Caleb moved from his hometown of Wichita, Kansas, to Chicago in 2008 to attend DePaul University, where he received his Bachelor’s in Trumpet Performance studying under Matt Lee and Tage Larsen. Since then, Caleb has picked up a variety of regular gigs across a wide spectrum of styles, genres, and types of events.
Caleb performs in Chicago with soul-pop band The Right Now as well as his original funk band Nasty Snacks. He has played in horn sections for Latin, funk, and big-band jazz bands, as well as Afrobeat, indie rock, R&B/soul, and hip-hop/rap groups.
He has also played the national anthem for the president at opening night of the Chicago Bulls season, been featured at Chicago Blackhawks games, principal trumpet in symphony orchestras, pit orchestras and in the DePaul Screamin’ Demons Pep Band at Madison Square Garden. Caleb al
so regularly lends his solo talents to wedding parties and church services, and is one-fourth of the Chicago for-hire horn section Revolution Horns. Other musical endeavors include a performance on the Steve Harvey Show, playing trumpet for the Broadway musical I Love Lucy in downtown Chicago, and a coveted chance to perform in master classes for his idols Adolph “Bud” Herseth and Chris Martin.
Caleb has been teaching privately in the Chicago area for 8 years now and is eager to teach students with any amount of experience, especially those who are eager to approach music from a variety of perspectives.
I believe that the best way to teach a brass instrument at any level, is simply to check in and make sure that the student has a great understanding of what a beautiful sound is on their instrument. This is done in a patient and positive environment, filled with the best possible music making to serve as a model to aspire to. With small, attainable goals and the encouragement to practice at least a small amount on a daily basis, you cannot help but improve, while hopefully having a good time playing whatever music interests you. The journey is a bit different for everyone, but anyone can make a beautiful sound, and go from there!
I like to strike a balance of teaching out of various method books(depending on the student and their level of ability, some are more suitable than others of course and I help guide the way), and learning to play by ear, which can be almost anything the student wants to learn, provided it's not overly complicated for them. Technique has it's place, but is certainly not the whole story. Learning music that is fun, while at the same time learning to get better at your instrument, makes the overall process enjoyable and rewarding. Once you have the right tools, music is something that can be fulfilling for the rest of your life, especially when you learn to do it in a fun and healthy way.
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.
Let's get you started on your musical path! My name is Kristin, and I cannot wait to begin this journey into music with you. I have been teaching private lessons for nearly a decade, and have taught music and choir in the classroom since 2011. I specialize in working with beginners of all ages.
Music has been my passion for my entire life. From singing to playing in band and everything in between, I ultimately achieved my degree in Music Education. I graduated Magna Cum Laude in the top ten of my class from VanderCook College of Music.
In addition to teaching music, I have also worked as a special education assistant and wrestling/track coach at Lake Zurich Middle School South and an assistant Kung Fu/Tai Chi instructor at Green Mountain Arts in Logan Square, Chicago, Illinois. Jazz piano, Voice, and Composition are my main areas of expertise. However, I have also been recording, and playing guitar almost my entire life. I fully believe in music education not only for entertainment and personal enjoyment, but for many other means. Beyond its capacity for being used as entertainment, music aids in learning, helps develop advanced motor skills, increases memory function, and many other purposes for a well rounded education. It is my goal to help educate the next generation in traditional music practices as well as incorporate new techniques that are relevant to our
current day and age.
*** Lesson Details *** Lesson plans vary from person to person. I always make it a point to get to know the student's existing musical knowledge, goals, and background before I create a personalized lesson plan. All important concepts are covered as they are needed so students can understand theoretical concepts based upon actual application and usage. In short, I teach in a way that students can "dig in" right away and play, create, improvise, sing and/or compose freely and naturally. I always encourage students or parents to contact me with their goals, previous musical training, etc., and discuss what they really want out of lessons so they can get the most out of taking me on as an instructor.
*** Studio Equipment *** Acoustic and Electric piano, Digital Recording Studio, Extensive library and teaching resources
*** Specialties *** *Teachers marked as a Student Has taught a minimum of 25 lessons and has received the highest feedback rating from students.Jazz Piano, Composition, Choral
Daniel cancelled my son's first lesson with less than a one hour notice. He attended the second lesson, but again cancelled the third lesson with a 30 minute notice. He sent me a text message to notify me and I called him back and left a voicemail. 24 hours later and I still haven't gotten a call back. I want my money back. He has wasted my son's time. Poor professionalism.
November 11, 2017
Really enjoyed the first lesson. Daniel made it fun and im excited to learn more.
April 5, 2017
Daniel adapted throughout the course of the hour-long lesson to understand what I already knew and find appropriate ways to fill in the gaps of my knowledge. He also started me on the process of learning a new approach when looking at and learning to play new music pieces.
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.
I have wanted to take piano lessons all my life but never had the time. Katarina has been very patient and caring with me. She’s an excellent teacher for me because she takes time, fully explains things, and has confidence in me that helps me to go further. I am so glad I have Katarina as my teacher. Thank you!
I have both a Bachelors and Masters degree in music education in addition to extensive professional clarinet performance experience and enjoy teaching the clarinet. I am a Grammy nominated Music Educator and encourage students to explore classical and popular styles in lessons.
If there is a special time request that is not currently available please reach out. I've taught very beginners to helping adults land successful military band auditions. Am a certified music Educator with a K-12 endorsement in music in IL.
