I am a professional singer, songwriter and actor working in the Chicago area for many years. I have a B.F.A. in Theater/Voice from The University of Kansas and an M.A. in Interdisciplinary Arts from Columbia College Chicago. I've been teaching private vocal instruction since 2003: I host the Singer's Salon in Chicago, a unique and supportive venue for singer's to become more comfortable performing before an audience. I also instruct workshops for vocal technique and performance. For 10 years I was the lead singer for The Red Apples, an acoustic/electric roots band that performed an eclectic mix of rock, swing, blues, country and jazz. Within the past year I have re-energized my theater and cabaret career, appearing at Davenport's Cabaret, in a new solo show, as well as productions at Big Noise Theater and Stage 773. I've also completed tw
o short films and started working on my own web series, about my life as a singer/voice teacher. I also have an art song project consisting of original material with composer Jaroslaw Golembiowski. As a singer and actress I have performed with many major theaters in the Chicago area, including Court Theater, Victory Gardens, National Jewish Theater, Bailiwick Theater, and Prop Theater.
*** Lesson Details *** As a classically trained singer I will instruct you in all aspects of singing technique, from breath control and support to improving your tone, range, flexibility and resonance. I have recently completed training in Somatic Voicework, The LoVetri Method, which has enriched my understanding of the mechanics and health of the voice, as well as applications of technique to CCM or contemporary musical styles of singing. My familiarity with a variety of musical styles from pop/rock, R&B, and country, to musical theater, lounge and jazz makes me an ideal teacher for those interested in contemporary styles.
I have spent many years developing my own style of singing and instruction. I draw on my experiences and training not only in music, but theater and movement, (Linklater, Alexander Technique, Grotowski) to create a well rounded approach to singing and performing. As an instructor, I am most interested in helping students find their true voice and artistic style. I teach students to find expression through and with a foundation of technique, rather then in spite of it. I also am very interested in helping students deal with the mental/emotional aspects of performance, an all important area so frequently ignored by music teachers. My style is nurturing, yet disciplined, and sprinkled liberally with good-natured humor."
*** Studio Equipment *** My studio space is fully equipped with a piano, P.A. system with microphones, CD, MP3 player for tracks, and ability to record lessons if the student desires.
*** Travel Equipment *** Please have a piano (in tune!) or keyboard for use in your in home lessons.
*** Specialties *** I am classically trained, but I am very adept at teaching music in a wide variety of styles, including most contemporary styles of music including pop/rock, roots, swing, jazz and blues, country, r&b, and of course musical theater and cabaret. My band performs an eclectic mix of originals and covers in the roots rock genre, and I write music as well. I have many years of experience in the theater as an actress, and I coach acting technique and performance. I coach singer/songwriters, and all types of singers, of all ages. I have a workshop that specializes in helping people learn to perform better in front of an audience, and I host the Singer's Salon in Chicago, which is a supportive opportunity to perform regularly! I also coach bands, to improve their vocals, harmonies, etc.
I couldn’t recommend Wendy enough. No matter what walk of life you come from, she’ll find a way to connect with you and help you reach your goal. I’m already seeing improvements and can’t wait to go back every week.
September 5, 2019
March 17, 2019
Very helpful and focused on what needed to be worked on. Will definitely be looking forward to working with her again!
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.
Study Classical Piano with an International Steinway Artist! Learn to play the piano, duo piano and chamber music or be accompanied and coached for your recital or audition with Susan M. I offer premium quality musical instruction and stress the importance of a sound foundation which includes theory, analysis, and technique. Music History and Appreciation is incorporated into lessons as desired. Life coaching included!
*** Lesson Details *** Piano, Chamber Music Coaching for Piano, Strings and Woodwinds, Audition and Competition Prep, and Accompanying from Prize-winning American Pianist and Steinway Artist.
*** Studio Equipment *** Three gorgeous pianos: Steinway M, plus Steinway B and Baldwin SF-10 Concert Grands. Large Music Library.
