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.
Have been teaching myself guitar for two years; Jim has shown me I'm ready to move up a level. His lessons (I've had three so far) are fun and he tailors them to what I want to play. Jim provides written notes summarizing the lesson and guiding my practice for the next week. And he plays guitar beautifully. Makes me hope to be good myself someday.
July 9, 2018
James is knowledgable and gives positive feedback to students
June 29, 2017
James is a great teacher able to break down complex music and communicate how to play it.
In addition to teaching music, I have also worked as a special education assistant and wrestling/track coach at Lake Zurich Middle School South and an assistant Kung Fu/Tai Chi instructor at Green Mountain Arts in Logan Square, Chicago, Illinois. Jazz piano, Voice, and Composition are my main areas of expertise. However, I have also been recording, and playing guitar almost my entire life. I fully believe in music education not only for entertainment and personal enjoyment, but for many other means. Beyond its capacity for being used as entertainment, music aids in learning, helps develop advanced motor skills, increases memory function, and many other purposes for a well rounded education. It is my goal to help educate the next generation in traditional music practices as well as incorporate new techniques that are relevant to our
current day and age.
*** Lesson Details *** Lesson plans vary from person to person. I always make it a point to get to know the student's existing musical knowledge, goals, and background before I create a personalized lesson plan. All important concepts are covered as they are needed so students can understand theoretical concepts based upon actual application and usage. In short, I teach in a way that students can "dig in" right away and play, create, improvise, sing and/or compose freely and naturally. I always encourage students or parents to contact me with their goals, previous musical training, etc., and discuss what they really want out of lessons so they can get the most out of taking me on as an instructor.
*** Studio Equipment *** Acoustic and Electric piano, Digital Recording Studio, Extensive library and teaching resources
*** Specialties *** *Teachers marked as a Student Has taught a minimum of 25 lessons and has received the highest feedback rating from students.Jazz Piano, Composition, Choral
Daniel cancelled my son's first lesson with less than a one hour notice. He attended the second lesson, but again cancelled the third lesson with a 30 minute notice. He sent me a text message to notify me and I called him back and left a voicemail. 24 hours later and I still haven't gotten a call back. I want my money back. He has wasted my son's time. Poor professionalism.
November 11, 2017
Really enjoyed the first lesson. Daniel made it fun and im excited to learn more.
April 5, 2017
Daniel adapted throughout the course of the hour-long lesson to understand what I already knew and find appropriate ways to fill in the gaps of my knowledge. He also started me on the process of learning a new approach when looking at and learning to play new music pieces.
When I was 12 or 13 I heard John Coltrane's masterpiece album 'Giant Steps' for the first time. From then on I was absolutely magnetized to the saxophone and devoted my life to studying the great art form of jazz. I have come to believe that the only thing better than playing music is sharing music with others! Hailing from Flagstaff, Arizona, I attended Western Michigan University on a four year scholarship and received my Bachelor of Music, Jazz Studies in 2009. I had the privilege of studying with the great Trent Kynaston, as well as performing with some of the most influential jazz musicians today, including Bobby McFerrin, Stefon Harris, Billy Hart, Fred Hersch, and Randy Brecker. I now live in Chicago where I teach lessons and perform regularly with my band, The Winchester Sound. I teach jazz saxophone, classical saxophone, music
theory, jazz/pop theory, music performance, arranging and composition.
*** Lesson Details *** I believe everyone gets into music for a different reason, and therefore each student deserves their own custom curriculum. It is important for students to work at a pace and in a direction that is comfortable for them. For this reason, we will start with a consultation so I can figure out exactly what you aim to get out of taking lessons. From there we will incorporate some standard curriculum and method books that I enjoy using, as well as my own techniques that involve plenty of ear training and exercises to improve one's facility on the instrument (scales, patterns, technique). Most importantly, we're going to have a lot of fun! If you are not having fun it's not even worth your time. I am very laid back and promote a stress-free environment! Remember, I was once a beginner, too. I know what it's like to learn something new, so I want to be there to guide you through it!
*** Studio Equipment *** extra music room f/w keyboard w/ seating for parents
*** Travel Equipment *** I provide no equipment. Student must provide saxophone, reeds, books, etc.
*** Specialties *** My passion is jazz. Not just jazz saxophone, but the art form in general. I love to teach people the theory behind improvisation and watch them as they explore and internalize the endless possibilities thereafter. I am also classically trained and am equally proficient in that area, although I would say I do prefer jazz. In summary, my specialties would be: jazz saxophone, jazz theory, improvisation, jazz arranging, saxophone performance, composing.
Great Teacher! Great experience. I have homework (yay!), and I am looking forward to returning.
