Oak Lawn 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 Joseph M.

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Skokie, IL

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About Joseph
My Story:

As a guitarist in my early years I spent much time reworking my technique and gaining insight in how guitar playing really works. My early struggles gave way to a solid knowledge of the guitar and music.

This was gained through no small part through my High School music teacher, through master classes of Manuel Lopez Ramos and Abel Carlevaro and others.

These master classes helped me in a big way to develop teaching systems and principles that can help anyone to learn guitar easier and more effectively.

You will gain from the knowledge of these world class guitarists and teachers which will help you to play better and more musical.

And from my musical background-of playing hundreds of songs and compositions of many styles and understanding o
f musical structure.

Teaching philosophy

I will give you simple technical training to help the hands work together and develop a musical sound. As I teach I look for your gifts (in creativity, musical playing etc) and actively look to enhance that gift.

When problems come along in your studies, I help you to solve them in a way you can apply them for yourselves. Teach and show students how music works and how to play artistically.

How to Start

Will work with you to find a convenient time/day to schedule lessons at your home or our studio

There is a money back guarantee on the 1st lesson so you can try and see how lessons can help you to reach your goals. Selecting the "get started now" button will put you in contact with our student counselors.

P.S. Take the first step in learning music by contacting us.

*** Lesson Details ***
Teaching for over 13 years in all major styles. Helping beginning or returning students of all ages (kids and adults). and backgrounds to learn music.Have taught all ages from 5 to 60 years old.

Will work to develop a personalized plan specifically for you and/or your child or family member.

Studied at Roosevelt University as a classic guitar major with music education and jazz studies.

Give students a well rounded education in all the major styles-techniques, teaching them finger picking as well as pick technique, chords and improvisation.

I specialize in building a strong foundation both musically and technically for people that have not played guitar or even music before and helping them to reach the musical goals they desire.

For the pick guitar I use the Mel Bay method along with handouts for chords/exercises and finger picking patterns This gives you flexibility to explore many musical styles.

For classic guitar I use the Sagreras or Parkening methods plus the same handouts as for pick guitar.

For electric bass I use the Hall Leonard Method, plus handouts.

I teach children how to practice and to keep a practice schedule.

I operate with a patient approach, a comfortable learning process. This helps you to learn properly and builds a solid foundation for your playing.

Lesson Progression

In general after 3 months you will know all the basic chords and how to change them. How to play the blues scale, read music /tab plus some songs with basic chords.

For the electric bass you will play blues patterns, read music and tab.

After 6 months you will be in general able to play bar chords, and more complex songs (with full chords).

For the electric bass more complex songs, movable major scales.

Keep in mind as you move through these studies you will be enjoying playing music and be moving towards the goal you had in mind in taking up music including learning the music, the styles you wanted to play.

*** Studio Equipment ***
I can provide a music stand and a foot stool. I can get them or show them where to get a method book They would just need a guitar.

*** Travel Equipment ***
I can teach lessons at the students home in Des Plaines, Park Ridge, Morton Grove, Skokie, Wilmette and adjoining communities.

*** Specialties ***
Be encouraged that you and/or your family member can learn to play and it's not as hard as you think.

What I have found is it takes no special talent to play the guitar, just the desire to practice and learn. Lessons with a teacher helps you to learn quicker and more problem free, unlike other approaches. A teacher can help you personally when you have problems and questions. The investment you make will help you or a family member to play music for many years...

Teach most major styles folk, rock, blues, classical, finger picking, Jazz (Bossa Nova)
Also gospel, praise and worship guitar.

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Reviews
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Ryan L. December 4, 2016
· Guitar · In studio
Learning flamenco and classical guitar with Joe. He's got tons of knowledge and skill, and really pays attention to the musicality of things, which is something other teachers often miss.
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StephenS1 February 15, 2012
· ·
Great teacher

My daughter enjoyed lessons with Joe. He was patient and good at explaining to a beginner.
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JosefP January 4, 2011
· ·
Great teacher !!!
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Joseph M.

