Daniel, a former faculty member of Columbia College in Chicago, is a studio and live performance singer and musician based in Chicago. His teaching and performing experience spans three decades, and includes expertise in the studies of voice, guitar, piano, bass, drums, and trumpet, along with music theory, arranging, and composing. He is a Lincoln Academy Student Laureate who holds a BA in Music Composition, and has attended graduate courses in education at Roosevelt University and DePaul University in Chicago. He has taught students of all ages at private studios, public school, and college.
Daniel is described by his students as a natural teacher. He prefers to be regarded as an advancing student, and takes the journey along with his students to guide them towards their goals with a friendly, positive, efficient and productive appro
ach. He feels that music is within all of us, and a desire to learn is a sign of talent, so anyone can develop their musical abilities with methodical practice.
The musical journey for Daniel began at an early age with trumpet and piano studies which became a passion for him by the age of 14. He was the drum major of the high school marching band, and successfully completed a paid contract to arrange music for the high school jazz band which performed in a state beauty pageant. He began teaching privately after high school, and continued playing in bands, and composing original music. He formed a professional jazz ensemble under the name of the Chicago Jazz Players by the age of 22, and developed his arranging techniques while having it performed by an eighteen piece orchestra consisting of many great local artists. It was in this environment that he gained experience with brass, woodwinds, and rhythm instruments. He was granted a position at Columbia College as an instructor at age 29 where he taught theory, sight singing, musicianship, ear training, harmony, orchestration, and composition. He scored the music for several plays, and conducted his own pieces with Chicago Symphony and Lyric Opera Players. During those years he found himself playing the guitar and singing more than anything else. It was in 1995 that he focused on singing and playing the guitar with his rock band. He has produced several CD recordings of his original music in his own studio, and has helped produce local bands and artists. He performs regularly in the Chicago area.
*** Lesson Details *** Daniel exhibits patience and care with each student, and develops an individualized approach based on clear goals with practical procedures. Most beginners can expect to have a working knowledge of music notation and how it applies to their instrument within three months, and should be developing fluency in performing music that they enjoy within six months. Advancing students will enjoy the rewards that will follow by studying with an experienced teaching musician that will recognize strengths and weaknesses, and recommend proven techniques for personal musical development. Studying music should be fun, fulfilling, and in harmony with the needs and desires of the student, and this is key to the philosophy held by Daniel.
*** Studio Equipment *** Eight track recording gear; grand piano; guitars/bass (acoustic & electric); cables/amps, drum kit and percussion.
*** Travel Equipment *** I can provide lesson materials, and always have a metronome with me. I expect the student to have an instrument. I prefer that a student has a music stand.
*** Specialties *** Customized approach to the individual based on needs and goals.
It was only a first lesson but I can already tell I'm going to be taking more lessons with Daniel. He's very knowledgeable, patient, and dedicated. He detailed a specific plan for me to work on that isn't too rigid or boring, I'm looking forward to relearning the flute with him.
June 28, 2019
Great 1st lesson! Looking forward to continuing and learning more
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.
As far as general guitar technique am able to teach to a advanced level except for heavy metal electric and jazz styles. For any kind of fingerpicking can teach to a advanced level.
As a guitarist in my early years I spent much time reworking my technique and gaining insight in how guitar playing really works. My early struggles gave way to a solid knowledge of the guitar and music.
This was gained through no small part through my High School music teacher, through master classes of Manuel Lopez Ramos and Abel Carlevaro and others.
These master classes helped me in a big way to develop teaching systems and principles that can help anyone to learn guitar easier and more effectively.
You will gain from the knowledge of these world class guitarists and teachers which will help you to play better and more musical.
And from my musical background-of playing hundreds of songs and compositions of many styles and understanding o
f musical structure.
I will give you simple technical training to help the hands work together and develop a musical sound. As I teach I look for your gifts (in creativity, musical playing etc) and actively look to enhance that gift.
When problems come along in your studies, I help you to solve them in a way you can apply them for yourselves. Teach and show students how music works and how to play artistically.
How to Start
Will work with you to find a convenient time/day to schedule lessons at your home or our studio
There is a money back guarantee on the 1st lesson so you can try and see how lessons can help you to reach your goals. Selecting the "get started now" button will put you in contact with our student counselors.
P.S. Take the first step in learning music by contacting us.
*** Lesson Details *** Teaching for over 13 years in all major styles. Helping beginning or returning students of all ages (kids and adults). and backgrounds to learn music.Have taught all ages from 5 to 60 years old.
Will work to develop a personalized plan specifically for you and/or your child or family member.
Studied at Roosevelt University as a classic guitar major with music education and jazz studies.
Give students a well rounded education in all the major styles-techniques, teaching them finger picking as well as pick technique, chords and improvisation.
I specialize in building a strong foundation both musically and technically for people that have not played guitar or even music before and helping them to reach the musical goals they desire.
For the pick guitar I use the Mel Bay method along with handouts for chords/exercises and finger picking patterns This gives you flexibility to explore many musical styles.
For classic guitar I use the Sagreras or Parkening methods plus the same handouts as for pick guitar.
