Sycamore Music Lessons

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Music Lesson Reviews from Students

Students are raving about their Music instructors on TakeLessons. Check out some of these recent reviews.

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Popular Music Teachers near Sycamore

Check out some of our most popular teachers near Sycamore including DeKalb, Cortland, Genoa, Clare and Burlington.

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About Derrick M.

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Naperville, IL
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About Derrick
Derrick began playing the drums at the age of 8 in the elementary school concert band. He started out on just a snare drum but when he was 12, he got his first real drum set, and started a life of music.

Fast forward a few years and Derrick had experience playing in jazz bands, marching bands, concert bands, steel pan calypso band, along with his local garage band. After high school, Derrick moved to California to attend the Musicians Institutes in Hollywood California. There he studied under some of the greatest professionals in the business, and was exposed to a wide variety of music styles ranging from, Latin, R&B, Jazz, Funk, Rock, etc.

After graduating from school, Derrick moved back to Chicago where he has been playing weekly gigs, and touring around the country with his bands. Derrick is a young, energetic, but most importa
ntly, patient drummer, who loves to share his craft with the world.

*** Lesson Details ***
Derrick is laid back in his teaching style, but expects all of his students to practice and make weekly progression. He uses time tested and proven books and methods to teach his students the mechanics, theories, and techniques it takes to be a world class drummer. Reading and snare exercises are an important part of the curriculum, but not the main focus. He likes his students to enjoy what they are doing, so he brings other things to the lessons such as fun endurance and rhythm games. A brand new student that is dedicated to practicing could expect to be learning their favorite songs in 3 months time, and be playing in bands shortly afterward.

*** Studio Equipment ***
All pro gear! Ludwig, Dw, Pearl, Mapex, Zildjian, Sabian and more. Multiple drum kits set up in the studio, along with sound system, and mac book pro.

*** Travel Equipment ***
I will bring lesson material (books, sheet music, etc.) and iPod with apps such as metronome and the ability to listen to music. Isolation headphones to listen to songs while playing along. Stick, brushes. Anything else I might need.

Students are expected to have drum sticks a music stand and at very minimum a practice pad, all though a drum set is preferable.

*** Specialties ***
Drum set is my specialty. I have experience with all major styles of music, and can teach any style. Other emphasis on playing in a band and percussion.
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Reviews
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Mikhail C. June 19, 2015
· Drum · In home
My son really enjoyed his first lesson. He was able to play a little right away, which made it more fun for him.
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Mike A. February 23, 2014
· Drum ·
Great teacher!

Great with my daughter (age 7). She looks forward to her lesson every week, and is learning rapidly. He has great patience and has gotten to know my daughter and listens to her feedback while at the same time offering encouraging instruction.
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Shirley L. December 29, 2013
· Drum ·
Great Drum Teacher

My daughter had been taking private drum lesson for years before she started with Derrick. At the first lesson, Derrick told her how important it was to feel the music, other than just working on technique. That was exactly what she needed to work on. Derrick has a broad experience with playing different type of music. He likes to show her how to play, which helps her understand right away. He is very nice and patient. He is flexible and reliable in terms of lesson schedules. He uses lots of references, songs and exercises in his teaching. Now, my daughter enjoys her lessons and practices a lot more.
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Derrick M.

Derrick M.

Naperville, IL 60565
(7)
starting at
$39 / 30-min

About Penny R.

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Wheaton, IL

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About Penny
ABOUT PENNY R.

I graduated from college in Virginia with a Bachelor of Music Education degree as a voice major, and minored in piano and violin. My teaching certificate was for vocal, instrumental and general music, grades K - 12, and I graduated Magna Cum Laude.

Graduate school brought me to Indiana, where I earned a Masters of Music in Vocal Performance. Migrating up to the Chicago area from there, I taught at a private music school (voice and small ensembles, as well as many faculty performances) before staying at home to raise our children, and teaching voice lessons privately in my Studio. After 30 years of teaching, I'm still at it, and I still love it!

