I am a professional singer, songwriter and actor working in the Chicago area for many years. I have a B.F.A. in Theater/Voice from The University of Kansas and an M.A. in Interdisciplinary Arts from Columbia College Chicago. I've been teaching private vocal instruction since 2003: I host the Singer's Salon in Chicago, a unique and supportive venue for singer's to become more comfortable performing before an audience. I also instruct workshops for vocal technique and performance. For 10 years I was the lead singer for The Red Apples, an acoustic/electric roots band that performed an eclectic mix of rock, swing, blues, country and jazz. Within the past year I have re-energized my theater and cabaret career, appearing at Davenport's Cabaret, in a new solo show, as well as productions at Big Noise Theater and Stage 773. I've also completed tw
o short films and started working on my own web series, about my life as a singer/voice teacher. I also have an art song project consisting of original material with composer Jaroslaw Golembiowski. As a singer and actress I have performed with many major theaters in the Chicago area, including Court Theater, Victory Gardens, National Jewish Theater, Bailiwick Theater, and Prop Theater.
*** Lesson Details *** As a classically trained singer I will instruct you in all aspects of singing technique, from breath control and support to improving your tone, range, flexibility and resonance. I have recently completed training in Somatic Voicework, The LoVetri Method, which has enriched my understanding of the mechanics and health of the voice, as well as applications of technique to CCM or contemporary musical styles of singing. My familiarity with a variety of musical styles from pop/rock, R&B, and country, to musical theater, lounge and jazz makes me an ideal teacher for those interested in contemporary styles.
I have spent many years developing my own style of singing and instruction. I draw on my experiences and training not only in music, but theater and movement, (Linklater, Alexander Technique, Grotowski) to create a well rounded approach to singing and performing. As an instructor, I am most interested in helping students find their true voice and artistic style. I teach students to find expression through and with a foundation of technique, rather then in spite of it. I also am very interested in helping students deal with the mental/emotional aspects of performance, an all important area so frequently ignored by music teachers. My style is nurturing, yet disciplined, and sprinkled liberally with good-natured humor."
*** Studio Equipment *** My studio space is fully equipped with a piano, P.A. system with microphones, CD, MP3 player for tracks, and ability to record lessons if the student desires.
*** Travel Equipment *** Please have a piano (in tune!) or keyboard for use in your in home lessons.
*** Specialties *** I am classically trained, but I am very adept at teaching music in a wide variety of styles, including most contemporary styles of music including pop/rock, roots, swing, jazz and blues, country, r&b, and of course musical theater and cabaret. My band performs an eclectic mix of originals and covers in the roots rock genre, and I write music as well. I have many years of experience in the theater as an actress, and I coach acting technique and performance. I coach singer/songwriters, and all types of singers, of all ages. I have a workshop that specializes in helping people learn to perform better in front of an audience, and I host the Singer's Salon in Chicago, which is a supportive opportunity to perform regularly! I also coach bands, to improve their vocals, harmonies, etc.
I couldn’t recommend Wendy enough. No matter what walk of life you come from, she’ll find a way to connect with you and help you reach your goal. I’m already seeing improvements and can’t wait to go back every week.
September 5, 2019
March 17, 2019
Very helpful and focused on what needed to be worked on. Will definitely be looking forward to working with her again!
BA, University of Pittsburgh, Music MA DePaul University, Jazz Performance
I have over 10 years of teaching experience. I loved every one of them. I do consider myself a passionate educator and a patient instructor. I had been blessed to have received masterful instruction from brilliant, warm teachers in my own training and so I do understand firsthand the value in kind and passionate education.
My theory of practice is to build a lesson plan with each student individually. A major goal for me is to present information in a way that can empower the student to identify their own interests. Ultimately we'll get to a place where the student can persue their growth independently.
Music is a very personal journey. To recognize it as such is the first victory.
