As a guitarist in my early years I spent much time reworking my technique and gaining insight in how guitar playing really works. My early struggles gave way to a solid knowledge of the guitar and music.
This was gained through no small part through my High School music teacher, through master classes of Manuel Lopez Ramos and Abel Carlevaro and others.
These master classes helped me in a big way to develop teaching systems and principles that can help anyone to learn guitar easier and more effectively.
You will gain from the knowledge of these world class guitarists and teachers which will help you to play better and more musical.
And from my musical background-of playing hundreds of songs and compositions of many styles and understanding o
f musical structure.
I will give you simple technical training to help the hands work together and develop a musical sound. As I teach I look for your gifts (in creativity, musical playing etc) and actively look to enhance that gift.
When problems come along in your studies, I help you to solve them in a way you can apply them for yourselves. Teach and show students how music works and how to play artistically.
How to Start
Will work with you to find a convenient time/day to schedule lessons at your home or our studio
There is a money back guarantee on the 1st lesson so you can try and see how lessons can help you to reach your goals. Selecting the "get started now" button will put you in contact with our student counselors.
P.S. Take the first step in learning music by contacting us.
*** Lesson Details *** Teaching for over 13 years in all major styles. Helping beginning or returning students of all ages (kids and adults). and backgrounds to learn music.Have taught all ages from 5 to 60 years old.
Will work to develop a personalized plan specifically for you and/or your child or family member.
Studied at Roosevelt University as a classic guitar major with music education and jazz studies.
Give students a well rounded education in all the major styles-techniques, teaching them finger picking as well as pick technique, chords and improvisation.
I specialize in building a strong foundation both musically and technically for people that have not played guitar or even music before and helping them to reach the musical goals they desire.
For the pick guitar I use the Mel Bay method along with handouts for chords/exercises and finger picking patterns This gives you flexibility to explore many musical styles.
For classic guitar I use the Sagreras or Parkening methods plus the same handouts as for pick guitar.
For electric bass I use the Hall Leonard Method, plus handouts.
I teach children how to practice and to keep a practice schedule.
I operate with a patient approach, a comfortable learning process. This helps you to learn properly and builds a solid foundation for your playing.
In general after 3 months you will know all the basic chords and how to change them. How to play the blues scale, read music /tab plus some songs with basic chords.
For the electric bass you will play blues patterns, read music and tab.
After 6 months you will be in general able to play bar chords, and more complex songs (with full chords).
For the electric bass more complex songs, movable major scales.
Keep in mind as you move through these studies you will be enjoying playing music and be moving towards the goal you had in mind in taking up music including learning the music, the styles you wanted to play.
*** Studio Equipment *** I can provide a music stand and a foot stool. I can get them or show them where to get a method book They would just need a guitar.
*** Travel Equipment *** I can teach lessons at the students home in Des Plaines, Park Ridge, Morton Grove, Skokie, Wilmette and adjoining communities.
*** Specialties *** Be encouraged that you and/or your family member can learn to play and it's not as hard as you think.
What I have found is it takes no special talent to play the guitar, just the desire to practice and learn. Lessons with a teacher helps you to learn quicker and more problem free, unlike other approaches. A teacher can help you personally when you have problems and questions. The investment you make will help you or a family member to play music for many years...
Teach most major styles folk, rock, blues, classical, finger picking, Jazz (Bossa Nova) Also gospel, praise and worship guitar.
Study Classical Piano with an International Steinway Artist! Learn to play the piano, duo piano and chamber music or be accompanied and coached for your recital or audition with Susan M. I offer premium quality musical instruction and stress the importance of a sound foundation which includes theory, analysis, and technique. Music History and Appreciation is incorporated into lessons as desired. Life coaching included!
*** Lesson Details *** Piano, Chamber Music Coaching for Piano, Strings and Woodwinds, Audition and Competition Prep, and Accompanying from Prize-winning American Pianist and Steinway Artist.