I am a Permanent Professional member of Music Teacher's National Association (MTNA), a National Certified Teacher of Music with the Illinois State Music Teacher's Associ
ation (ISMTA), a member of the West Suburban Chapter of ISMTA, as well as a member of National Association of Teachers of Singing. Most of my students are high school aged, but I have taught from ages seven through 70. My students regularly achieve MTNA's Music Achievement Award, are selected for District Choir and All-State Choir, as well as receive leading roles in high school and community musicals.

PHILOSOPHY

I believe that singing does something to words which nothing else can--it puts feelings to music. Everyone has feelings, and everyone can be musical. Those who pursue their vocal education can be rewarded with confidence in their ability to sing. The goal of my Studio is to promote the study of music, and to create a musical environment at each lesson so that every person's individual potential can become realized - all while having fun!

My Studio provides a nurturing environment for all singers, from beginning to advanced, children to adults. I will help you develop and maintain your vocal health, expand your vocal range, and develop your musicianship. You will learn to integrate a coordinated process of breath, pitch and tone, while exploring your vocal potential in a wide range of contemporary and classic musical styles. Teaching proper vocal technique is my primary goal with every student: fixing what is being used incorrectly, and enhancing what is already done well. I will work with you on any style of repertoire you desire: classical, opera, Broadway, jazz, folk, etc. I love it when a student wants a variety of song! And if your music theory skills are weak, we'll take care of that, too!

LESSONS

Children eighth grade and younger should sign up for half hour lessons; students high school and older should sign up for 45 minute lessons.

I am so excited to share the joy of making music with my new TakeLessons students! We get right into breathing, first thing. Once that is right, we can turn our attention to what's going on with the throat and mouth. All the while, we are learning songs by which we can practice whatever we're working on in the exercises. Everybody's different, with different tensions, both proper and antagonistic. We isolate the muscular tensions that are interfering with your perfect sound, and go from there!

*** Lesson Details ***
Come prepared to make a lot of noises with which you don't normally sing! We will explore every sound you are capable of - there's something to learn from most of them! Obviously, we'll concentrate on the ones we really want to sing with, while using a myriad of vocal exercises.

My studio brochure will explain many of the nuts and bolts of our lessons, and any expectations regarding practicing, keyboard ability and access, and how we work home practice when you don't know how to play piano. Generally, we spend about half the lesson time on warm ups/exercises, and half the time on songs. Sometimes we memorize them; sometimes we polish them; sometimes we just learn them quickly and move on to new things. Each lesson is a little different, depending on what I'm hearing from you that day.

I'm always happy to help you with school/church solos, audition material, choral parts, etc. Otherwise, we will choose repertoire together, taking into account your goals and interests, along with what makes good teaching material. Come join the fun and make some music!

*** Studio Equipment ***
My basement rec room serves as my teaching studio, so there are stairs with which to contend. Parents may stay either in the studio, or up in my living room to wait. The fully equipped studio contains a piano, audio-visual equipment for recording and play back, music stands, stools, a comfortable couch, and even a sink for quick water drinks! (Singing can make you thirsty!)

*** Specialties ***
In my 30+ years of teaching private lessons, I've amassed quite a toolbox of eclectic musical resources. That said, I still find muscle manipulative exercises while vocalizing to be the quickest route for most students to have success in building their long term voice. So I utilize those techniques frequently. With proper, healthy vocal production, a student can sing in any genre they choose. I am very concerned about producing a healthy voice with a free tone, particularly for children, so that all students can go forward into whatever style they choose with good vocal production.
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Reviews
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Mark S. April 24, 2017
· Singing · In home
Penny is fun at the lessons and very encouraging. For an older man who never had any confidence in my voice, she is making me believe I can learn to sing out loud.
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Yelena March 15, 2017
· Singing · In home
Penny is an awesome vocal instructor! I had absolutely wonderful time taking lessons from her. She is very knowledgeable, skilled, kind and encouraging. I became much more confident and skilled after our lessons. I highly recommend Penny to anyone!
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Fatima February 27, 2017
· Singing · In studio
Mrs. Rosenwinkel was one of the best music instructors I've ever had, and hands down the best vocal coach. She incorporated just the right balance of vocal exercises and performance songs into our lessons so that I could strengthen my voice and broaden my range while keeping the lessons very engaging and enjoyable for me. She was always very encouraging and I learned so much from her. I highly recommend her to anyone looking for a voice teacher.
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Penny R.

