Michael Choby

Michael C.

Skokie, IL

Lesson Details



Michael passed a background check that includes a SSN verification, national criminal record check, and sex offender registry search. Learn More
Michael delivers an exceptional lesson experience and ranks in the top 15% of our teachers nationwide.
Teaches students:
Ages 8 to 80 and special needs

Teaching since:
May 1992

Hi there!

I am a guitar, bass and piano player with over 20 years of experience to offer my students. I graduated from Duquesne University, (Pittsburgh, PA) in 1992 with a Bach. of music performance, jazz emphasis. I have toured, recorded and given lessons all over the world. Check out my photos and videos for some examples of what I do. (all students are posted with permission and parental permission)

My passion as a teacher is simply to help you learn to play and enjoy music. I tailor my lessons to suit your specific needs. Whether you are a parent who wants their child to learn a solid musical foundation or a busy adult who just wants to sit and learn some songs, I have a method that keeps your interest while developing your skills.

I like to spend at least half of the lesson playing together. I find the interactive approach to be the most fun and the most effective. I will use whatever style you like. If it is a good song, we can learn something by playing it!

I teach guitar, bass guitar and upright bass, beginner through intermediate, as well as beginning piano. Several of my students have gone on to professional careers. I even had a former student compete on the Voice last year, which was a lot of fun to watch!

My studio is located in Skokie, just north of the Chicago border. I am also available for in home lessons in the near north suburbs. Sorry, I do not travel south into the city unless it is very close to the northern edge. For more information or to schedule a lesson, please contact Take Lessons. Your success is my goal!

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Sep 2006 - Present
Skripnekova Music School

I have been a music teacher at the Skripnekova School in Russia for almost ten years. I was responsible for developing the guitar and bass curriculum for the school, as well as teaching individual lessons, group classes and bi-annual school concerts. For several years I taught full time, currently I am running a modular program with the school. I travel to Russia several times a year for a two week condensed program.

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Band member
May 2006 - Present
Spasenie (Russian music group)

I have been a member of the Spasenie band, a Russian rock band, since May of 2006. In the ten years I have been with them, we have played several hundred concerts all over the Russian speaking world, from Virginia to Vladivostok! Spasenie has 15 albums to their credit and I have recorded on four of them. Touring and living in the Russian world has definitely grown my multicultural survival skills!

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Bachelor of Music, Jazz Emphasis
Aug 1987 - May 1992
Duquesne University


Fluent / Native Proficiency
Limited Proficiency

Photos & Videos

spring concert 2017
spring concert 2017 2
spring concert 2017 3
spring concert 2017 4
group class

group class


teaching in Belarus, summer 2017

On bass at a youth festival in Belarus, 2014. I was the music director for this, lots of fun!
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17 Reviews

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Matthew T. Sep 26, 2017
Upright Bass · In studio

Really makes it fun... plays the guitar along side me and makes me feel like i can play..... ALL IN THE FIRST LESSON!

Really laid back and the voice of an angel.

Lindsey Jun 20, 2017
Acoustic Guitar · In home

As a full-time working adult, I really appreciate Mike's easygoing personality and flexibility. Having lessons every other week in my apartment is about the only way I can manage it, and he doesn't give me a hard time if I don't get a lot of time to practice. He strikes the right balance of telling me what he thinks I need to know while also letting me choose the course for our lessons at times. If you have performance anxiety like I do, Mike will put you at ease. He got me to sing on our very first lesson, and I thought I would die. But he has really encouraged me, and now I feel much more comfortable playing and singing in lessons. I've been a longtime beginner at guitar, and after almost a year of playing with Mike, I can definitely see that I've progressed. I definitely recommend classes with him!

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Natalia Jun 12, 2017
Piano · In studio

Mike is an amazing teacher! He's patient, intelligent, sweet and has a good sense of humor. The lessons with Mike are never boring. He can explain things clearly and makes learning music fun! Highly recommended!!!

Scott R. Jun 12, 2017
Acoustic Guitar · In studio

Mike Choby is an excellent guitar teacher. Besides being a very learned instrumentalist with a depth of knowledge of music, he is a good guy who makes learning fun.

Jonathan M. Jun 12, 2017
Ear Training · In studio

Mike has taken my songwriting ability to the next level. When I signed up for ear training, I didn't really know what to expect. We started out with the foundation of music theory, but kept it practical to what I was trying to accomplish as a songwriter. Needless to say, I've gotten more out of the 2 years he's been my teacher than I ever could've imagined. I feel like a more confident songwriter, in that I could walk into a studio and know how to express what I want technically, but still have the originality that my music is rooted in. Michael is a fantastic instructor!

