When I start lessons with someone I usually like to introduce songwriting early. I do this because I feel it helps to know that you are able to express yourself early on in your guitar experience. I write my own songs from a very intuitive place and feel that it is important to free up that creativity. I like to teach people how to find their voice on the instrument.
Music can be as simple or as intricate as you want to make it. I will to teach you how to make the most of whatever knowledge and skill you have and to have fun while you do it. My tastes are all across the board, rock and roll, country, metal, opera, I love it all. So, let me know what you are into and we can go from there. I started playing guitar about 20 years ago and have fronted several bands that have played all over Chicago and beyond. Although I have studied ethnomusicology, theory, and composition in college, I owe my greatest debt to the Chicago musicians who inspired and later taught me. I began my private studies in flamenco guitar with Tomas de Utrera, Kelan Phil Cohran voice and theory, Hamid Drake instructed me on hand drumming, and from Rockin' Johnny Burgin I learned about the soul of blues guitar. Music is my first
love, and continues to be an endless fascination for me.
*** Lesson Details *** I believe the pursuit of musical knowledge and skill should be a fun adventure and therefore, in each and every lesson with me I hope that there is laughter. I like to start off finding out what you are interested in learning, then I will create a curriculum based on those interests. I like to get students going right away playing songs so they don't get bored. By the end of three months you should have a nice little repertoire of 6 or so songs in different keys and a beginning knowledge of your instrument and by six months we will have moved into scales, solos and a bit of theory based on your progression.
*** Studio Equipment *** Living room, street parking. I have plenty of guitars, amps, pedals and tuners here. I also have audio recording software so we can record your lesson.
*** Travel Equipment *** I have guitar and tuner, student should also have a guitar.
*** Specialties *** I would say I am best a teaching rock and blues guitar. I have also studied theory and flamenco guitar and would be able to teach beginners.
Learn helpful hints and tricks to make the most of your song writing time so that you can start writing not just good songs but eventually write hits. Learn how to copyright your songs. I can help you with lyrics and song melodies as well as song structure and style. If you aren't a singer but want your song sung, I can help find a singer that can sing it for you. Since I'm also a singing teacher I can also help you sing your own songs.
Rachel fully background checked by three different companies and is also fingerprinted.
Rachel's private studio is where you not only learn healthy technique, but how to become a self-sufficient artist. Professional training and customized programs in singing and acting technique. All learning styles, all ages, and all levels. Private lessons and group classes.
We prepare our students for the real world with up to date training (singing and acting) and both performance opportunities and showcases in front of industry professionals when students are ready.
Students come from all walks of life. All voice types, all ages, all levels, all mediums (TV-film-theatre), all character - ingenue actors, and ALL genres (Rock, Pop, Alternative, Funk, Soul, Musical Theater, R&B, Jazz, Opera) welcome!
Rachel's students have gone on nati
onal tours, released albums, are in bands, have been accepted into performing arts schools (high schools and colleges), have been cast in regional/Off-Off-Broadway/Off-Broadway Theatre, movies (Noah, The Wolf Of Wall Street, Finally Famous), music videos, and on TV (Royal Pains, Smash, 30 Rock, The Good Wife, Law and Order: SVU, & NBC's The Voice competition).
Owner/Teacher: Rachel M. SAG-AFTRA, VASTA, NATS (certified), NARAS, NAMTA, BMI, MAC, NJMEA, NAfME. NJ Theatre Alliance, & Certified Artist Developer with Conquer Entertainment, 17+ years of teaching to children - teens - adults (Ages 6+ group classes, 8+ private lessons)
RACHEL M.'S BIO:
Rachel is a member of SAG-AFTRA, The National Association of Teachers of Singing (NATS certified), VASTA (Voice And Speech Trainers Association), NARAS (The Grammy Awards), NAMTA, NJMEA (New Jersey Music Educators Association), NAfME (National Association of Music Education), NYSSMA (New York State School Music Association,) MAC (Manhattan Association of Cabarets and Clubs), The NJ Theatre Alliance, NSA (Nashville Songwriting Association International), and BMI (Broadcast Music Inc). She has been teaching Bel Canto singing technique for the modern singer and Stella Adler-Stanislavsky-Chekhov-Meisner acting technique for all mediums for 16+ years to children, teens, and adults.
