Students are raving about their Music instructors on TakeLessons.
Check out some of these recent reviews.
Review by Dunne
"He is a very talented teacher."
Los Angeles, CA teacher:
Review by Jubie
"Trina has been a wonderful piano instructor for my children! Not only is she skilled as a teacher, she has an enthusiastic and warm personality that allow
s my kids to get excited about playing music! She is truly a gem!"
New York, NY teacher:
Review by Mauricio
"cool instructor, cool class"
San Antonio, TX teacher:
Review by Dave
"one of the best instructors I've ever met"
Asheville, NC teacher:
Review by Judy
"Allie is a great teacher.
Allie and I work with everything from music theory to tone quality. She helps me with preparing for music tests in school and u
pcoming auditions for my local and school musicals. In the first part of class, we review notes, rhythms, etc. Then, we do stretches and vocal warm-ups. And thirdly, we sing, any song I like in my range, while Allie plays piano."
Trenton, NJ teacher:
Review by Izzy
"My daughter loves it! He goes at a pace that keeps her engaged and challenges."
Derrick began playing the drums at the age of 8 in the elementary school concert band. He started out on just a snare drum but when he was 12, he got his first real drum set, and started a life of music.
Fast forward a few years and Derrick had experience playing in jazz bands, marching bands, concert bands, steel pan calypso band, along with his local garage band. After high school, Derrick moved to California to attend the Musicians Institutes in Hollywood California. There he studied under some of the greatest professionals in the business, and was exposed to a wide variety of music sty
les ranging from, Latin, R&B, Jazz, Funk, Rock, etc.
After graduating from school, Derrick moved back to Chicago where he has been playing weekly gigs, and touring around the country with his bands. Derrick is a young, energetic, but most importantly, patient drummer, who loves to share his craft with the world.
*** Lesson Details *** Derrick is laid back in his teaching style, but expects all of his students to practice and make weekly progression. He uses time tested and proven books and methods to teach his students the mechanics, theories, and techniques it takes to be a world class drummer. Reading and snare exercises are an important part of the curriculum, but not the main focus. He likes his students to enjoy what they are doing, so he brings other things to the lessons such as fun endurance and rhythm games. A brand new student that is dedicated to practicing could expect to be learning their favorite songs in 3 months time, and be playing in bands shortly afterward.
*** Studio Equipment *** All pro gear! Ludwig, Dw, Pearl, Mapex, Zildjian, Sabian and more. Multiple drum kits set up in the studio, along with sound system, and mac book pro.
*** Travel Equipment *** I will bring lesson material (books, sheet music, etc.) and iPod with apps such as metronome and the ability to listen to music. Isolation headphones to listen to songs while playing along. Stick, brushes. Anything else I might need.
Students are expected to have drum sticks a music stand and at very minimum a practice pad, all though a drum set is preferable.
*** Specialties *** Drum set is my specialty. I have experience with all major styles of music, and can teach any style. Other emphasis on playing in a band and percussion.
Mikhail C. June 19, 2015
In home Verified Student
My son really enjoyed his first lesson. He was able to play a little right away, which made it more fun for him.
Mike A. February 23, 2014
Drum Verified Student
Great with my daughter (age 7). She looks forward to her lesson every week, and is learning rapidly. He has great patience and has gotten to know my daughter and listens to her feedback while at the same time offering encouraging instruction.
Shirley L. December 29, 2013
Drum Verified Student
Great Drum Teacher
My daughter had been taking private drum lesson for years before she started with Derrick. At the first lesson, Derrick told her how important it was to feel the music, other than just working on technique. That was exactly what she needed to work on. Derrick has a broad experience with playing different type of music. He likes to show her how to play, which helps her understand right away. He is very nice and patient. He is flexible and reliable in terms of lesson schedules. He uses lots of references, songs and exercises in his teaching. Now, my daughter enjoys her lessons and practices a lot more.