My bio: Jim is a pianist/instructor who is based in the greater Chicag
oland area. Jim began his professional performing career since he was sixteen when he started playing the city's finest clubs. Jim has performed with seasoned greats such as: Ira Sullivan, Mark Whitfeild, Cladio Roditi, Donald Harrison, Antonio Hart, Jimmy Owens, Abe Laboriel, Rodger Humphries, Cecil Bridgewater, Yotam Silberstein, Ron Affif, Alexander King, and John Moulder. His debut album "Explosion" is out on Delmark Records features columbia recording artist Frank Catalano and jazz legend Richie Cole . Jim's second album, "Blue Skies," is also on Delmark records and features two legends of jazz Ira Sullivan and Roger Humphries. He has studied under two Art Blakey Jazz Messenger Alumni: Dr Nathan Davis--who's performed with everyone from Herbie Hancock to Benny Golson; and Dr. Leon Lee Dorsey who was an active member of Lional Hampton's big band for several years, recorded with the likes of Freddie Hubbard and is an active member of Hilton Cruiz's trio. Jim is the recipient of the Pitt-Mellon BNY jazz scholarship for outstanding performance and composition. As a composer Jim has had quite a volume of original material spanning a wide array of styles performed by musicians such as PSO members (Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra), and Pittsburgh-based Alia Musica. Jim's expertise spans classical--both old and modern, Jazz--both old and modern, modern popular styles such as rock, hip-hop, funk; and the intersections of these three camps, classical, jazz, and popular styles, which seem to be the direction of the 21st century.
*** Lesson Details *** Beginning to professional jazz piano, and basic musicianship piano ---beginning Reading and notating music, ---basic Tone recognition and sight singing and ear training ---basic to advanced Technical Facility--this includes right and left hand independence and rhythmic dexterity, fluid technique
*** Specialties *** basic piano musicianship including: reading and notating music, piano technique and coordination; jazz piano, jazz improvisation for piano or players of any instrument with sufficient technical facility, ear training, piano technique, a wide range of advanced theory, composition, jazz history
James has been friendly, helpful and very knowledgable. My daughter wanted to quit before meeting James. She has some experience but has a ways to go and I think James is just the guy to help her get there!...WITH a smile on her face!
Study Classical Piano with an International Steinway Artist! Learn to play the piano, duo piano and chamber music or be accompanied and coached for your recital or audition with Susan M. I offer premium quality musical instruction and stress the importance of a sound foundation which includes theory, analysis, and technique. Music History and Appreciation is incorporated into lessons as desired. Life coaching included!
*** Lesson Details *** Piano, Chamber Music Coaching for Piano, Strings and Woodwinds, Audition and Competition Prep, and Accompanying from Prize-winning American Pianist and Steinway Artist.
*** Studio Equipment *** Three gorgeous pianos: Steinway M, plus Steinway B and Baldwin SF-10 Concert Grands. Large Music Library.
*** Specialties *** Chamber Music Concertos Duo Piano Repertoire Audition preparatio
Susan is an outstanding pianist and teacher. She genuinely cares about the musical development of each of her students. I would highly recommend her to any serious student looking to work with a top rate teacher. It makes a difference!
December 23, 2015
I am a 50-something-year-old business executive who began taking beginner piano lessons with Susan Merdinger almost 5 years ago.
Now, I am performing Chopin Nocturnes and Preludes and cherished works by Mozart and Beethoven to name just a few.
My Mom let me quit piano lessons in 1967 when I was growing up on the Southside of Chicago. I spent the next 45 years regretting it.
Now, as my piano teacher, Susan is inspiring me to make up for lost time.
At the end of each year, I am amazed at being able to play pieces I couldn’t have imagined performing 12 months earlier. This satisfying achievement comes only because of Susan’s character and competence as a teacher and her passion and enthusiasm to motivate me to practice 1 to 2 hours every day.
Susan is patient while maintaining very high standards with a commitment to excellence. She celebrates the progress of all her students to whom she is dedicated. While waiting for my lesson to begin, I have watched in amazement as she interacts with a full studio of very diverse students, young and old, boys and girls, beginners and advanced, even handicapped blind and autistic students. I’ve watched as she’s brought smiles to all her students after their recitals and audiences after her own concerts.
