Sugar Grove 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 Marian I.

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Wood Dale, IL

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About Marian
I am a guitar teacher with 10+ years of experience teaching all different styles of music. Blues, Folk, Acoustic, funk, ska, Rock, Metal, Melodic, Country, Classical, Punk, Alternative, and various other melodies. I have played concerts all over the state of Illinois and I have taught many students throughout the years. I teach beginning, intermediate, and advanced players. I am very passionate at what I do and I will guide you through the proper steps in becoming a great guitar player. Playing music takes a lot of time and patience as well as a lot of practice playing by yourself and in front of people. I am very relaxed and motivated to help my students learn and I will guide you through everything.

I would prefer that students bring their own guitars so that you would be more comfortable playing your own instrument, if you can
't or do not have one, I have guitars here that you may use but during our sessions only.

CHECK OUT MY VIDEO.

With a lot of practice and a lot of studying, I can show you how to play like a Pro an have fun!

*** Lesson Details ***
In my curriculum, students will start off by learning the basics of the guitar, knowing the parts,accessories and so forth. Then We will move on to Tuning and Perfect pitch. As we move on students will learn how to build and maintain a Rhythm.

Learning how to play chords is essential, and we will be going through chord progress
ions and how to recognize and memorize the various chords.
Furthermore, i will be showing students how to Read Tabs and write music. I will be showing students the different types of scales that there as well as the keys that they are in for those who want to become soloists. I will also be teaching different techniques that are incorporated with Tapping on the fretboard as well as various other techniques.

All of these lessons will be taught in our private sessions, and each student will receive homework assignments, so that they can go home and practice what they have learned. I will be having tests later on, in which i would ask you to play one of your favorite songs.

With enough time spent practicing, you can become a master of your instrument.

*** Studio Equipment ***
Basement Studio: amps, guitars, wah pedals, music stands, guitar picks, and music sheets.

*** Travel Equipment ***
I have an amp, wires, picks, guitars,gig bag,case, music sheets, picks, and music stands.

*** Specialties ***
My styles include Rhythm and Blues, Rock, Funk, Pop, Classical,Country, Classic Rock, Metal, Thrash, Alternative, Punk Rock, Folk, and various other Melodies.
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Reviews
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Ray February 3, 2017
· Ukulele · In studio
My grandson Kristoph is happy and challanged enough to want to continue. Marian is very patient with children. We need to think about future classes and a little more structured approach. Thanks.
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MikeP1 January 19, 2011
· ·
Guitar

Great instructor and very patient in helping meet my objectives
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Marian I.

Marian I.

Wood Dale, IL 60191
(2)
starting at
$29 / 30-min

About Sarah P.

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Plainfield, IL

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About Sarah
Classically trained pianist and singer. When it comes to piano, I have over 20 years of training under my belt. Majority of my experience deals with classical and accompaniment but have also studied jazz and contemporary.
In the way of singing, I am a classically trained singer who majored in Opera Performance in college. I have plenty of performance experience from being on the stage in operas and musical to performing with choirs and solo recitals. In voice lessons a student can choose to specialize in opera or if they were to take standard voice lessons, they could expect a wide variety of music focusing on multiple languages and genres including musical theater.

With every musician, Music Theory is crucial. All students will learn the basics of reading music and those who choose, can go beyond to learn the structure of music a
nd why music is the way it is with Music Theory lessons.

I am qualified to teach all levels of piano, opera, and voice.I take a real hands on, active approach to teaching, going beyond just the lesson books.

I am also able to offer tutoring services. I have been tutoring since high school. In high school as part of the National Honors Society, we were asked to tutor once a week and it continued into college when I decided to double major in Psychology taking an interest in adolescence psychology. My strong suits and reading and math but I am more than happy to help in any subject.

I do have dogs in the house so please be advised if you have allergies.

*** Lesson Details ***
Our sessions will be laid back and easy going. I expect the students to do their work and practice and as long as they are showing progress, we can continue with a fun and relaxed atmosphere. I am patient with my students, and do my best to develop teaching methods unique to each student to give the best experience and set them up for the highest level of success. I don't push students to perfection but rather assist them in reaching their personal best. As long as they are having fun and learning, I know I am doing my job. Music is to be enjoyed and that is my goal with each student.

For voice and piano, students will learn a wide variety of music. I also believe strongly in the power of sight reading. Students will also learn music theory in their lessons. Piano students will follow a lesson book curriculum along with learning scales and sight reading. Voice students will sing from all major languages (English, French, Italian, and German) and practice sight reading skills.

