Lafox Music Lessons

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About Penny R.

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216276_313410_32823
Wheaton, IL

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About Penny
ABOUT PENNY R.

I graduated from college in Virginia with a Bachelor of Music Education degree as a voice major, and minored in piano and violin. My teaching certificate was for vocal, instrumental and general music, grades K - 12, and I graduated Magna Cum Laude.

Graduate school brought me to Indiana, where I earned a Masters of Music in Vocal Performance. Migrating up to the Chicago area from there, I taught at a private music school (voice and small ensembles, as well as many faculty performances) before staying at home to raise our children, and teaching voice lessons privately in
my Studio. After 30 years of teaching, I'm still at it, and I still love it!

I am a Permanent Professional member of Music Teacher's National Association (MTNA), a National Certified Teacher of Music with the Illinois State Music Teacher's Association (ISMTA), a member of the West Suburban Chapter of ISMTA, as well as a member of National Association of Teachers of Singing. Most of my students are high school aged, but I have taught from ages seven through 70. My students regularly achieve MTNA's Music Achievement Award, are selected for District Choir and All-State Choir, as well as receive leading roles in high school and community musicals.

PHILOSOPHY

I believe that singing does something to words which nothing else can--it puts feelings to music. Everyone has feelings, and everyone can be musical. Those who pursue their vocal education can be rewarded with confidence in their ability to sing. The goal of my Studio is to promote the study of music, and to create a musical environment at each lesson so that every person's individual potential can become realized - all while having fun!

My Studio provides a nurturing environment for all singers, from beginning to advanced, children to adults. I will help you develop and maintain your vocal health, expand your vocal range, and develop your musicianship. You will learn to integrate a coordinated process of breath, pitch and tone, while exploring your vocal potential in a wide range of contemporary and classic musical styles. Teaching proper vocal technique is my primary goal with every student: fixing what is being used incorrectly, and enhancing what is already done well. I will work with you on any style of repertoire you desire: classical, opera, Broadway, jazz, folk, etc. I love it when a student wants a variety of song! And if your music theory skills are weak, we'll take care of that, too!

LESSONS

Children eighth grade and younger should sign up for half hour lessons; students high school and older should sign up for 45 minute lessons.

I am so excited to share the joy of making music with my new TakeLessons students! We get right into breathing, first thing. Once that is right, we can turn our attention to what's going on with the throat and mouth. All the while, we are learning songs by which we can practice whatever we're working on in the exercises. Everybody's different, with different tensions, both proper and antagonistic. We isolate the muscular tensions that are interfering with your perfect sound, and go from there!

*** Lesson Details ***
Come prepared to make a lot of noises with which you don't normally sing! We will explore every sound you are capable of - there's something to learn from most of them! Obviously, we'll concentrate on the ones we really want to sing with, while using a myriad of vocal exercises.

My studio brochure will explain many of the nuts and bolts of our lessons, and any expectations regarding practicing, keyboard ability and access, and how we work home practice when you don't know how to play piano. Generally, we spend about half the lesson time on warm ups/exercises, and half the time on songs. Sometimes we memorize them; sometimes we polish them; sometimes we just learn them quickly and move on to new things. Each lesson is a little different, depending on what I'm hearing from you that day.

I'm always happy to help you with school/church solos, audition material, choral parts, etc. Otherwise, we will choose repertoire together, taking into account your goals and interests, along with what makes good teaching material. Come join the fun and make some music!

*** Studio Equipment ***
My basement rec room serves as my teaching studio, so there are stairs with which to contend. Parents may stay either in the studio, or up in my living room to wait. The fully equipped studio contains a piano, audio-visual equipment for recording and play back, music stands, stools, a comfortable couch, and even a sink for quick water drinks! (Singing can make you thirsty!)