*** Studio Equipment *** Three gorgeous pianos: Steinway M, plus Steinway B and Baldwin SF-10 Concert Grands. Large Music Library.
*** Specialties *** Chamber Music Concertos Duo Piano Repertoire Audition preparatio
Susan is an outstanding pianist and teacher. She genuinely cares about the musical development of each of her students. I would highly recommend her to any serious student looking to work with a top rate teacher. It makes a difference!
December 23, 2015
I am a 50-something-year-old business executive who began taking beginner piano lessons with Susan Merdinger almost 5 years ago.
Now, I am performing Chopin Nocturnes and Preludes and cherished works by Mozart and Beethoven to name just a few.
My Mom let me quit piano lessons in 1967 when I was growing up on the Southside of Chicago. I spent the next 45 years regretting it.
Now, as my piano teacher, Susan is inspiring me to make up for lost time.
At the end of each year, I am amazed at being able to play pieces I couldn’t have imagined performing 12 months earlier. This satisfying achievement comes only because of Susan’s character and competence as a teacher and her passion and enthusiasm to motivate me to practice 1 to 2 hours every day.
Susan is patient while maintaining very high standards with a commitment to excellence. She celebrates the progress of all her students to whom she is dedicated. While waiting for my lesson to begin, I have watched in amazement as she interacts with a full studio of very diverse students, young and old, boys and girls, beginners and advanced, even handicapped blind and autistic students. I’ve watched as she’s brought smiles to all her students after their recitals and audiences after her own concerts.
And Susan is one of the smartest persons I know who is expanding my horizons of the classical repertoire I play and appreciation of the classical music I listen to. There is a special pride to see your piano teacher perform solo or with members of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra at historic venues in Chicago or New York City.
I am a busy executive, but my piano lesson is the highlight of the week, even if that entails a 90-minute battle in Chicagoland rush hour traffic to get to my lesson.
That’s because my life is richer with the music Susan imparts.
I can’t recommend her strongly enough.
December 2, 2015
The first lesson with Susan was fantastic. My daughter is looking forward to working with her.
I'm a self taught guitarist who has been playing for nearly 20 years. I have played professionally in numerous bands and ensembles ranging from jazz to folk to rock, and I've been writing music for the same length of time. I currently perform with one of my students from TakeLessons named Mackenzie O'Brien.
I graduated from Columbia College Chicago in May 2014 with a BA in Music Composition. I studied under composers: Drew Baker, Kenn Kumpf, Ilya Levinson, and Marcos Balter. I've performed and worked with members from the groups, Del Niente and Chicago's Composer's Collective.
I build my lesson plans around each of my students based on their interests. I'll try to incorporate music they enjoy into their music regime. I keep lessons pretty relaxed, but will challenge a student who is looking for something m
ore difficult. I go at the pace you learn best at!
Bass guitar, ukulele, song-writing, counterpoint, orchestrating, arranging, music theory, and composing are subjects I'm well versed in and love to teach to other people.
I'm experienced with all kinds of music software, such as: Pro Tools, Logic, Garage Band, Cubase, FL Studio, Finale, Sibelius. If you want to learn how to write, record, mix, and master your own music, there's never been a better time to learn.
A native of Chattanooga, TN, Robert T. has been hailed by critics as a “sonorous-voiced” bass-baritone with “rich tones” who creates “a solid foundation for the entire performance.”
That’s the first sentence of my professional biography. I thought I'd use it to get the ball rolling.
I wasn’t always a performer. In fact, I’m what you’d call an introvert, but I always loved music. In high school, I was pressured into auditioning for the school musical and I actually got a lead role! From that moment on I was hooked and the trajectory of my life was altered forever!
I went to Berry College for my Bachelor of Music Education degree. My voice teacher taught me how to fill a theater with the sound of my voice WITHOUT A MICROPHONE! He nudged me onward to get my Master’s degree at the prestigious School of Music at Indiana University
, where I met my wife, Michelle Kei Ishuu, who is also a great performer and teacher. We often teach together, so you get twice the benefit in your lessons!
