Oswego Music Lessons

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Music Lesson Reviews from Students

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About Derrick M.

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Naperville, IL

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About Derrick
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.
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Reviews
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Mikhail C. June 19, 2015
· Drum · In home
My son really enjoyed his first lesson. He was able to play a little right away, which made it more fun for him.
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Mike A. February 23, 2014
· Drum ·
Great teacher!

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.
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Shirley L. December 29, 2013
· Drum ·
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.
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Derrick M.

Derrick M.

Naperville, IL 60565
(7)
starting at
$29 / 30-min

About Matthew N.

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Naperville, IL

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About Matthew
Matthew N. has been an educator and performer in the Chicago area and suburbs for over 10 years. Currently holding a studio of nearly 30 students he has become one of the area's many successful private instructors. Teaching piano, drums, and guitar Matthew can accommodate any student's needs and musical ambitions in those areas.

Matthew has studied at the collegiate level at the University of Iowa and holds a Bachelors in Percussion Performance. He has also been performing professionally at many of Chicago's finest venues for many years. Matthew is an audio engineer certified in Pro Tools a
nd Logic Pro, which are industry standard programs. Students are able to record and learn the art of production as they learn their instrument if they so choose. This allows students to hear themselves and learn from their performance as well as share their passion with family and friends as they create music.

Students are encouraged to pursue whatever moves them and are never restricted to any one type of practicing or playing. The main goal is to allow the student to find his or her own path in music and develop their own abilities in whatever way they see fit.

BM in Percussion Performance
University of Iowa

Studied with:
Dr. Dan Moore, Vern Spevak, Chic Evans, Ron Spaeth, Jim Dreier

Received Music Scholarship to attend U of Iowa

Conservatory of Recording Arts & Sciences
-Received Many Certifications and Degree
-Certified in Pro Tools Recording Software

*** Lesson Details ***
Students will have full access during lesson time to recording equipment. The best way to learn how to improve is to listen to yourself play. The student will be able to take home recordings of themselves and study what they can work on, helping them to make the decision on what they would like to improve on.

Students are encouraged to use Alfreds Method Books for Snare and Drum Set, Riley Books, and the Chester book for independence. Also, I teach the Faber Piano Adventures Series. Alfred's and Hal Leonard for guitar.

A cancellation 24hrs in advance is always appreciated.
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Reviews
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Patrick C. March 1, 2017
· Piano · In home
Matt was very knowledgeable and gave me a good starting point. I have never played before so this was a whole new experience. He arrived on time and was very efficient.
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Jim R. February 15, 2017
· Guitar · In studio
He knows his stuff. He is giving me instructions that will take me to the next level.
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Sidney January 9, 2017
· Guitar · In home
We really enjoyed the first lesson!!! Thank you!!!
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Matthew N.

Matthew N.

Naperville, IL 60565
(17)
starting at
$32 / 30-min

About Kelvin L.

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Bolingbrook, IL

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About Kelvin
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...
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Reviews
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Joe March 8, 2017
· Watercolor Painting · In studio
Friendly, engaging, supportive...look forward to future lessons.
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Patrick F. January 28, 2017
· Guitar · In home
Kelvin is very personable and truthfully critiques your skill based on the level you should be at. I look forward to the class sessions and enjoy practicing what I'm being taught.
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Maria H. January 27, 2017
· Cello · Online
Was not the match for me.
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Kelvin L.

Kelvin L.

Bolingbrook, IL 60440
(83)
starting at
$35 / 30-min

About James P.

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Wheaton, IL

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About James
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 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.
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Reviews
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Mike McCullough April 5, 2016
· Guitar · In home
Jim is a great instructor, and a great guy. I feel like I am making good progress after only 5 weeks.
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Lisa G. March 12, 2014
· Guitar ·
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.
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Julian V. January 20, 2014
· Guitar ·
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.
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James P.

James P.

Wheaton, IL 60187
(9)
starting at
$30 / 30-min

About Chrissy S.

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Bolingbrook, IL
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About Chrissy
Originally born in Germany, Chrissy developed a passion for music, language and teaching early on. Right out of High School she helped her mother, who was an educator at that time, write and stage-manage a children's Musical which found great response from the audience. During her Music studies in the Netherlands she was offered an internship at the local Music School which she gratefully accepted and where she enjoyed her first voice coaching experience. There she was also nominated as one of the most promising young singer/songwriters at the LUX Festival in Nijmegen. Over the years she was b
lessed with more and more private students in voice as well as piano. During her stay in New York she received the opportunity to work with a Broadway show ensemble ("Dreamgirls") as a Music Director on their different harmonic parts. She's proudly been a member of the Music of Oz Studio staff in Crown Point, Indiana since Jan. 2011 and is looking forward to teaching out of her home now as well. Chrissy is crazy about all her students and wants them to succeed! She's very much looking forward to working with you and having buckets of fun! :-)
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Reviews
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Brianna M. March 15, 2017
· Piano · In home
Friendly, patient, great teacher!
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Mary January 10, 2017
· Singing · In studio
Chrissy really took the time to understand my goals, where I'm at now and got right to work with me on working toward them. I look forward to working with her more!
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Daniel S. December 3, 2016
· German · Online
A natural teacher, gifted in her ability to establish rapport and move the learning process enjoyably forward.
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Chrissy S.

Chrissy S.

Bolingbrook, IL 60440
(20)
starting at
$25 / 30-min

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