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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 Marija B.

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Chicago, IL
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About Marija
A native of Belgrade, Serbia, Marija began studying violin at the age of seven. At the age of sixteen, in addition to violin, Marija started playing the viola. She received a Bachelor of Music from the Academy of Arts in Novi Sad in 1993. During these studies, she played in a chamber ensemble Artisti Dell Arco, Belgrade, where she performed on numerous European stages as well as live Radio and TV broadcasts. The ensemble performed the pieces of Bach, Mozart, Vivaldi, Corelli, Torelli, and Respighi. She also performed with the Symphony Orchestra of the Music Academy of Novi Sad where she played a standard orchestra repertoire of classical and contemporary composers.

After receiving a scholarship to Roosevelt University in Chicago, IL,I earned her Masters in Music from RU Chicago College of Performing Arts in 1997. Her principal tea
chers include Richard Ferrin, Viola (Chicago Symphony Orchestra), Uroš Pešić and Mihajlo Mihajlović.

Marija is a Chicago-based freelance violinist and violist with various chamber ensembles and orchestras performing classical, jazz and pop music. She also performs in Europe and takes participation at Summer Festivals in Serbia and Italy.

She is on a Faculty at Sherwood, the Community Music School at Columbia College Chicago as a violin and viola teacher. She is also the artistic director of the string teaching program MB Muzik and Violin Conservatory, where she offers online violin tutorials.
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Marija B.

Marija B.

Chicago, IL 60626
starting at
$50 / 30-min

About Mariia M.

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Chicago, IL
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About Mariia
Hello! I adore teaching! I have a master's degree in Art and Bachelor in teaching foreign languages from Russia. I'm russian native, but speak English fluently. I was attending music school since 5 years old and graduated when I was 14.

Now, I'm getting my BS in Computer Science in UIC. Also, I'm interested in Web Development.
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Reviews
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Claire Seneca November 7, 2017
· Russian · Online
I have learned a lot in only one lesson. Maria is very genuine and patiente
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Jo August 13, 2017
· Russian · Online
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Donna S. August 16, 2015
· Piano · In home
Mariia is professional, punctual, and a good piano teacher. My daughter is learning so much, so fast! I've talked to other moms of similarly aged children, and their kids took much longer to be able to play with two hands. I attribute this to Mariia's teaching skills. Thanks Mariia!
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Mariia M.

Mariia M.

Chicago, IL 60607
(3)
starting at
$40 / 30-min

About Sara N.

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Chicago, IL

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About Sara
Sara Neilson grew up in Alexandria VA, and began her musical career as a violinist. Though she always wanted to play music for a living, it wasn’t until college that she fell in love with the bass and decided to pursue it professionally. After earning degrees in both Music Education and Music Performance, she received a master's degree in Bass Performance from DePaul University, where she was runner up in the Concerto Competition. Since graduating, she has taught double bass in a variety of settings around Chicago. Her students have performed at the Obama Foundation, the Aspen Music Festival, and Carnegie Hall. She had performed at the Chautauqua Institute, Eastern Music Festival and Brevard Music Festival and has appeared locally with the Illinois Symphony Orchestra, the Elgin Symphony Orchestra and the Civic Orchestra of Chicago. Her te
achers include Rob Kassinger, Ira Gold, and Owen Lee. In her free time, Ms. Neilson enjoys knitting sweaters, doing vinyasa yoga, and daydreaming about her future dog, Button.
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Reviews
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Joshua July 5, 2016
· Music Performance · In home
Sara has a great eye for detail, and has various ways of articulating what she either sees or hears in a person's playing. She does well in meeting the student where they are in order to encourage them along the way, while maintaining the teacher student relationship, something not easily done. Her experience, willingness to help and patience all make her a very excellent instructor in my opinion!
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Elizabeth S. March 30, 2016
· Upright Bass · Online
Sara is patient, professional, thorough and encouraging. She is really helping me along with my bowing technique. Highly recommended :)
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Sini H. November 23, 2015
· Upright Bass · In home
Our high school son bounced around from teacher to teacher till he met Sara. She is an excellent straight forward teacher. Who just brings the best out in his playing. She is detailed and focused. Highly recommended.
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Sara N.

Sara N.

Chicago, IL 60640
(4)
starting at
$25 / 30-min

About Eric M.

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Chicago, IL

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About Eric
I am a classically trained professional opera singer in the North Chicago area. I received my bachelor's degree in vocal performance at the University of Miami and my master's degree at Northwestern University. I have lived, performed, and taught in the Greater Chicago area for two years and am always looking to take on students of all ages who are interested in classical, musical theater, or pop/jazz singing. I can also teach beginning to intermediate piano skills. Let me help you unlock your most beautiful sound!
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Reviews
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Curt G. March 14, 2016
· Piano · In home
My wife and I took 2 months of lessons from Eric and they were all great! We were both basically beginners (I had some memory from lesson that I took as a kid) and Eric helped us get started and off on the right track. He has a great/fun personality and is a great teacher. Unfortunately we were unable to keep taking lessons with him due to a conflict in scheduling. I would totally recommend him as a piano teacher though.
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Kathy February 6, 2016
· Piano · In home
Positive reinforcement, patience with first-time piano student.
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Ian L. January 8, 2016
· Broadway Singing · In home
He had a great personality, very encouraging, and was a good fit for my son who's striving to be a pop/broadway singer.
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Eric M.

Eric M.

Chicago, IL 60645
(3)
starting at
$30 / 30-min
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About Ny Y.

