Cary 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 ful
l-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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David June 29, 2017
· Classical Guitar · In home
James is a great teacher able to break down complex music and communicate how to play it.
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Mike McCullough April 5, 2016
· 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
· 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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James P.

James P.

Wheaton, IL 60187
(10)
starting at
$30 / 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 leaders 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!

I am a constant student in the world of theatre. I am currently taking many courses with the Drama Teacher Academy, and just received a certificate for monologue work ! Currently studying more improv and musical theatre techniques. I want my students to have as many skills as possible, no matter where their love for theatre or music takes them.

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 used to be scared of theory,too- so I know what works!

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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Deb February 8, 2018
· · Online
molly is the best!!!!!!!
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Deb January 25, 2018
· · Online
molly is wonderful and I am learning so much. she has wonderful teaching methods and she is so nice. she id very talented and I am so happy she is teaching me!!!!
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Deb January 18, 2018
· · Online
learning so much molly is awsome!!!!!!
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Molly M.

Molly M.

Schaumburg, IL 60193
(170)
starting at
$35 / 30-min

About Destiny P.

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Clarendon Hills, IL

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About Destiny
I am a professional teacher and tutor who loves to learn and teach! In college, I studied music education and French, as well as vocal performance. I also worked as a tutor and received professional tutor training in the areas of French, music, and ACT test subjects (Science, Math, English, Reading, and Writing). Recently, I have been teaching music in a public school and teaching/tutoring private students in my free time. I am a professionally certified teacher with over 3000 hours of teaching and tutoring experience. I specialize in tailoring lessons to meet student needs, so all of my students can achieve their goals! I can't wait to meet you and get started working with you or your child on personalized lessons!
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Reviews
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Laura July 15, 2017
· Broadway Singing · Online
Destiny's really nice and really knows her stuff. Lessons with her are really fun!
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Sara July 14, 2017
· Opera Voice · In home
Destiny is amazing.
Me and my daughter love her very much!
What an amazing teacher who has fantastic voice and knows exactly how to teach my daughter so she can sing powerful.
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Hailey July 13, 2017
· Clarinet · Online
My daughter had her 1st lesson yesterday and she really enjoyed it! She is looking forward to next week. Afte her lesson my daughter said" mommy, I like Destiny, I want to keep her for the rest of my life".
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Destiny P.

Destiny P.

Clarendon Hills, IL 60514
(7)
starting at
$20 / 30-min

About Monica S.

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Harwood Heights, IL

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About Monica
I have at least a little experience in everything performance related. You name it - chances are I've done it! The two areas I have the most experience teaching though are acting / audition coaching (I've been teaching this on and off for over 10 years), and vocal coaching / singing lessons.

While I am a highly trained singer that can sing anything: Pop, Rock, Church Songs, Broadway, Opera, etc. - I am NOT the best accompanist. As long as you are fine working on songs with a pre-recorded accompaniment track, or a capella - I'm the teacher for you!

I'm also lucky enough to be a successful working actor and have been a paid musical theatre performer in the Chicago-land area for the past 13 years. That being said, I will occasionally have auditions or rehearsals. Because of this, I try to keep my prices affordable in exchang
e for a flexible teaching schedule. For more information on the roles I have played and theatres I have worked with - please visit my website for my resume: www.MonicaSzaflik.com

I'm also a former cast member of Walt Disney World and am a skilled puppeteer. I'm a funny / nerdy / silly teacher, so all levels of students will feel welcome. I look forward to teaching you! :)
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Reviews
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Rod M. February 13, 2018
· Vocal Training · In studio
Monica is an excellent instructor. She makes you immediately feel at ease with her patient and friendly approach to singing. She encourages input, and she tailors her lessons to the individual. I’ve only had one lesson, but I learned quite a lot in one hour. Monica is awesome!
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Dan D. November 11, 2017
· Broadway Singing · In home
Great lessons! Monica has really helped me realize my strengths, as well as to know what I need to work on. She is fun, friendly, and a great singer with tons of knowledge and experience to back up her talent. Highly recommended!
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Cayla B. April 23, 2017
· Broadway Singing · In studio
Great instructor!
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Monica S.

Monica S.

