music off and on for the past 20+ years but in 2007 I decided to devote myself to teaching full time (yes, teaching guitar is my primary job!)...one of the best decisions I have ever made!
To me, play
ing music is an incredibly rewarding experience. It's also a lot of fun! But no matter what your goals are in music, I have found, through many years of playing and teaching, that every musician needs a basic understanding of their instrument and of music in general. Whether you are learning piano, saxophone, violin, flute or guitar all music students will need to know about the basics of music, how it works and where the notes are on their instrument. My goal as a guitar and music instructor is to *teach people how to teach themselves*. I would love to have you study with me for years and years, but a good instructor should be able to show people what they need to know so that they can be their own primary music educator for the rest of their lives. Not only is it more economically friendly for the student, I see it as simply the right thing to do. My lessons are designed to make the absolute most of a student's motivation and to keep them motivated to maximize their learning experience!
*** Lesson Details *** Whether you are an absolute beginner or more experienced guitar player, I see it as my mission to prepare all of my students to be *musicians*, not just people who can move their fingers on a guitar. I believe that all musicians should think of music as a language: if you don't understand the basics of any language how can you expect to communicate well in that language?
Beginners can expect to learn the foundations of guitar and music: good finger and pick technique, familiarity with basic notes, simple chords, basic musical concepts, easy and fun songs. More advanced students can expect to improve in many aspects of guitar playing in most styles and in their understanding and appreciation of music- advanced playing techniques (pick and finger style), scales, arpeggios, advanced chord forms and chord progressions, melodic improvisation in any style, music theory, ear training, etc. I teach beginning and intermediate Classical guitar as well. I request that Classical guitar students already have some prior guitar experience (knowledge of basic notes and chords).
In my years as a guitar student and as a teacher, I have learned that communication is the key to good, productive lessons and as much as possible I cater lessons to what each student is interested in, while having fun!
At this time I am offering lessons on Friday afternoons and evenings at my Inverness teaching studio. Due to my weekly teaching schedule, I am not currently available to offer in-home lessons at student's homes.
*** Studio Equipment *** My teaching studio is equipped with: amplifier, cords, music stand, guitar stand, laptop PC, printer, play-along programs for practice, hundreds of self-authored exercises for all levels. I also have a huge library of guitar books, songs and other materials available for lesson material as well. Method books to use for lessons available to purchase from me ($8-$10 generally). Just bring yourself, a guitar (acoustic or electric), a pick or two and we'll be ready to roll!
Elliot (9) July 27, 2015
Acoustic Guitar ·
Dan is funny, nice and good at guitar and teaching. I look forward to my lessons. He makes learning guitar fun!
Emily (age 13) July 27, 2015
Acoustic Guitar ·
Dan is really fun to have lessons with. He helps me pick good songs that are really fun to learn and play. He also helps me understand fingerings and strummings better. I really like taking lessons from Dan!
HEMAL B. July 22, 2015
In home Verified Student
One of the best guitar teacher, I met so far!
I am taking guitar lessons from Dan for more than a year. Dan has profound knowledge about music. He has all the skills what I always look for in “perfect” teacher; good listener, push your boundaries, encourage you to keep learning. When I approached him through ‘takelessons.com’, I was not sure what to expect. He gauged my guitar skills and started from there. Now, I can play music notes, strumming, chords, bar chords and finger style etc.
I tailor all my lessons to the individual students interests and wants. Whatever your goals are, I'll help you get there.
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.
Stephanie R. August 19, 2015
Acoustic Guitar ·
In home Verified Student
Paul is a very patient instructor, given that I have no experience. His lessons do a nice job of building on each other. I like how he incorporates things I like to do, but challenges me to develop other skills as well. I would definitely recommend him.
Joseph H. August 14, 2015
Bass Guitar ·
In studio Verified Student
Paul is the best instructor.I lost count of how many lessons we had but we are on like on our 8th lesson and we are already learning Roundabout!He writes tabs into parts and it makes everything so much easier on me.If I could I would give him 10 stars because I take bass and guitar with him.
Deadra C. August 13, 2015
In studio Verified Student
After playing electric guitar for about 30 years, self taught, I decided to learn to read music and play acoustic guitar. Taking lessons with Paul has been a great experience. He has helped me accelerate my learning and is very knowledgeable in music.
I have been teaching guitar for more than 15 years. Every student is unique. We all have different ways of learning and retaining information: by rote, from a printed score, by ear, etc... Each student is interviewed and consulted to gain an understanding of how they learn most effectively and to create customized private lessons on the guitar. For classical guitar, there again are strict technical guidelines to achieve a beautiful tone and effective movement. To supplement my private instruction, I use different method of books and others for technical training and basic music theory as they relate to the guitar.
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...