*** Specialties ***
In my 30+ years of teaching private lessons, I've amassed quite a toolbox of eclectic musical resources. That said, I still find muscle manipulative exercises while vocalizing to be the quickest route for most students to have success in building their long term voice. So I utilize those techniques frequently. With proper, healthy vocal production, a student can sing in any genre they choose. I am very concerned about producing a healthy voice with a free tone, particularly for children, so that all students can go forward into whatever style they choose with good vocal production.
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Reviews
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mark April 24, 2017
· Singing · In home
Penny is fun at the lessons and very encouraging. For an older man who never had any confidence in my voice, she is making me believe I can learn to sing out loud.
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Yelena March 15, 2017
· Singing · In home
Penny is an awesome vocal instructor! I had absolutely wonderful time taking lessons from her. She is very knowledgeable, skilled, kind and encouraging. I became much more confident and skilled after our lessons. I highly recommend Penny to anyone!
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Fatima February 27, 2017
· Singing · In studio
Mrs. Rosenwinkel was one of the best music instructors I've ever had, and hands down the best vocal coach. She incorporated just the right balance of vocal exercises and performance songs into our lessons so that I could strengthen my voice and broaden my range while keeping the lessons very engaging and enjoyable for me. She was always very encouraging and I learned so much from her. I highly recommend her to anyone looking for a voice teacher.
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Penny R.

Penny R.

Wheaton, IL 60187
(16)
starting at
$26.75 / 30-min

About Rick T.

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214109_275778_29837
Elburn, IL
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About Rick
A bachelors degree in music ed and 20+ years of playing, teaching and performing experience comes with you to every one of our lessons. Whether it be on trumpet, guitar, piano or voice I will consistently stress fundamentals that lead students towards the musicians they strive to be. I feel incorporating music that is relevant to the student and his or her goals is paramount and doable! I will always demonstrate the techniques and ideas I espouse. Lastly, I show my students the joy music has put in my life and in turn, show them how to play music towards the same ends. I am currently workin
g towards a masters in Jazz Studies at Northern Illinois University (2015) and perform regularly in the area.

*** Lesson Details ***
Lessons are typically broken up into 5 main parts
1) physical technique and warm up
- this refers to the mastery of the physical movements involved in playing the instrument
2) vocabulary practice (either by reading and/or by ear)
- scales
- chords
3) reading
- sight reading
- prepared reading
4) learning to play by ear
- song transcription and analysis
5) warm down and re-emphasis of key concepts

*** Studio Equipment ***
The teacher's home studio lessons are taught in the front room of the house. There is an acoustic piano, an electric piano, a music stand, stereo, guitar, amp, laptop, trumpets, books, and seating are all available.

*** Travel Equipment ***
I will have everything I need and can furnish music. I expect student to have a stand and a working instrument.

*** Specialties ***
I can improvise proficiently and understand music theory very well

***Special Notes***
-if you are located slightly outside my travel radius especially fox valley usually I can accommodate
-if you cant find a time that works usually i am able to fit you in somewhere else. i am flexible!
...
Reviews
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Don W. November 29, 2016
· Guitar · In home
My kids love Mr. Rick and have learned so much in the first several lessons. We are beyond impressed !
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Don W. November 29, 2016
· Guitar · In home
My kids love Mr. Rick and have learned so much in the first several lessons. We are beyond impressed !
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Mary Ellen July 8, 2016
· Piano · In home
I loved working with Rick. He works in a very different way, an approach that is really beneficial for me as an adult beginner. He teaches music structure and we worked with a singer songwriter that I love. He is pleasant and patient and very knowledgable. I highly recommend giving Rick a try for looking at playing music from a new angle.
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Rick T.

Rick T.

Elburn, IL 60119
(10)
starting at
$29 / 30-min

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 full-length album entitled “Seed.” Both bands performed all over the greater Chicago-land area and helped me hone my skills as an electric guitarist. Throughout this time, we shared the stage with national touring & recording acts Fear Factory, Mastodon, Enuff Z’nuff, and Algernon, to name a few. I now play lead guitar in the Chicago-based alternative rock band Davenport Ed and am having started an all-instrumental acoustic/rock trio with two percussionists.

Undergraduate Studies (College of Dupage and Northern Illinois University: 2002-2008)

After high school, I attended the College of Dupage (COD) and began studying jazz guitar with Dr. Zvonimir Tot. Towards the end of my studies at COD, I developed an interest in classical guitar and took lessons from Steve Ramsdell. After I received my Associate’s Degree in Music from COD I started teaching private guitar lessons at various suburban Chicagoland locations. I graduated from COD in 2004 with an Associate in Music degree. In the fall of 2005, I started my Bachelor’s studies in Classical Guitar Performance at Northern Illinois University (NIU) with Fareed Haque (Winner of “Best World Guitarist” in Guitar Magazine). While at NIU, I continued to teach & perform up until I graduated in May 2008 with a Bachelor’s degree in Classical Guitar Performance.

