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 31 years, starting with Rock and 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!
playing 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 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...
Susan G. April 9, 2016
Online Verified Student
Kelvin is a very patient teacher! I knew absolutely nothing about mandolin or music and Kelvin has helped with that. I have a long way to go but, with Kelvins help I believe I can get there!
I highly recommend Kelvin!!!!!
Juan F. March 22, 2016
In studio Verified Student
When we were looking for a piano teacher for our 13yo daughter we were looking for someone who could also help her out with her church music as she is the "organist" during school masses. Kelvin was more than willing to do so. She has learned more in four lessons with Kelvin than she did in more than two years with a another teacher. Kelvin is very patient and makes each lesson fun. At the same time he is demanding without being strict. We are all very pleased with Kelvin's method of teaching. We highly recommend him.
Zilu Y. March 6, 2016
Online Verified Student
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.
Mike McCullough April 5, 2016
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.
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.
Learn to read music and perform classical guitar using the Christopher Parkening Method
About Matthew J
I have been playing guitar for 14 years and teaching guitar and bass for 7 years. I have worked as a private and group guitar instructor at several music education establishments in the Chicago, Los Angeles and in Eugene, Oregon as well. I have also worked as a band coach for youth groups, where I taught them cover songs, helped them write their own songs and prepared them for live performances. I studied at Columbia College Chicago majoring in Classical Guitar. I started taking private guitar lessons as a teenager for several years and played in my high school jazz band along with origi
nal rock bands. While in high school, I was able to study with popular Chicago rock virtuoso guitarist Kevin M. Buck, where I first learned music theory and was inspired to be more studious with the guitar.
I have performed in rock/modern bands for 12 years as an electric guitarist and also for 4 years as a solo acoustic guitarist mixing Bossa Nova, Classical Guitar and original compositions into my performance repertoire.
*** Lesson Details *** I'm a patient teacher that's passionate about guitar and helping students reach their musical goals whether they are casual players or serious musicians. For beginners, I use Hal Leonard instructional guitar books along with paper handouts and sheet music. I believe it's important for everyone to learn the fundamentals of music to create a strong base of skills in order to continue playing and learning music throughout one's life. For more experienced players, I like to teach various modern rock/pop songs, classical guitar songs, picking patterns, finger picking patters, improvisation, scales and music theory. I teach nylon string acoustic, steel string acoustic guitar and electric guitar and bass I believe the most basic goal for a guitar student is to be able to play a song in it's entirety, whether it's by themselves or with other musicians/music students. I believe that some of the most important music skills are learned while actually playing with other musicians. It is crucial when learning an instrument to be able to play in 'real time'; playing music with a steady sense of rhythm.
*** Specialties *** I teach Classical Guitar, Brazilian Jazz, bass guitar, rock, pop, blues, funk and folk guitar using method books, sheet music and guitar tablature.
Carlos P. March 6, 2014 Verified Student
Matthew has been a wonderful instructor. I feel that i have learned a lot and also enjoyed the process. He has also been very accomodating about special teaching requests that have helped me develop my skills in genres I enjoy.
I have been practicing classical guitar through the music program offered at my College for the past two years. In my studies, I have practiced both Contemporary and Latin genres of classical guitar.
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!
Bella April 12, 2016
In home Verified Student
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!
Anthony M. March 8, 2016
In studio Verified Student
She very good my son its happy with her 👍🏽
John Sturm November 4, 2015
Acoustic Guitar ·
In home Verified Student
Paulette really tailors the lesson to your goals. Very attentive and well trained.
Students are raving about their Classical Guitar instructors on TakeLessons.
Check out some of these recent reviews.
Review by Brandt
"Edwin inspires, challenges, and encourages. My son couldn't be more excited about the instruction he is receiving. Thank you, Edwin!"
Los Angeles, CA teacher:
Review by Vint
"He is a patient man!"
San Diego, CA teacher:
Review by Andrea
"David is a wonderful teacher who makes learning to play music interesting. He seems to focus on his student's progress and lead them in the right directio
n. I am a current classical guitar student of his and he has helped me to prepare various pieces and scales for my upcoming college audition. I would highly recommend David to anyone who wants to learn to play the guitar as he is very patient and a very skilled guitarist and teacher!"
Buffalo, NY teacher:
Review by Jerry
"Raymond is an excellent guitar instructor.
My first lesson with Raymond went exceptionally well. After listening to me play a little, Raymond immediately
honed in on my biggest weakness, and stressed the vital importance of using the metronome to play the Giuliani Right Hand Studies correctly. HIs manner was disarming and he happily answered all my questions as I tried to "pick his brain" with the many questions I had re. technique. Thus, Raymond proved to be a very knowledgeable instructor, carefully analyzing my right hand technique and sharing from his extensive background the subtleties of modern classical guitar technique as opposed to the Segovia and Romero styles. Above all, his amiable demeanor and eagerness to help me become a better player was evident throughout the entire lesson. HIs respectful behavior was very conducive to learning, and I am very excited about my next lesson with Raymond!"
San Diego, CA 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 cornelius matwijecky
"Extremely knowledgeable in so many facets of music! Very good communicator and facilitator making understanding very easy. Very personable with a great se
nse of humor . Makes music fun!"
Dallas, TX teacher:
Review by Carolyn
"When I met David, music had not always been a positive experience. As an older student, I am not always able to practice and I do have other things on my
mind. He has never scolded me for not practicing, he is very patient with all my musical hangups, and he keeps meeting me where I am at. I may still not be comfortable with music, but I am comfortable with him."
Chicago, IL teacher:
Review by Rick
"Bill is the best teacher around. His extensive performance experience makes all the difference - he knows every tip, trick and nuance in the book that cha
nges every piece from just a set of notes to a performance of color, grace and subtlety. His knowledge of the guitar repertoire never fails to amaze. And he's wonderfully patient with everyone - you don't have to play like Bream or Russell"
Boston, MA teacher:
Review by Chandler
"Matt was the first real guitar teacher I had ever had. Getting the chance to learn from him was an incredible experience. I was already a guitar player bu
t not a classical guitarist. He took me from being a normal guitarist and turned me into a passionate musician. I can honestly say that he is the reason I continue to pursue music and study where I do now. I will forever be thankful for his teaching, support, mentorship, and friendship. I would highly recommend him to anyone looking to pursue music."
Rochester, NY teacher:
2,3675-Star Student Reviews in