Michael Shirey

Michael S.

Chicago, IL

About Michael S.

Background check: Last verified 06/14/2016
Michael passed a background check on 06/14/2016 that included the following:
  • National Criminal Record Check
  • County/State Criminal Record Check
  • Sex Offender Registry Search
  • SSN Trace & Verification
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Michael teaches: Ages 8 and up
Special needs
Teaching since: March 2011
Last sign in: 2 days ago


Expressing yourself is the ultimate goal of music and my job is to help you get your point across!

Like any musician, music is my life.
I love to soak it in any way I can! Whether it be listening to records, jamming with my friends or watching all the live concert footage of Stevie Ray Vaughan I can get my hands on.

I graduated from Columbia College Chicago with a Bachelor’s of Art in Music with a concentration on guitar performance. Throughout my undergraduate studies I performed in various ensembles within the college’s curriculum. Currently, my solo project gives me the opportunity to continue to grow through writing and performing my own original pieces. Throughout my career I have had the honor of performing with renowned songwriters Todd Rundgren and Charlie Sexton as well as being mentored by jazz drummer Frank Donaldson of The Ramsey Lewis Quartet.

*** Lesson Details ***

Studying at the college level taught me a lot about what not to do as a teacher. The material is already difficult enough, so why would I be difficult with you?

I strive to be more of a mentor and friend rather than taskmaster. However, I do require structure and commitment to getting better. My curriculum will revolve around you and your needs with added material that I feel will help you succeed.

A typical lesson plan includes:

 physical technique

 chord and scale knowledge,

 soloing concepts

 and tying all of these ideas together by learning a song in a genre you love!

All of these concepts culminate in the discovery of your own personal voice!

*** Studio Equipment ***
My teaching studio is just steps away from the Belmont Blue Line stop! Our lessons will be held in a private practice space in my home. The large room has multiple amps and guitars, so there is no need to bring an instrument for lessons if you don't want to! (But, you do need an instrument to practice with outside of our lessons!)

Photos and Videos


Guitar Instructor

Mar 2011 - Present
Independently and with TakeLessons

Music Theory Tutor

Aug 2012 - May 2013
Columbia College Chicago


Bachelor's of Art in Music

Aug 2009 - May 2013
Columbia College Chicago

Languages Spoken


Fluent / Native Proficiency


Professional Proficiency


Performance Scholarship

Aug 2012
Columbia College Chicago


National Association for Music Education

Oct 2013

Founded in 1907, NAfME is among the world’s largest arts education organizations. NAfME advocates at the local, state, and national levels; provides resources for teachers, parents, and administrators; hosts professional development events; and offers a variety of opportunities for students and teachers.

Write a Review

23 Reviews on Michael S.

bob Jan 17, 2017
Blues Guitar · Online
Verified Student
Exactly what I have been looking for. Terrific lesson. Just enough practice material for next week.
Todd B. Jan 2, 2017
Guitar · Online
Verified Student
The first lesson with Michael was fun. He has a great personality and doesn't sound like Ben Stein when he's teaching.

Micheal has a great way of communicating the lesson information through teaching principals, he has a wealth of music knowledge and recognizes my way of learning. I liked that the lesson was broken up into segments and he ensured I understood the concept before we moved on the next portion.

Micheal provided valuable feedback during the lesson and followed up with me via email. Included in the email was tablature and backing tracks to assist with practice.

I'm looking forward to our next lesson!
Gurmit Dec 19, 2016
Acoustic Guitar · Online
Verified Student
Gina Aug 31, 2016
Guitar · In studio
Verified Student
Great first lesson! :)
Isaac Aug 7, 2016
Guitar · In studio
Verified Student
Not only is Micheal one of the nicest, coolest teachers, he is also one mean guitar player. I've been playing for about 7 years and my classes have made me improve faster than ever before. He is a teacher who will tailor your classes to exactly what you want to learn and welcomes every lesson with great energy and enthusiasm. He is as helpful as he is inspiring.
Simon Cäsar Ciglia Feb 24, 2016
Guitar · Online
Verified Student
Really enjoyed it
Yakov F. Feb 17, 2016
Guitar · Online
Verified Student
I enjoy his classes! Always tries to help you improve. Thanks!
Alex R. Dec 22, 2015
Guitar · Online
Verified Student
very fun helps you understand well and awesomeeeeeee
Justin Diamond Oct 20, 2015
Blues Guitar · Online
Verified Student
I came to Mich an with 8ish years of self-taught acoustic experience looking to make my first foray into electric/lead playing/improvising/soloing. After two weeks with Mich, my playing has improved exponentially. He's extremely patient and is more like your buddy showing you cool things than a rigid instructor. If you're committed to putting in the work and really wanting to get better, Mich the guy for you.
Darrick A. Oct 11, 2015
Guitar · In studio
Verified Student
Michael is a great teacher. I started off with very little knowledge about how to play acoustic guitar and now I feel he has provided me with a solid foundation for me to play on my own. He is personable, patient, attentive and has made it an enjoyable learning experience. You won't be disappointed in choosing Mike for your private instructor!
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