Graduate Studies (New England Conservatory of Music: 2008-2010)

I started my graduate studies in August 2008 at the New England Conservatory of Music (NEC) in Boston, under the tutelage of world-renowned guitarist Eliot Fisk. As an active performer in the greater Boston area, I made it a goal to bring the classical guitar to unorthodox venues such as senior centers, local TV, hospitals, dialysis treatment centers, and even juvenile halls! While at NEC, I started to take an interest in transcription, which is the art of adapting a composition for a voice or instrument other than the original. Eliot Fisk is a master at this, and his guidance was profound. In June 2010, I graduated from NEC with a Master’s in Music (with Academic Honors) for Classical Guitar Performance. My master's recital was a tour-de-force of virtuosic classical, acoustic, and electric guitar pieces with music ranging from J.S. Bach to Joaquin Rodrigo to Steve Vai.

Flamenco Guitar & Ritmo Flamenco (2009-Present)

During my time at NEC, I was fortunate enough to meet Grisha Goryachev, a master flamenco guitarist. Grisha introduced me to the basic principals of flamenco guitar and proved to be a wonderful resource. I continue my flamenco guitar studies by learning historical flamenco recordings entirely by ear. Short of living in Spain for extended periods of time, I have found this to be the purest way of learning. I am now the flamenco guitarist for Ritmo Flamenco, an ensemble that features dancer Diane Campbell.

Professional Musician & Awards (2010 – Present)

I moved back to Chicago in July 2010 and have since had hundreds of performances that include weddings, corporate events, restaurants, recitals, and more. My reputation as a premiere performing guitarist has grown rapidly in the past 2 years, and I earned 2 awards at the end of 2012: “Top Solo Guitarist” on the world’s largest entertainment site which is Gig Master and “Best of Wedding” (the world’s largest wedding-planning site). I am a regular featured performing artist at premiere restaurants in the Chicago suburbs including The Cellar Bistro in Wheaton, Eddie Merlot’s in Warrenville, and Wildwood Steakhouse in Geneva.

*** Lesson Details ***
***Teaching students ages 10+***

My first goal as an instructor is to get an idea of what the student's goals are as a guitarist, and then we start working towards that goal. This means that while the basic concepts are covered (chords, some sight-reading in most cases, scales, etc), no student curriculum is exactly the same. After a few months of studying with me, no matter what style of music, we will have learned notes, chords, and songs that are of interest to the student. Then, we will discuss how all of those elements tie together and map out a practice routine. A goal I have for every student is to create a realistic, efficient, and enjoyable practice routine that produces results.

*** Studio Equipment ***
Music stands, guitars (acoustic, electric, classical), cable/amp, appropriate paper materials & books for learning music.

*** Travel Equipment ***
I do not travel to lessons.

*** Specialties ***
I specialize in classical, rock, pop, & music theory.
...
Reviews
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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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Julian V. January 20, 2014
· Guitar ·
Jim is a top-notch professional

I contacted Jim through TakeLessons because I saw that he had the best reviews on the site and he is not far from where I live. I came to him as a beginner guitarist, with my only experience being teaching myself some basic stuff with the aid of YouTube.

Jim started out by first figuring out what my goals were in playing guitar so that he could take the most suitable approach in teaching me. At our first lesson, he had me play what I could and he gave me advice on all the fundamentals that are really important. He even noticed that I had an unorthodox way of making a G chord and gave me tips on the proper way to position my fretting hand so that, decades down the road, I do not run into trouble with pain and that sort of thing. Whheeeeeewwwww. Good save there.

Jim is very good at seeing the big picture in context with your goals as a student and delivering the lesson accordingly. He takes notes and emails them to you after the lesson, which is very nice to have. He makes videos during the lesson and then sends you a link to the video so that you can watch it a million times if you need. He does his best to accommodate your schedule if anything comes up and you have to reschedule, which I have done several times.

Jim is easy-going and has a good sense of humor, which makes the lesson more enjoyable.

In addition, Jim also performs very often in the local area and one time I was fortunate enough to see him perform in his band. His guitar solo gave me chills in my spine. This might seem off-topic, but it's not, because the reason I bring it up is because I was inspired to want to play more often and learn more because I see my guitar teacher rocking the stage and who doesn't want to do that, and also if you're going to pay for something, don't you want to make sure you're getting the best product out there? Jim is a true professional and boy can he play. Please excuse the run-on sentence.

