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.
Jon N. was born and raised in Mexico City and is proudly an American citizen. He has been performing since the age of three, on several instruments, studying music since fourteen, and still takes lessons to this day. What's not to love?
He is proud to teach at all levels, including many professional musicians with master’s degrees, adult beginners, and of course, kids of all ages between 8 and 75.
They are encouraged to select the music they want to learn, so we have worked on classical music and original compositions, which I also coach, jazz, blues, pop, rock, the Great American Songbook, reggae, seven different kinds of Jewish music, and other ethnic music from all over the globe.
Frequently the younger students will request a tune I've never heard, but I magically transform the MP3 into a handwritten score at the student's l
evel. Example, one of my adult beginners wanted to play the big symphonic poem Scheherazade, and I wrote out the main tunes for easy piano.
My name is Jeff and I have been a bass player for over 20 years. I have professional experience on bass guitar and have played, performed, and recorded with many bands and musicians since the mid 1990's. I currently perform throughout the Chicago area in bands and in musical theatre pits as well. I am fluent in all styles of music including rock, jazz, soul, R&B, metal, and classical. I also play double bass and have a Bachelor in Music degree. Your success as a growing musician is important to me so I am sure to incorporate a firm understanding of music theory and fundamentals into playing the bass. I am extremely versatile and have a relaxed, outgoing personality that allows me to be a successful teacher. Whether you want to learn how to play your favorite song, or you want to learn how to read music and understand music theory, I can h
elp you grow into the musician you want to become.
I’m not usually one to write reviews but Jeff is such a great teacher. He really helped to develop my playing to where now I consider myself a confident bassist. His style of teaching not only helped me to be a better bassist, but also helped me internalize musical concepts that will help me for the rest of my life. I strongly recommend Jeff if you are looking for someone to really take you to the next level!
May 21, 2019
Jeff Was a godsend with our 9 year old son. We felt Jeff really knew what Jabob needed to get him interested in learning to correct way to play, while also having FUN. As a pick up, know nothing guitar player myself I was really impressed with Jeff’s attitude and dedication to music and fostering the learning of music. 10/10 THANKS Jeff!
May 21, 2019
Jeff is a great teacher. Jeff made the lessons super fun and meaningful for my son. He has a unique way of teaching that really helps anyone in any level understand. I highly recommend Jeff!
I have my bachelors degree in sacred music, my masters degree in music performance, and my doctorate in worship studies. I am an experienced music teacher with great interpersonal skills and enjoy creating a fun and meaningful learning environment for all ages of students. I teach music theory concepts as I teach music, and I also enjoy sharing the history of music and famous composers. Students should not just learn notes, but they should also learn about the wonderful story of music I have taught private clarinet, flute, saxophone, voice, and piano lessons for many years with great success. Many of my former students write to me periodically to tell me what they are doing in music. I look forward to working with many more students as we embark on the journey of learning music, pieces, history, and theory together. Students will look ba
ck and say they really enjoyed their lessons with me. I also have a background in teaching special needs children.
Paul has been very patient and wonderful with my 6 year old son who has just started lessons.
October 17, 2016
My first lesson was great. Mr. Paul was very patient and judged my skill level before making a lesson plan. Initially I was nervous, because I have never taken lessons before, but that quickly went away. I can definitely tell that he knows his stuff when it comes to teaching. He a great teacher and conversationalist.
September 15, 2016
Paul was very pleasant. He thoroughly explained things to my daughter in a manner that she could understand. He listened to her play and they also played together.
This was her first flute lesson with Paul, but she's already looking forward to the next lesson.
Vicki earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in music education from Roosevelt University in Chicago with a piano/vocal emphasis and a specialty in the field of piano pedagogy.
Vicki has over thirty five years of performing and teaching experience in the Chicagoland and Northwest Indiana areas. Her experience includes accompanying and directing musical theater productions, choirs, instrumentalists, and vocal soloists in school, church, and community settings.
Vicki especially likes helping students prepare for exams, auditions, and performances. It gives her great joy to watch students perform well, succeed, achieve their goals, and live their dreams.
Mrs. P. is comfortable working with students of all ages and levels. She is personable, friendly, upbeat, exciting, positive, and patient. You can tell that she loves teaching and perfor
Lightbulb moment with new breathing technique. Patience exhibited in repeating until we got it. Advised to un-learn old and wrong advice from previous director. Demonstrated desired techniques. Supportive. Complimentary.