We have lived in San Diego and New York City. We’ve performed on stages across the country and throughout Europe and we’ve worked with some AMAZING artists over the years who have graciously shared their gifts with us. Now, we have the pleasure of sharing what we’ve learned with our students.
Do you want to learn a bulletproof singing technique that can be easily modified to sing anything from Opera to Broadway? I can teach you. Do you need someone to help you become a better performer and realize your full dramatic potential? I can do that, too.
The goal of learning to be a better performer is to perform better. Through our partnership with Southminster Presbyterian Church, we can offer you the added benefit of a supportive space to try out your new skills. When you’re performance-ready, you can perform for a live audience in one of our scheduled recitals or even as a special musical guest for one of Southminster’s regular church services.
Let me help you find your REAL VOICE!!!
Questions? Just ask. I look forward to hearing from you!
Rob and Michelle are by very far the best voice instructors I've had and I have had several. They are both very personal and have a great approach to teach the fundamentals and take you along a great journey to become a better singer! I highly recommend them both to anyone interested in developing their singing abilities!
July 10, 2017
I absolutely adore working with Robert in preparation for my future in the voice and music industry. His technique and approach for both the voice and music theory is not only helpful but also fun. Under his instruction I'm both able to learn both technique on how to better my sound and the anatomy behind it. I enjoy going to voice twice a week and I always look forward to my lessons as they approach. I truly feel I am being prepared in the bests ways possible for my future as well as the most fun learning environment voice teachers have to offer.
July 9, 2017
I highly recommend Robert as anyone's vocal teacher! I'm very ambitious when it comes to what I want to accomplish with each lesson, and Robert has been very dedicated to helping me achieve my goals every week. He also pushes me to do better at each lesson, which is definitely a great motivator to keep up my practice and reach my goals faster! Whether you're at a beginner, intermediate, or advanced level, Robert will meet you at the level you are at and train you to become better!
Michelle Kei I., a soprano of Japanese and American heritage, "uses her strong dramatic soprano to slice through the orchestra" in a varied repertoire that encompasses Verismo to Broadway. Possessing a captivating stage presence and praised as "superb," "gifted," and a "constant breakaway from the rest of the vocal pack," she has entertained audiences on stages around the world.
Those are the first two sentences of my professional biography. I thought I'd use them to get the ball rolling.
Ever since I can remember, I've always been a performer. I come from a very musical family. I was always singing! I sang at home, in church, in show-choir and musicals at school - basically anywhere I could find an audience!
When I decided to go to college to study music, I chose the prestigious School of Music at Indiana University. I wanted to
sing Broadway, but my father encouraged me to study classical singing first, so I'd have the foundations for a bulletproof technique that could endure a long and demanding career. I'm so glad that he did!
Who would have thought that I would learn to LOVE opera?!? It had everything that Broadway did, and so much more! Plus, I learned to fill a theater with the sound of my voice and soar over the orchestra WITHOUT A MICROPHONE!!!
Would you like to learn how to do that? I can show you how.
Let me help you find your REAL VOICE!!!
What you can expect from me:
- I will provide a supportive and effective work environment.
- I will make recommendations on repertoire based upon your goals
- I will provide you with an individualized regimen of study based upon your strengths and development, not a standardized format of study.
What I expect from you:
- Learn the musical selections we choose. Your lesson time should be used for improving your technique, not learning your music.
- Leave your outside life at the door. It will be waiting for you when you leave.
- Enjoy the process. Experiment. If it doesn't work, try something else. Take constructive criticism as an opportunity for improvement, not as a personal attack.
- Commit yourself fully! Be engaged. The benefit you receive is equal to the work you put into the process.