Rachel has trained at The Hages Music Studio under a master teacher for 22+ years in the Bel Canto singing technique for all genres, studied at The Stella Adler Studio of Acting in NYC as well as recorded and released her first album called "Just Meant To Be". Other credits include commercials, films, TV shows (One Tree Hill, AMC, Food Network), music videos (including Rachel's singles "Don't Even Try", "You Will Love On"), & numerous stage credits (Off-Broadway/NYC Theatre). Rachel most recently was seen in the reading of a new play "Vanishing Son" by Peter Gil-Sheridan performed in NYC. She is also a songwriter (16+ years), scriptwriter (10+ years), director (14+ years), and an international recording artist (10+ years).
Rachel has been performing for 20+ years, has performed in front of sold out crowds, and has been honored with many standing ovations. Other honors include magazine covers, featured articles, singing to thousands of people, studio recordings/albums, originated the role of "Antigone" in "Oedipus: The Musical", 2002 Helen Hayes Nomination for" Outstanding Vocal Performance in a Musical" ("Miss Adelaide" in "Guys And Dolls"), & 2008 finalist for NYC Singing Idol Competition. Rachel has also been fortunate to have worked & performed with many people in the business including Grammy-Tony-Emmy Award Winners/Nominees.
Whether you are a parent looking for instruction for your child, or for yourself, Rachel can customize the right program that best suits your needs. Her students come from all walks of life and have different goals, but they all have one thing in common. They love performing and have the desire to be the best at their chosen craft (singing/acting).
Some students want to sing/act for themselves, others want to sing/act for a hobby, and others want to be professional performers. That's where Rachel comes in. No matter what your goals are, she can help. Rachel teaches her students how to become true artists without tearing them down and without taking away the part of them that makes them unique. She teaches healthy technique that is based off of the human anatomy; the science of how the body/mind works and how the body/mind can work as efficiently as possible while singing or acting.
Learning how to sing/act is a process and doesn't happen overnight. Rachel's ultimate goal as a teacher is to not only make her students the best performers and singers they can be, but also give them all of the proper tools they need to have a more productive mind frame and become self-sufficient. Of course this can take years to master. It takes time and dedication.
OTHER LESSON INFORMATION
SINGING: Bel Canto singing technique for the modern singer is taught in private and group classes. No one sounds like old opera singers, even if the student wants to sing opera. Students are allowed to choose most of the material they learn in the lesson. There will be times when Rachel will suggest a song to a student but if the student doesn't enjoy the song, they will work as a team to find a song that does work for the student. Gain a better tone quality, complete control of your voice, bigger range, more flexibility, and confidence. Learn healthy voice technique, how to fully take care of your own voice so you can sing for the rest of your life (even after lessons), and become a self sufficient performer for life.
ACTING: Stella Adler, Stanislavsky, Chekhov, and Meisner Acting Technique for Theatre/Camera is taught in private and group classes. All students are exposed to each technique and Rachel sees which technique each student responds to the most. Once the student and Rachel are able to identify the technique, Rachel continues to use the terminology of that technique for the remainder of the time the student is in lessons. Students eventually are able to play roles truthfully and realistically, even if the roles are opposite of the student's own personality.
BY THE TIME STUDENTS GRADUATE FROM LESSONS:
1. Gain a lifelong, solid, consistent, and healthy technique that they can always count on in practice and performance.
2. Gain specific technical and personal notes in a notebook and/or computer file that is organized and always accessible for review.
3. Gain artistry, performance skills, and a strong voice that will look/sound authentic; Singers will sound appropriate to whatever style of music they are singing. (No fake sound or look.) Actors will just be in the moment and truthful whether they are on stage or in front of the camera.
4. Gain the confidence to always put on a great performance.
5. Gain focus and a more productive mind frame.
6. Become self-sufficient by knowing how to assess a problem and then fix it without creating a new issue.
*** Studio Equipment *** PRIVATE HOME STUDIO: Keyboard, speakers (smartphone, iPod, iPad), CD player, tape recorder/player, digital recorder, music stand, mirror, laptop, sheet music selections, HD video camera, tripod, video editing software, audio editing software, USB microphone, and high speed WiFi internet. Full PA, two mixers (one mixer with 8 inputs and the other with 4), 8 Lavaliere microphones ("body mics"), multiple hand held microphones, laptop stand, and music stands.