August 15, 2019
Vicki is an amazing voice teacher! She worked with me for a few months preparing me for a singing class in school. I had never worked on singing before and three months later, I feel completely prepared and excited to start this course. She is very patient and supportive, I highly recommend her as a voice teacher!!
Current student at Northwestern University's Bienen School of Music. I have experience in cello performance, piano performance, orchestral music, and chamber music. I have studied with various prestigious music instructors and attended various music festivals, including the Interharmony Music Festival, Meadowmount School of Music, and the Aspen School of Music.
Ethan is a great piano teacher!
we just finished our 2nd session, and i enjoyed the lesson so much, i can’t wait to have next session.
he is passionate, detail oriented, and professional.
he is also flexible, and experimental in his teaching, eager to see me flourish, trying to get the best from me.
he has this uncanny communication skills to help me appreciate and understand more deeply a music piece i am learning.
most of all, in just 2 weeks, Ethan helped me to recover “fun” and “freedom” during my piano practice (:))
I began training with the violin at 4 years old (22 years of experience currently) at the Music Institute of Chicago in Wilmette with Michelle Wynton (CSO member) using the Suzuki Method. I have also studied with Shigetoshi Yamada, Dr. Michael Hall and currently Yang Liu who has performed solo repertoire all over the world. I was an IMEA finalist my junior year of high school and was able to perform Finale from Symphony No. 4 in F minor by Tchaikovsky. I have performed with the Chicago Classical Symphony conducted by Joseph Glimph. Current member of the VanderCook Philharmonic. I am currently in my senior year at VanderCook College of Music which is the only college in the world so extensively geared towards the music and education. I have performed for the community in various scenarios from fiddlin' at the Bristol Renaissance Fair
I am a jazz trumpet player originally from Austin, TX. I graduated from the Oberlin Conservatory of Music in 2017 with a Bachelors in Trumpet Performance. I love working with kids and adults who want to deepen their understanding of music or music performance and am excited about teaching with Take Lessons!
As a trumpet teacher, students could expect to be introduced to classical trumpet techniques and/or jazz, if interested. I also have experience teaching voice, piano and music theory and use this knowledge to bolster my knowledge of trumpet technique.
As a young musician, I am a part of number of groups and ensembles in addition to a horn collective. I love playing live music and have a specific interest in hip hop and R&B. In addition to trumpet, I also love music production and making beats and would love to explore that with stude
"Jonathan is a great teacher, and I would definitely recommend him!"
"Lessons are going great."
"Anna is a wonderful teacher. She’s extremely talented, patient, and both my girls love going to lesson. She has been teaching my children for 2 1/2 yrs."
"Patient and Encouraging
I have been taking lessons for the piano with Karen R. for about a month now and am very impressed. She is a very patient instruc
tor and makes sure that I understand not only what she wants me to do, but why. She is a very encouraging person to learn from and I greatly enjoy my time with her."
"I honestly cannot say enough positive things about Rachel. We met her through CYT where my daughter took theater classes from Rachel and was directed by
Rachel in several musicals. Because Rachel was so wonderful to work with and so clearly talented at teaching and directing, several years ago, my daughter started private vocal lesson with her and I have seen my daughter's vocal abilities grow in leaps and bounds. Rachel is an ace at picking music to work on that stretches abilities while at the same time, keeps vocal lessons fun. I highly recommend her as a voice and theater coach."
"I really enjoyed my time with Steven. He is easy to get to know and is a wealth of knowledge. He is patient and takes time when you are having trouble und
erstanding anything. I definitely recommend him!"
"Mr. Nikita is an excellent instructor. My son is 14 years old and has learned the violin for 5 years at a studio. This is his first online experience with
violin. After several weeks, he has improved his techniques and now enjoys his violin much more. Mr. Nikita is thorough and conscientious. He also prepares homework to guide my son through his practice during the week."
"I thought the lesson went very well. Am looking forward to the next one."
"Sean is energetic and patient and a dynamic teacher. Would recommend to anyone trying to learn."
Drum tabs are an abbreviated, simple form of musical instruction used in place of traditional sheet music for drummers. Many modern musicians and music students prefer to use this kind of tablature because it's easier to write and easier to find. Instead of looking for sheet music in the music store, for example, you can simply go online and find thousands of drum tabs for all your favorite songs.
Sheet Music and Musical Tabs
Tabs are different from sheet music because they are written specifi …