I found Michelle and Robert on the internet, looking for a local voice instructor for my kids (ages 15 and 10). My kids were willing to give them a try and started in May 2019. Per the kids: Michelle and Robert are so kind, supportive, and have high energy; they are never bored. Mind you, going in, these kids were scared of voice lessons - they were very concerned about "opera" (or what they thought opera was). Both kids now look forward to lessons: it's fun, they get to express themselves, and they really appreciate the learning environment created by Michelle and Robert. They even learned a couple of Italian art songs. I can see their CONFIDENCE in performing/singing get stronger and more secure. I think the key is the great rapport they have with Michelle and Robert. I am delighted with the children's progress and am grateful for these great teachers.
May 31, 2019
Realmente estamos encantados de haber encontrado a Michelle y a Robert. Mi hija a tenido un gran avance en su canto, ademas de ser excelentes instructores son muy amables, profesionales. Yo creo que no pudimos encontrar mejores instructores como ellos. Si hay alguien que me pueda leer en español les recomiendo los servicios de Robert y Michelle.
Michelle, Robert gracias por su gran trabajo y dedicacion.
Sidney y Nayelly padres de familia.
May 30, 2019
Last week in downtown Chicago, my daughter made it to an advanced round in a National-Level singing competition! This was an INCREDIBLE and PRICELESS EXPERIENCE for my daughter. I cannot imagine other studios providing such opportunities in the way that Michelle and "Sing IT Forte" do. From a parent's perspective, I can tell you: Nobody does it better!
I have both a Bachelors and Masters degree in music education in addition to extensive professional clarinet performance experience and enjoy teaching the clarinet. I am a Grammy nominated Music Educator and encourage students to explore classical and popular styles in lessons.
If there is a special time request that is not currently available please reach out. I've taught very beginners to helping adults land successful military band auditions. Am a certified music Educator with a K-12 endorsement in music in IL.
Corey was a great instructor for my 4th grader. We wanted him to keep up with his clarinet lessons over Summer break. My son gets very easily frustrated when he struggles and Corey handled it all very well, always giving a new suggestion on what he could do to improve. In just 5 short lessons, Corey helped my son with his embouchure, finger placement, tounging and my son was finally able to play his B and C notes. That had really been holding him back from playing lots of music. Highly recommended!
April 3, 2017
Mr. Ames has been one of my favorite teachers during my time at LA. He is always willing to listen and help his students if they go to him. He is passionate about teaching, his main goal is to help his students succeed in whatever way he can. He always tries to make a fun and worthwhile experience everyone should appreciate the great teacher that he is.
April 3, 2017
Mr. Ames is an amazing teacher! He helped me land a spot in the all district band my freshman year in high school and constantly pushed me to strive and be my best. I highly recommend him for anyone that is looking to have fun and be a better clarinet player.
I graduated with a bachelors in music education at Western Illinois University in 2012. At the university I received talent grants to play in the symphony orchestra as a violinist, I also sang in the school of music top choir. After graduating I immediately was offered a position at a music studio in Geneva and have been successfully working for them for the last 5 years. For the last 3 years I have worked at a middle school in Elmhurst as a choir director and also was the vocal director for 3 musicals and head director for 2 plays. I have background with special education students from ages 5-13.
Although I am primarily a violinist and vocalist I also teach up to intermediate in piano, viola, cello, and acoustic guitar at the music studio. I believe that it is important for the student to be able to learn music theory at their skill l
evel, problem solving, and also enjoying what they play. Beginning lessons will give students a strong foundation of their instrument but adding on solo music.
She asked me what I wanted to learn and assisted me in a very patient way, and showed me the correct way of strumming and whatever else that was needed. A very good start.
June 18, 2018
Felicia is a great teacher! We work well together, she asks how I want to learn and she helps me to understand what I’m learning! As an adult learner, it helps that she can modify my lesson to suit my specific needs. I think this will be a great partnership!!
