Lon West

Lon W.

Chicago, IL

About Lon W.

Lon teaches: Ages 8 to 80
Special needs
Teaching since: March 1986
Last sign in: Today


I am a certified teacher who has taught, along with high school English and college English and ESL, instrumental ensemble and music appreciation classes in schools and years of individual lessons in piano, flute and saxophone. I also taught piano in Beni-Mellal, Morocco while with the Peace Corps. As a second job I played Clavinola regularly for my church for eight years, as well as accompanying the choir and performing at weddings. I also accompanied concerts and played for graduation ceremonies at the high school where I taught, and have played with professional musicians onstage. Music has been one of the great joys in my life and my purpose in teaching is to convey to the student what a joy it is. I am particularly happy to teach a number of young students here in Chicago.

*** Lesson Details ***
Levels:  Piano and flute, beginner to intermediate. Saxophone, beginner.
In-Home Lessons: Yes
In-Studio Lessons: Yes
Ages:  7 and up
Subjects Taught: Piano, flute, saxophone, music theory
Lesson Details: Lessons in all instruments are focused not on exercises such as scales and arpeggios, but on what musicians want to be able to do: the correct and pleasurable playing of pieces of music. In this, I am not a "page turner," i.e. simply letting the student play a piece several times and then moving on. Each student has his or her own pace and I will always go with that pace; but I encourage students to achieve all they can and rejoice with them at their achievements. No piece is passed until it is mastered, but if younger students become frustrated, we leave it for a while and come back when at a higher level. There are "nuts and bolts" techniques to be learned in order to progress, but while these are being mastered the student will grow to feel more natural and accomplished as his or her ability builds.

*** Studio Equipment ***
I have my own digital piano at home if the student wishes to travel.

*** Travel Equipment ***
I can bring my own flute, but not a keyboard. I would expect the student (or parent) to buy the book, but would also have my own copy.

*** Specialties ***
I enjoy all types and periods of music, especially piano from elementary theory to rock/jazz improvisation techniques.

Photos and Videos


Piano Teacher
Jan 1984 - Aug 1985
Traveling Teachers

While taking my M.A I taught piano for a couple of years for Traveling Teachers in Maryland. As a High School teacher in Aberdeen, SD, I gave students private music lessons. I've been teaching with Take Lessons for about a year. It's very rewarding.


A.A degree
Sep 1977 - May 1979
Montgomery College

Languages Spoken

Limited Proficiency
Limited Proficiency


Secondary Teaching
Feb 2013
Illinois State Board of Education

I am a licensed teacher. On moving to Illinois I obtained an Illinois Teaching Certificate.

5 Reviews on Lon W.

Write a Review
Katherine W. Mar 21, 2017
Verified Student · Flute · In home
So far so good
Tanushree V. Sep 27, 2015
Verified Student · Flute · In studio
Lon is extremely talented, patient and thorough. He can teach absolute beginners (such as I) very well, and makes you practice till you're confident with the notes. In the meantime, he encourages you even when you think you're getting nowhere with a new, baffling instrument. He is flexible and accommodates schedule changes as needed.
Diane A. Jun 18, 2015
Verified Student · Piano · In home
Dr. Lon West is excellent with special needs students. Our student was undergoing therapy for her hands. Because of illness her hands were claw like with little use and little movement when she started piano. After a few months with Dr. West her therapist is thrilled as her hands are completely normal.Piano lessons helped very much.
Robert M. Oct 5, 2014
Verified Student · Piano · In home
Lon is a excellent piano teacher who is patient, knowledgeable and punctual. He is especially good with beginner students. I would recommend Lon to any parent looking for a kind, considerate and proficient teacher for their student.
Diane A. Nov 3, 2013
Verified Student · Piano ·
Lon W. excellence

Lon W. has been giving our granddaughter, 10, lessons for several weeks. We have signed up for continuing lessons. His methods are perfect for a 10 year old. She looks forward to each lesson and has developed a love for piano. He is knowledgeable, patient, and makes the lessons interesting.I would recommend Lon W. for all beginning children.
Lon West
Lon W.

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