Penny R.

Wheaton, IL 60187
(16)
starting at
$26.75 / 30-min

About Rick T.

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Elburn, IL
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About Rick
A bachelors degree in music ed, a masters degree in jazz studies and 25+ years of playing, teaching and performing experience comes with you to every one of our lessons. Whether it be on trumpet, trombone, guitar, piano or voice I will consistently stress fundamentals that lead students towards the musicians they strive to be. I feel incorporating music that is relevant to the student and his or her goals is paramount and doable! I will always demonstrate the techniques and ideas I espouse. Lastly, I show my students the joy music has put in my life and in turn, show them how to play music towards the same ends.

*** Lesson Details ***
Lessons are typically broken up into 5 main parts
1) physical technique and warm up
- this refers to the mastery of the physical movements involved in playing the instrument
2) vocabulary practi
ce (either by reading and/or by ear)
- scales
- chords
3) reading
- sight reading
- prepared reading
4) learning to play by ear
- song transcription and analysis
5) warm down and re-emphasis of key concepts

*** Studio Equipment ***
The teacher's home studio lessons are taught in the front room of the house. There is an acoustic piano, an electric piano, a music stand, stereo, guitar, amp, laptop, trumpets, books, and seating are all available.

*** Travel Equipment ***
I will have everything I need and can furnish music. I expect student to have a stand and a working instrument.

*** Specialties ***
I can improvise proficiently and understand music theory very well

***Special Notes***
-if you are located slightly outside my travel radius especially fox valley usually I can accommodate
-if you cant find a time that works usually i am able to fit you in somewhere else. i am flexible!
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Reviews
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Elijah November 24, 2017
· Guitar · Online
Rick is a great instructor, very knowledgable, patient, and encouraging.
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Don W. November 29, 2016
· Guitar · In home
My kids love Mr. Rick and have learned so much in the first several lessons. We are beyond impressed !
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Don W. November 29, 2016
· Guitar · In home
My kids love Mr. Rick and have learned so much in the first several lessons. We are beyond impressed !
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Rick T.

Rick T.

Elburn, IL 60119
(11)
starting at
$29 / 30-min

About Teresa L.

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Ingleside, IL

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About Teresa
I am a graduate of Northern IL University with a Bachelor's Degree in Music Education. I have 22 years of teaching experience where I have traveled to the homes. Students enjoy my passion that I have with the instrument.

I started teaching in 1991 and have been teaching several students since then. Attending teacher workshops keep me at a current updated level and I want to help the students learn to the best of their potential.

*** Lesson Details ***
I am very thorough in my teaching, which includes lesson, theory, technique, and performance
methods. I use a very easy, flexible approach when it comes to the kids and their personalities. I expect a lot out of my students, yet still want them to learn and have fun.
After three months with me, they will have learned how my teaching style is and will be able to play several
children's songs.

*** Travel Equipment ***
I don't provide any equipment when I travel except their books for the first lesson. I would expect the student to have a well tuned piano or a basic keyboard. The student also needs a notebook so I can write their homework down for them as well as myself to keep track of where the student is in their progress.[

*** Specialties ***
I specialize in teaching Alfred, Bastien, and Faber and Faber. I teach General Music, Classical, Jazz, and Popular. I teach mainly through the method books, and then use other supplementary materials as well..
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Reviews
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Owen January 18, 2018
· Piano · In home
My son is a spitfire - Teresa has been patient with him while tapping his potential and challenging him!
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John G. October 14, 2017
· Piano · In home
Great job and has the patients required to teach.
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Kayden January 6, 2017
· Piano · In home
Terri was great! My daughter really enjoyed her lesson!
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Teresa L.