I have been playing piano for over twenty years and have been teaching private lessons since 2010. I have a bachelors in classical piano and music composition from Wheaton College, where I was the winner of the 2009 Ben Heppner Concerto Competition, and a masters in jazz piano from the Jacobs School of Music at Indiana University Bloomington. I have taught extensively in both private lesson and group lessons contexts to students of all ages and musical backgrounds. I have performed around the country and recently played in the Disneyland All-American College Band at the Disneyland Resort i
n Anaheim, CA. I currently teach group class piano at Wheaton College.
nick March 3, 2016
Very knowledgeable Teaches at a nice pace, I walk away learning something new every time.
Jude R. August 28, 2015
In home Verified Student
Matthew is the best. Extraordinarily patient and inspiring.
Jane R. August 11, 2015
In home Verified Student
I can't think of a way Jane's first lessons could have been better. She is practicing and improving, and very happy with her music. Wonderful experience for Jane and her music-loving family.
A bachelors degree in music ed and 20+ years of playing, teaching and performing experience comes with you to every one of our lessons. Whether it be on trumpet, guitar, piano or voice I will consistently stress fundamentals that lead students towards the musicians they strive to be. I feel incorporating music that is relevant to the student and his or her goals is paramount and doable! I will always demonstrate the techniques and ideas I espouse. Lastly, I show my students the joy music has put in my life and in turn, show them how to play music towards the same ends. I am currently workin
g towards a masters in Jazz Studies at Northern Illinois University (2015) and perform regularly in the area.
*** Lesson Details *** Lessons are typically broken up into 5 main parts 1) physical technique and warm up - this refers to the mastery of the physical movements involved in playing the instrument 2) vocabulary practice (either by reading and/or by ear) - scales - chords 3) reading - sight reading - prepared reading 4) learning to play by ear - song transcription and analysis 5) warm down and re-emphasis of key concepts
*** Studio Equipment *** The teacher's home studio lessons are taught in the front room of the house. There is an acoustic piano, an electric piano, a music stand, stereo, guitar, amp, laptop, trumpets, books, and seating are all available.
*** Travel Equipment *** I will have everything I need and can furnish music. I expect student to have a stand and a working instrument.
*** Specialties *** I can improvise proficiently and understand music theory very well
***Special Notes*** -if you are located slightly outside my travel radius especially fox valley usually I can accommodate -if you cant find a time that works usually i am able to fit you in somewhere else. i am flexible!
Jadyn D. October 23, 2015
In home Verified Student
Rick is the best. we are so glad we found him. I can't say enough good things about him.
Kristin Deyle October 11, 2015
Rick is a great instructor. He guides hew well and motivates her to participate and be engaged. He works well with kids who have had no experience.
Laura W. June 12, 2014
In studio Verified Student
Rick is great! My third grade son learns so much every week with some of his favorite music. We highly recommend him.
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.
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 full-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.
Mike McCullough April 5, 2016
In home Verified Student
Jim is a great instructor, and a great guy. I feel like I am making good progress after only 5 weeks.
Lisa G. March 12, 2014
Guitar Verified Student
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.
Julian V. January 20, 2014
Guitar Verified Student
Jim is a top-notch professional
I contacted Jim through TakeLessons because I saw that he had the best reviews on the site and he is not far from where I live. I came to him as a beginner guitarist, with my only experience being teaching myself some basic stuff with the aid of YouTube.
Jim started out by first figuring out what my goals were in playing guitar so that he could take the most suitable approach in teaching me. At our first lesson, he had me play what I could and he gave me advice on all the fundamentals that are really important. He even noticed that I had an unorthodox way of making a G chord and gave me tips on the proper way to position my fretting hand so that, decades down the road, I do not run into trouble with pain and that sort of thing. Whheeeeeewwwww. Good save there.
Jim is very good at seeing the big picture in context with your goals as a student and delivering the lesson accordingly. He takes notes and emails them to you after the lesson, which is very nice to have. He makes videos during the lesson and then sends you a link to the video so that you can watch it a million times if you need. He does his best to accommodate your schedule if anything comes up and you have to reschedule, which I have done several times.
Jim is easy-going and has a good sense of humor, which makes the lesson more enjoyable.