**ASK ABOUT ON LOCATION TRAINING (ON SET, THEATER, PERFORMANCE EVENT, OR RECORDING STUDIO)!
**ONLINE LESSONS ALSO AVAILABLE!
*** Specialties *** We specialize in Bel Canto voice technique for the modern singer. Each student can sing all genres without sounding too classical, "fake", and without losing their voice while singing for long periods of time.
Other Specialties: Teaching acting technique for theatre-TV-Film (Stella Adler, Stanislavsky, Chekhov, & Meisner), performance skills, songwriting, and creating self-sufficient singers-actors-performers (Artist Development).
CANCELLATION: 48 hour lesson cancellation policy and emergencies (determined by Rachel) are handled on a case by case basis. All students (or their parents/guardian if under 18) who have scheduled vacations and other activities (meetings, parties, school shows, concerts, rehearsals...etc) that interfere with the student’s regularly scheduled lesson time, need to contact Rachel as soon as the vacation/other activity is scheduled but no later than two weeks in advanced before their missed regularly scheduled lesson to prevent from forfeiting the lesson.
MAKE-UPS: Make-Up lessons will be scheduled if time allows. No Make-Up lesson or class will be given to ‘no shows’ or “late cancellation”, and no extra time to extend their lesson will be given to students who are late to their lesson or class. If there is ever a time Rachel is running late, extra time will be given to make the lesson a full 60 minutes. If Rachel needs to reschedule, a Make-Up lesson will be scheduled as close to the same week as possible. Make-Up lessons are scheduled at Rachel’s discretion.
ONLINE LESSONS FOR IN-PERSON LESSON CLIENTS: In the event that the student is sick but still would like their lesson, an online lesson will be scheduled instead. Students can NOT come to their in person lesson sick, coughing, sneezing, with a runny nose, cold, flu, allergies, fever, etc. (This is to make sure no germs will be spread).
An online lesson will also be scheduled if there is bad weather, if a student is having car trouble, or any other reason for the student not being able to physically get to Rachel’s private studio during their normally scheduled lesson time. Online lessons are conducted through Classroom, FaceTime, Google, Hangouts, or Skype.
SCHEDULE: Lessons are weekly, on the same time/day of the week unless we have rescheduled or we have discussed in writing another lesson plan. If the student’s lesson falls on a holiday, we will either reschedule or if no other day is available, resume the following week.
LATENESS: If a student is going to be late they need to contact Rachel as soon as possible, to let her know they will be late. Lessons will end on time unless she is able to extend the lesson due to a late student or her schedule allows for it though please understand, Rachel would be extending a courtesy and would not be obligated to do so. If on the rare occasion Rachel is running late, she will always make up the time.
SITTING IN: Parents/Guardians are ONLY permitted to stay for the first lesson and are NOT permitted to sit in for any other lesson/class unless invited. This is to promote good/strong teacher-student relationship quickly and easily. Also, many times students feel more comfortable when their parents/guardians leave. Of course there will be times when the parent will be invited back in at the end of some of the lesson to showcase progress.
COMMUNICATION: Due to Rachel's normally scheduling students one right after another without breaks, being in the recording studio, performing, or being on set, the best way to contact her is through text AND email. Please ALWAYS leave messages when calling Rachel with your name, contact info, AND the reason you are calling. Please be specific. Thank you!
"I try to be as fair as possible to both parties when it comes to cancellations, rescheduling, lateness, and make ups. Have a concern or question? Just talk with me. I'm all about communication!" - Rachel
Racheal did a wonderful job helping my daughter with her stage presence.
January 29, 2018
My 9 yr. old daughter received singing lessons with Rachel. Rachel was SO wonderful, patient, and creative with every session with her. She was constantly coming up with different ways to keep her engaged and was always reassuring her to increase her confidence. She gave great constructive feedback on how my daughter was doing and what she can work on to improve. I give her 5 stars! Thanks so much, Rachel!
October 3, 2017
Overall, very impressed. She is direct and doesn't tell you something you want to hear. Her evaluation process is well rounded and planned. She puts together a great curriculum to know what to expect in the coming lessons. Very easy going person and makes you feel completely comfortable at the initial lessons.
