- Levels Taught:
- Beginner, Intermediate, Advanced
- Teaches students:
- Ages 5+ and special needs
- Teaching since:
I am a classically trained guitarist whose mission is to help my students reach their goals while inspiring a love and passion for music. Never picked up a guitar before? No problem! You’ll be playing your favorite songs in no time. Have you been playing for years but need a little help overcoming that next hurdle? Great! You’ll be playing better and with more confidence than ever before. In order to truly improve you need determination and dedication, and that’s why I try to keep things fun and inspired from the very first lesson.
I first picked up guitar in 7th grade and never put it down afterward. I took lessons throughout high school and eventually decided to pursue music in college. I received my Bachelor of Music in Recording Technology and my Master of Music in Classical Guitar Performance from Ball State University. While studying I held the Classical Guitar Graduate Assistantship at BSU. My responsibilities included instructing individual undergraduate students in proper classical guitar technique, history of the instrument, and musical expression through etudes and repertoire in preparation for performances. I also directed small classical guitar ensembles as part my of duties.
After receiving my degrees, I moved to Chicago and, in addition to my own private lessons, I also taught for Merit School of Music in Chicago and Sherwood Community Music School at Columbia University. I instructed private and group classical guitar classes with both schools. Our goals were to expand students’ personal and educational growth by cultivating a strong work ethic, effective listening, teamwork, and self-confidence. We developed each student’s musical potential by improving their musical knowledge, skill, and instrumental technique.
I took a short hiatus from teaching to travel Australia and New Zealand. While there I still taught and did a little street performing while traveling. While I was there I began working with Yousician to develop an additional service for their app in which users get personalized help from music teachers. Now that I am back in the USA I'm ready to get back into teaching full swing!
When I teach I don't simply have a One-Size-Fits-All approach. Every guitarist is different, with what they're good at, what they need to improve on, their likes, and their dislikes. Because of this, I use their interests to help propel them forward while incorporating personalized technical exercises that are designed to help them overcome challenges. Simultaneously, I sprinkle in Music Theory so that each student can gain a stronger understanding of harmony, rhythm, and layout of their instrument. So, whether you're trying to pursue music at the collegiate level or just learn a few of your favorite songs, I'll be sure to help you get here and have some fun along the way!
Please let me know if you're looking for Private Lessons and whether you're interested in Online, In-Home, or In-Studio Lessons as my rates are different for each type of lesson. Additionally, I do provide Group Lessons on a case-by-case basis. If you're interested in Group Lessons please contact me and we can work out the details. Finally, I have a 24-hr cancellation/reschedule policy. If you fail to notify me 24 hours in advance of our lesson it will count as a missed lesson.
I look forward to hitting the shed and getting to shred!
I instruct private lessons and group classical guitar classes through Merit’s Bridges: Partners in Music program, which is a community outreach effort offering school-based music instruction to Chicago public schools. As a Merit School of Music faculty member, I strive to expand students’ personal and educational growth by cultivating a strong work ethic, effective listening, teamwork, and self-confidence. As a musician, I aspire to develop each students musical potential by improving their musical knowledge, skill, and instrumental technique to instill a strong understanding of the fundamentals of classical guitar and music as a discipline.+ Read More
Being a freelance musician I have performed a wide variety of styles and genres including classical, jazz, pop, rock, folk, and even contemporary compositions. I have performed solo and with ensembles and band of various sizes including Ensemble AMP, Trackless, The Ostler, and Mother. In these groups I have coordinated with talent buyers and promoters, written original music, and participated in studio recordings.+ Read More
As guitarist for Hazelwood Christian Church I performed new music weekly and professionally for Sunday service and special church events. I helped setup the and dis-assemble sound and stage equipment. I also collaborated with the church music director on instrumentation and arrangement of songs.+ Read More
While pursuing my masters degree I held the Classical Guitar Graduate Assistantship. I instructed individual undergraduate students in proper classical guitar technique, history of the instrument, and musical expression through etudes and repertoire in preparation for performances. I directed small classical guitar ensembles emphasizing cooperation, musicality, and professionalism. I maintained grades based on attendance, progress, and performance quality. I also assisted Prof. Paul Reilly with the Annual Classical Guitar Festival, juries, and other miscellaneous duties.+ Read More
I had no idea how good I had it with Paul. I'm an intermediate player who's been strumming cowboy chords for 20 years, and Paul helped me move forward much faster than I otherwise could have on my own.
I have taken classical guitar lessons with Paul for over 6 months now. He is a very patient teacher. He is able to recognize my strengths and weaknesses as a student and tailor his teaching method accordingly. I have enjoyed taking lessons with Paul and have learned a great deal from him.+ Read More
I was very pleased with Paul's knowledge, temperament and teaching style. He is very patient and thorough. I am looking forward to continuing to learn from Paul.