Teresa L.

Ingleside, IL 60041
(13)
starting at
$34 / 30-min

About Jeremie W.

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McHenry, IL

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About Jeremie
I'm a self taught guitarist who has been playing for nearly 20 years. I have played professionally in numerous bands and ensembles ranging from jazz to folk to rock, and I've been writing music for the same length of time. I currently perform with one of my students from TakeLessons named Mackenzie O'Brien.

I graduated from Columbia College Chicago in May 2014 with a BA in Music Composition. I studied under composers: Drew Baker, Kenn Kumpf, Ilya Levinson, and Marcos Balter. I've performed and worked with members from the groups, Del Niente and Chicago's Composer's Collective.

I build my lesson plans around each of my students based on their interests. I'll try to incorporate music they enjoy into their music regime. I keep lessons pretty relaxed, but will challenge a student who is looking for something m
ore difficult. I go at the pace you learn best at!

Bass guitar, ukulele, song-writing, counterpoint, orchestrating, arranging, music theory, and composing are subjects I'm well versed in and love to teach to other people.

I'm experienced with all kinds of music software, such as: Pro Tools, Logic, Garage Band, Cubase, FL Studio, Finale, Sibelius. If you want to learn how to write, record, mix, and master your own music, there's never been a better time to learn.
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Reviews
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Spencer December 12, 2017
· Ukulele · Online
Jeremie listened to my experience level and where I wanted to go. The, as he watched me play, he was good at picking up on my technique errors.
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Larry February 18, 2017
· Guitar · Online
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Mariann L. January 12, 2017
· Ukulele · In studio
I'm an "older" adult who wants to learn to play the ukulele. I have very little experience in reading or playing music. Jeremie was super in starting from my point of comfort. I'm very pleased with my 1st lesson and looking forward to more lessons.
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Jeremie W.

Jeremie W.

McHenry, IL 60051
(18)
starting at
$30 / 30-min
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About Paulette L.

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Streamwood, IL

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About Paulette
Hello!

My name is Paulette L., and I am a recent graduate of Elmhurst College, which is located in the nearby suburb of Elmhurst, Illinois. In May, I earned my Bachelor's in Music Business along with minors in Communications and Spanish.

Music has played a significant role in my life since I began studying piano at the age of 5, and it continued to play this significant role after I began taking guitar lessons at the age of 10. After about 7 years of piano studies and 2 years of guitar studies, I decided to take a small break from my overall music studies and instead place my focus on my academics and additional extracurricular activities. Shortly after beginning high school, however, I started up my guitar studies again through my involvement in my Parish'€™s Young Adult Choir/Band. Shortly afterwards, during my sophomo
re year of high school to be precise, I was walking by the piano in the living room of my house and felt a small tug to sit down and try to plunk out a few measures of a slightly familiar song; ever since then, I have not been quite able to stop wanting to keep learning!

Throughout the four years I studied and enhanced my skills at Elmhurst College, I took private lessons for Piano, Classical Guitar, and Voice, and I have completed four levels of Music Theory. I am organized, hard~working, detail~oriented, accustomed to working with people of a variety of age groups and learning preferences, sociable, adaptable, easy to get along with, fair, creative, pro~active, and proficient in English and Spanish.

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact TakeLessons and I wish you the best in your future music studies!

Paulette L.
...
Reviews
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Emma February 7, 2018
· Piano · In studio
Very energetic and sweet! I know that my daughter will benefit and learn a lot from Paulette.
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Evana G. October 2, 2017
· Guitar · In studio
Ms Paulette is a wonderful teacher. My 6 year old was very comfortable with her and is now very excited for her next music lesson. Thanks!
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Dylan L. June 5, 2016
· Piano · In studio
Paulette is a phenomenal teacher. She's been very patient and tried different approaches with my 5 year old son and that has worked very well for Dylan (including him telling her the names of dinosaurs and cars characters he has and quizzing her on it :)) I hoped that at the end of the first 5 lessons Dylan would have an appreciation for and want to learn piano and thanks to Paulette, he not only wants to learn but also is excited about it and teaches his dad what he learns. I am so happy with this that I just bought and additional 12 lessons! I would recommend Paulette to anyone looking to learn to play the piano!!
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Paulette L.