Students should bring a notebook to lessons where notes will be taken on what we accomplished in our lessons and what needs to be worked on for the next lesson. This will usually include a theory sheet, technique work, and songs.

Twice a year I hold a recital where students get to show off to other students and family what they have accomplished in their lessons. With piano students, you will prepare and memorize usually one song. For voice students, you will prepare and memorize two songs, at least one will be in a foreign language.

*** Studio Equipment ***
Lower level for studio, piano, seating for parents, on site computer for easy reference and music samples.

*** Specialties ***
I have an Opera performance degree. I am a classically trained singer and pianist.
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Reviews
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Emese September 11, 2016
· Piano · In studio
I find my lessons to go by very quickly, she is a great instructor and makes learning very enjoyable. I find her enthusiasm for piano to make me want to learn more and more each lesson!
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Anita G. July 7, 2016
· Piano · In home
Location is close by. She is very friendly and I feel that I have learned a lot just with the three lessons
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Ariel M. April 10, 2016
· Singing · In studio
Great teaching style
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Sarah P.

Sarah P.

Plainfield, IL 60586
(12)
starting at
$27 / 30-min

About Jack G.

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Lake Zurich, IL

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About Jack
Hello students and parents, music has been a big part of my life since before I could walk. Starting in third grade, and continuing through college, I have had 15 years of experience with singing. I was always eager to make music and to grow as a musician, which is why I decided to study music education at Eastern Illinois University. Due to the limited number of teaching jobs available I decided to change programs and study counseling. However I made it a priority to find ways to keep music as a big part of my life.

Performing has been a big part of my life for years. Starting in Elementary school I have been in several musicals and plays. I know what it is like to sing in front of large crowds both as a group and as a soloist. One of my favorite groups was an acapella/vocal jazz group during my high school years. My hope is to pass o
n both my passion for performance and the practical skills needed by every performer.

I have been teaching private guitar and singing lessons for the past 9 years. I have had approximately 10 students during that time, ranging in age from 11 to 60 years old. I have a fun and laid back approach to teaching. Music is meant to be enjoyed and I want my students to have fun as they learn and grow as musicians. While I have some basic skills for all my students to learn, the primary focus of lessons is for students to set and attain their own goals.

I know what it is like to be a student. I took private voice lessons for 7 years, including 3 years of classical training at Eastern Illinois University. I took four years of private guitar lessons, and one year of electrical bass lessons. As a teacher I use my experience as a student to enhance the learning environment for my students.

One of my favorite things is writing and recording my own songs. I will offer the opportunity for any of my students to develop songwriting skills and even record their creations.

There is no greater joy than that of creating music. Come create music with me and you'll be a better musician for it. I look forward to meeting you and helping you reach your goals.

*In Song*
-Jack G.

*** Lesson Details ***
I am highly adaptive as an instructor. I will allow my students to bring their own materials or I will create custom materials designed to develop their skills and help them reach their goals. A lot of my custom exercises are designed to build the flexibility, strength, and agility of my students as musicians.

After several months of lessons I aim for my students to master the basic skills, and to be focused on personal goals in their development as a musician. I use audio recording to mark and measure student progress so you can hear how you have improved and find new ways to get better.

Lessons can be as laid back or intense as you want. Practice is key to improvement. The more you practice the more you improve. I realize that life can be busy, so if you can't get the practice in I will still work with you and help you get as much as possible out of our lesson time. However, I will always encourage my students to practice regularly.

*** Studio Equipment ***
Keyboard, Acoustic Guitars, Electric Bass, Electric Guitar, Recording software.

*** Travel Equipment ***
Keyboard, Guitars, Bass, and Mandolin.

*** Specialties ***
For singing and guitar I design a lot of my own materials. I have strength and coordination exercises for the guitar, and I have vocal exercises designed to increase vocal strength and confidence.
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Reviews
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Dirk September 4, 2016
· Singing · In home
Great start! Jack got right down to business helping me improve my vocal technique. He gave me some great tips and exercises. Looking forward to the next lesson.
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Weston August 13, 2016
· Guitar · In home
Jack individualizes the lesson to met the needs of the student.
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Jeremy June 11, 2016
· Singing · In studio
Jack is a great instructor. Each week we have worked together I can see the improvement in my voice. Jack also is great about tailoring the instruction to benefit the individual student rather than simply following a "one size fits all" approach. I definitely recommend his instruction to everyone.
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Jack G.