Joseph M.

Skokie, IL 60077
(3)
starting at
$29 / 30-min

About Sarah H.

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Chicago, IL
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About Sarah
Sarah H. is a young and upcoming classical cellist based in Chicago. She enjoys teaching cello to students of all ages and levels and is dedicated to helping each student explore their unique interests in studying music.
Sarah began her musical studies in her hometown of Cincinnati, starting the piano at age 8 and just a year later picking up the cello. Sarah earned her Bachelor of Music in Cello Performance from The Hartt School of Music and completed her Master’s degree from DePaul University’s School of Music. Her primary teachers include Stephen Balderston, Mihai Tetel, and Tom Guth.
Sarah is an active performer, playing with orchestras throughout the city of Chicago and around the country. She performs regularly with the Peoria Symphony Orchestra, Illinois Symphony, Quad City Symphony, and Chicago Composer's Orchestra. Outside of
her orchestral career, Sarah plays with the Bradley University faculty chamber ensemble, Peoria Lunaire. She regularly presents solo recitals and concerts throughout the year, hoping to provide members of community an opportunity to make a connection with music and the performers that create it.
Outside of performing and teaching, Sarah is a devoted advocate for musicians’ health. She hopes to combine her expertise in music and physical fitness to help performers foster long, successful careers.
Check out Sarah's contribution to the TakeLessons teacher's blog on injury prevention:
http://takelessons.com/blog/piano-guide-injury-prevention
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Reviews
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Tom M. October 16, 2017
· Cello · In studio
Sarah is the best cello instructor that I ever had. I really learned a lot from her besides just the technical aspects of playing. Sarah's passion for instructing the cello was clearly evident through her teaching style and what she demanded from me. She could also answer many of my questions about music, theory, and general style. I always felt like she was teaching me to play and practice with the same dedication that she has.
I'm truly sorry that I had to stop taking lessons with her because of a long distance move.
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Eileen L. April 21, 2017
· Cello · In home
Sarah is an excellent cello instructor. I have been taking lessons from her for just over two years. Besides having a keen ear, she is able to explain new concepts in a way that makes it easier for a new student to learn. She is also patient, and understands that learning comes over time with plenty of practice and guidance. Learning the cello with Sarah has been a very positive experience.
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Qurrat J. January 29, 2016
· Swimming · In home
Sarah was very effective in our first lesson. My swimming technique improved right away.
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Sarah H.

Sarah H.

Chicago, IL 60625
(8)
starting at
$30 / 30-min

About Miriam-Rose L.

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Chicago, IL

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About Miriam-Rose
Hello! My name is Miriam-Rose, and I have been teaching violin/fiddle to students of all levels and ages for over six years. I was trained classically in the Suzuki method from a very young age, and also have a significant background in traditional music, specifically Scottish fiddle. During my time at Indiana University's Jacobs School of Music, I created my own degree with a focus on Scottish music, and also became the third place winner of the 2012 National Scottish Fiddle Championship.

In addition to my background in music, I have a degree in Ballet Performance from the Jacobs School of Music. I have been teaching ballet since 2010, and have taught and danced professionally here in the Chicago area since 2013.

Thanks, and I look forward to working with you!
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Reviews
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Isabella September 10, 2017
· Violin · In studio
Mariam-Rose is a wonderful instructor.
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Teagen June 29, 2017
· Ballet · In studio
She's very knowledgeable. She used the time to really analyze and work with my daughters ability. Afterwards she gave great advice, the pros and cons on what she needs to work on.
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Eric October 20, 2016
· Ballet · In studio
Very good at explaining concepts in a second, or sometimes third, way so that her student can make an inner connection. I also admire the way she organizes her lessons so we refresh and enhance the previous session and then move on to new technique. Appreciate the professional way she communicates as necessary outside class, too.
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Miriam-Rose L.

Miriam-Rose L.

Chicago, IL 60643
(12)
starting at
$35 / 30-min

About Donald S.