I've helped many band members, friends and students to write songs and would be glad to help any future students. But songwriting is a very personal thing and so rather than push too many ideas on a student, I find it's ideal to provide them with tools and let their creativity take over.
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.
Teaching Philosophy: I work closely with students to create a safe environment for learning and growth. We return the voice to its natural state with a science based approach. Each exercise has a purpose to help strengthen the systems used in healthy singing. Through this approach students effectively expand range, improve vocal tone and breath control. Once the voice is optimized through healthy technique, limitations fall to the wayside.
Do you want to learn to write and sing music? Are you interested in Melody, Lyrics, Arrangements or even the Business side of the industry? If any of these tickle your fancy, I would love to be your teacher! Whether you are a rockstar in the shower, or you have no musical experience, I can help you find the tools and to learn the skills you need to reach your goals!
Biography: Raised in a family of devout music lovers, Hannah found the joy of singing and songwriting at a young age. When the time came she attended Brigham Young University, where she received her degree in Commercial Music with an emphasis in Singing and Songwriting. She teaches voice and songwriting alongside her career as an artist.
Teaching Philosophy: I work closely with students to create a safe environment for learning and growth. We return the voice to its n
atural state with a science based approach. Each exercise has a purpose to help strengthen the systems used in healthy singing. Through this approach students effectively expand range, improve vocal tone and breath control. Once the voice is optimized through healthy technique, limitations fall to the wayside.
Age Range and Abilities Taught: Male and Female 5 and up, I have extensive work with individuals with handicaps, learning disabilities and vocal damage due to things like muscular dystrophy, nodes, vocal cord paralysis, and reflux.
I am well known for both my ability to arrange songs for specific needs/players as well as for my composition. I will teach you how to develop melodies, chords and lyrics.
Lisa Abrams has a Vocal Music Education Degree from Capital University, Columbus, Ohio.
She graduated in 1997 and has been teaching professionally, both in schools and privately, since that time. She has taught General Music grades K-8 in the Parochial School System. She has been the Music Director and Worship Leader for several Churches where she has directed Adult Choir, Praise Team, Bell Choir, Chime Tone Choir, Orchestra and Children's Choir. She has accompanied all these ensembles on Piano, Guitar, and Organ.
Lisa Abrams teaches all areas of music: Theory, Technic, Reading, Counting, Ear Training, Composition, etc. When you take lessons from Lisa, her goal is more than teaching you how to play or sing a song. She gives you the tools necessary to be able to play ANY song. She teaches what few others teach; how to BE a music
ian. She wants you to be able to pursue any avenue of Music that appeals to you, professionally or personally.
Learn basic chord progressions that you can write over 100 songs with!
Discover and refine YOUR unique talent or interest, nail that audition and learn techniques that will help you become the best performer you can be! Gain all of these skills in my relaxed and judgement-free zone.
I studied Vocal Performance and Choral Music at Northern Illinois University, Cum Laude ('18). I am active in Chicagoland area as a church cantor and teacher of music. I am also a freelance performing artist and singer-songwriter.
I had wonderful time with Amelia. She is amazing and she helped me a lot!
I am very happy that I chose her.
January 19, 2018
Throughout each lesson, I learned something new about myself. She was very patient, informative, and always had good things to say about you and your acting/voice skills. She helped awaken my creative theatre mind again and I’m thankful for that. I highly recommend taking her if you want a good experience in learning or enhancing your acting/voice skills!
My approach to songwriting is through a process called Kaizen. Kaizen is a philosophy of constant improvement, one step at a time.
I believe that to write their best songs one must live their best life.
My lessons are very catered to the student's needs. I can teach the theory and techniques of song structure, lyric, melody, harmony, rhythm, groove, sound selection, music production, vocal intonation, audio recording, and music production. I can also speak conceptually to help deepen concept, improve cohesiveness, or simply advise on inspiration and creativity.
I specialize in Electronic (EDM), Pop, Indie, and Hip-Hop.
Learn music production and more from Daniel Burton :) That's me, philosopher, musician, and friend.
I specialize in Electronic (EDM), Pop, Indie, and Hip-Hop.
Lesson Plan: I will see where your music is at, be it never started or nearly finished, then teach you the skills and give you the tips you need to create finished works of art. Songs, EP's, Albums, Lyrics, Instrumentals / Beats, Whatever. Let's do it baby.
