I have been teaching guitar for more than 15 years. Every student is unique. We all have different ways of learning and retaining information: by rote, from a printed score, by ear, etc... Each student is interviewed and consulted to gain an understanding of how they learn most effectively and to create customized private lessons on the guitar. For classical guitar, there again are strict technical guidelines to achieve a beautiful tone and effective movement. To supplement my private instruction, I use different method of books and others for technical training and basic music theory as they relate to the guitar.
I am a highly organized, outcome-driven and motivated professional musician and educator with solid experience in the classroom. For the past 25 years, I have been employed with Amati music academy and seven years on the faculty of University of St Francis. I am very comfortable with all aspects of the current music syllabus, including teaching musical concepts (such as duration, pitch, dynamics, tone color, texture and structure) as well as performance, composition. I am fully qualified, with a Bachelor of Education in Music, Double Masters in music performance and education from University
of Nottingham. I am proficient in classical, jazz and Celtic fiddle violin and possess solid skills in piano (grade 8-13) Royal conservatory system. Throughout my teaching career, I have been driven to help students achieve their very best. I strongly believe that music has the power to change lives – to enhance the social, cultural and spiritual lives of people, and serve as a profound medium of personal expression. Professional perform experience: The Chicago, Natalie Cole, Smokey Robinson, Three tours with Moody Blues, YoYo Ma etc.... The most important thing I look for in a student is communication skills, as well as talent. I like to nurture students and help identify their individual strengths, which is a key factor in shaping a musical persona that will make its mark both on and offstage. I do not advocate a uniform technique for all students. Physical differences and learning styles are always taken into consideration. Potential is as important to me as early achievements and experience. My goal is to help students become self-sufficient, discriminating artists. I discuss practice techniques often and develop individualized scale routines. I encourage initiative and expressive musicality as well as precision. Above all, music needs to bring obvious joy to the student, regardless of the difficulties.”
*** Lesson Details *** I use Suzuki and traditional method for my students... for Suzuki beginner they will play a song in four days....
*** Studio Equipment *** In-Studio- Lessons in separate music lesson room, piano and violin are available. Students and parents will enjoy comfortable and clean studio environment with recent remodeled new hard wood floor and studio patio window over looking at beautiful garden. Free WiFi available for parents while waiting during the lesson appointment. University of St Francis Joliet- can teach in rehearsal rooms at the university. Online class at world class teaching studio
*** Travel Equipment *** violin, viola, cello, piano and guitar
*** Specialties *** I specialize in Suzuki teaching method for beginners, traditional conservatory method for intermediate and Royal conservatory recital program for advanced level students..I also teach orchestration program to help students prepare their auditions for major symphonies through out the country including Chicago symphony orchestra etc...
Jeremy kochman August 11, 2015
In studio Verified Student
Kelvin is the best instructor for music that i have ever had. he is very nice and welcoming for any student.
Austin July 23, 2015
In home Verified Student
My son had a great first lesson. We are excited for next week.
Holly Mills July 21, 2015
Online Verified Student
Kelvin is a very good teacher always trying to meet students where they are.
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.
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.
Rahul H. May 3, 2013
Classical Guitar Verified Student
An awesome teacher
I have been learning acoustic and classical guitar from James for more than 2 years now. His technique of teaching, the motivation, tips and videos he provides are simply exceptional. I would surely recommend him for anyone interested.
I have been teaching guitar for 18 years and have taught hundreds of satisfied students. When you sign up for classical guitar lessons with me, you will begin by learning the basics of the instrument including proper holding and playing position, tone production, rhythm, first position notes,basic chords and notation. Once you get the basics down, you will learn how to play a variety of classical guitar pieces appropriate for your level and interests. All of this can happen within the first 4-6 months of playing.
Dave K. began playing guitar at the age of 10. His influences include Joe Satriani, Eric Johnson, Guthrie Govan, Jimi Hendrix, David Gilmour, Jeff Beck, Stevie Ray Vaughn, Pat Martino, Pat Metheny and Scott Henderson. At the age of 17 he began teaching private guitar and bass lessons to classmates from his neighborhood high school. It was through this initial experience with teaching that he realized he wanted to make music education his career. Since then he has taught private guitar and bass lessons at Naperville Music, Rossi Music, Horizon Music, and the Plainfield School of Music. In addit
ion, he has taught orchestra, guitar, and jazz band at Rolling Meadows High School. In 2000 Dave graduated from the University of Northern Illinois with a degree in jazz and classical guitar where he studied with world-renowned fusion guitarist Fareed Haque. In addition, Dave has studied guitar with some of the best guitar players in the world including Dave Uhrich and Andy Timmons.
