Daniel Kotval

Daniel K.

Chicago, IL

About Daniel K.

Daniel teaches: Ages 5 and up
Teaching since: August 1980
Last sign in: 3 days ago


Daniel, a former faculty member of Columbia College in Chicago, is a studio and live performance singer and musician based in Chicago. His teaching and performing experience spans three decades, and includes expertise in the studies of voice, guitar, piano, bass, drums, and trumpet, along with music theory, arranging, and composing. He is a Lincoln Academy Student Laureate who holds a BA in Music Composition, and has attended graduate courses in education at Roosevelt University and DePaul University in Chicago. He has taught students of all ages at private studios, public school, and college.

Daniel is described by his students as a natural teacher. He prefers to be regarded as an advancing student, and takes the journey along with his students to guide them towards their goals with a friendly, positive, efficient and productive approach. He feels that music is within all of us, and a desire to learn is a sign of talent, so anyone can develop their musical abilities with methodical practice.

The musical journey for Daniel began at an early age with trumpet and piano studies which became a passion for him by the age of 14. He was the drum major of the high school marching band, and successfully completed a paid contract to arrange music for the high school jazz band which performed in a state beauty pageant. He began teaching privately after high school, and continued playing in bands, and composing original music. He formed a professional jazz ensemble under the name of the Chicago Jazz Players by the age of 22, and developed his arranging techniques while having it performed by an eighteen piece orchestra consisting of many great local artists. It was in this environment that he gained experience with brass, woodwinds, and rhythm instruments. He was granted a position at Columbia College as an instructor at age 29 where he taught theory, sight singing, musicianship, ear training, harmony, orchestration, and composition. He scored the music for several plays, and conducted his own pieces with Chicago Symphony and Lyric Opera Players. During those years he found himself playing the guitar and singing more than anything else. It was in 1995 that he focused on singing and playing the guitar with his rock band. He has produced several CD recordings of his original music in his own studio, and has helped produce local bands and artists. He performs regularly in the Chicago area.

*** Lesson Details ***
Daniel exhibits patience and care with each student, and develops an individualized approach based on clear goals with practical procedures. Most beginners can expect to have a working knowledge of music notation and how it applies to their instrument within three months, and should be developing fluency in performing music that they enjoy within six months. Advancing students will enjoy the rewards that will follow by studying with an experienced teaching musician that will recognize strengths and weaknesses, and recommend proven techniques for personal musical development. Studying music should be fun, fulfilling, and in harmony with the needs and desires of the student, and this is key to the philosophy held by Daniel.

*** Studio Equipment ***
Eight track recording gear; grand piano; guitars/bass (acoustic & electric); cables/amps, drum kit and percussion.

*** Travel Equipment ***
I can provide lesson materials, and always have a metronome with me. I expect the student to have an instrument. I prefer that a student has a music stand.

*** Specialties ***
Customized approach to the individual based on needs and goals.

Photos and Videos


BA in Music Composition
Oct 1987 - Jan 1990
Columbia College


Lincoln Academy Student Laureate Award
May 1989
Lincoln Acadamy

28 Reviews on Daniel K.

Write a Review
carlos Jan 4, 2017
· Saxophone · In studio
have never touched a musical instrument in my life. Im 46 years old. Dave brought the lesson to my level beginers and I feel confident that I will do well with Dave.
Todd Dec 7, 2016
· Trumpet · In studio
Knowledgeable about many areas of music (teaches many instruments). Very professional. Treats my child with respect and is good about focusing on the fundamentals of good playing so as not to develop bad habits which become harder to correct if not corrected early on. Gives my child suggestions and practice homework to improve techniques and proficiency.
Julie Nov 30, 2016
· Singing · In studio
Daniel is a natural teacher and inspires his students to share his love for music. He has a lot of experience and is patient with learners of all abilities. I have had 3 lessons with him so far and have thoroughly enjoyed my experience. I am new to singing but learned piano when I was younger so I am not entirely new to music. He has helped me expand my horizons and believe in what I can do with my voice. During class, we cover music theory as well as the actual singing part. Progress will go faster if you study the theory on your own (he provides you with all the materials you need to learn) and come prepared.
Madeline L. Sep 8, 2016
· Flute · In studio
Daniel is knowledgeable, understands how to teach young children and is patient. He is also very popular! For this reason I am unable to schedule lessons with him at this time.
Nelson Anaya Jan 22, 2016
· Piano · In studio
Good teacher and great person.
Sarah Wasserman Jan 8, 2016
· Piano · In studio
My first lesson with Daniel was great. He met me right at my skill level and gave me things to work on, both in technique and rep. I'd highly recommend him.
Karen S. Sep 24, 2015
· Piano · In studio
My daughter has progressed beautifully. Daniel is an excellent piano teacher who is patient. Recommend!
Maria B. Sep 3, 2015
· Singing · In studio
Daniel is great with kids, and there is no awkwardness in the lessons with him around my daughter. He is so kind, and he is willing to make the lessons work no matter what. We definitely recommend him as an instructor!
Gary M. Aug 10, 2015
· Singing · In studio
Excellent teacher who is incredibly knowledgeable in all aspects of music. His use of the "pivot system" got me reading music in no time. As with all lessons, practice helps move things along, but even when "life" got in the way, Dan always made great use of our time. I will probably start up with him again once my schedule clears.
Conner P. Jun 18, 2015
· Piano · In studio
Very friendly, competent, and enthusiastic. This is the teacher I've been looking for.
Daniel Kotval
Daniel K.

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