My name is Val Kuznetsov and I am an expert in teaching voice. I have been enjoying helping singers and musicians for over 15 years and so very proud to have clients who have already climbed to #1 on Billboard charts and are successfully developing their careers with major labels such as Columbia Records and Warner Brothers.
Besides teaching voice, I have an extensive expertise in instructing piano, music theory and ear training. I also teach sound production at Harold Washington College, and have experience in orchestration and arrangement using a variety of software like Pro Tools, Cubase, etc... I work with a variety of domestic and international talents, composers, musicians and bands, and help them to further their projects to the new heights.
My teaching philosophy is based upon an individual approach. I assist my students w
ith discovering their artistic potential and guide them to overcome obstacles to make the most of their training. I provide my students with the technique that would last them a lifetime and build up skills that are necessary for a successful career.
I have established connections in the music industry and keep expanding my networks, so that I can best help my students to find the best platforms for further development of their careers.
I welcome motivated students who would dedicate their focus on polishing their craft to the highest standard in a great learning environment! So, whether you are an experienced musician or just in the beginning of your educational journey, I perhaps, can help you to advance you potentials and/or bring your skills to the next level!
I am currently based in Chicago, but I have coached and performed in the past in Moscow, Paris, Barcelona, Dubai and New York. I base my technical approach in classical school, while effectively applying it to a wide variety of musical genres including Pop, R&B, JAZZ, Rock, Musical Theatre, and Gospel.
*** Lesson Details *** Convenient location, great studio, fun working atmosphere.
*** Studio Equipment *** Piano, CD/Tape recorders, Copier/Printer, Stereo and Recording Equipment, Music Library, Internet, Humidifier, Mics and Amplifier, Fridge, Coffee Machine, Fresh-Filtered Water, A/C
*** Specialties *** Voice and Vocal Coaching: Pop, Musical Theatre, Classical, JAZZ, Soul, R'N'B, Rock. Theory of Music, Ear-Training, Piano. Sight-Reading Technique, Studio Recording, Russian Classical Repertoire, Russian Diction.
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.
My musical journey started in high school when my algebra teacher saw me in the hallway, grabbed my hand and brought me to the choir room to sign up for The Sound of Music auditions. To this day I cannot believe my math teacher unknowingly sent me straight down a path that I would walk the rest of my life. After The Sound Of Music I never left music. I kept singing in high school by participating in the school musicals and different choir ensembles. When it came to college I started taking private lessons and music classes for fun until I realized this is my passion and I wanted to make a life of this. When you wake up everyday and the first thing you do is sing at that point there was no other way to live. There I started my journey with really learning the voice as an instrument and how it works. I found that I am a vocal scientist
at heart believing you will go a long way as long as you know how to grow. Being a vocal scientist, I find it so interesting to know what exactly needs to happen when we sing in order sing in a healthy and beautiful manner.
While I was at Moraine Valley after I firmly chose music I felt I needed more of a diverse program so I can answer any possible music based question. I then went on to get my degree at VanderCook College of Music where they teach nothing but music education. Their program intensely teaches all the band and orchestral instruments on top general education classes and your major, mine being voice. While I was there I also took the time to study privately with our percussion professor to learn rhythms and with our sight singing and ear training professor to further develop my ear and knowledge. All in all I have been studying the voice for 13 years and counting. I do all this so that I could pass that experience down to you.
▪Lesson Details▪ In my lessons I like to teach vocal techniques such as raising your soft palate, correct breathing techniques, and a forward placement. These are the tools to help a vocal musician grow for the rest of their lives.
Another part of being a vocal musician that I teach is ear training and or rhythm. These are things I wish I would have learned earlier on and are essential to being an independent musician.
Expression (including body movements, hand gestures, facial expression, and musical expression such as accents and dynamics) are a large part of performing as a vocalist and are definitely things we prepare as well.
I like to keep a more uplifting environment when teaching so although you should expect a push for success, you should always feel comfortable and not afraid to make mistakes.
▪Performance opportunities▪ Studio vocal recitals
▪Studio Equipment▪ Lessons in the studio room, electric piano
▪Travel Equipment▪ I can provide literature and a music stand while the students should have a full length keyboard and or piano.
▪Specialties▪ I teach rhythm, sight singing and ear training, general musical terms, expression, and specific vocal techniques.
Marissa is a wonderful teacher. I have never had singing lessons before. My first experience was remarkable. I love how comfortable she makes me feel when I go to practice. She has so much patience, which is another thing I love about her. I would refer the world to her if I could. I will definitely be referring my cousin.
April 18, 2018
I was surprised at how comfortable I was to sing in front of someone. She made it easy for me.
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.
My name is Zipporah Robinson. I am a multi-lingual musician.
I teach voice, violin and piano. I have been a musician for 30+ years and a music educator for 10+ years. Let me help you reach your music education goals!
I speak Spanish, Portuguese and am learning Italian. I would love to show you how you can speak Spanish. Between 2012 and 2019, I was the foreign language representative for the businesses I worked for. Let me help you get to your language goals.
I have played the guitar for twenty years and have studied a wide variety of music including jazz, classical, folk, blues and rock. I’m skilled in acoustic, electric and classical styles of the guitar. I have an open mind about music and can appreciate any style or type. I have a firm background on music theory, so I am able to explain what I am teaching. I excelled in all my classes in college, music and Gen Eds, with a GPA over 3.75. I also have experience in teaching guitar or bass to students ranging from the ages of six to sixty six. I enjoy taking what I have learned and passing it on to someone else to experience. I believe this is one way you can leave your mark in music. I believe the experience I have playing in bands, and learning songs with my ability of having relative pitch will make my students improve quicker. I am a
lso a very skilled sight reader and can recognize key signatures and musical notation. I’ve also been playing electric bass guitar for 13 years now and have the same skill set as my guitar playing. In fact I am hired to perform more often as a bassist than a guitarist. I went to Columbia College between 2000-2003 and I completed a Bachelor Arts in Music, Concentration: Instrument Performance. I also went to Harper College between 1997-2000 and I completed an Associates in Fine Arts of Music.