And Susan is one of the smartest persons I know who is expanding my horizons of the classical repertoire I play and appreciation of the classical music I listen to. There is a special pride to see your piano teacher perform solo or with members of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra at historic venues in Chicago or New York City.
I am a busy executive, but my piano lesson is the highlight of the week, even if that entails a 90-minute battle in Chicagoland rush hour traffic to get to my lesson.
That’s because my life is richer with the music Susan imparts.
I can’t recommend her strongly enough.
December 2, 2015
The first lesson with Susan was fantastic. My daughter is looking forward to working with her.
My name is Annarita and I am a violinist from Des Plaines, Illinois. I began playing at the age of seven, and by the time I was in high school I realized I wanted to make playing and teaching violin my career.
In 2013, I graduated with my Bachelor's Degree in music from Loyola University Chicago. During my college career I had the opportunity to spend a semester in Vienna, Austria to expand my knowledge of the classical music world.
In 2010, I began playing with the Fox Valley Orchestra - an ensemble of which I am still a part and consider my second home. I also perform regularly with the Kankakee Valley Symphony Orchestra, Stargate Productions, as well as the string orchestra at Northeastern Illinois University. In 2015 I had the opportunity to perform with Rod Stewart...one of my favorite memories!
Besides my passion for perf
orming, I also very much love teaching. I worked with The People's Music School and with the Chicago Metamorphosis Orchestra Project in Chicago as a violin teacher and ensemble coach. I also teach a wide range of private students.
*** Lesson Details *** 1. I set goals with my students and give them the tools they need in order to reach them. -I focus a lot on note reading, music theory, practice techniques, and bodily awareness to ensure each student understands every aspect of their instrument and music 2. I explain how the assigned studies will help improve students' overall ability to play the violin -I'm not a "spoon-feeder" - I teach my students how to teach themselves and think independently! 3. I keep my lessons at an appropriate difficulty for each student. 4. Most importantly, I teach students how to practice efficiently and with patience. Improvement does not happen overnight; but with a little focus and patience, it will come a lot sooner than you think!
*** Travel Equipment *** Students must have an instrument, music stand, assigned music, and a metronome if necessary.
She has been teaching my daughter for 3 years, starting around age 5 1/2-6. She is patient and firm, encourages her to work hard, and loves and praises her when she succeeds. She takes her craft seriously, and it shows. She is phenomenal!
January 21, 2016
Annarita is a great teacher!
September 2, 2015
My daughter really enjoys learning with her.She improved a lot .
Jon N. was born and raised in Mexico City and is proudly an American citizen. He has been performing since the age of three, on several instruments, studying music since fourteen, and still takes lessons to this day. What's not to love?
He is proud to teach at all levels, including many professional musicians with master’s degrees, adult beginners, and of course, kids of all ages between 8 and 75.
They are encouraged to select the music they want to learn, so we have worked on classical music and original compositions, which I also coach, jazz, blues, pop, rock, the Great American Songbook, reggae, seven different kinds of Jewish music, and other ethnic music from all over the globe.
Frequently the younger students will request a tune I've never heard, but I magically transform the MP3 into a handwritten score at the student's l
evel. Example, one of my adult beginners wanted to play the big symphonic poem Scheherazade, and I wrote out the main tunes for easy piano.
Nicole is available to teach lessons for students of all levels. Beginning her singing career when she was 7, she most recently sang at the Lyric Opera of Chicago, was a winner of the international CS Competition in musical theatre, and is a Chicago F.A.M.E. finalist for Jazz and popular music. Combined with her training and professional experience, Nicole teaches singers to switch gracefully between multiple styles. She practices what she preaches: one night she might be singing Beyoncé, and the next morning she might be singing Handel's Messiah!
Nicole has been a young artist for Cedar Rapids Opera Theatre, Metropolitan International Music Festival, and for Tiroler Opern Programm, under international instructors, including Elizabeth Bachman (from the Metropolitan Opera), Kim Josephson (Metropolitan Opera), Sharon Cheng (Caramoor),
Michael Fennely (Carnegie Hall), Wei-En Hsu (Hong Kong Philharmonic Orchestra), and Candace Evans (Santa Fe Opera). Nicole earned her Associates in Theatre from Brigham Young University ('12) and went on to acquire her BM in Vocal Performance from Illinois Wesleyan University ('14). Nicole obtained additional training from Boston University, Elon University, and the University of Alaska Anchorage.