For electric bass I use the Hall Leonard Method, plus handouts.
I teach children how to practice and to keep a practice schedule.
I operate with a patient approach, a comfortable learning process. This helps you to learn properly and builds a solid foundation for your playing.
In general after 3 months you will know all the basic chords and how to change them. How to play the blues scale, read music /tab plus some songs with basic chords.
For the electric bass you will play blues patterns, read music and tab.
After 6 months you will be in general able to play bar chords, and more complex songs (with full chords).
For the electric bass more complex songs, movable major scales.
Keep in mind as you move through these studies you will be enjoying playing music and be moving towards the goal you had in mind in taking up music including learning the music, the styles you wanted to play.
*** Studio Equipment *** I can provide a music stand and a foot stool. I can get them or show them where to get a method book They would just need a guitar.
*** Travel Equipment *** I can teach lessons at the students home in Des Plaines, Park Ridge, Morton Grove, Skokie, Wilmette and adjoining communities.
*** Specialties *** Be encouraged that you and/or your family member can learn to play and it's not as hard as you think.
What I have found is it takes no special talent to play the guitar, just the desire to practice and learn. Lessons with a teacher helps you to learn quicker and more problem free, unlike other approaches. A teacher can help you personally when you have problems and questions. The investment you make will help you or a family member to play music for many years...
Teach most major styles folk, rock, blues, classical, finger picking, Jazz (Bossa Nova) Also gospel, praise and worship guitar.
I started playing guitar originally in 1991. I picked up bass and ukulele (and then gradually a plethora of other instruments) over the ensuing years. I started teaching in 2001 throughout the Chicagoland area. First in music stores, then schools, then people's homes (including mine) and then online (live via Zoom).
Besides teaching and performing, I also ran an all ages music venue and recording studio from 2006-2015.
Teaching is my biggest love and I love seeing students learn. There isn’t a style I will not teach. All music to me is fascinating
*** Lesson Details *** All lessons start with the basics (assuming the student doesn’t already know them). This includes: reading music and chord diagrams, understanding rhythm, basic music theory, etc. Meanwhile, we will apply this knowledge to songs of the student’s choice- this wa
y they’re learning songs they like, and more about the instrument and music at the same time. As time goes on we’ll get into playing lead, advanced theory, songwriting and more.
Above is the plan, but I am always open to suggestions from the students as well. As long as they are learning, I am happy. In all reality, we can spend years on just one of the many paths you can go down with music- so I am always continually re-checking on the student’s current and up-to-date goals.
*** Specialties *** Patience. I feel like it is necessary to be a good teacher. Other than that, I am very confident in my teaching skills. I love so many genres of music that its hard to say where my best talents lie. But no matter what the style, I will say one thing that I have always been strict about is proper technique and rhythm. I feel like timing is something that a lot of musicians take for granted and often have to learn the hard way later on. I try to incorporate it soon after a beginner's first lessons.
Ian is an incredible teacher. Very patient and professional. The way he teaches is very straight forward and easy to understand. I can’t wait to learn more & more... less than a week has passed since my lesson. I already feel so comfortable with my ukulele,
All the utube lessons were useless for me. I realized this after 1 lesson with Ian. The frustration factor on utube was a waste of time for me. I am so happy I chose ian & this company.
Thank you so much, jen
March 3, 2014
My son loves learning guitar from Ian! He is so patient with children. His love for music is infectious. He makes my son look forward to learning each week. If you want to learn guitar... Pick Ian!
February 27, 2014
great teacher for popular acoustic guitar
Ian is a no nonsense well organized guy. He taught me using exercises he wrote out on paper mostly in tabulature form. He used a metronome from the first lesson and always introduced a music theory concept such as rhythm, pentatonic scales, and chord transposition. He will not move past any exercise until you can demonstrate proficiency so there is no choice but to draw your own conclusion that you need to practice more if you want to progress. He teaches out of his local all ages music venue, or will travel to your home.
I have been playing guitar for 15 years. I make lesson plans based on each individual, so I don't teach every one the same boring songs or use the same regiment with everyone. I want to teach you what YOU want to learn.
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.
I've been teaching guitar for 5 years helping students develop a love for the instrument and learn more about music along the way. There are many styles I'm comfortable teaching from folk (fingerpicking or flatpicking), rock, blues and funk and I would love working on developing a unique style of your own. Within the first few lessons you'll have a solid base of strumming, picking and chord changes and even a few simple songs under your belt. Moving on from there I will craft lessons to move you toward a "goal song," making sure to cater your progress to your needs while keeping a focus on good technique. I enjoy working with students of all ages and experiences and I can't wait to meet you!
Ryan is a musician from Jefferson Park who plays a plethora of different instruments. He specializes in guitar, banjo, mandolin and ukulele, but also dabbles in accordion, piano, drums, harmonica and several others. Learning to play instruments is one of the true pleasures in his life and he hopes he can make it one of yours, too.
As a teacher Ryan's goals are fairly simple. First and foremost he wants to make his lessons comfortable, interesting and fun. A close second is to build a strong foundation on the basics, so as we learn more advanced techniques we have a solid base of technique to build upon. And third, an understanding of the theory and history behind the music is a great way to engage in the music beyond just the rote learning of technique.
