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.
I started playing guitar originally in 1991. I picked up bass and ukulele (and then gradually a plethora of other instruments) over the ensuing years. I started teaching in 2001 throughout the Chicagoland area. First in music stores, then schools, then people's homes (including mine) and then online (live via Zoom).
Besides teaching and performing, I also ran an all ages music venue and recording studio from 2006-2015.
Teaching is my biggest love and I love seeing students learn. There isn’t a style I will not teach. All music to me is fascinating
*** Lesson Details *** All lessons start with the basics (assuming the student doesn’t already know them). This includes: reading music and chord diagrams, understanding rhythm, basic music theory, etc. Meanwhile, we will apply this knowledge to songs of the student’s choice- this wa
y they’re learning songs they like, and more about the instrument and music at the same time. As time goes on we’ll get into playing lead, advanced theory, songwriting and more.
Above is the plan, but I am always open to suggestions from the students as well. As long as they are learning, I am happy. In all reality, we can spend years on just one of the many paths you can go down with music- so I am always continually re-checking on the student’s current and up-to-date goals.
*** Specialties *** Patience. I feel like it is necessary to be a good teacher. Other than that, I am very confident in my teaching skills. I love so many genres of music that its hard to say where my best talents lie. But no matter what the style, I will say one thing that I have always been strict about is proper technique and rhythm. I feel like timing is something that a lot of musicians take for granted and often have to learn the hard way later on. I try to incorporate it soon after a beginner's first lessons.
Ian is an incredible teacher. Very patient and professional. The way he teaches is very straight forward and easy to understand. I can’t wait to learn more & more... less than a week has passed since my lesson. I already feel so comfortable with my ukulele,
All the utube lessons were useless for me. I realized this after 1 lesson with Ian. The frustration factor on utube was a waste of time for me. I am so happy I chose ian & this company.
Thank you so much, jen
March 3, 2014
My son loves learning guitar from Ian! He is so patient with children. His love for music is infectious. He makes my son look forward to learning each week. If you want to learn guitar... Pick Ian!
February 27, 2014
great teacher for popular acoustic guitar
Ian is a no nonsense well organized guy. He taught me using exercises he wrote out on paper mostly in tabulature form. He used a metronome from the first lesson and always introduced a music theory concept such as rhythm, pentatonic scales, and chord transposition. He will not move past any exercise until you can demonstrate proficiency so there is no choice but to draw your own conclusion that you need to practice more if you want to progress. He teaches out of his local all ages music venue, or will travel to your home.
This is an enriching curriculum that will utilize the student’s love of music and provide the valuable skills necessary to play guitar Students will learn the basics of rhythm and counting while exploring a variety of strum techniques and much more..
I am a highly organized, outcome-driven and motivated professional musician and educator with solid experience in the classroom. For the past 25 years, I have been employed with Amati music academy and seven years on the faculty of University of St Francis. I am very comfortable with all aspects of the current music syllabus, including teaching musical concepts (such as duration, pitch, dynamics, tone color, texture and structure) as well as performance, composition. I am fully qualified, with a Bachelor of Education in Music, Double Masters in music performance and education from University of Nottingham. I am proficient in classical, jazz and Celtic fiddle violin and possess solid skills in piano (grade 8-13) Royal conservatory system. Throughout my teaching career, I have been driven to help students achieve their very best. I str
ongly believe that music has the power to change lives – to enhance the social, cultural and spiritual lives of people, and serve as a profound medium of personal expression. Professional perform experience: The Chicago, Natalie Cole, Smokey Robinson, Three tours with Moody Blues, YoYo Ma etc.... The most important thing I look for in a student is communication skills, as well as talent. I like to nurture students and help identify their individual strengths, which is a key factor in shaping a musical persona that will make its mark both on and offstage. I do not advocate a uniform technique for all students. Physical differences and learning styles are always taken into consideration. Potential is as important to me as early achievements and experience. My goal is to help students become self-sufficient, discriminating artists. I discuss practice techniques often and develop individualized scale routines. I encourage initiative and expressive musicality as well as precision. Above all, music needs to bring obvious joy to the student, regardless of the difficulties.”
*** Lesson Details *** I use Suzuki and traditional method for my students... for Suzuki beginner they will play a song in four days....
*** Studio Equipment *** In-Studio- Lessons in separate music lesson room, piano and violin are available. Students and parents will enjoy comfortable and clean studio environment with recent remodeled new hard wood floor and studio patio window over looking at beautiful garden. Free WiFi available for parents while waiting during the lesson appointment. University of St Francis Joliet- can teach in rehearsal rooms at the university. Online class at world class teaching studio
*** Travel Equipment *** violin, viola, cello, piano and guitar
*** Specialties *** I specialize in Suzuki teaching method for beginners, traditional conservatory method for intermediate and Royal conservatory recital program for advanced level students..I also teach orchestration program to help students prepare their auditions for major symphonies through out the country including Chicago symphony orchestra etc...