Paulette L.

Streamwood, IL 60107
(6)
starting at
$25 / 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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Greg December 11, 2017
· Vocal Training · In studio
easy going, helpful and put me at ease. Looking forward to taking more lessons!
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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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Christopher J.

Christopher J.

DeKalb, IL 60115
(4)
starting at
$25 / 30-min

About Eric J.

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Elgin, IL
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About Eric
Hi.
I'm Eric and I own a Music Lesson Studio in Elgin, IL.

I specialize in working with beginners of any age as well as advanced students who are interested in taking their playing to the next level. Here are some of the things I like to focus on.

Child beginners: Learning to read music. Building confidence and self esteem through learning to play guitar. General music education. Teaching children songs they enjoy to listen to.

Adult Beginners: Learning to play popular rock songs. Chord strumming. Having a nice, relaxing, no pressure lesson.

Advanced students: Learning to read music at a professional level. Lead guitar. Jazz improvisation.

I'm a professional, full time musician and educator and my guitar has been paying my bills my entire adult life. I have real world, professional experience playing and teaching guitar
as well as bass guitar, drums, piano, mandolin and more on countless gigs here in Northern, IL. I teach between 30-50 private students per week. I have taught hundreds of students in the past 12 years how to reach their musical goals. I've played tons of theater. I played guitar, mandolin, and drums as a swing musician for the Chicago Production of Jersey Boys at the Bank of America Theater in 2008. In 2014 I played a lot theater gigs for local productions such as Little Shop of Horrors (bass), Hands on a Hardbody (Guitar, Steel/Slide) and Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dream Coat (guitar). I grew up as a gigging rock n roll/blues guitar player, but my heart is in jazz. I am confident and fluent in, and have gigged most styles of guitar playing.
...
Reviews
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Rob April 24, 2017
· Acoustic Guitar · In studio
He did a good job making guitar interesting.
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Josh August 4, 2016
· Guitar · In studio
My son is thrilled. Eric was friendly, funny and patient. Josh is so excited for his next lesson.
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J.R. M. June 29, 2016
· Guitar · In studio
I met with Eric at his studio in Elgin, and he was extremely friendly and welcoming. He gave me a very good and informational lesson on some specific musical questions I had about progressing in my saxophone career. He gave me specific instructions on places to visit, useful websites, and names of people. This information may seem trivial, but I was at a personal stopping point on some issues, and Eric provided the tools for me to continue. I highly recommend Eric to anyone looking to learn what it means to be a professional.
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Eric J.

Eric J.

Elgin, IL 60120
(12)
starting at
$22 / 30-min

About Amelia H.

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DeKalb, IL

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About Amelia
I am dedicated to giving my students a quality education and passionate about the arts.

I teach:

-Voice
Improve your vocal skills in a variety of genres, including classical, opera, jazz, pop and broadway.

-Audition prep
Whether its for the school musical, the solo in choir, national anthem or community play, I can help you nail that next audition with my tips and tricks for audition prep.

-Piano Fundamentals
Things like scales, arpeggios and basic chord progressions are important tools for singers to know if they want to run their own warm-ups.

Song Writing
-Learn basic chord progressions on piano and become a whiz at song-writing! I can help you with that hook you have been working on.