Corey was a great instructor for my 4th grader. We wanted him to keep up with his clarinet lessons over Summer break. My son gets very easily frustrated when he struggles and Corey handled it all very well, always giving a new suggestion on what he could do to improve. In just 5 short lessons, Corey helped my son with his embouchure, finger placement, tounging and my son was finally able to play his B and C notes. That had really been holding him back from playing lots of music. Highly recommended!
April 3, 2017
Mr. Ames has been one of my favorite teachers during my time at LA. He is always willing to listen and help his students if they go to him. He is passionate about teaching, his main goal is to help his students succeed in whatever way he can. He always tries to make a fun and worthwhile experience everyone should appreciate the great teacher that he is.
April 3, 2017
Mr. Ames is an amazing teacher! He helped me land a spot in the all district band my freshman year in high school and constantly pushed me to strive and be my best. I highly recommend him for anyone that is looking to have fun and be a better clarinet player.
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.
She asked me what I wanted to learn and assisted me in a very patient way, and showed me the correct way of strumming and whatever else that was needed. A very good start.
June 18, 2018
Felicia is a great teacher! We work well together, she asks how I want to learn and she helps me to understand what I’m learning! As an adult learner, it helps that she can modify my lesson to suit my specific needs. I think this will be a great partnership!!
March 18, 2018
Felicia has truly helped me improve on the viola. From spotting my wrong bow hold to making sure that I am absolutely positive on where the fingerings are for the key, she has most definetly improved my playing over all and is helping me advance past most of my peers in my school orchestra.
Born in Greece and raised in Albania, I started piano lessons with my mother when i was three, and formal lessons at age six at the Epirotic Conservatory of Ioannina, (Greece) with Aspasia Zerva (and with my mother as well). With the support of the Tsakalof Institute, I had my first recital with an orchestra at the age of 12 with the Symphonic Orchestra of Albanian Radio – Television (Kabalevsky Piano Concerto No. 3 in D major, Op. 50). In 2012 I received a Diploma in Piano at the Epirotic Conservatory of Ioannina. I completed my undergraduate studies in Musicology at University of Arts in Tirana, Albania, with Dr. Holta Sina and piano with Prof. Nora Cashku. During these years I taught piano at Tsakalof Institute. I have participated in many activities and competitions in Albania and Greece. Also, I have an interest in foreign languag
es; I speak English, Albanian, Greek, French, Italian and Spanish. Currently, I am working as Piano teacher at Topher Allan Music since 2016,and a proud teacher of 20 students from Ages 5-45.
Ms. Kristiana brings our family the joy of playing and practicing piano. Both my 5 year old daughter and I are her students. Ms. Kristiana knows how to motivate young piano players as well as accommodate and respect and help adult players trying to pick up piano again. As for kids, she is extremely patient, kind, open minded and fun. She made my daughter feel comfortable from the trial lesson and their teacher-student dynamic improves with each lesson.
Starting piano lessons as an elementary school student, I studied for 13 years. Since then, my piano skills have gotten rusty, but Ms. Kristiana has helped me start back up again. She came up with a plan with a practice book and a piece book that I can enjoy, and she also helped me learn the piece I had been longing to learn. Maybe that piece is above my level at this point, but she patiently guided me to go through it and now I am half way to mastering it.
We are glad to have met her and to be under her guidance.
January 30, 2019
Kristiana is a great teacher! Im taking both of my kids (girl and boy age 7-11) and they doing really good
Lately we had a piano recital and my daughter performed in front of more than 100 people! So proud of her
Thank you Kristiana!
"It was quite an interesting one for my kids especially those playing the piano for the first time. He is such an experience and patient teacher and I high
ly recommend him to any beginner who is interested in playing the piano."
"Daniela is wonderful! She is so patient... even when my 5 and 7 year-olds are wiped out from their day and not so focused. Daniela is the first piano te
acher for my 5 year old and 7 year old and they really enjoy their lessons with her... a great way to introduce piano to them. She's also very flexible with her days/times and always responds to calls/emails quickly. We've signed up for another set of sessions with her!"
"When I decided to take guitar lessons I was a little nervous. I thought that it would be hard for me to learn since I'm no longer a child. What I was thin
king was that you can't teach old dogs new tricks, not that I'm an old dog. I decided to do it anyway. Paul made everything easy to learn and I did learn new tricks so to speak. He definitely a good teacher for young and old alike."
"Accommodating and knowledgeable."
"Mark was very patient, professional as well as being knowledgeable about the guitar. I was impressed with the way he presented the information of his lear
ning technique. Marc knows music by notes as well as play by ear. I would recommend him to for anyone of all levels of experience that want to learn or enhance their level of guitar."
"I've just had my first lesson with Barbara, and I felt immediately comfortable. She was highly encouraging, and I feel that I learned a lot already. I'm r
eally looking forward to the next lesson!"
"I would like to personally thank Lydia for all her guidance during the last few months. I have learn a lot and even did a piano performance in front of pe
ople. Her teaching methods are adaptive and flexible, any student would be happy to have her a instructor."
"Sue is an excellent teacher. I have only had my first lesson but I know I will benefit from her instruction. I have already learned several things in our
first lesson that will improve my tone."
"Keith is a great teacher! He gives excellent technical instruction and makes it a lot of fun. Our son loves his lessons with Keith!"
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