*** Specialties *** Chamber Music Concertos Duo Piano Repertoire Audition preparatio
Susan is an outstanding pianist and teacher. She genuinely cares about the musical development of each of her students. I would highly recommend her to any serious student looking to work with a top rate teacher. It makes a difference!
December 23, 2015
I am a 50-something-year-old business executive who began taking beginner piano lessons with Susan Merdinger almost 5 years ago.
Now, I am performing Chopin Nocturnes and Preludes and cherished works by Mozart and Beethoven to name just a few.
My Mom let me quit piano lessons in 1967 when I was growing up on the Southside of Chicago. I spent the next 45 years regretting it.
Now, as my piano teacher, Susan is inspiring me to make up for lost time.
At the end of each year, I am amazed at being able to play pieces I couldn’t have imagined performing 12 months earlier. This satisfying achievement comes only because of Susan’s character and competence as a teacher and her passion and enthusiasm to motivate me to practice 1 to 2 hours every day.
Susan is patient while maintaining very high standards with a commitment to excellence. She celebrates the progress of all her students to whom she is dedicated. While waiting for my lesson to begin, I have watched in amazement as she interacts with a full studio of very diverse students, young and old, boys and girls, beginners and advanced, even handicapped blind and autistic students. I’ve watched as she’s brought smiles to all her students after their recitals and audiences after her own concerts.
And Susan is one of the smartest persons I know who is expanding my horizons of the classical repertoire I play and appreciation of the classical music I listen to. There is a special pride to see your piano teacher perform solo or with members of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra at historic venues in Chicago or New York City.
I am a busy executive, but my piano lesson is the highlight of the week, even if that entails a 90-minute battle in Chicagoland rush hour traffic to get to my lesson.
That’s because my life is richer with the music Susan imparts.
I can’t recommend her strongly enough.
December 2, 2015
The first lesson with Susan was fantastic. My daughter is looking forward to working with her.
Nicole is available to teach lessons for students of all levels. Beginning her singing career when she was 7, she most recently sang at the Lyric Opera of Chicago, was a winner of the international CS Competition in musical theatre, and is a Chicago F.A.M.E. finalist for Jazz and popular music. Combined with her training and professional experience, Nicole teaches singers to switch gracefully between multiple styles. She practices what she preaches: one night she might be singing Beyoncé, and the next morning she might be singing Handel's Messiah!
Nicole has been a young artist for Cedar Rapids Opera Theatre, Metropolitan International Music Festival, and for Tiroler Opern Programm, under international instructors, including Elizabeth Bachman (from the Metropolitan Opera), Kim Josephson (Metropolitan Opera), Sharon Cheng (Caramoor),
Michael Fennely (Carnegie Hall), Wei-En Hsu (Hong Kong Philharmonic Orchestra), and Candace Evans (Santa Fe Opera). Nicole earned her Associates in Theatre from Brigham Young University ('12) and went on to acquire her BM in Vocal Performance from Illinois Wesleyan University ('14). Nicole obtained additional training from Boston University, Elon University, and the University of Alaska Anchorage.
Kenny has been playing guitar since the age of 14, has received awards and grants from the Arts Council, and is an instructor at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. His approach to teaching guitar helps students learn quickly, have fun, and maximize musical potential. Kenny has played at Festivals and venues across North America and plays acoustic and electric guitar. Kenny has a flexible schedule and is available to teach all ages and experience levels. He plays folk, country, blues, jazz, and rock styles and enjoys teaching everything from Bob Dylan and Neil Young to Led Zeppelin and Johnny Winter.
Kenny really knows his stuff and assembled a comprehensive lesson specific to my goals. Looking forward to next week!
June 16, 2016
I studied guitar with Kenny for five years and his lessons undoubtedly made me not only a better guitarist but a better musician. Kenny is an incredibly patient teacher with well thought out lessons that follow a natural scope and sequence while always fitting the needs a likes of the student. He is an expert communicator and an inspiring performer. I highly recommend his teaching to any and all levels of aspiring guitarist whatever the style of music.