September 7, 2018
Sean is a great teacher! He's extremely knowledgeable and can explain tough concepts very clearly. He's really made me feel like my goals are within reach. Highly, highly recommended (especially if you want to play jazz).
December 17, 2017
Sean is a great teacher-very upbeat and positive! He explains things in a way that makes it easy to understand. Sean makes learning fun! :)
I'm a 23 year old guitarist and composer, with an education from Berklee College of Music. I am an active session guitarist and songwriter for myself and others. I can teach you how to reach your goals as a musician or songwriter. I have extensive recording and studio experience. I will teach you what is necessary for you to reach your goals. If you are interested in just learning songs, I will not focus on theory or songwriting. If you want to learn how to compose music, I will teach you about harmony and what makes the difference between a good song and a hit song. I can also help you get accepted to any music school in the country. The truth is, most popular songs only require a small amount of chord knowledge to be played on guitar, and I would love to make that happen for you.
My guitar lessons do not have a set curriculum, becaus
e the curriculum is made individually for each student, depending on their goals, strengths, and interests. I have always strived for my guitar lessons and teaching style to bring the student to the point that they truly want to be at. Many other teachers and music schools will teach you strands of information that may have been interesting to them, but the same might not be true for the student. We are all individuals and have different tastes, and the lesson plans must take that into account. I am here to help students achieve their goals and desires on the instrument, and that is why my lessons stand out.
My new studio is located in the South Loop of Chicago, IL and has all the equipment to help making guitar has easy as it can be.
As my student, you will have access to my studio and able to record your own music and ideas anytime.
Studio Includes: -Recording Capability -Music Stands -Amps, Cords, Strings etc. -Books and Sheet Music -Logic X/Pro Tools/Finale and other music software -Fractal Audio Axe-FX II XL
Cameron is great. He is very interested in my progress and has a wealth of experience to share. He's always looking for student feedback to ensure you are getting just what you want. I am looking forward to my next lesson.
In case you have any doubts on what teacher to select, go watch his videos. He is a monster player with lots of singing in his note choice and phrasing. He is a top musician.
January 30, 2016
Great knowledge of guitar, music theory and composition. Cameron will keep you on track and focused on what you want to learn.
January 23, 2016
Cameron was one of the best teachers i have ever come into contact with. What struck me most was his patience, understanding and independent thinking. He was very observant of what worked best for me and he made the teaching program fit my speed and comfortability,while at the same time pushing me out of my comfort zone. Cameron is very thorough and fills his lessons with personal experiences of his own,new ways of thinking, good starting points and things to remember. Feel free to ask him questions about whatever is on your mind when it comes to guitar playing. With Cameron's knowledge, he will leave you with new ways of thinking about guitar, questions answered, and a new understanding. I would strongly suggest sharing the knowledge given to you by Cameron with everyone you know. His lessons are accurate, thorough, and factual. I would recommend him to anyone, especially people who want the best for their money and for their time.
I started piano lessons at the age of 3 and continued through middle school. I played the flute in the high school band and continued to pursue my love of music in college where I joined the Piano Ensemble and received a degree in Music from DePaul University. I graduated in 2015 with high honors. I have been teaching music and piano for several years. I love, enjoy, and welcome students of all ages. I enjoy teaching all styles of piano music and I believe in catering teaching styles, methods, and pieces to the individual student. I strongly believe that music lessons can be happy, fun experiences. Learning an instrument provides academic, mental, physical, and emotional benefits and strength, but it can also be a truly enjoyable experience to anticipate each week! I look forward to meeting you!
The teacher seems like she’s always in a hurry. She leaves a few minutes before it ends. She’s friendly but doesn’t make real conversation with the parent to update about my child’s progress. Knowledgeable though coz my daughter learned fast. She. Would’ve been perfect if she had a great personality
May 1, 2019
Grace was very sweet and great with my 7 year old daughter.
September 2, 2018
My daughter loved her first lesson. Grace is a great instructor. Thank you!
Experienced performer and teacher living in the Chicago area. I've taught students of all ages in both private and group settings, and utilize Suzuki and traditional methods to help you meet your musical goals. In your lesson you can expect to gain: a technical knowledge of how to play the cello in a relaxed way, music theory concepts as they apply to cello, step-by-step instruction to help you learn to play the kinds of music that you enjoy, and a dedicated teacher passionate about helping you learn!
I am a professional violinist... and fiddle player! I graduated from Roosevelt University with a Bachelor of Music degree in Violin Performance.
My students can expect to improve week to week in their violin technique and overall musicianship. Every student is interested in different types of music; I teach students to apply foundational techniques in order to unlock their own individual sound in whatever style they choose.
