Deerfield 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 Randal K.

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Mundelein, IL
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About Randal
Love of music inspired to learn bass and guitar over 15 years ago. When I began teaching my young daughter guitar I realized how much I also love to teach. For the past 3 years I have been blessed to be able to combine these two passions into one.
Originally self taught, I have recently studied
bass, guitar, and theory at Chicago's Old Town School of Folk Music. Coming from a self taught background, I fully understand the importance of a solid foundation. In the beginning of my playing, after being uninspired by formal lessons, I chose to branch out on my own. This decision definitely slowed my musical growth. Having to fend for yourself is always more difficult than having a guiding hand helping you along. I enjoy passing on the knowledge it took me years to accumulate.
My musical influences range from Rock to Reggae, Blues to Folk.
Some of my favorite players include Ben Harper, Jack Johnson, David Gilmour, Bob Marley, Family Man, Glen Phillips, and Bradley Nowell. Although the bass guitar was my first instrument, and learning reggae bass is the reason I began, the acoustic guitar is my instrument of choice. I am constantly amazed at the musical range it can provide. From beautiful finger picked melodies, to it's raw percussive qualities.
However, I find equal enjoyment sharing my love of both instruments.

*** Lesson Details ***
My mission is to provide the foundation, through a relaxed and patient approach, for each individual student to reach their own maximum potential. We will cover basic techniques and theory, but we will learn how these are relative to actually playing music that the student is interested in. Let's face it, students want to play music. They are not taking lessons to learn what a pentatonic scale is, even though they will probably use it to play their favorite solo. Many beginners stop playing because they get caught up in the journey, and lose focus on the destination. If these techniques and exercises are shown to be relative to actually playing music, most students can't stop practicing, instead of viewing practice as work, or boring.
Each students' lesson is designed specifically for the individual. Handouts will be provided to offer support and reference, but the students desire and willingness to practice on their own will dictate how fast we move along.
The ultimate goal for me is to provide a relaxed atmosphere where students are having fun doing what they love. There will be plenty of time to learn complex chord shapes and theories. I simply want to create players who once they have started, will never stop playing.

*** Studio Equipment ***
I am available for lessons given in your home or mine. I provide small recording equipment, and drum machine. Each student will be able to record a cd of their playing to help in the learning process.

*** Travel Equipment ***
Recording equipment, drum machine, amps, and lesson plans. Student provides own instrument. Although I have provided instruments in certain situations.

*** Specialties ***
Rock, Reggae,Blues, and Fingerstyle.
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Reviews
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ChristineM2 May 4, 2012
· ·
Randal is a great instructor. He's passionate about music and helping students to learn. He is very good about breaking things down to the basics to facilitate learning for students of all ages.
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DuncanB January 21, 2012
· ·
Anya's lessons

Anya is progressing quite well and really enjoying her lessons!
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KaliL March 21, 2011
· ·
Very likeable & knowledgeable!

Randy has been a great teacher for my 6-yr-old daughter. She is really shy & he was great with her. Friendly. Tailored the lessons to her level!
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Randal K.

Randal K.

Mundelein, IL 60060
(5)
starting at
$29 / 30-min

About Dora H.

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Chicago, IL
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About Dora
*** Studio Equipment ***
Living room w/ piano and seating for parents

*** Specialties ***
Piano and voice, musical theater and classical music.
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Reviews
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Debbie November 2, 2017
· Piano · In studio
My 6 year old son has been taking piano with Dora for just 6 months, but has done amazingly well under her teaching. Dora is fantastic with kids, and she has such a warm, friendly nature that my son always looks forward to his lessons. A number of my neighbors send their kids to Dora for voice and piano, and have nothing but wonderful things to say. I plan to send my younger child to Dora when she's older.
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Marvi October 25, 2017
· Piano · In studio
Dora is an insightful piano teacher, personable and kind to her students. Her attentiveness and piano instruction has helped our children grow from no piano experience to playing a minuet during the course of a year.
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Sally October 24, 2017
· Piano · In studio
Dora is an amazing teacher- she is knowledgeable and patient. My 6 year old daughter looks forward to her lesson each week and is begging to take singing with her as well. I only wish she was my teacher growing up! I am tempted to start lessons again! I have recommended her to several friends who are also very pleased with her teaching abilities.
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Dora H.

Dora H.

Chicago, IL 60618
(21)
starting at
$30 / 30-min

About Dan P.