Jeremy kochman August 11, 2015
In studio Verified Student
Kelvin is the best instructor for music that i have ever had. he is very nice and welcoming for any student.
Austin July 23, 2015
In home Verified Student
My son had a great first lesson. We are excited for next week.
Holly Mills July 21, 2015
Online Verified Student
Kelvin is a very good teacher always trying to meet students where they are.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Rahul H. May 3, 2013
Classical Guitar Verified Student
An awesome teacher
I have been learning acoustic and classical guitar from James for more than 2 years now. His technique of teaching, the motivation, tips and videos he provides are simply exceptional. I would surely recommend him for anyone interested.
I use a curriculum that incorporates traditional books of study along with books in the style of music that is of interest to the student. Instruction includes these areas of focus: Note Reading Tablature Chords Technique Music Theory Site Reading Playing by ear
I am a music professional that will help you expand your musical talents, study the basics and learn to play the type of music you enjoy! I utilize a well-rounded teaching approach that includes Note Reading, Theory, Technique, and Performance. I keep my students engaged through a curriculum that is fun, creative and designed to provide a well based understanding of music while playing a variety of musical styles that include classical, standards, blues, and rock.
I am a graduate of Winona State University with a Bachelor of Science degree for Music in Depth and have over 30 years of teach
ing/playing experience. I also serve as a Music Director for the 1st Presbyterian Church of Itasca where I provide music for weekly church services and lead the choral and hand bell choirs.
Anna S. March 9, 2015
In studio Verified Student
Patsy is a very experienced musician and knows how to adjust her teaching to the level that meets the student's level. I am absolutely satisfied with Patsy as my piano instructor and she is a wonderful person as well. I highly recommend Patsy as a musical instructor.
Jan P. August 4, 2014
Classical Guitar ·
In studio Verified Student
Students are raving about their Classical Guitar instructors on TakeLessons.
Check out some of these recent reviews.
Review by Lewis
"Just had my first lesson with David. Gave a wealth of info now it's up to me but with his approach I know it will be all good. Have had other teachers but
David is not only an accomplished player he is also is able to instruct and teach. Will write again after a few more lessons. Lewis G."
Nashville, TN teacher:
Review by Shantel
"Kelsey was a great fit for our 14 year old daughter who was just learning guitar. She really enjoyed learning from him, and he was very flexible with her
trying to learn songs that may have been a bit ahead of where she would have been in her lessons. I think that being flexible is a great way to keep your child interested in learning. He was always on time and very courteous. We are sad that he is moving but we wish him the best of luck in his future endeavors!"
Paris, TX teacher:
Review by Wayne
"Justin is very knowledgable whatever level you may be. He's accomplished in jazz, classical, rock etc... Great teacher, amazingly talented."
Chicago, IL teacher:
Review by Ashley
"If you have high standards, you'll be pleased
Having moved from Barcelona Spain we were interested in continuing our daughter's classical guitar lessons.
He is able to connect to our daughter (age 10) and encourage her while giving her good feedback. She practices on her own (without reminders) and looks forward to Jesse's visits. You won't be disappointed."
San Diego, CA teacher:
Review by william
"exellent teacher , he is very patient with me and he is funny to makes me laugh and that makes me very comfortable and that to me is alot . it makes learn
ing alot easier when im having fun and not so nervous . hes the best !"
Las Vegas, NV teacher:
Review by Keith Smelser
"Very patient and helpful."
Dallas, TX teacher:
Review by Christina
"I decided to try to learn classical guitar in my 5th decade of life. Although I had some limited musical background, I was quite apprehensive about my ab
ility to learn a string instrument for the first time at my age. I feel very lucky to have found David. He has made me feel that I can do this! He is a great teacher and has a way of making every lesson meaningful. I come away from every lesson enthused about practicing what he just showed me. My schedule is quite hectic and he has been extremely flexible about missed lessons or changes. I highly recommend David for any age or experience level. I love my guitar lessons!"
Buffalo, NY teacher:
Review by Gavin
"I couldn't have asked for a better teacher!
Blake Clifford goes beyond the 'call of duty' & really takes the time to make sure that his students receive
exactly what they need. The teaching environment is comfortable & relaxed with all of the professional resources you would expect & more.
With Blake Clifford you get real professional training - he knows what he's talking about, & he gets straight to the point. In just the little time that I've been taking classical guitar with Blake, I've learned so much. He teaches skills that you can actually apply - it's not just a bunch of theory, and that helps me out a lot by getting to the real 'meat' of the training fast.
I highly recommend Blake Clifford to anyone who is absolutely serious about improving their musicianship & getting over stubborn plateaus."
Chicago, IL teacher:
Review by Marcos
"John Demas is a teacher for life. He never fails to motivate and inspire. Follow his instruction and you will quickly become a performer and musician."