June 8, 2016
I took weekly lessons with Kenny back when he was in Montreal and it was a great learning experience. He was not only open to working on the songs that I wanted but also introduced me to new and exciting stuff that have really broadened my horizons. Kenny is not only super knowledgeable and talented but above all is a great communicator and teacher who makes you feel comfortable learning new techniques and material in a stimulating and exciting way. Highly recommended!
Education is one of the most valuable things you can acquire. Knowledge stays with you wherever you go and you can use it in the less unexpected situation.
I was born and raise on Peru, South America. My interest in music began when I was 9 years old. I came to USA when I was 17 and started attending college. I have take several music classes at college level like Music Theory, Music History, Piano, Voice and Ensemble. I finished my Associates degree in Fine Arts in Music in 2010. I have 5 years of experience teaching music to students of all ages. I teach guitar and piano and I use different methods according to the student's needs. I also hold 2 recitals a year so students can show their hard work.
I finished my education in Science on 2013. I hold a Bachelor's on Biological Science from Roosevelt University with a minor in Chemis
try. I have take classes like Molecular Biology, Anatomy and Physiology, Biochemistry, Neuroscience. Also General and Organic Chemistry. General Physics and Math up to Calculus. I offer tutoring on Biology, General Chemistry and Math.
Being bilingual have been a great advantage for me, especially at work. That's why I also offer Spanish lessons and tutoring, from beginning to advance levels.
It's amazing how our brain can absorb information in different ways. We can be learning something unintentionally. So whichever your circumstances are we should be open to learn or improve our skills every day. Remember, the process of learning never ends.
I volunteered with Barrington Children Choir as a Vocal Role Model for 4th-7th grader while I sang with their Chamber Choir (8th-12th grade). I am a former After School Program Staff member for Boys and Girls Club (1st-5th grade) where I was taught how to create lesson plans and began tutoring in regular academic subjects. Currently, I teach at voice lessons at two music studios in Hoffman Estates and East Dundee.
I recently graduated with my Associate in Fine Arts in Music from Harper College. I am currently attending Northeastern Illinois University to receive my degree in Music Education.
Please feel free to contact me about lessons! I would love to hear from you! I will try to get back to you as soon as possible!
"Thomas is very nice and very open to suggestions regarding what we should work on to achieve my flute aspirations. Very pleasant experience!"
"Loved our first session! Great experience!"
"Norman is a God send! He's very passionate about teaching to sing. Not only is he a great teacher but he teaches from the heart. He takes his time and enc
ourages you to believe that you can do whatever you set your mind to do. He is truly devoted and loves what he does. I would recommend Norman to anyone who has a heart for worship and wants to learn how to tap into their full potential.
"Marie-France is a wonderful instructor!
I am pleased to have the opportunity to write a review for Marie-France. Marie-France has been a positive influen
ce in our daughter's passion to pursue singing. Through Marie-France, our daughter has gained much confidence and has found her "voice". Marie-France is a fantastic teacher! We find her to be reliable, an inspiration to our daughter and encouraging as a teacher."
"Mr. Remi is very patient with my daughter who is a beginner with no experience. She praises her when she remembers her cords and encourages her to practic
e on areas she struggles with. An excellent teacher!"
"Jordan really enjoyed his first lesson. Jonathan validated for him that the daily work he is putting in is helpful and gave him small steps to go forward
"Mitchel was very patient and professional. He came up with a great overall plan for lessons we signed up for. We are new to the program and am very happ
y with the results so far. Mitchel has sent constructive feedback and is always available to respond to questions. Very happy."
"David is an exceptional instructor with the ability to help a student resolve problem areas. His teaching methods along with his patience and experience m
akes him an excellent instructor for beginner and advanced students. I highly recommend David for anyone wanting to learn any instrument along with respective technique and theory."
"Helen is an engaging and inspiring teacher. I recommend her highly!"
Making the decision to learn how to play a musical instrument is one of the best decisions you can make. Every musician has a preferred instrument, and if you are reading this, chances are that drums are the instrument you have chosen. Playing the drums is an exhilarating and exciting experience, but in order to get started on the right note, there are six drumming basics you should know. These helpful tips are at the base of every proficient drummer's skill set, and if you dedicate time to perf …