Experience: I am a singer, songwriter, producer, instrumentalist, mix engineer, and mastering engineer. I have been producing my own music since 2012 and teaching since 2016. I teach Ableton and Logic typically, but I can work with any DAW. I am an Icon Collective Graduate.
And a little more about me: 1. I love philosophy, art, people, nature, and animals. 2. I accept you, I promise. 3. My only life advice is
My first session with Dan was great! He asked a lot of questions to determine my level of experience/goals; then we dived right into the lesson. He’s also provided homework assigments that I’ve been able to work on straight away.
February 12, 2018
Dan is a really insightful instructor. He really knows Ableton in-and-out with his eyes closed. He also has a good ear and is able to help you get the sound that you want. He gives really good feedback on projects that you might be working on. He is really well-versed in all aspects of music production - not only in sound design and mixing but also in songwriting and also can talk about difficult topics like inspiration and creativity in a unique way. If you're serious about music production, I would certainly recommend taking lessons with Dan.
i have released 2 CD's and songwriting was my major at Berklee College of Music. I can teach and help students with lyric writing, phrasing, rhyme, content, chord, and song structure as well.
Hi! My name is Jodi and I have been teaching piano and violin for several yearsI I have released 2 CD's and perform in and around the Boston area. I also have a biyearly recital for all of my students which they may perform in if they prefer!
Jodi is the best! She really knows her stuff. She is very patient and explains concepts well. Took my piano playing to another level. I would definitely recommend her to anyone who is interested in learning piano.
August 22, 2019
I took my first music lesson at age 67. I hate learning how to do things; I am easily frustrated. Jodi made me feel relaxed and secure from the first meeting. I enjoy both lessons and practice. She makes herself available for questions in between my weekly lessons and has even come to me to correct a problem with a string.
For me, she's the best imaginable teacher.
"He just makes our music so much better. An exceptional teacher.
Randy has worked with my partner and I for 15 years. He took our melodies, arranged them,
and turned them into songs that were actually singable. Watching Randy run a rehearsal and teach people songs is a sight to behold. He makes it happen quickly and efficiently, and we always have fun.
In all sincerity, I consider Randy to be the most talented musician I've ever known. He is a great teacher, even of inexperienced adults, and fun to work with. A winning combination all the way around. John B."
"I am an older student that has been predominantly self-taught, and wanted some assistance with my songwriting. What better teacher is there than one with
than one that is signed, is proficient at music theory and teaches a number of instruments? Natalie has used a variety of resources to help move me forward."
"Lorin is a wonderful teacher."
"AMAZING!! Outstanding work and makes songwriting so enjoyable! She’s so kind and highly recommend!💕"
"Love my classes with Hilary so far! I'm developing myself as a songwriter to launch my professional music project very soon. Half of the class is basic pi
ano in order to be able to come up with melodies and the other half is writing lyrics/songs. Hilary is very sweet, patient and explains terms/theory in a very clear and easy way to understand. Songwriting can be a very vulnerable thing to do and Hilary creates a safe, professional space for the writing to happen. I'm excited to take more classes with her and definitely recommend her!"
"I love lessons with Keira! She is so friendly and knowledgeable, and she really cares about her students."
"Flexible, patient, fun teacher!
Jared came to house over the span of year to complete my lessons. I have a very erratic schedule, but Jared communicates
easily and we were always able to find a good time for lessons.
I didn't really know what direction I wanted my musical education to go, and Jared was very sensitive to that. We started with basic exercises, and worked up to basic and intermediate music theory, until we reached the point where I was writing songs on my own. He even showed me a few different methods of songwriting.
All in all, I had a great time. Would def recommend!"
"EDwin has been a great help over the last couple of years. Don't know how I wrote and recorded songs without his help"
"Chrissy really helps me a lot with writing melodies for my lyrics. SHe is very protove and encouraging and creative. I really think she brings out the b
est in her students. Definitely several points above average!"
Interested in learning how to write lyrics and songs? Here, New Jersey guitar teacher Matthew H. explains an easy 3-step process to follow...
Songwriting is not easy; just ask any composer or lyricist. While the musical composition is highly important (making sure the melody is catchy without sounding too trite), having a strong, relatable message to go along with a great tune is just as, if not more, important. Here are some tips on how to write lyrics for a good song.
1) What is …