In 2003-2009, he produced and played guitar in the Chicago based hard rock group Disonic. In 2007, Disonic singed to Darkstar Records and released the E.P. The Value of Truth. The Value of Truth was distributed in the USA and Japan. In addition, it was distributed digitally world wide on iTunes, Amazon, and CD Baby. In 2009 he attended VanderCook College of Music and earned a Master’s Degree in Music Education. Currently, Dave is playing bass in the Chicago rock group I Decline and guitar in the Dave K. Group. This year, Dave is releasing his first solo instrumental guitar album under his own name. In addition, he continues to teach rock, jazz and classical guitar and bass in the Chicago area.
*** Lesson Details *** As a private music instructor for the past 15 years, I personally have been granted the opportunity to teach a wide variety of music students. I have taught students ranging in age from 6 to 65. I have taught students from various ethnic and economic backgrounds. I have taught students with various physical, emotional, and learning disabilities. Regardless of the situation, I have always approached each lesson with the idea that every student deserves my best efforts as a teacher. This is because I believe that everyone, regardless of age, cultural heritage, ability, or financial circumstance deserve the opportunity to participate in the best music experiences possible.
I believe that everyone has the ability to learn to play a musical instrument and achieve success on it if they possess the desire to do so. This is because music is a vital part of the human experience. Music has the ability to turn ordinary life experiences into extraordinary ones. Think of everyday events such as: waking up in the morning, commuting to and from work or school, going through the work or school day, going to dinner with a friend or loved one, going to a sporting event,watching a movie or television show, or working out at the gym. Now, picture what these everyday events would be like without the presence of music. Without music, these experiences would be extremely dull and we as human beings would not be able to full appreciate the wonderful moments in our lives.
As a music educator, my promise is to guide my students through the journey of learning to play music so they can experience the joy that it brings into their lives and the lives of others. I promise to help my students realize their full musical potential. I will always treat each student equally with fairness and respect, provide the best possible atmosphere for their growth, and recognize that each student is unique in how they learn and grow.
Lesson Topics Include Music reading (Tablature, rhythmic notation, and standard notation) Technical mastery of the instrument (Proper left and right hand technique, chords, scales, arpeggios, etc...) Rhythm and counting Repertoire (chosen by the individual student with the aid of the teacher) Songwriting/Composition Improvisation Music business Recording techniques
*** Studio Equipment *** Fender 2012 Jeff Beck Stratocaster Fender 1992 Standard Stratocaster 1980 Gibson Flying V 1994 Washburn N4 2005 Washburn X50PROF 1996 Washburn HB 35 Fender 1965 Twin Reverb Amp MacBook Pro loaded with Pro Tools, Finale, Garageband, Live, Guitar Pro 6, Band in a Box
*** Travel Equipment *** Guitar and materials. Student should also have guitar and materials
*** Specialties *** I am able to teach all styles of music but specialize in all forms of Rock, Jazz, Blues, and Classical
Sarah O. October 16, 2014
In studio Verified Student
Dave is an exceptional teacher!
I am a beginner guitar player, Dave has been patient and kind at every lesson. This has been an inspiration and a great help for me to continue learning the guitar. I wanted to find a guitar teacher and not just a guitar player; his approach to teaching is outstanding. He has a love for music and a gift of being an excellent teacher. I always leave my lesson feeling good about my progress and inspired to continue learning to play the guitar. I recommend him for any player at any level; he he teaches good practice habits and is very knowledgeable of music theory and how to teach each person individually. It is rare to find someone knowledgeable in music and apply their knowledge to teaching. I was fortunate to find him!
kiara J. January 18, 2014
He's awesome. :)
He makes learning the guitar so comfortable. He makes things easier to review and doesn't mind going over things you may have forgotten. If I could, I would get everyone I know to take lessons from him. I couldn't ask for a better teacher!
Carla J. December 29, 2013
Guitar Verified Student
l love this guy.
Dave is such a great teacher. He is very patient and understanding. I have learned so much with him in one month, then l have learned in four months with the other instructor l had. He makes learning fun, and I'm understanding what I'm doing now.
This is the style of music I earned my Bachelor's degree. Teach all levels to improve a student's technique and knowledge of the beautiful genre.
A fun, friendly, and professional Music Instructor at your service for Guitar, Piano, Voice, Bass, & Drums! I have a BA degree from Florida Atlantic University in Music Performance for Classical/Flamenco/Jazz/Blues guitar and I've also performed on the Piano/Keyboards for a couple different bands too. Presently, going back to School to earn a Master's in Music. Love to play & teach pretty much all styles of music! It is always a pure joy & truly rewarding to see my music students grow and flourish as musicians. I have been enjoying doing this now for 16 years- all ages & levels. I am also in a
multi-dimensional rock project and am a recording artist-
I believe it's important to learn the rudiments of music to build a good foundation (scales, chord vocabulary, theory, song-composition, performing techniques), but I also base the lessons on whatever the interests and strengths are for the student. For example, if you enjoy jazz more than classical we'll focus more on what you are particularly passionate about. I have also been a part of School of Rock Programs in which we provided performances for the students a la Jack Black. Please contact Takelessons to let the musical journey begin...
colleen D. August 17, 2015
In home Verified Student
David is really easygoing and so patient. He's helped me to learn some songs in genres I like and I'm comfortable playing along with him in a way that I hadn't been in previous lessons. I'm glad to be learning from him.