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Oak Park, IL
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About Donald
Don Skoog is an independent musician, teacher, and writer who lives in Oak Park, Illinois. He performs on drumset, Latin percussion, marimba, and Flamenco cajón. His teachers include James Dutton,Vida Chenoweth, Gordon Stout, Karl Husa, Roberto Vizcaino, José Eladio, Rich Gajate Garcia, and Alejandro Carvajal. He has taught percussion at The American Conservatory of Music, Sherwood Music School, and The Contemporary Music Project, which he founded in 1984.
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Reviews
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Ronald N. August 6, 2016
· Hand Drums · In home
Patient,knowledgable,and funny.
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Ronald N. August 6, 2016
· Drum · In studio
Patient,knowledgeable and funny.
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Ethan K. January 22, 2016
· Drum · In studio
The lesson was excellent. Im sure my son is going to learn alot and further develop his love of music.
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Donald S.

Donald S.

Oak Park, IL 60304
(8)
starting at
$25 / 30-min
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About Michelle D.

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Chicago, IL
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About Michelle
I am a cello performance major at DePaul University. I have played cello for 12 years, and I want to share my wealth of knowledge with the next generation of musicians now. I love teaching beginning and intermediate students on cello because I love my instrument very much and I love the energy new students bring to lessons. I teach the basics and essentials of music and musicianship, working with a variety of approaches that will build my students' foundations for years to come. I am patient and understanding. There is expression, emotion, and intellect put into playing the cello, which I will share with my students as they progress.
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Reviews
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Tom M. August 30, 2017
· Cello · In studio
Very good instructor. I only took a few lessons with Michelle but I really enjoyed how she structured the lesson and the way we went through the short piece of music. She showed me how to technically learn a difficult passage and then place it within the total piece. She was patient, listened to my thoughts on my ability, and then gave me instruction on technique to help me improve.
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Melissa R. October 24, 2016
· Cello · In studio
Get class, Michelle is very patient and loves teaching others
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fred May 28, 2016
· Cello · In studio
Michelle taught our daughter for about a year. She was always well prepared and very professional. She was able to work with our daughter on the specific areas needed, and gave her appropriate homework.

We would recommend her to anyone looking for private lessons.
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Michelle D.

Michelle D.

Chicago, IL 60614
(3)
starting at
$25 / 30-min

About Alex B.

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Chicago, IL

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About Alex
I am a recent graduate of Northwestern University, where I studied theatre and marketing and filled my time with a variety of creative pursuits from musical theatre to makeup design. However, the most important thing I learned at school was that my true passion is sharing my creativity with others through teaching. I have multiple years' experience as a vocal coach, piano accompanist, music director, and audition prep advisor. I also tutor young adults in the ACT and other high school subjects both in person and online, and have seen marked success in my students' test scores. Through my experiences in the theatre, I have also acquired skill in both theatrical and beauty makeup, and feel comfortable passing on this knowledge to others.

I would love to work with you on any of these skills at whatever level would serve you best.
...
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Alex B.

Alex B.

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

About Claire C.

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Chicago, IL

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About Claire
My name is Claire and I have been making a living as a touring/gigging musician for the last eight years. I studied music performance and production at Columbia College Chicago. I have played in a variety of styles, both solo and as part of a band. I currently tour with my band, The Lucky Dutch on keys and vocals. My students start their journey learning music of their choice, sparking interest and enthusiasm from the very first lesson. My motto is "Relentless Positivity" and it shows in my lessons. There is never a consequence for a wrong answer or misplaced note and the worst thing that can happen is we play it again. We will work together to navigate this inspiring and often humbling path.
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Reviews
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Tasha September 11, 2017
· Piano · In home
We've loved having Claire in our home for the past 3 years - she's a good balance of fun and seriousness, and our girls have had a blast!
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Merrill S. September 4, 2017
· Acoustic Guitar · In home
I have taken lessons before with a few teachers. Claire is the first one I have had that I felt I really walked away learning something in our first meeting. She is very personable, open, and knowledgeable. I really enjoy our lessons.
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Jean July 5, 2017
· Piano · In home
Claire teaches my son and daughter piano and guitar. Her teaching style is thorough, meaning she understands that kids learn different ways, and she teaches to their interests and strengths; until they get it. She is incredibly professional and fun. She is also an excellent musician in her own right.
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Claire C.

