Plano 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 Steven B.

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Elk Grove Village, IL
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About Steven
I have been studying and performing music for 20+ years. After majoring in music at College of Dupage in Glen Ellyn IL, I went to step up my level of study at the Percussion Institute of Technology (P.I.T.) at Musician's Institute in Hollywood, CA in 2001 attaining a Performance Certificate from my time studying there.

Moving back to Chicago after L.A. in 2002 proved to be the right move as this is when I began my teaching career. With 13+ years of private and group music instruction experience, I have worked with Hix Brothers Music, Naperville Music, Roselle Music, Streamwood Park District, Roselle Park District, Schaumburg Park District, After School Enrichment Solution's Guitar Stars, Band For Today, Guitar Fundamentals, Chicago Guitar Instruction, Schaumburg Music Academy, Music Makers of Western Springs, Clarendon Hills Music Ac
ademy, and also maintain a private clientele. Well into a thousand lessons taught, students have stayed with me for up to 7 years. You, the student, will gain all the experience I have gained from my 20 years of study, performance, and instruction.

Performing with various bands in the 2000's, I pinpointed my style and mastered my technique that gave me many performance opportunities regionally and nationally, noting most current act U2 tribute Vertigo USA.

I am co-founder of the music licensing production company Blue Shade Music, co-writing with astute musicians in the Chicago area for music libraries in Florida and California currently.

With national and international touring experience, I was featured in an exclusive interview for Online Drummer in August of 2011 sharing my knowledge and experience of music and drums.

Thank you for reading, and I hope to have a fun and educational time with you!

*** Lesson Details ***
Practicing everyday with an occasional day off is very important in the student's progress. I always say 10 minutes is better than 0 minutes.

For DRUM lessons, the student can expect to learn:
*to read music notation and music charts
*to read drum notation
*songs by real bands
*timekeeping via a metronome
*hand technique and foot technique
*rudiments
*all styles of music
*double bass
*drum grooves and drum fills
*marching band/concert band material (if involved in school)

For PIANO lessons, the student can expect to learn:
*to read music notation
*to read music charts/lead sheets
*music theory
*intervals
*chords and inversions
*chord progressions
*scales
*fingering
*styles of blues, jazz, pop, rock, and traditional
*songs you wish to learn

For GUITAR + BASS lessons, the student can expect to learn:
*to learn to read music notation
*to learn to read a music chart
*music theory
*scales
*chords
*chord progressions
*fingering
*styles of pop, rock, and blues
*songs you wish to learn

*** Travel Equipment ***
I provide no equipment. The student must have an acoustic or electric drum set, a practice pad, a music stand, a metronome, sticks, curriculum book(s), headphones, an acoustic or electric guitar, and an acoustic or electric piano.

*** Specialties ***
Rock, Funk, Blues, RnB, Soul, Country, Jazz, Latin, Pop, Metal

**Travel available for in home lessons up to 15 miles pending location, scheduling, and availability. 2 weeks or more notice is required for discontinuation of lessons.**
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Reviews
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Caryn October 17, 2017
· Guitar · In home
Steven is very patient with new beginners and explained things thoroughly. He gave me the necessary tools to practice on my own until our next lesson .
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A.M. August 26, 2017
· Drum · In studio
Steven was beyond helpful. He is always prepared and open to as many questions as you can think of. And if you don't fully understand the answer, he'll take the time to answer in different ways, so that you're on the same page. He was also very helpful in setting up the lesson times and locations.

It was my first time trying the drums and I didn't have a drum set yet. Steven took the time to sit down with me and discuss which drum sets were good for the price.

Overall, this was a great experience!
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Melanee J. October 9, 2016
· Guitar · In home
I'm a true challenge since I am very green with little music capability. Great introduction with plenty to work on.
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Steven B.

Steven B.

Elk Grove Village, IL 60007
(19)
starting at
$35 / 30-min

About Erin M.

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Elgin, IL
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About Erin
I have been teaching general music at a local elementary school for the last two years. I have had a few private lesson students on the side, but am looking to expand. I have played piano for nearly 20 years, and have been a vocalist for 17 years. During college, I tutored students at various levels including middle school and high school. I am also trained in autism and related disorders.
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Reviews
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Laurin B. July 18, 2014
· Piano · In home
Erin is a fantastic teacher. She shows immense patience with my daughter and genuinely wants to see her succeed. We plan to continue with Erin as long as she's available!
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Erin M.

Erin M.

Elgin, IL 60123
(1)
starting at
$20 / 30-min

About Christopher J.