I am an avid clarinetist, energetic performer and enthusiastic teacher. My dream career is to be a soloist like Martin Frost, to play in an orchestra, or compose and perform my music. My passion for teaching is similar to my passion for performing, and I have experience teaching privately since 2013 and in front of large groups, as a staff member for a high school marching band. My teaching style is all about fundamentals as I try and break down the things you need to know about playing into easy to understand fundamentals that can be applied to all future playing.
I am the Head of Music Publishing for a company based in the West Loop founded in 1854.
I am also an organist and pianist for a parish in Wicker Park.
I believe in the importance of music in a persons life - both young and those more experienced in years. :-D
Music should enhance ones life and bring joy to others. It should be fun!
I work with students of varying ages. I will collaborate with you to begin an enjoyable hobby or prepare for college repertory. From music theory, to reading leadsheets, and composing basic tunes.
Please feel free to contact me and ask any questions regarding my pedagogy and we can discuss realistic expectations and short/long term goals. We can tailor the lessons to fit YOUR specific desired outcomes.
I want you to succeed and have fun in the process.
If we can schedule to me
et in Wicker Park, we will have access to an 8 1/2 foot concert grand.
I am also flexible doing lessons every other week, allowing busy adult students to get some practice in.
Brief Educational Snapshot:
Doctorate in Education, EdD -Loyola University Chicago, Chicago, Illinois -Awarded Full Academic Scholarship -Alpha Sigma Nu [ΑΣΝ] High Academic Honors
Masters in Music Education, MMEd -VanderCook College of Music, Chicago, Illinois -Academic Dean’s List -Awarded Talent Scholarship
Bachelor of Arts in Music, BAMus -Loyola University Chicago, Chicago, Illinois Bachelor of Arts in Philosophy, BAPh -Loyola University Chicago, Chicago, Illinois
"My son just finished his first lesson with Molly. It was a fun and enjoyable session. I asked my son to use three words to describe the experience, he sai
d "fun", "fun" and "amazing". Looking forward to the next lesson."
"First class is excellent!"
"Howard is fantastic. Any time I was having a problem, he could find another way to practice that would work for me. Highly recommended."
"Professional and personable! Seems to love what she does and be very good at it!!"
"Christina is a very good teacher. I am looking forward to my future lessons."
"Where do I begin 💜🤗💜💞🎶💞 Rosita is a true angel she has been by my side since day one always supporting me not only with singing and teaching me to believe
in myself and teaching me to let go of fear and showing me to be more confident in myself an she has truly been a blessing to me she goes above an beyond to make sure I’m ok she has the kindest heart in the world I thank god every day for her she’s helping me through singing music to be safe from my eating disorder she is the best teacher in the world she makes sure I’m ok she helps me sing warmups to when I’m scared sometimes she has a way to show me it’s ok an to try I will always be forever thankful for her she truly is a blessing to me 💜🤗💜💞🙏💞💜🎶💜💞🎶💜"
"Gewg is an awesome teacher and has no problem with any questions you have"
"KJ is a great teacher to work with any skill level. From teaching the core of the instrument to polishing up a piece for a concert, KJ can provide the in
struction to help you get the most out of your instrument."
"Randall knew exactly what to do to correct my bow grip and explain and model for me how my bowing wrist needed to change in order for me to bow straight.
This has been a problem for me. He is extremely knowledgable. I am looking forward to practicing the exercises he gave me before the next lesson."
Writing a catchy song that delivers a strong message can be quite difficult. Here, voice teacher Emmanuel N. shares the songwriting tips you can glean from several famous singers...
When it comes to lyric-writing and songwriting, nobody can really teach you how to do it – it’s better to show by example. Whether you’re simply writing lyrics to a song you will one day sing (or someone else will sing for you) or you’re songwriting to a musical piece you found or created, …