I teach students of all different ages and experience levels. I have studied classical violin for 14 years, and jazz fiddle for 7 years. I can teach students to read music and pursue classical excellence, but also how to perform alternative styles such as jazz or bluegrass either by ear or by using chord sheets and transcriptions.
As a professional violinist, I currently spend most of my time playing with the Civi
c Orchestra of Chicago. In the past, I have also been fortunate enough to work with amazing ensembles such as the Chicago Jazz Philharmonic and the Millennial Chamber Players. I have performed in jazz combos at iconic Chicago venues such as the Jazz Showcase and the Green Mill. I also regularly play around the city with the bluegrass band Android Mandela and the Spanish rock band Calaveras LD.
Music is everything to me, and I bring the same energy and passion to my teaching that I bring to my creative music making!
I am a professional singer specializing in Gospel, Jazz, Blues, R & B with a classical training background. I am also a pianist, recording artist, songwriter, speech professor & etiquette teacher. I utilize all these skills to help my students become stellar singers. I have a B.A in Arts & Science, M.A in Communication & Training and another M.A in Education & Curriculum.
Voice students can expect to improve week to week in their vocal technique. Every voice has a unique timbre; I teach students to release built up tension and apply foundational techniques in order to unlock their own individual sound. I can help any student to sing with freedom, confidence, and expression. Additionally, I provide my students with training on song selection, soundscapes, stage presence and career building tools.
Whether you dream is to sing in p
ublic or to make singing your lifelong career; I am the person who will help you elevate yourself. The students I will accept must be willing to commit to a minimum of 5 lessons.
Lydia is amazing! I am so excited to work with her more! I have been singing for years and heard things in my voice in our first lessson that I have never heard before.
March 3, 2019
Lydia is amazing! She caters lessons towards your specific capabilities and is always very flexible . She has an outstanding record and a powerful voice which lets you know right away that you are in good hands . I would recommend Lydia to anyone looking for gospel lessons and even those looking to venture into other voice lessons .
December 3, 2018
Very encouraging, gives honest feedback. I left with good practice techniques and confidence in my voice.
"Michelle is awesome. She so patient and calm and was able adjust to the different styles of learning and levels between our two daughters. She was also ve
ry encouraging as she engaged them in the lessons. My daughters have learned a lot in the short time they were taking lessons and are confident enough to share their knowledge with other beginners."
"You really can't find a better instructor. Motivating, patient, well-measured approach to students. Thank you, Michael!"
"Indigo is amazing! Extremely supportive, talented, and warm. As a super beginner, I noticed a dramatic change in just 5 lessons. She intuitively knows jus
t what to do to open your voice and guide you. I felt immediately comfortable with her and she's very professional. She's a magic one! Couldn't recommend more highly."
"I had a great first lesson with Jessica. The lesson took place in a comfortable studio in her house. We discussed my goals and then reviewed where I am cu
rrently. She paid carefully attention to my body position with the bow and had several great suggestions on exercises to improve it. I'm already looking forward to the next lesson."
"Randy is super helpful and experienced. I enjoy lessons and practicing. He was able to assess my lifestyle and give me some real tips/insights on effectiv
e practice. He also encouraged the skills I already built to this point. Probably the first teacher I’ve had who didn’t tell me “forget everything you know” because my real education is about to begin. He’s real, he’s practical, and he’s a genuinely good guy. And his years of experience give him this ability to be very direct and efficient with his feedback. It’s a relief to have that especially after studying music for so long. He doesn’t waste your time.
Lastly, I really do enjoy practice. It’s a new feeling lol. I came from a teacher that just tore me down a lot and didn’t build me up much. My confidence was kind of low after that. I didn’t want to practice or perform. Randy helped get me back on the horse. I feel like I have reignited what I live about performance. This was priceless."
"Awesome, great teacher, great guy!!!"
"Great instructor. Teaches in a concise way and figures out ways to help you learn faster."
"My first lesson with Donnie was excellent. He is very patient and his teaching skills are great. Looking forward to practicing and my next lesson."
"The Mark of Quality Training
âAnthony Fontana is a very talented and very professional instructor. After just a few voice lessons I have seen significa
nt improvements in myself and gotten tangible results in performances and auditions. This is the mark of quality training.""
As a parent who understands the impact the arts can have on a child’s life, you’ve probably thought about introducing your children to the wonderful world of musicals. For less than the cost of a ticket to Disneyland, you can introduce your child to these awe-inducing, inspiring productions with the many Broadway shows in San Diego.
Broadway Shows – What’s the Big Deal?
Broadway shows, originally named after the 40 professional theaters in the Theater district of Manhattan in New Yor …