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DeKalb, IL

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About Christopher
Hello All! My name is Christopher and I am excited to begin working with you all. I began teaching voice in 2012 as a student in Bowling Green, OH. I enjoying watching students progress and to help the find their own voice! I am fun, energetic, caring and dedicated. I received my Bachelor of Music degree in Voice Performance in 2013 from Bowling Green State University. I have a Graduate Performers Certificate in performance from Northern Illinois University where I am currently completing my Masters of Music in performance.
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Reviews
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Jamie F. October 19, 2016
· Singing · In studio
Christopher was wonderful! I had a great first lesson.
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Alex September 2, 2016
· Opera Voice · In studio
Amazing job all around! He used many visuals and examples to help me figure out how to properly use my voice and get it resonating to its fullest potential. Great personality and fantastic teaching skills!
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Anaya May 2, 2016
· Singing · In studio
He has done a great job with my daughter, she's always excited to attend lessons and I can't get her to stop singing afterwards! Very pleased with Christopher!
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Christopher J.

Christopher J.

DeKalb, IL 60115
(3)
starting at
$25 / 30-min

About Katarina L.

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Westmont, IL
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About Katarina
I attended six years at State Conservatory and graduated with Magister degree from Comenius University in former Czechoslovakia. I performed during my college years with a chamber vocal-instrumental ensemble. I started teaching piano and music theory in 1987 at a music school and later I was giving piano lessons at private homes in Slovakia. In USA I traveled to homes to teach piano for several years. Currently I am a substitute piano and voice teacher at a local music/arts school.
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Katarina L.

Katarina L.

Westmont, IL 60559
starting at
$35 / 30-min
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About Cate H.

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Naperville, IL
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About Cate
You learn more than just how to play the flute when you study with Dr. Cate Hummel. Students learn to set goals, manage their time, solve problems, build effective habits and succeed. These are important skills not only to for being a great flute player, but for life and a career in as a professional in a wide range of fields. Provided a student practices regularly as instructed, you will see more progress in less time and advancement to higher ensembles in school at an earlier age.
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Lise September 29, 2016
· Flute · In studio
Very good experience. I am restarting the flute and Cate provides Lot of great advice. I strongly recommend Cate!
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Cate H.

Cate H.

Naperville, IL 60563
(1)
starting at
$35 / 30-min

About Maureen O.

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Saint Charles, IL
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About Maureen
Classically trained musician from University of London, Chicago Conservatory of Music and Columbia College. Experienced with all ages, experience levels and happy to work with a variety of music genres and performance choreography.
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Maureen O.

Maureen O.

Saint Charles, IL 60175
starting at
$25 / 30-min

About Matt H.

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Warrenville, IL

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About Matt
Hello everyone,
My name is Matt Hines. I have been teaching guitar for 14 yrs. In high school I was the first chair guitarist in Jazz Studio Orchestra Big Band. In 2003, I attended Southern Illinois University where I studied Classical Guitar and Music Business. I graduated in 2007 and began touring around the Midwest with a Reggae/Rock band. Meanwhile, I had been teaching private students from 2002-2010. In 2010, I moved back to the Chicago land area. Since then I have played in over 30 acts and have taught hundreds of students. In 2013, I won 1st place in the national Blues Masters competition. My speciality is rock,blues,reggae,pop, and jazz improvisation. My philosophy is to help the student develop their own musical voice, while giving them a technical foundation.
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Matt H.

Matt H.

Warrenville, IL 60555
starting at
$40 / 30-min

About Felicia B.

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Dundee, IL

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About Felicia
I graduated with a bachelors in music education at Western Illinois University in 2012. At the university I received talent grants to play in the symphony orchestra as a violinist, I also sang in the school of music top choir. After graduating I immediately was offered a position at a music studio in Geneva and have been successfully working for them for the last 5 years. For the last 3 years I have worked at a middle school in Elmhurst as a choir director and also was the vocal director for 3 musicals and head director for 2 plays. I have background with special education students from ages 5-13.

Although I am primarily a violinist and vocalist I also teach up to intermediate in piano, viola, cello, and acoustic guitar at the music studio. I believe that it is important for the student to be able to learn music theory at their skill l
evel, problem solving, and also enjoying what they play. Beginning lessons will give students a strong foundation of their instrument but adding on solo music.
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Reviews
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Denise August 28, 2017
· Violin · In studio
Felicia works with me at my own pace. She pushes me to do better and work harder in a way that is encouraging and motivating. She is always on time and never cancels a lesson without notice. She is extremely knowledgeable in every instrument she teaches and in vocals. Her background is teaching so this gives her the ability to provide the best learning environment for each of her students.
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Felicia B.

Felicia B.

Dundee, IL 60118
(1)
starting at
$35 / 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

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