Harwood Heights, IL 60706
(7)
starting at
$25 / 30-min

About Mason J.

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Chicago, IL

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About Mason
I started playing guitar when I was 9 and taught myself how to play by listening to recordings and sounding them out. I have taught private lessons for 10 years and group/private lessons prior to that. I've played at Green Mill Jazz Club for 13 years, Millenium Park, Schuba's, Double Door, The MCA, Andy's, pretty much all venues in Chicago... and have toured the country. I play many music styles, so I can teach you mostly anything.
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Reviews
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John Mundt January 17, 2017
· Guitar ·
First lesson went great. Jason listened to what I was hoping to work on and has put together a plan to do that. Looking forward to see where this takes me.
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Mason J.

Mason J.

Chicago, IL 60641
(1)
starting at
$44 / 30-min
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About Jessica T.

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Naperville, IL

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About Jessica
Jessica teaches piano students 6 years and older; guitar and viola students 9 years and up; and voice students ages 11 years and older. She has been teaching privately since 2014 and is currently available to teach lessons at Jessica Lee Studio and online. She has helped students successfully prepare for auditions and performances, including landing the lead role in Willy Wonka Jr. at the Wheaton Park District and showcasing skills as the winner of Lincolnwood Idol.

Jessica received her training at Elmhurst College, where she completed a degree in music in 2016, after previously earning a Master’s in another field. As an expert in music education, Jessica looks forward to helping students achieve their goals. Jessica teaches at a pace suited to the student, offering music instruction that’s high quality but relaxed. She also gears her
instruction toward a student’s learning style, personality and goals to keep music-learning in perspective as both a stress reliever and potential area of achievement.
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Reviews
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Eric October 25, 2017
· Singing · In home
Super duper friendly and patient. Works well with people who are just starting out too, like I was. Always in touch with her students. Overall was helpful in every single way and always with a smile since day one. Pleasure to work with & will hopefully take again.
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Katherine January 21, 2017
· Classical Voice · In studio
Jessica is a delight to work with and has such a pretty voice! I love her studio and how welcoming it is. Give her a try!
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Jessica T.

Jessica T.

Naperville, IL 60563
(2)
starting at
$30 / 30-min

About Kayla S.

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DeKalb, IL
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About Kayla
Hi there! My name is Kayla, and I am a cellist and cello teacher with a passion for teaching. My goal is to foster a love and skill for music in as many people as possible! I have been teaching since 2011 and I have experience teaching all ages. My technique is personalized to the individual; I will try a few different things and really figure out what works for you. I have a BMA in music performance from Northern Illinois University. Some awards I have attained are: NIU Chamber Competition Winner 2014, Protege Philharmonic Concerto Competition Runner-Up. I can't wait to meet you and start on your musical journey!
...
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Kayla S.

Kayla S.

DeKalb, IL 60115
starting at
$25 / 30-min

About ryan S.

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Franklin Park, IL
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About ryan
Hi, my name is Ryan and I would love to teach you how to play guitar. I've been playing for over 10 years and have been gigging for a little less than that in my band. Over the years I have gained a lot of experience performing on stage and teaching to people of all ages. If you want to shred, jam, or rock out then look no further. I okay all styles of music and pride myself in building a fun and educational curriculum based solely on you or others who have had similar interests as you. This means if you have a question about guitar or music in general, 9 times out of 10 I can answer it. The remaining tenth is either a well kept secret, or something that is left to be found. So if you're ready to start your journey or just need a guide to help you on your way, let's​ go!
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Reviews
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Mark Herr May 12, 2017
· Blues Guitar ·
Ryan was great! He's obviously a talented guitarist and he is very laid back and makes you feel comfortable. He shows you in detail what you need to do to become a better guitar player. My ONLY advice, and the reason he doesn't get 5 stars, is I think he should have more visual aids with his lessons. For example, write down the different scales or transcribe the first several measures of a song. Then, one has something to refer back to when you are practicing and invariably get stuck. Other than that, I would highly recommend Ryan as a guitar teacher!
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Jasmen malave January 19, 2017
· Guitar ·
Ryan is prompt and very respectful and patient.
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Nancy Christensen October 3, 2016
· Guitar ·
We are so happy to have Ryan as our guitar instructor. Ryan is very knowledgeable and kind. Our son really enjoys having Ryan as a teacher.