In addition, Jim also performs very often in the local area and one time I was fortunate enough to see him perform in his band. His guitar solo gave me chills in my spine. This might seem off-topic, but it's not, because the reason I bring it up is because I was inspired to want to play more often and learn more because I see my guitar teacher rocking the stage and who doesn't want to do that, and also if you're going to pay for something, don't you want to make sure you're getting the best product out there? Jim is a true professional and boy can he play. Please excuse the run-on sentence.
I'm leaving this review because I'm moving and I just had my last lesson with Jim and the money I invested was money well spent.
I have been studying and performing music for 20+ years. After majoring in music at College of Dupage in Glen Ellyn IL, I went to step up my level of study at the Percussion Institute of Technology (P.I.T.) at Musician's Institute in Hollywood, CA in 2001 attaining a Performance Certificate from my time studying there.
Moving back to Chicago after L.A. in 2002 proved to be the right move as this is when I began my teaching career. With 12+ years of private and group music instruction experience, I have worked with Hix Brothers Music, Naperville Music, Roselle Music, Streamwood Park Distri
ct, After School Enrichment Solution's Guitar Stars, Band For Today, Guitar Fundamentals, Chicago Guitar Instruction, Schaumburg Music Academy, Music Makers of Western Springs, and also maintain a private clientele. Well into a thousand lessons taught, students have stayed with me for up to 7 years. You, the student, will gain all the experience I have gained from my 20 years of study, performance, and instruction.
Performing with various bands in the 2000's, I pinpointed my style and mastered my technique that gave me many performance opportunities regionally and nationally, noting most current act U2 tribute Vertigo USA and country rock cover act soon to be announced featuring members of Trash Martini.
I am co-founder of the music licensing production company Blue Shade Music, co-writing with astute musicians in the Chicago area for music libraries in Florida and California currently.
With national and international touring experience, I was featured in an exclusive interview for Online Drummer in August of 2011 sharing my knowledge and experience of music and drums.
Thank you for reading, and I hope to have a fun and educational time with you!
*** Lesson Details *** Practicing everyday with an occasional day off is very important in the student's progress. I always say 10 minutes is better than 0 minutes.
For DRUM lessons, the student can expect to learn: *to read music notation and music charts *to read drum notation *songs by real bands *timekeeping via a metronome *hand technique and foot technique *rudiments *all styles of music *double bass *drum grooves and drum fills *marching band/concert band material (if involved in school)
For PIANO lessons, the student can expect to learn: *to read music notation *to read music charts/lead sheets *music theory *intervals *chords and inversions *chord progressions *scales *fingering *styles of blues, jazz, pop, rock, and traditional *songs you wish to learn
For GUITAR + BASS lessons, the student can expect to learn: *to learn to read music notation *to learn to read a music chart *music theory *scales *chords *chord progressions *fingering *styles of pop, rock, and blues *songs you wish to learn
*** Travel Equipment *** I provide no equipment. The student must have an acoustic or electric drum set, a practice pad, a music stand, a metronome, sticks, curriculum book(s), headphones, an acoustic or electric guitar, and an acoustic or electric piano.
*** Specialties *** Rock, Funk, Blues, RnB, Soul, Country, Jazz, Latin, Pop, Metal
Dui S. December 7, 2015
In home Verified Student
My son is enjoying playing the guitar cause of Steve. He is a great instructor. I would recommend him to anyone.
Meg D. April 15, 2015
In home Verified Student
Steven is a great teacher! He's flexible, and works well with all ages! He's teaching my 3 kids, drums, guitar and bass. He's very receptive and adjusts his lessons according to what my kids are interested in. For example one of my kids was learning notes, but then the other wanted to learn a specific song and he easily adjusted to focus on what each of them wanted to do to. My kids love him!
S G. March 7, 2015
I took 5 in-home guitar lessons from Steve and loved every minute! I had never played guitar before so we were starting from scratch. We covered a lot of information, tailored to what I wanted to learn, and I felt like I made a lot of progress in a short amount of time. Steve was always on time, well-prepared for lessons, and was very encouraging. I would recommend Steve to anyone interested in taking guitar lessons.
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