From topics such as reading sheet music to playing the guitar solo of your dreams, we can do it all! The desire and drive to learn is all you need!
Expressing yourself is the ultimate goal of music and my job is to help you get your point across!
Like any musician, music is my life. I love to soak it in any way I can! Whether it be listening to records, jamming with my friends or watching all the live concert footage of Stevie Ray Vaughan I can get my hands on.
I graduated from Columbia College Chicago with a Bachelor’s of Art in Music with a concentration on guitar performance. Throughout my undergraduate studies I performed in various ensembles within the college’s curriculum. Currently, my solo project gives me the opportunity to continue to grow through writing and performing my own original pieces. Throughout my career I have had the honor of performing with renowned songwriters Todd Rundgren and Charlie Sexton as well as being mentored by jazz drummer Frank Donaldson of
The Ramsey Lewis Quartet.
*** Lesson Details ***
Studying at the college level taught me a lot about what not to do as a teacher. The material is already difficult enough, so why would I be difficult with you?
I strive to be more of a mentor and friend rather than taskmaster. However, I do require structure and commitment to getting better. My curriculum will revolve around you and your needs with added material that I feel will help you succeed.
A typical lesson plan includes:
chord and scale knowledge,
and tying all of these ideas together by learning a song in a genre you love!
All of these concepts culminate in the discovery of your own personal voice!
*** Studio Equipment *** My teaching studio is just steps away from the Belmont Blue Line stop! Our lessons will be held in a private practice space in my home. The large room has multiple amps and guitars, so there is no need to bring an instrument for lessons if you don't want to! (But, you do need an instrument to practice with outside of our lessons!)
Extremely knowledgeable, has a strong background in music, accomplished guitarist, understands people learn different ways, always well prepared to teach and willing to help guide you through your musical journey.
September 5, 2019
Extremely knowledgeable, has a strong music background, accomplished guitarist, understands people learn in different ways, always well prepared to teach and willing to help guide you through your musical journey.
I have been teaching guitar for over 18 years and have taught hundreds of satisfied students. When you sign up for guitar lessons, you will begin by learning the basics of the instrument including proper holding and playing position, tone production, rhythm, first position notes,basic chords and notation. Once you get the basics down, you will learn how to play your favorite songs regardless of style. All of this can happen within the first 4-6 months of playing.
Dave K. began playing guitar at the age of 10. His influences include Joe Satriani, Eric Johnson, Guthrie Govan, Jimi Hendrix, David Gilmour, Jeff Beck, Stevie Ray Vaughn, Pat Martino, Pat Metheny and Scott Henderson. At the age of 17 he began teaching private guitar and bass lessons to classmates from his neighborhood high school. It was through this initial experience with teaching that he realized he wanted to make music education his career. Since then he has taught private guitar and bass lessons at Naperville Music, Rossi Music, Horizon Music, and the Plainfield School of Music. In addition, he has taught orchestra, guitar, and jazz band at Rolling Meadows High School. In 2000 Dave graduated from the University of Northern Illinois with a degree in jazz and classical guitar where he studied with world-renowned fusion guitarist Fare
ed Haque. In addition, Dave has studied guitar with some of the best guitar players in the world including Dave Uhrich and Andy Timmons.
In 2003-2009, he produced and played guitar in the Chicago based hard rock group Disonic. In 2007, Disonic singed to Darkstar Records and released the E.P. The Value of Truth. The Value of Truth was distributed in the USA and Japan. In addition, it was distributed digitally world wide on iTunes, Amazon, and CD Baby. In 2009 he attended VanderCook College of Music and earned a Master’s Degree in Music Education. Currently, Dave is playing bass in the Chicago rock group I Decline and guitar in the Dave K. Group. This year, Dave is releasing his first solo instrumental guitar album under his own name. In addition, he continues to teach rock, jazz and classical guitar and bass in the Chicago area.
*** Lesson Details *** As a private music instructor for the past 15 years, I personally have been granted the opportunity to teach a wide variety of music students. I have taught students ranging in age from 6 to 65. I have taught students from various ethnic and economic backgrounds. I have taught students with various physical, emotional, and learning disabilities. Regardless of the situation, I have always approached each lesson with the idea that every student deserves my best efforts as a teacher. This is because I believe that everyone, regardless of age, cultural heritage, ability, or financial circumstance deserve the opportunity to participate in the best music experiences possible.
I believe that everyone has the ability to learn to play a musical instrument and achieve success on it if they possess the desire to do so. This is because music is a vital part of the human experience. Music has the ability to turn ordinary life experiences into extraordinary ones. Think of everyday events such as: waking up in the morning, commuting to and from work or school, going through the work or school day, going to dinner with a friend or loved one, going to a sporting event,watching a movie or television show, or working out at the gym. Now, picture what these everyday events would be like without the presence of music. Without music, these experiences would be extremely dull and we as human beings would not be able to full appreciate the wonderful moments in our lives.