Peter P. August 17, 2015
In studio Verified Student
I have been taking lessons with David for about 4 months. Excellent teacher!! i have learned a lot from each lesson.
Patty R. June 5, 2015
In studio Verified Student
He is very patient! He has been able to teach my daughter different genres of music. Expanded her knowledge on different types of genres. Very sweet, very approachable. Very reliable!
Here's a quick list of my qualifications and what I'm currently working on:
-Bachelor's of Music in Classical Guitar Performance (Capital University - Columbus, OH) -I teach all styles of music, but tend to focus on fundamental musicianship skills. -14 years of professional teaching experience. -16 years of professional playing experience. -I have taught over 100 students of all age and ability levels. -Guitar instructor on JamPlay -Guitarist and vocalist for Chicago-based band Dead Parade. -I have worked 8 years transcribing music professionally. -I teach from my apartment in the U
krainian Village area.
Jarrelle S. October 14, 2014
Matt was the first teacher I ever took private lessons with.. and will no doubt be the last. There is not one thing I bring to Matt that he doesn't know.. Ear training, theory, song writing, he knows it all. You can definitely tell that he's been playing for most of his life.
Besides this, lessons with Matt are always enjoyable, he's an easy to talk to, chilled out guy who always takes the time to explain things properly, you can tell from the get-go that this is a guy that just really cares about the progress of his students, he sends me extra stuff to work on outside of our lessons and I can 100% say that i have vastly improved my music knowledge since taking lessons with him, which in my book is the most important thing, because not everyone that can play really well can also teach really well.
Dale M. October 11, 2014
Acoustic Guitar ·
In studio Verified Student
At first I was a bit shy about taking private lessons, but immediately overcame this when I met Matt. I had been taking lessons online (youtube, etc.) for a year and thought I was progressing well on my own, but decided to try out private lessons to change things up. I am so pleased with this decision and I have progressed faster than I ever could have imagined.
Matt clearly has the expertise of a well seasoned music instructor. He seems to know exactly what to teach and how to effectively convey how to learn it - it is clear that he has taught many students and has years of experience. He is comfortable to be around and his lessons are well structured and curtailed to my level and skill. I am very pleased with the way Matt teaches, the pace in which we learn, and most of all, how much fun I am having! Before I felt like an decent guitarist, now I feel like I’m well on my way to be an excellent guitarist.
Students are raving about their Classical Guitar instructors on TakeLessons.
Check out some of these recent reviews.
Review by Kelly
"Bijan is a very good guitar instructor. My daughter and I both took guitar lessons and he was able to work with us as individuals since we both had diffe
rent skill levels. Bijan is very patient with his students and helped us through various learning obstacles. I highly recommend anyone that needs or wants to learn any musical instrument to take lessons from Bijan."
San Diego, CA teacher:
Review by Meredith
"Thomas is an incredible instructor. I've only had 3 lessons so far and I already feel like I've improved my abilities so much. He not only has mastery of
the instrument and of music, but best of all for students, he understands how to teach it well."
San Francisco, CA teacher:
Review by Wayne
"Justin is very knowledgable whatever level you may be. He's accomplished in jazz, classical, rock etc... Great teacher, amazingly talented."
Chicago, IL teacher:
Review by Andrea
"David is a wonderful teacher who makes learning to play music interesting. He seems to focus on his student's progress and lead them in the right directio
n. I am a current classical guitar student of his and he has helped me to prepare various pieces and scales for my upcoming college audition. I would highly recommend David to anyone who wants to learn to play the guitar as he is very patient and a very skilled guitarist and teacher!"
Buffalo, NY teacher:
Review by Angela
Dan is endlessly patient and good humored as only someone who really enjoys his job is. He is easy to be around and quite attentive
to individual needs."
Chicago, IL teacher:
Review by Avery
"Mark played for my wedding, and I was incredibly impressed. I had certain musical portions of my wedding pre-arranged, but those plans ended up falling ap
art. Mark was able to pick up and play beautiful music right when I needed him to. His flexibility and willingness to go the extra mile helped make my wedding as successful as it was! He really saved the day, and I'm so thankful he was there! If I couldn't have him at other future events, I would be happy to take any of his students because I know they would have learned from one of the best."