Nancy and Andy.
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ryan S.

ryan S.

Franklin Park, IL 60131
(3)
starting at
$30 / 30-min

About Eric K.

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Chicago, IL

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About Eric
I have been teaching professional drum lessons since 2006 to students of all ages and skill levels. Earlier on in my music career I found a strong passion for teaching and saw how enlightening it is to share the gift of music. I want to give aspiring drummers the right tools that will allow them to accomplish their goals as an overall musician. Whether they want to cover a specific style, develop a solo or just know the basics of the instrument, I am here to provide the stepping stones for success. In lessons we can cover anything that you want to learn and most importantly we are just going to have some fun playing the drums.
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Reviews
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Tracie Sheehan February 28, 2017
· ·
Eric is a great drum instructor. He he very thorough and takes his time during each lesson to make sure my son understands the instruction and masters it prior moving on. I highly recommend Eric as an instructor.
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Bill Hobday January 6, 2017
· ·
I took weekly lessons from Eric for over 4 years. I had very little experience playing the drums, but a lot of desire to learn. I couldn't have chosen a better instructor than Eric.
He taught me how to read music, and always wrote out practice drills which really helped me in learning the overall lessons. Eric is extremely perceptive, and can immediately recognize what his students do well and wrong. By isolating specific parts of the lesson that causes difficulty, Eric creates drills that make learning the new part easier and more fun.
He will also play the part for you to give you an idea of how it should sound.
Because of Eric, I have learned numerous styles of drumming and the principles behind them.
Eric is a cool guy with an easy going personality, but he will always challenge you to do your best.
I strongly recommend him to anyone interested in learning how to play the drums.
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Maheboob Aalam Khatri December 6, 2016
· ·
I started off taking drum set lessons with Eric a little less than a year ago with almost no experience with percussion besides a basic understanding of music theory and little bit of practice with rudiments. When I started off, I could barely keep a beat and now I'm learning some really awesome Jazz patterns hoping to get into Lane Tech's Jazz band next year. The lessons usually go with review and/or a show-of-progress with the prior weeks material and then we know whether or not we should keep practicing the material or move on. If I've got it down then well move on to some new groves which he will write out for me and then show me how they sound and give me some tips for practicing the grooves for the week. I honestly have to say that Eric has been really motivating and encouraged me to keep practicing and I know I've made a lot of progress.
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Eric K.

Eric K.

Chicago, IL 60612
(5)
starting at
$35 / 30-min

About Rush F.

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Chicago, IL

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About Rush
I'm hoping to get to work with students who want to dive right into mastering their camera and all it has to offer, whether we're shooting on film or digital, both of which I can offer instruction in. Learning to be in absolute control of your camera and how your settings will affect your photos is key to creating your images & making sure they come out exactly the way you envision them. Our time together will be a full immersion into light-writing. Over the years, I have had approximately 4 years of cumulative formal instruction on the subject, and have been freelancing since 2011, for events such as weddings, anniversaries, baby/bridal showers, graduation and engagement photos, live concerts, and just about anything else you can think of. Previously a Photography student of Daytona State College in Florida, I made the move up to Chicago
in 2015, and am currently studying at Harold Washington College. In the spring I will graduate with my Art Studio AFA. I genuinely look forward to any time spent with someone with a desire to hone their craft, and hope to bring more inspiration to those wanting to bring forth their vision. Aside from photography, I also teach a handful of other subjects that you or someone else may be interested in!
...
Reviews
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Charlotte C. January 24, 2018
· Photography · Online
Rush is really nice and answered all my questions, he gave me tips and tricks, and different kind of photographs I could take. So if you're looking for a photography teacher then you have to give Rush a shot!
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Marcela Z. January 12, 2018
· Photography · Online
Really helpful.
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Miguel D. December 3, 2017
· Photography · In studio
Rush is awesome! He broke down the camera into easy-to-understand steps and focused on areas I was struggling with. I learned a lot in a very short amount time.
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Rush F.

Rush F.

Chicago, IL 60608
(5)
starting at
$19 / 30-min

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