Jack G.

Lake Zurich, IL 60047
(5)
starting at
$25 / 25-min

About Ricardo P.

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Darien, IL
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About Ricardo
 My name is Ricardo. I am a skilled Classically trained pianist.  I hold a Piano Performing/Teaching Diploma from Vicente Emilio Sojo Conservatory of Music in Venezuela, a Bachelor degree in Music Education with emphasis in Piano from Adventist University of Colombia, and a Master of Arts in Music with a concentration in Piano and Choral conducting from West Texas A & M University. I have over 26 years of experience teaching piano students with skill levels that range from beginner to advanced.  I have also instructed major and non-major piano students at the College level.  I have taught piano lessons to children, teenagers, adults and elderly people.  I have also had experience developing and implementing piano curriculum. I have performed at numerous recitals, concerts, and church services throughout the years.  It has always been my g
oal to commit to my students and to create the best possible learning environment according to their needs, goals, and backgrounds.  I carefully select repertoire and technical exercises that suit the needs of my students. I am comfortable with teaching conventional classical repertoire, hymns and praise, and popular repertoire including Pop and jazz. I teach my students solid technique, interpretative and sight-reading skills, and music theory foundations. I seek to instill the love and appreciation of music in my students.

*** Lesson Details ***
Besides studying and learning repertoire according to their level, my beginner students receive training in music theory, sight-reading, and technique.My intermediate and advanced students will focus on repertoire, sight-reading and techniqueI teach all of my students how to maximize their practice time.  I teach them methods and strategies on how to approach challenging spots. I teach my students to analyze the music and find patterns that will facilitate the learning of the repertoire and increase their confidence and motivation. After 6 months of taking lessons regularly and practicing consistently, a beginner student  should be able to play simple pieces using notes within the staffs, including whole-, half-, quarter-,and eighth-notes. Students will have a good hand posture, good finger coordination, and a basic understanding of dynamics.

*** Travel Equipment ***
Students need an electronic piano or an acoustic piano

*** Specialties ***
I have used mostly Alfred's methods for the first couple of years. After that i used a combination of different resources for technique, repertoire, and theory. It has always been my goal to commit to my students and to create the best possible learning environment according to their needs, goals, and backgrounds. I carefully select repertoire and technical exercises that suit the needs of my students. I am comfortable with teaching both conventional classical and popular repertoire. In my lessons, I teach useful keyboard skills such as proper technique, sight-reading, and accompanying.
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Reviews
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Suzy G. February 20, 2014
· Piano ·
Ricardo's approach to teaching piano is simply excellent.

Ricardo's knowledge of the piano is clearly evident. He is a courteous and polished individual who devotes focused attention upon the student. He is patient and offers very constructive recommendations that have helped my development. Ricardo is an excellent teacher who I highly recommend. If you want to learn how to play the piano, take your lessons from Ricardo.
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Ricardo P.

Ricardo P.

Hinsdale, IL 60521
(1)
starting at
$29 / 30-min
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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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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 Matt M.

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Mokena, IL

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About Matt
Hi! My name is Matt M. and I am the owner and founder of Black & White Music Services, Inc., a professional music education and production company.
I began teaching at a fairly early age and moved to teaching privately over 9 years ago. I have a deep passion for music and the guitar and do my best to instill that same passion in new and experienced players alike. Throughout my playing career I have participated in numerous ensembles including jazz bands, classical groups and quartets, as well as solo performance groups. I am extremely thorough when it comes to my teaching style. I make sure the student has a clear understanding of not only the how but also the why while keeping my curriculum fun and interesting. Every student is different and I do my best to gain an understanding of the individual and build a lesson plan best suited for
that individual.
If you have any further questions please don't hesitate to contact me!
...
Reviews
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Mia G. September 6, 2017
· Guitar · In studio
Matt was very knowledgeable and patient with Mia, she is a beginner and Matt went through all the parts of the guitar and helped her tune her new guitar and showed her how to read notes. She is very excited to go to her next lesson. Thanks Matt.
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Jesus S. February 2, 2016
· Acoustic Guitar · In home
Very nice and outgoing instructor. My son is very excited with what he learned on his first guitar lesson.
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Brandon C. January 4, 2016
· Guitar · In home
My 18 year son had his first lesson and he was so excited to realize he will soon be able to play. He actually went home and started practicing!
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Matt M.