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Chicago, IL
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About Ny
Hello ♥

Here to help you grow on your life's journey! My experience includes 15 years in professional and community theatre projects.

Educational Background: B.A in Psychology, minor in theatre, training at Second City in scene study and improv. Every day is a learning experience and another chance to follow my passions. Let's continue to grow together. Looking forward to getting to know you!
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Ny Y.

Ny Y.

Chicago, IL 60613
starting at
$15 / 30-min

About Eric H.

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Chicago, IL
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About Eric
I enjoy sharing my love of music by helping others embark on their musical journeys. I am a strong supporter of using a combination of aural training and sightreading to boost musicality and finesse.

In the past 6 years, I have taught students of all ages, ranging from children to seniors. You are never ever too old to learn the piano or the violin. You may not be the next Chopin, but with practice and dedication, you will eventually be able to play the mass majority of piano/violin repertoire.

Strong fundamentals (scales/chords/arpeggios) are important, but I also remember to make music fun and not boring by providing diverse selections of supplemental (pop/ragtime/blues) pieces.
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Reviews
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Batsai K. April 17, 2018
· Violin · In home
Eric is a compassionate teacher.
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Benjamin March 20, 2018
· Violin · In studio
I have been taking violin lessons with Eric for the last 10 months, and I am amazed how far I've progressed since I first started. I went from making horrible screechy sounds to being able to play classical Bach minuets. Through a combination of my hard work and Eric's brilliant teaching, I am really loving violin.
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Vivian March 1, 2018
· Piano · In studio
Eric helped improved the technical aspects of my playing and taught me how to practice efficiently. Instead of focusing on memorizing pieces one after another, he made sure I can find and learn new pieces on my own.
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Eric H.

Eric H.

Chicago, IL 60661
(19)
starting at
$29.75 / 31-min

About Charles S.

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Chicago, IL

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About Charles
I was born as a gifted pianist and composer and destined to love music for a long time.

When I first started piano, I had gone through at least 6 piano teachers, including the toughest one, Emilio del Rosario. After starting to study piano at college-level, I earned a BM in Piano at Roosevelt University, and got MM and DMA degrees in Piano at the University of Illinois. I grew up with a very strong classical music background, and gradually, I was able to acclimate to non-classical styles later, including jazz, folk, pop, and rock.

Inspired by J.S. Bach and Robert Schumann, I also at least composed piano pedagogy pieces of my own for the intermediate levels, including "Sad Waltz in D Minor", and "Hungarian Rhapsody in E Minor", in addition to composing a lot more traditional piano compositions.

I also can teach music appreciation, p
iano literature, music theory/composition, and even some music history as well as applied piano. My focus would be on advanced students but I am still open to all levels of piano ability.

I also have a dance background, so this will help me greatly in my music teaching style as well.
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Reviews
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Ruth September 5, 2017
· ·
Charles Joseph Smith brings liveliness and expertise to his endeavors. His students have a wonderful, unique learning opportunity ahead of them.
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Joe September 4, 2017
· Piano · In studio
Charles has great knowledge of music and understands how to share it with students.
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Fionnuala September 4, 2017
· Piano · In studio
Charles is a maestro on the piano, a truly phenomenal talent. Just hearing him play is motivating inspiration to a student-- to listen to him perform, one realizes what the potential exists in the human talent. He is a sensitive and caring person who has a sincere passion for music and passing the skill on to others. He is well-versed in theory and technique, but is also delighted to share his love for more experimental and avant-garde modes --pushing boundaries and exploring new territories, should the student's interest venture that way. He lets the student direct what genre and composers s/he wants to learn about. Charles is a joy and an uplifting spirit to be around! His knowledge of piano and music is a tremendous resource. He is a cherished star of the Chicago underground music scene, as well as a skilled accompanist, and a seasoned professional church hymn player-- but he is modest enough to not let his reputation distract him during his lessons, where he is a serious teacher, eager to share his knowledge with others.
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Charles S.

Charles S.

Chicago, IL 60605
(3)
starting at
$25 / 30-min

About Jack G.

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Chicago, IL
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About Jack
I am an actor and improviser with 15 years experience working and studying in Chicago. I received my BFA in Acting from Columbia College Chicago and have studied improv and writing at iO Chicago and The Second City. I currently teach at the Second City Training Center and The Metropolis School of the Performing Arts. I am a cast member in Tony N' Tina's Wedding and Flanagan's Wake, two improvised, interactive shows at the Chicago Theater Works and am represented by one of Chicago's top talent agencies.
...
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Jack G.

Jack G.

Chicago, IL 60640
starting at
$42 / 30-min

About Brandon M.

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Saint Charles, IL
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About Brandon
Hi, my name is Brandon and I am a 20-year-old college student who has been playing guitar since I started high school. I have always had a passion for both music and teaching. My goal is to teach you the fundamental concepts and techniques of playing guitar that will not only help you be a better player but enjoy playing as well. Through my experience, I have found that many people give up on learning to play the guitar too quickly. One of the primary reasons for this is that new players are not learning in a way that is enjoyable for them. Learning how to read notes and doing repetitive, frustrating exercises will just make you want to put that guitar away and never look back. From the first lesson, I will show you how to play basic chords and scales, and give you the tools and guidance that will let you create your own melodies and give
you the courage and desire to keep learning. I provide lessons for students of all ages. And as always, if you feel as if you have not learned anything or have not enjoyed the lesson then I am more than happy to give a full refund for my services.

I look forward to jamming with you!

Thanks,

Brandon
...
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Brandon M.

Brandon M.

Saint Charles, IL 60174
starting at
$17 / 30-min

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