After a brief foray in physics, Ryan settle into a degree in music at the Univer
sity of Illinois, specializing in Ethnomusicology (the study of music of different cultures). This education gave him a strong background in music theory and history in the Western tradition, but also opened him up to a vast experience of a diverse cross section of music from around the world. His insatiable love for learning new instruments started here, where he studied music from West Africa to Bali.
Currently Ryan is a co-lead singer, songwriter and stringed instrument player for the local band Distant Brothers, a folk rock band based out of Chicago. They play venues throughout the Midwest, with some of the notable venues being House of Blues, Metro and Cubby Bear in Chicago. Another highlight of his time with the band has been a collaboration with Oistrakh Symphony Orchestra, where he not only was able to play in collaboration with the orchestra, but joined in the arranging and conceptualization of some of the pieces played.
Kenny has been playing guitar since the age of 14, has received awards and grants from the Canada Council, and is an instructor at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. His approach to teaching guitar helps students learn quickly and maximize musical potential.
I'm a guitar player and singer songwriter from Montreal, Canada, have been living in Chicago for seven years, and have been playing electric, dobro, and acoustic guitar in the studio and on the stage for 20+ years. I play fingerstyle in a variety of tunings and am also a proficient flatpicker covering folk, bluegrass, electric, blues, and country picking techniques.
Whether you are a songwriter looking to improve your basic skills to perform a wider range of material, or a flatpicker looking to refine your improvisation skills or learn fingerstyle and open tunings, I can help you learn the correct approach to help bring your playing to a new level.
We all have within us, the ability to be an excellent player. ...
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!
Music is an essential element of a child's education, whether your training to perform at a campfire or Carnegie Hall. My approach is student-driven and collaborative. I help guide my students through songs of their choice, incorporating skill-level appropriate theory and ear training techniques. This allows kids to develop an understanding of the music they're most passionate for, helping their interest and enthusiasm to grow.
My name is Claire and I have been making a living as a touring/gigging musician for the last eight years. I studied music performance and production at Columbia College Chicago. I have played in a variety of styles, both solo and as part of a band. I currently tour with my band, The Lucky Dutch on keys and vocals. My students start their journey learning music of their choice, sparking interest and enthusiasm from the very first lesson. My motto is "Relentless Positivity" and it shows in my lessons. There is never a consequence for a wrong answer or misplaced note and the worst thing that can happen is we play it again. We will work together to navigate this inspiring and often humbling path.
A word on cancellations: consistency is the most important aspect of music education. With that in mind, I need to maintain a strict scheduling p
olicy for canceled or missed lessons. While I will try to accommodate illnesses and emergencies, I do ask for 24 hour advanced notice when canceling. I will have to charge full lesson price for late cancellations and no shows. Thank you! ~Claire
I don't know how Eric Jayk did it. He turned my hand of thumbs into strumming fingers. Basically Eric is a professional yet humble
lesson giver. He shows great interest in his students progress. I'm glad I chose Takelessons and I'm glad Takelessons has Eric Jayk. He Rocks!!!"
"My son absolutely loves Nils. Nils has been his guitar teacher for a few years now and has been very patient and accommodating especially since my son has
Autism which can sometimes make traditional instruction a challenge. However, Nils is able to recognize his strengths and treats him just like a regular "cool dude" and I have since seen my son be more confident with his guitar playing. Nils has helped my son become a better " Rock Star" every week."
"Lars has picked up on what we wanted to learn from the start. He listens well and is a good communicator in instruction. My daughter had only learned ho
w to play certain songs, which she did quite well. With Lars she is learning how to pick and other techniques in strumming and chord change that she's never been taught before. We look forward to continuing with Lars and adding some voice instruction as well. Wonderful personality, great disposition !"
"My 9-year old daughter's first lesson was great! Paul was patient as he showed her how to tune and play her guitar. She has never played or taken lesson
s, and this first experience set her up for to enjoy playing, an taking more lessons."
"I am amazed at how I've been able to fulfill my long time dream of playing guitar. Daniel has made that possible and very fun. I strongly recommend Danie
l to anyone who ever thought he or she was too old or to start a new passion of guitar playing. I'm taking a break from classes due to a personal commitment but intend to reach out to Daniel in the near future to continue my lessons."
"Jesse has been a fantastic guitar instructor for our son. He is patient and works in a way that encourages our sons creativity and more importantly love
of playing. Jessie has given our son various opportunities to perform in front of live audiences that has really built confidence.
"wonderful person and instructor for children! provides detailed follow ups to lessons - truly cares."
"Amazing first lesson, picked up right away. I look forward to many more! Thank You!"
"John is very patient and does a nice job explaining everything. He is an excellent teacher."
What's the best way to learn guitar? No matter which method you choose, or what style of music you want to play, these three rules from guitar teacher Sean L. are sure to put you on the road to success...
Learning guitar can be a daunting task when first approached. For many it is seen as only for the musically adept, but in reality anyone can learn guitar. By following these three simple rules, anyone can become a great guitarist.
1. Set Goals
There is no one path to take for learning …