March 18, 2018
Felicia has truly helped me improve on the viola. From spotting my wrong bow hold to making sure that I am absolutely positive on where the fingerings are for the key, she has most definetly improved my playing over all and is helping me advance past most of my peers in my school orchestra.
Bill is in his sixth season as Principal Trumpet with the Lyric Opera of Chicago and his third season as Assistant Principal Trumpet with the Grant Park Summer Music Festival Orchestra. He was a member of the trumpet faculty at DePaul University for five years and has presented performances and masterclasses at Northwestern, Roosevelt, and Northern Illinois Universities. Bill frequently performs as Principal Trumpet with the Chicago Philharmonic
Orchestra and has appeared with the Chicago Symphony and the Milwaukee Symphony. He has also performed works in numerous chamber ensembles in the Chicago area including Walton’s Fa- cade with the Dempster Street Pro-Musica Chamber Ensemble, Bach’s 2nd Brandenberg Concerto and Poulenc’s le Bal Masque for WFMT radio’s Summer Rush Hour concerts. In 2014 Bill was featured as guest soloist with the
Sibiu Philharmonic in Sibiu Romania. More recently he performed as guest soloist at the National Brass Band Competition Gala Concert.
I feel fortunate to have Bill as my teacher. Bill is an outstanding player and teacher. I have been able to progress far faster with lessons with Bill than I could on my own.
April 22, 2019
When Bill was my band director over a decade ago, he was the best music teacher I'd had at that point. After reconnecting with him and having him work with me on my techniques more recently as an adult player, that opinion still stands very strongly. He has a wonderful way of phrasing things that help you just "get it," and has expert advice from everything from fundamentals and helping you achieve your best sound, to more advanced techniques such as double and triple tonguing.
April 13, 2019
Bill is a great pedagogue and a fabulous trumpet player! Thank you for the great information!
"He has great patience and makes the instructions clear. He is very nice and friendly."
"Great first lesson!"
"Cole is a dedicated and patient instructor. He customized his approach to my son's level and works at his pace. He makes the lesson engaging and interact
ive. He has great experience and also strong ability to teach that experience to others. Our schedule is crazy and Cole is flexible and understanding which makes a huge difference. We are thankful we found him and looking forward to continuing lessons."
When I first met Keith, or as I call him Coach, he went right to business. Took out my notebook, and in the 30 Minutes, I learned so
much about music notes that I could go home and remember without looking at the book. He Is an AWESOME teacher and someone that I will always admire and look up to. He is very patient and gives a lot of similarities to what he went through years past to what I could handle now. The unfortunate part is that I had to cancel some classes because of my A/C and Heating job and he always had extra time during the day to squeeze me in. He will always be in my mind, and there is not a single day that goes by that i tap my fingers while listening to music and measuring the beats in a song. Its fun! And he got me in LOVE with drums even more. Coach, i know you are reading this, and I am glad you are, just want you to know I really appreciate your time with me and give me something to accomplish, which is learn something new in my life. Coach, you are the greatest and I hope new students who come to for training and help realize that it will be the best 30 minutes they can ever receive from any music teacher. GOOD LUCK!!"
"Allison was fantastic. Kind, knowledgeable and enthusiastic."
"Ashley did a great job! My son felt that it was a very productive lesson!"
"Brie always arrives on time. Good email communication. The kids love her. Does voice as well as piano. Very very nice and good teacher. Highly recomm
"Great at helping expand my range, improve my tone, and sing rock music"
"Molly has been teaching my two children age 7 and 8 for almost 2 months. She is professional, kind, and patient. I highly recommend her service.
If you're wondering, "Am I a good singer?", you may be tempted to get advice and input from the Internet via one of the many "rate my voice" type of websites. Here, Liz T. explains the pros and cons of going this route...
Many singers are curious to know what kind of feedback they'll receive if they post a video or clip of themselves singing on a “rate my voice” website, such as midomi.com, singist.com, and even YouTube. I'm here to tell you the pros and cons of these websites and …