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Michelle B. Feb 28, 2017
Piano · In studio

My daughter (8 yrs old) absolutely loves her piano lessons with Michael! He is fun, easy going, and makes things easy for her to understand. He is also very flexible in rescheduling if there is a conflict. We love that her lessons are longer - usually almost an hour, though technically we are supposed to be getting 45 min. lessons. She seems to make so much more progress and looks forward to it every week!

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Eli S. Oct 17, 2016
Guitar · In home

My students are loving having music Mike come to our class once a week. It is the highlight of their week!

Arianna D. Oct 12, 2016
Piano · In studio

We have been loving lessons with Michael! My daughter is learning a lot and really enjoying it.

Diana G. Sep 7, 2016
Piano · In studio

Enjoy ever lesson! I'm learning so much and excited to learn even more from Michael. I enjoy playing the piano while he plays along with his guitar. Great experience!

Diana G. Sep 7, 2016
Piano · In studio

Enjoy ever lesson! I'm learning so much and excited to learn even more from Michael. I enoy playing the piano while he plays along with his guitar. Great experience!

Dani Sep 6, 2016
Piano · In studio

We had a great first time meeting Michael. The students were engaged and excited to keep learning.

Alan B. Jun 1, 2015
Guitar · In home

Michael is terrific. He's very available and accommodating, keeps my youngster's attention, and has taken my young son from a complete beginner to playing a few songs, starting to read music, singing while he plays, ect in just a few months with weekly lessons. Michael is very good and patient with young children; highly recommended.

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Sharon P. Jan 24, 2015
Guitar · In studio

Michael is totally awesome. He is kind and patient. He's also aware of what is making my son tick and responds very well to this! My son is loving the lessons and really meshing well with Michael. If you have an opportunity to take lessons from Michael, DO IT!

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Sean L. Jan 4, 2015
Acoustic Guitar · In studio

When I first got my guitar I tried to learn completely on my own because people had told me it was possible to learn without a teacher. I spent a LONG time trying to learn from different sources online and learned to play a few chords and strumming patterns but nothing that would take longer than maybe thirty minutes of searching if I had known what to look for originally. I also didn't understand how chords were formed or how capos worked or how to strum to different songs.

I knew that I wasn't getting anywhere soon by learning on my own so I decided to give lessons a shot. I'm very glad that I did. Michael is a phenomenal teacher and I'm learning more with him in a few lessons than I did on my own in two years. He knows how to structure his lessons to tailor fit what I want to learn and makes learning really fun. Now I always look forward to my free time with my guitar so that I can practice what I learned the lesson before. Michael answers every question I have with an easy to understand explanation and is always happy to listen to any questions I have. He's an amazing guitar teacher and I'm glad I found him on TakeLessons. I'd be stuck without him.

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Patrick M. Dec 29, 2014
Guitar · In studio

I can't say enough good things about Michael and highly recommend lessons with him. He is patient, enthusiastic, encouraging and supportive. He tailors his approach to fit not only what I want to learn but how I learn. He also takes the time to integrate the theory and ideas behind what I am learning in a way that is both interesting and easy for me to understand. Finally, and I think most important is that no matter what I am learning he always keeps the focus on playing songs and having fun while learning.

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Keith C. Oct 20, 2014
Acoustic Guitar · In studio

I've been playing for 30+ years but really just memorized tab. So I could play mechanically - get my fingers to the right place - but never understood how it fit together. After 3 lessons I am understanding chord structure and "why" the music sounds good. Mike also plays along with me...he'll play chords while he challenges me to muddle through leads (one of the things I want to learn) and vice versa...after playing on my own for so many years it's the first time I've actually ever created music with someone else - it's a great feeling. Thanks Mike - I look forward to learning more and would recommend you highly.

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Jesse M. Aug 11, 2014
Acoustic Guitar · In studio

Michael's enthusiasm is clear and he has been a joy to work with. He always goes above and beyond to ensure that my daughter is learning songs that she loves, and even stayed late a few times to help her adjust her guitar.
He's always happy to focus on the things that are important to her, and is very patient and encouraging. I'm so glad we found someone who is as passionate about guitar as my daughter is!

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