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Des Plaines, IL

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About Dan
I am a member of the Chicago Northwest Symphony Orchestra. I have been instructing students from kindergarten to high-school all over Chicago area for the past thirteen years. My highest accomplishment is having a high-school sophomore student playing first chair first violin on Chamber Orchestra and third chair first violin in Symphonic Orchestra at Maine Township High School, Park Ridge, Illinois. Other accomplishments are having students prepared for Granquist Memorial Music Competition, Geneva Illinois.

My lessons are always focused on adapting the violin practice to fit the character of the individual student. Besides learning good violin performance practices, the student will shape up character by developing strengthening the brain which will help in development of overall cognitive activity.

Learning to play violin not only
opens the mind for greater understanding of artistic expressions but also adds to the quality of experiencing life more complex otherwise not possible in absence of music.

*** Lesson Details ***
Lessons are based on the Suzuki school but adapted for the preferences and/or necessities of the student.

- Warm up exercises
- Quizzing student about difficulties met during practicing in the period between the lessons.
- Assessing the approach of addressing the difficulties while preforming the musical piece under study.
- Explaining how to fix problems and how to approach daily violin practice.
- Musical notions, musical theory.
- Musical notation reading/ Ear development exercises.
- Recap and assignments for next lesson.

*** Studio Equipment ***
Violin, computer, microphones, keyboard, audio interface, speakers.

*** Travel Equipment ***
Car

*** Specialties ***
Violin teaching.
Audio recording and editing.
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Reviews
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Declan April 30, 2018
· Violin · In studio
Thank you Dan, so happy with my lessons with you...
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MJ April 10, 2018
· Violin · In home
So far so good, I cannot complain about anything. Dan's approach is different of which I like. He really wants you to master the basics. So when the more complicated finger placements come, you'll be able to float along without thinking. An A++ t e a c h e r without a doubt. I would recommend him any day of the week.
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Connie Nash March 2, 2018
· Violin · In studio
I am happy to leave a very positive review for Dan! I am an adult beginner, and when looking for a violin teacher, I wanted to find someone with professionalism, a good knowledge of the violin, and of course, patience. My grown children had a variety of violin and piano teachers while growing up and I wish I was able to find someone like Dan for them at the time. My two daughters had piano instruction with an intense, very experienced pianist at a prestigious music school. They learned excellent technique, but it was very stressful and only one continues to play as an adult for pleasure. I am so impressed with how Dan has concentrated on a strong foundation of proper violin technique in a patient, gentle manner. I highly recommend him for students of any age. I recommended him to my daughter for my granddaughter who is 6 years old. His studio would be far for my daughter to get to, but it would be well worth the commute!
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Dan P.

Dan P.

Des Plaines, IL 60016
(18)
starting at
$20 / 30-min

About Yulia B.

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Chicago, IL
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About Yulia
I am a professional percussionist. I have been teaching private lessons since 2010 and is currently available to teach lessons at your home or in my home studio, and online.I have helped my students to learn how to read music, obtain good hand posture, develop their technique and musicality.
I received Bachelors of Music in Percussion performance from the Chicago College of Performing Arts, Roosevelt University in 2015. Currently, I'm pursuing Masters Degree in Percussion Performance at the DePaul School of Music. I look forward to helping my new students achieve their goals.
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Reviews
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Coleman M. May 24, 2018
· Russian · Online
Yulia is great! I was a little disorganized and Yulia proposed accommodations with ease.
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sara M. May 22, 2018
· Russian · Online
Wonderful , knowledgeable, enthusiastic and patient teacher
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Amelia A. October 10, 2017
· Drum · Online
Great experience - my daughter really liked her first lesson, and came away enthusiastic. You can’t ask for much better.
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Yulia B.

Yulia B.

Chicago, IL 60622
(11)
starting at
$25 / 30-min
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About Neil G.

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Spring Grove, IL
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About Neil
I teach advanced rock/blues/metal electric guitar also---but I’ve had the blessing of studying classical music with the world’s most eminent artists-and have performed at numerous music festivals, guitar competitions, and universities throughout North America. I’ve also performed with orchestras, chamber ensembles, bands, various duos, in rock/metal bands, and as a “street” musician. I’ve received scholarships from every school I’ve attended:The Wisconsin Conservatory of Music, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, Stetson University(BM ~classical guitar performance-cum laude), and Denver University in 2006-7(graduate studies with reknowned Maestro Ricardo Iznaola)

I’ve also been very fortunate to have been invited to perform in dozens of public and private masterclasses for the worlds’ greatest maestros. I’ve worked as a guitar teacher
for the Stetson University Community School of the Arts, ran a small studio in Cherry Creek, Colorado, and now teach privately at home.
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Reviews
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Georgina Mcleod August 5, 2017
· Guitar · In studio
This was a great first lesson. I brought material to the lesson and Neil knew instantly how to play this ! He watch my playing and knew how to suggest improvements. I really felt like I learnt a lot !
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Neil G.