I waited over 2 weeks for my first lesson and unfortunately Paul did not show up for my lesson. I called him at the number listed and was told he was not available at that phone number. Very disappointed.
Paul is an excellent teacher. He is very patient and willing to find different ways to help me understand when something is challenging me. I have learned some bad habits on my own and he is attentive and offers suggestions and exercises to help me break them. Great teacher. I'm enjoying my classes very much.+ Read More
First class was extremely educational his attention to detail is excellent
Can’t wait for next class and my learning the guitar journey
Paul was a great teacher. I’ve been learning on my own for a couple of years but I learned so much in this first lesson. He is very observant and helped me correct some things. He gave me exercises to help improve my playing too. I’m looking forward to the next lesson!+ Read More
Awesome instructor! Patient, thorough, articulate knowledgeable... Highly recommend!
I am very lucky to have Paul as my classical guitar instructor. He is very good and patient with me, teaching and explaining me sight reading skills in details. I really like his fast forward teaching methods which encourage and motivate me to study guitar more and more. Thank you Paul for being my guitar teacher.+ Read More
Great first lesson. Paul was informative and patient. Glad we found Take Lessons.
Paul is a very talented educator. I am in a unique situation, needing to learn guitar for my job. After working with Paul, my lessons have become the highlight of my week. I am eager to practice and work on new techniques he introduces to my skillset. He works very hard, so I always appreciate when he is flexible with my changing schedule. Before Paul, I had a teacher who simply did not meet my learning style. Paul is incredible. Thank you so much. Learning guitar has become my new passion project and I enjoy my lessons so much!+ Read More
Paul is a fantastic guitarist and an even better teacher. My child had a fantastic experience learning from him, and came home playing a whole song on day 1! Couldn't recommend him enough.
Paul is a phenomenal instructor with the personality and charisma it takes to teach such a distinguished instrument. Whether you are trying to learn 3 chords to impress a special someone or you have a nerve racking collegiate performance, Paul will be able to help. There is a list of qualities that come to mind when I think of the best instructors I've had and Paul checks off all those things. He is extremely helpful, he is mindful of your wants and needs in parallel to your skill level, he has a gift for attention to detail, he is passionate about the subtle art of the guitar, and he pushes you as a musician in discipline and skill. Highly recommended and easily works with your schedule.+ Read More
Before meeting paul, I felt like I had really hit a plateau in my progression as a musician. After my lessons with him, I had seen extreme improvement in myunderstand of the fretboard, playing technique, and sight reading skills in less than a month. He challenged me to play harder pieces and to push my self as a musician which I am extremely grateful for.+ Read More
Paul is an amazing player and an even better teacher. He gave me incentive to keep learning and bettering myself everyday whilst taking lessons under him.
I took lessons with Paul for two years and I started to see results right away. My ability to play things on guitar by ear, as well as my ability to read and play sheet music grew rapidly. I would highly recommend Paul as a guitar instructor.
Paul was a great instructor. He gave me great lessons and was very patient with me. I enjoyed my time taking lessons with him.
Paul was a very good teacher, I went in to our classical guitar lessons having never played classical guitar before or even really reading guitar music. After one year of lessons with Paul I felt competent playing almost any beginner/immediate piece I was given to play.+ Read More
Paul is an excellent instructor, well-versed in fostering the development of technical skill and musicality. As well, he is quite personable and patient with his students. My time with Paul was a valuable asset to my growth as a musician, ergo, I highly recommend him.+ Read More
Paul was a great teacher. He encourages a lot of expression and proper technique in his students' playing. Even though we are very close in age, I respected him as a teacher.
Mr. Witkamp gave me private lessons for two years and it was one of the best investments I've made. He has startling patience, he's easy to talk to, and learn from - BUT most importantly he is very talented and understands how to pass on knowledge. 10/10 - would study under him again.+ Read More
Paul W. Is a terrific instructor for our 12 and 10 year old children. He teaches each one on one acoustic and electric guitar. He teaches reading of notes and our children's favorite songs. Paul has patience as sometimes our children hide or are not in the best of moods. I give home five stars. Paul is also a professional musician and we've seen him perform as part of a band called Mother.+ Read More
Mr. Paul Witkamp was my colleague at Ball State University. In addition, I took guitar lessons with him privately to broaden my musical experience. He has been very organized, punctual, and inspiring instructor. Mr. Witkamp used methods of instruction which helped me to achieve my goals. It's been a pleasant experience working with him and I highly recommend him for private instruction. Mr. Witkamp is creative and outstanding guitar instructor. He is also very nice and intelligent young man.+ Read More
Works hard to help you get better, neat and organized, and awesome guy!
Paul Witkamp was the best Graduate Assistant at Ball State University ever! His teaching was exceptional and his ability to motivate students to reach their goals was without peer. You will not find a better teacher and person.
Professor of Classical Guitar
Ball State University
School of Music