Matt M.

Mokena, IL 60448
(4)
starting at
$22 / 30-min

About Nicolette M.

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Aurora, IL
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About Nicolette
Nicolette, B.F.A, is a young vocalist/pianist from the Chicago suburbs, who both performs and teaches locally. Her teaching experience includes teaching at Naperville Music Academy, School of Rock, and also teaching privately for years.

She has studied classical piano for over a decade with experienced and talented teachers, but is competent and enjoys teaching in many styles including pop, rock, and blues piano. Nicolette’s deep knowledge and love of music theory as well as her ability to translate it to young ears, helps her students to be well-rounded and able musicians from the start, no matter the instrument. She believes learning the piano should not be forced, but it should be nurtured and grown in musically inspired students. She customizes her curriculum for each student based on their needs as well as their musical desires.


Nicolette’s vocal experience began in choirs, in which she sang in top touring choirs. She then began singing in competitions in the area as well as being a featured soloist. She studied under renowned Chicago-area soprano, Michelle Areyzaga at Aurora University. Nicolette has sung the roles of Galinda from Wicked, Desiree Armfeldt from A Little Night Music, as well as multiple operatic roles. She also has a joy and talent of singing pop and rock music that was first inspired by her love of The Beatles. She considers herself a true crossover artist and considers it part of her teaching philosophy to be a versatile singer. Nicolette is a passionate vocal pedagogue and has a talent for teaching healthy technique in singers while establishing a love and appreciation for the art of singing.
...
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Cheryl September 22, 2017
· Vocal Training · In home
Nicolette is a fantastic vocal teacher and just a totally great person to be around.
She has extensive knowledge of music and singing.
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Sue September 20, 2017
· Musical Theater · In studio
Nicolette was great! My daughter needed help getting her bearings for a couple show specific songs. Nicolette was a huge help; my daughter's singing and confidence were boosted!
Thanks, Nicolette!
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Nicolette M.

Nicolette M.

Aurora, IL 60504
(2)
starting at
$20 / 30-min

About Jessica T.

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Naperville, IL

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About Jessica
Jessica has been teaching privately since 2014 and is currently available to teach lessons at Jessica Lee Studio and online. She has helped students successfully prepare for auditions and performances, including landing the lead role in Willy Wonka Jr. at the Wheaton Park District and showcasing skills as the winner of Lincolnwood Idol.

Jessica received her training at Elmhurst College, where she completed a degree in music in 2016, after previously earning a Master’s in another field. As an expert in music education, Jessica looks forward to helping students achieve their goals. Jessica teaches at a pace suited to the student, offering music instruction that’s high quality but relaxed. She also gears her instruction toward a student’s learning style, personality and goals to keep music-learning in perspective as both a stress relieve
r and potential area of achievement.
...
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Katherine January 21, 2017
· Classical Voice · In studio
Jessica is a delight to work with and has such a pretty voice! I love her studio and how welcoming it is. Give her a try!
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Jessica T.

Jessica T.

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

About Kayla S.

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DeKalb, IL
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About Kayla
Hi there! My name is Kayla, and I am a cellist and cello teacher with a passion for teaching. My goal is to foster a love and skill for music in as many people as possible! I have been teaching since 2011 and I have experience teaching all ages. My technique is personalized to the individual; I will try a few different things and really figure out what works for you. I have a BMA in music performance from Northern Illinois University. Some awards I have attained are: NIU Chamber Competition Winner 2014, Protege Philharmonic Concerto Competition Runner-Up. I can't wait to meet you and start on your musical journey!
...
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Kayla S.

Kayla S.

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

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What kind of preparation, thought, and practice goes into creating the best guitar solos? Take these six tips from Austin guitar teacher Samuel B. and you'll be well on your way to guitar glory... In reality, there's probably no way to effectively teach someone to improvise. At this point in the curriculum, the student is ready to begin exploring that mysterious terrain known as expression. Though the parameters (an understanding of guitar scales and corresponding keys) are necessities, y
5 Best Guitar Books for Kids
Guitar books can be a great help for kids who are interested in guitar lessons. Guitar teacher Matthew K. shares five of his favorite guitar books for younger students... The guitar is an instrument that has to be learned by doing. During my experience as a guitar teacher, I've found it essential to use a book for kids ages six to ten. Books can keep the student on track, but should not be the only teaching method used. It's important to keep lessons fun and interesting with songs and riffs t

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