I studied Vocal Performance at Northern Illinois University, My genres range from classical, blues, jazz, pop and Broadway.
My choral experience includes the NIU Chamber Choir, Concert Choir and Opera Theater. Classically trained, I emphasize the importance of breath support and vowel placement. I also hold a strong love for the stage, especially musical theater. I am active in the DeKalb community as a primary cantor for the NIU Newman Catholic Student Center.
Aside from school, I enjoy music as a freelance performing artist writing songs on the piano, playing various venues across the Chicagoland area.
...
Reviews
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James E. January 19, 2018
· Voice Acting · In studio
Throughout each lesson, I learned something new about myself. She was very patient, informative, and always had good things to say about you and your acting/voice skills. She helped awaken my creative theatre mind again and I’m thankful for that. I highly recommend taking her if you want a good experience in learning or enhancing your acting/voice skills!
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Jennifer R. November 21, 2017
· Audition Prep · In studio
My daughter, Jadelynn took lessons with Amelia to help her get ready for an audition with AMDA. Amelia was professional and extremely helpful. Jadelynn was very confidant after the prep classes and felt that her audition went very well. So it did, we just got the call that she was accepted and awarded two scholarships.
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Amelia H.

Amelia H.

DeKalb, IL 60115
(2)
starting at
$25 / 30-min

About Katie B.

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McHenry, IL

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About Katie
I am a former band teacher, teaching at public, private, catholic and montessori schools for over eight years. I graduated from VanderCook College of music with a Bachelors of Music Education.

Band students can expect to improve week to week in their technique. Every student has a different learning technique; I teach students to explore and open up to their potential through practice and dedication. I can help any student to play with confidence, and expression.

I teach band students of all different ages and experience levels. I studied woodwind instruments for 22 years, and concert flute for all of those years. I can teach students to read music and excel at theory.

As a professional flute players I frequently play with the College of Lake County band as well as summer bands around the area.

My personal passion is classical music b
ut I firmly believe that great technique is essential to any and every style. I look forward to meeting you and helping you to become a better musician!
...
Reviews
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Kayla January 17, 2018
· Clarinet · In studio
She does a really good job at finding the things that were challenging for me and pushing beyond what I was capable of doing.
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Lily R January 11, 2018
· · In home
Katie works very well with my daughter. My daughter has come a long way since she started lessons and my family has noticed how well she plays. My daughter is excited about music and is always asking to play something for others because she wants to share her love of music and playing with everyone.
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John January 8, 2018
· Flute · In home
Katie has been my daughter's flute instructor for 3 years (one year as her band instructor and 2 years of private lessons). She is extremely professional, always communicates my daughter's progress, challenges her to improve, and makes the lessons a lot of fun. My daughter loves taking lessons from Katie, and under her tutelage she has improved in her ability and love of music. I would highly recommend Katie as an instructor.
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Katie B.

Katie B.

McHenry, IL 60051
(5)
starting at
$34 / 30-min

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Learning a few simple licks is a great way to get started playing the guitar! Even better, some of the most famous riffs in rock and roll are incredibly easy to play. Guitar teacher Matthew K. explains how... Anyone can learn the guitar, but it can be frustrating at first. Sore fingers and cramping hands can deter anyone from getting their first song down. This is why I compiled a list of five of my favorite simple guitar licks that sound great, and once you get them down, you can impress you
How to Write Lyrics: Steps to Success for Any Musical Style
Interested in learning how to write lyrics and songs? Here, New Jersey guitar teacher Matthew H. explains an easy 3-step process to follow...  Songwriting is not easy; just ask any composer or lyricist. While the musical composition is highly important (making sure the melody is catchy without sounding too trite), having a strong, relatable message to go along with a great tune is just as, if not more, important. Here are some tips on how to write lyrics for a good song. 1) What is the
The Ultimate Piano Playlist for Spring [Audio]
Do you have spring fever? Below, piano teacher Liz T. shares her favorite piano playlist that will get you in the mood for springtime... Spring is a great time to get inspired after a long, cold winter and learn some new piano songs. The piano is a beautiful instrument that does a great job of capturing spring's musical elements. Whether you’re looking for some fresh piano songs to add to your repertoire or you simply want to kick back and relax, this springtime piano playlist will sur

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