Neil G.

Spring Grove, IL 60081
(1)
starting at
$45 / 45-min

About Matthew H.

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Chicago, IL

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About Matthew
Music is something all of use as a form of vitality! It's something that humanity universally enjoys and participates in; whether it's through listening to music, attending a concert or actually playing, you are part of music.

I've always believed that anyone can develop musical talent once the correct learning environment is set up. Growing up learning the Suzuki Method, I combine these concepts with the many other vital ideas in violin pedagogy. When teaching, my responsibilities include inspiring the child and advising the parent so our goals can be accomplished during the week. I adapt my teaching style to suit the needs of each student, so I can keep my students interested in playing and motivated by their own accomplishments.

Learning the violin is dynamic and full of creativity and problem solving. We are at the same time d
isciplinarians, cheerleaders, poets, psychologists, and violinists. As a performer myself, I demonstrate frequently in front of my students. In fact, I will often choose passages that I can't play perfectly myself but that I am able to greatly improve right in front of their eyes. My goal in doing this is to show them how in a relatively short amount of time, but with immense focus, one can solve a problem.

Whether the violin is an interest, hobby or something you want to pursue professionally, I'll always give you the best advice and training to achieve your personal goals.

My current private students have had great success in studio recitals, auditions and becoming confident in their own musical ability. I'll always bring a positive and encouraging attitude to tackle any obstacle in your playing.
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Matthew H.

Matthew H.

Chicago, IL 60640
starting at
$30 / 30-min

About Geordie K.

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Chicago, IL
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About Geordie
My skill-set and industry expertise are comprehensive and up-to-date. I make it my top priority to see that my instrumental performance and pedagogy is executed well and
efficiently. My career has also seen its share of achievements; while working as a Navy Musician, I became one of only 25 Bandmasters/commissioned officers in the Navy Music Program Navy-wide. Furthermore, my concurrent work throughout my career as a private, freelance musician has yielded two recordings as a leader, and my becoming an Endorsement Artist for Heritage Guitars in 2001.

During my time working at the Armed Forces School of Music, as Jazz Guitar, Jazz Improvisation, Jazz Combo, and Jazz Big Band instructor, I learned a great deal and achieved a number of goals. One of my highest achievements was earning the Master
Training Specialist designation for excep
tional performance as an instructor in a record 4 months. This typically takes 1-3 years to attain. Earning this designation led to my earning 5 Meritorious Commendation Medals and 4 Navy Achievement Medals to date,
which in turn led to the best trained Navy Musicians graduating from the Armed Forces School of Music during my tenure. In my recent capacity as Director, Navy Band Great Lakes, I was able to significantly expand my skill-set.

My responsibilities for programming music and managing travel for a concert band, parade band, ceremonial band, Dixieland band, jazz ensemble, jazz combo, brass quintet, woodwind quintet, and a blues band caused me to develop my musical knowledge across all genres, as well as my ability to manage large sums of money. I've
been stationed here since 2014, and I work regularly as a jazz guitar leader and sideman on the Chicago gig scene. Upon my retirement from the Navy Music Program in 2018, I will remain in Chicago and devote the full entirety of my efforts to performance, pedagogy, and recording as a private citizen-musician.

I have held a SECRET clearance for 21+ years. That is the most intense background check anyone can get, which is why I passed on the Take Lessons background check.

Currently available for tours, lessons, recording, and live performances.
...
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Geordie K.

Geordie K.

Chicago, IL 60640
starting at
$50 / 30-min

About Robert B.

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Chicago, IL
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About Robert
My name is Robert, most call me Rob for short! I’ve been teaching independently for 5 plus years now. I teach all ages and styles of the instrument. All of my students always leave satisfied and eager to learn more. I have a large youth audience as well due to the metal group I perform with!
...
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Robert B.

Robert B.

Chicago, IL 60647
starting at
$25 / 30-min

About Josephine S.

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Chicago, IL
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About Josephine
Josephine is a current opera singer in the Chicago area. She completed her degree at North Park University and continued on to study her masters. She performs around the Chicago area and has also appeared in summer programs throughout the United States. Josephine also works as a music director at a church and has skills in piano accompaniment and conducting. Her favorite role she has ever performed was Queen of the Night.
...
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Josephine S.

Josephine S.

Chicago, IL 60656
starting at
$34 / 30-min

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