Claire C.

Chicago, IL 60622
(7)
starting at
$30 / 30-min

About Molly M.

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Wheaton, IL
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About Molly
15 years ago, I started learning to play piano and began my life-long pursuit of music. This pursuit has led me in a wide variety of directions. Today, I am a doctoral student at Wheaton Graduate School, and enjoy playing and teaching piano in my free time.

I have a passion for a wide variety of styles of music. For several years, I played piano professionally for weddings, shows, and musicals. I have led worship for many churches in Michigan and Connecticut. During my time at Yale, I was president of an organization called Yale Musical Cure, in which I played piano at hospitals, hospices, and benefit concerts. At Yale, I also gained teaching experience, and have loved teaching students ever since.

My teaching style varies from student to student. Music is a wonderfully diverse subject and every student has his own aspirations. I
will do my best to cater each lesson to the student's goals and interests. Whether that is classical, rock, jazz, folk, country, pop or anything in between.

Lessons will vary significantly from student to student. Not only does every student have different goals in mind, they all learn differently as well. I do my best to customize my lessons for each student's goals and needs. A typical piano lesson may involve music-reading, chord studies, technical work, scale practice, theory, and of course learning songs!

I am a flexible teacher and am excited to teach students to truly understand music and enjoy playing the piano. Please reach out if you have any questions or interest in taking lessons.
...
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Molly M.

Molly M.

Wheaton, IL 60187
starting at
$25 / 30-min

About Jane B.

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Chicago, IL
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About Jane
My passion is teaching acting!

My mission is to help actors learn and grow, especially those who weren't given lots of help. I myself had few financial advantages, and little help or encouragement from my family. I am not particularly good looking nor was I not able to attend one of the prestigious universities or acting schools.

However, At the age of 20, I began making my living as an actress and as a singer.I am now a long time member of AEA and SAG/AFTRA.

My success came from hard work, determination, and talent. My drive to work as an actress never included fame, I simply wanted to act anywhere and anytime.
I struggled for many years to find a teacher or a method that would help me develop my talent and finally found one in Michael Shurtleff, author of the book, Audition. I worked with Michael for two years and became
his assistant. He inspired me to become a teacher, and I stopped acting because it no longer was as exciting to me as teaching and directing.

Now I teach workshops all over the country, do lots of skype and facetime coaching, and guest teach at universities. My dream of reaching lots of actors has come true and for that I am grateful.
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Reviews
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Alessandro September 18, 2017
· Audition Prep · In studio
In July 2017 I attended Jane's Fresh Faces for Film group session and from the moment she began the class I was taken aback by the depth and realism she brings to the art of acting. I knew I had come across an incredibly important person in my life; akin to the handful of teacher's in my youth that left an indelible mark on me. You quickly realize the experience and knowledge that she has established over her long career are immensely engaging and enriching. If you are willing to give in, she will take you down a path whereby you will learn not only acting but also something new about yourself. I am the sponge to her rain and extraordinarily privileged that our path's have crossed. I look forward to our next session.
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Peter September 14, 2017
· Acting · In studio
Jane Brody is a force of nature, and an amazing teacher, mentor, and coach. Jane believed in me before I believed in myself, taught me how to act with immediacy and truth, and gave me an unshakable foundation on which I can base all work. She's tough, passionate, creative, and whip-smart (also very funny).
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Leah R September 14, 2017
· Acting · In studio
Jane teaches a no-nonsense and innovative process that gives you the tools to prepare and feel confident in the audition or rehearsal room. Her energy is highly motivating.
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Jane B.

Jane B.

Chicago, IL 60625
(8)
starting at
$120 / 60-min

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