*** Lesson Details *** I tailor all my lessons to the individual students interests and wants. Whatever your goals are, I'll help you get there. If you just want to learn music theory or how to write a song, I can teach you all that and more. I will teach you how to read music but if you don't wan't to do that, I will teach you how to read tablature. I'll push you to learn your instrument and to practice but I won't force to practice anything that you are not interested in. After about 3-6 months of lessons with me you will be able to play songs that you wanted to learn and you will also know all the essential fun basics of your instrument. Learning the guitar or bass is fun! And as your teacher I will make you want to practice.
*** Studio Equipment *** Lessons will be downstairs which has music stands, guitars, cords and books.
*** Travel Equipment *** My guitar and music stand. They should have a guitar and an amp if needed.
*** Specialties *** Anything from classic rock to blues, jazz, classical, modern rock, punk rock, music theory, improvising and songwriting.
Paul was great. Easy to talk to and understand. Looks like a good fit for me. Looking forward to my next practice.
August 14, 2019
Paul's great. He's been amazing about listen to me and what I want to learn. I'm actually more interested in music theory, and learning about bass than I am interest in becoming proficient at playing. It's obv that not only does Paul play both Bass and Guitar, but he understands theory and he can talk intelligently about different styles.
Overall a really nice upbeat guy too. I was hesitant b/c I didn't want a guitar teacher who also played bass. I wanted a bass teacher, Paul definitely is serious about Bass, and does NOT approach it the same way he does guitar
August 12, 2019
Paul is really patient, encouraging, and accommodating to my work schedule. At the same time, he is easy to talk to, and I have a lot of fun at all of my lessons! He’s clearly very knowledgeable about guitar and a wide variety of music styles. He listens to my goals and tries to relate his lessons to my interests to keep me engaged. Since I started a couple months ago, I’ve definitely noticed improvement, and he’s given a lot of structure and meaning to my practice sessions. Also, I had been developing some bad habits during my brief time trying to learn guitar myself, so I really appreciate that he points them out and helps set me on the right track. Overall, totally worth it and would recommend him to anybody!
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.
Hello everybody, my name is Michael and I have been playing both the guitar and piano since I was four years old. I am a full-time music instructor, and I also perform frequently on the weekend. My main musical interests include americana and country music, but I have spent time learning several other types of music as well. My favorite style to teach is the blues. I am looking to teach beginner to intermediate students and help them learn/perfect the basic and intermediate skills of guitar and piano.
Enjoyed the first lesson a lot! We spent time going over basic open chords, different ways to finger them and then we worked on transitioning between them. Michael was very patient and encouraging. We also touched on some basic music theory... really ooking forward to the upcoming lessons!
July 25, 2019
Michael is very relatable & knowledgeable. Brody who is 8 looks forward to Michsels lessons & he is learning a love for music through Michael!!
January 7, 2017
Very nice guy and knowledgeable. Easy to get along with and really works to make it a fun and enjoyable experience.
"I decided to turn back to the piano in mid life and could not have done it without Tim. I reached out to Tim based on recommendations and quickly found h
im to be a fabulous teacher, with all the patience required to excel at instruction. I very much appreciate his insights and low key approach to our lessons. Our weekly lessons were an inspiration to push forward and accelerate my own learning. I highly recommend Tim for anyone interested in excelling in piano."
"Gifted teacher with amazing skill and knowledge
Our experience with Nick was outstanding. Nick gave our son multiple years of guitar lessons, as well as
music theory and composition instruction. This was while our student was in a charter high school for music, and playing for hours a day. Yet, Nick's lessons were the ones he looked forward to the most. Nick treated him not only like a valued student but also as a capable musician. Guitar was not our son's first instrument, yet Nick never forgot that he needed to learn some things as a beginner and others by building on skills of an already playing musician. The individualization was the best we have seen in any music teacher. Nick was able to take him far very quickly too. And, they had a great time. The in-person lessons and Skype lessons were at an equally high level. Each lesson was personalized to our student's needs at that moment in time. Nick respected his needs in school to be working on a specific composition or learning a specific skill or even the need to be flexible with traveling. Our student has gone on to play his own music, as well as covers, at large and small venues in multiple states. He still uses the warm-ups Nick gave him to keep his speed up. Thanks Nick!"
"Working with Joel has been ideal. He is patient, knowledgeable and fun to work with. Joel is great at explaining things in a way that makes sense to a beg
inner. He gave me realistic goals that I could accomplish which really boosted my confidence. I history recommend him if you’re looking to improve in a low stress environment."
"Pattricia is great explaining what areas I need help in, how to make corrections, how the things I learn will affect my singing, and on and on. Trust her
to pay great attention to you and give specific help for you. Very helpful, very educated!"
"Each week I am learning techniques from Kirk to correct poor habits I developed while learning without a teacher."
"Jeremy and I have worked together for a number of years. He thrives for music and strives to improve his own skills, passing it on to those he works with.
He's very good at what he does, knowledgeable, and fun to work with."
"Great first lesson. We covered a lot of ground and I was not overwhelmed."
"I think Luther is great. He works with my 10-year old son on piano, singing and even trumpet and violin as needed. My son has to work hard to progress, an
d Luther customizes the lesson plan for him and seems to understand him well. I'm really excited about them working together."
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