I'm leaving this review because I'm moving and I just had my last lesson with Jim and the money I invested was money well spent.
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James P.

James P.

Wheaton, IL 60187
(9)
starting at
$30 / 30-min

About Eric J.

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Elgin, IL

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About Eric
Hi.
I'm Eric and I own a Music Lesson Studio in Elgin, IL.

I specialize in working with beginners of any age as well as advanced students who are interested in taking their playing to the next level. Here are some of the things I like to focus on.

Child beginners: Learning to read music. Building confidence and self esteem through learning to play guitar. General music education. Teaching children songs they enjoy to listen to.

Adult Beginners: Learning to play popular rock songs. Chord strumming. Having a nice, relaxing, no pressure lesson.

Advanced students: Learning to read mu
sic at a professional level. Lead guitar. Jazz improvisation.

I'm a professional, full time musician and educator and my guitar has been paying my bills my entire adult life. I have real world, professional experience playing and teaching guitar as well as bass guitar, drums, piano, mandolin and more on countless gigs here in Northern, IL. I teach between 30-50 private students per week. I have taught hundreds of students in the past 12 years how to reach their musical goals. I've played tons of theater. I played guitar, mandolin, and drums as a swing musician for the Chicago Production of Jersey Boys at the Bank of America Theater in 2008. In 2014 I played a lot theater gigs for local productions such as Little Shop of Horrors (bass), Hands on a Hardbody (Guitar, Steel/Slide) and Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dream Coat (guitar). I grew up as a gigging rock n roll/blues guitar player, but my heart is in jazz. I am confident and fluent in, and have gigged most styles of guitar playing.
...
Reviews
Silhouette-80
Rob April 24, 2017
· Acoustic Guitar · In studio
He did a good job making guitar interesting.
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Josh August 4, 2016
· Guitar · In studio
My son is thrilled. Eric was friendly, funny and patient. Josh is so excited for his next lesson.
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J.R. M. June 29, 2016
· Guitar · In studio
I met with Eric at his studio in Elgin, and he was extremely friendly and welcoming. He gave me a very good and informational lesson on some specific musical questions I had about progressing in my saxophone career. He gave me specific instructions on places to visit, useful websites, and names of people. This information may seem trivial, but I was at a personal stopping point on some issues, and Eric provided the tools for me to continue. I highly recommend Eric to anyone looking to learn what it means to be a professional.
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Eric J.

Eric J.

Elgin, IL 60120
(12)
starting at
$22 / 30-min

About Jason P.

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Saint Charles, IL
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About Jason
Below are three crucial elements as it pertains to playing with a band, not just as an instrumentalist, that most of us often overlook:

- Use your head
- keep counting
- Use your heart
- feel it
- Use your ears
- listen to your band on and off the stage

I've noticed that there's a divide between the feel of music and Music Theory. I, on the contrary, don't see them divided at all. I think the two work hand-in-hand. It's only through a proper balance of theory and feel manifested through thousands of hours of practice that we begin to play to our fullest potential.

I'm
not only talking about rudiments, techniques, genres, and exercises but also about ambitions, goals, ideas, and creativity. I try to convey to every single one of my students the urgency of finding what they love to do, and doing it to the best of their ability.
...
Reviews
Silhouette-80
Steven February 24, 2017
· Drum · In studio
I decided to take drumming lessons after watching the movie Whiplash, and a friend recommended Jason as a teacher. Being a complete novice, I was nervous that it would be to difficult to learn this ridiculous instrument from scratch. Jason knows his stuff and prepares lessons that coincide with my ability. He is a patient person, and really wants to get the best out of you with each lesson. I am 8 lessons in and by no means am I Buddy Rich yet, or probably will ever be, but my ability has come a long way. I also enjoy the fact that Jason loves music and appreciates a wide variety of styles. Can't wait for my next lesson!
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Neidi February 5, 2017
· Drum · In home
Taking lessons from Jason has been one of the best experiences. He's very understanding, very patient, super encouraging and really funny. When the lesson ends I always wish there was more time!
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Jason P.

Jason P.

Saint Charles, IL 60175
(2)
starting at
$22 / 30-min

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