As a music educator, my promise is to guide my students through the journey of learning to play music so they can experience the joy that it brings into their lives and the lives of others. I promise to help my students realize their full musical potential. I will always treat each student equally with fairness and respect, provide the best possible atmosphere for their growth, and recognize that each student is unique in how they learn and grow.
Lesson Topics Include Music reading (Tablature, rhythmic notation, and standard notation) Technical mastery of the instrument (Proper left and right hand technique, chords, scales, arpeggios, etc...) Rhythm and counting Repertoire (chosen by the individual student with the aid of the teacher) Songwriting/Composition Improvisation Music business Recording techniques
*** Studio Equipment *** Fender 2012 Jeff Beck Stratocaster Fender 1992 Standard Stratocaster 1980 Gibson Flying V 1994 Washburn N4 2005 Washburn X50PROF 1996 Washburn HB 35 Fender 1965 Twin Reverb Amp MacBook Pro loaded with Pro Tools, Finale, Garageband, Live, Guitar Pro 6, Band in a Box
*** Travel Equipment *** Guitar and materials. Student should also have guitar and materials
*** Specialties *** I am able to teach all styles of music but specialize in all forms of Rock, Jazz, Blues, and Classical
Excellent lesson. Does a wonderful job at taking older students and gently holding their feet to the fire to bring out the best- even under the most challenging of circumstances. Kudos to being such a uniquely great teacher!
January 10, 2018
I realize it was the first lesson but I was a little disappointed that we spend nearly the entire time on housekeeping items, like canceling and re-scheduling appointments. I think that could have been covered with an e-mail or handout. I also thought we spent too much time going over the differences between acoustic and electric guitars - considering my age and background. Would have liked to see him demonstrate what I was asked to practice before the next lesson instead of just being told to refer to the workbook.
November 17, 2017
Dave had a relaxed informative approach, a knowledgeable teacher who took his time with me, a real novice.
I have degrees in both music and education. I also have 35 years experience in both teaching and performance. My concentrations are guitar, piano, harmonica, and voice. Teaching children and adults is very rewarding to me.
*** Lesson Details *** Our lessons will be geared toward your interest with a healthy dash of Music Theory.
*** Studio Equipment *** Acoustic, Nylon-String, and Electric Guitars; Amps; Piano.
A clear step by step method to learning your favorite guitar songs.
I perform and teach guitar professionally. Music is my passion and I love to learn new music and help others learn it as well. I currently specialize in teaching classical guitar with a focus on building strong technique, ear training, and practical applications for using formal and contemporary music analysis skills.
I also love playing jazz and various styles of pop music. I try to bring a similar approach to teaching these as I do in my classical teaching. I want to work on answering questions the music asks of the performer; like how would you play a Country Swing song versus a Jazz Swing song, how would you approach a contemporary Spanish Guitar Suite versus a Baroque Guitar Suite, or how would you play a Taylor Swift song versus a John Mayer song.
I have been playing guitar for over a decade and have tons of performance experience gigging in a local rock band. Combine that with a curriculum that starts with fundamentals and expands quickly into playing your favorite songs and you have a great start to beginning or expanding your guitar playing abilities.
Hi, my name is Ryan and I would love to teach you how to play guitar. I've been playing for over 10 years and have been gigging for a little less than that in my band. Over the years I have gained a lot of experience performing on stage and teaching to people of all ages. If you want to shred, jam, or rock out then look no further. I okay all styles of music and pride myself in building a fun and educational curriculum based solely on you or others who have had similar interests as you. This means if you have a question about guitar or music in general, 9 times out of 10 I can answer it. The remaining tenth is either a well kept secret, or something that is left to be found. So if you're ready to start your journey or just need a guide to help you on your way, let's go!
Ryan was great! He's obviously a talented guitarist and he is very laid back and makes you feel comfortable. He shows you in detail what you need to do to become a better guitar player. My ONLY advice, and the reason he doesn't get 5 stars, is I think he should have more visual aids with his lessons. For example, write down the different scales or transcribe the first several measures of a song. Then, one has something to refer back to when you are practicing and invariably get stuck. Other than that, I would highly recommend Ryan as a guitar teacher!
January 19, 2017
Ryan is prompt and very respectful and patient.
October 3, 2016
We are so happy to have Ryan as our guitar instructor. Ryan is very knowledgeable and kind. Our son really enjoys having Ryan as a teacher.
Does guitar practice ever feel overwhelming, too hard, or like a chore? Take a tip or 50 from guitar teacher Jerry W. and you'll have enough material to work with to keep practice fun for the rest of your life. As an added bonus, we've peppered in extra resources for you so you can learn even more about each guitar practice tip. Ready Freddie? Let's get started!
1. Use a metronome.
Practicing guitar with a metronome trains you to play in time, which is useful whether you want to play …