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Scott C.

Downers Grove, Illinois

Want to play from your heart? Feel connected to your music? Have the skills to play with confidence?

How do great musicians do it? We all know great musicians have talent and circumstances that most people don’t have. But we can all develop the talent we do have and change our circumstances to become better. And the most important thing I know is that great musicians enjoy music! Not the kind of joy you get from annihilating a carton of ice cream. I mean the kind of joy you get from being alive. The good and the bad. Great musicians live for music. The point is to have a connection with music, play from the heart. That’s how you’ll enjoy it. My goal is to help you understand how to connect with music. The biggest obstacle for most people is their own understanding of how to listen to and feel music the way great musicians do. You don’t get that from books or college degrees. You get it from asking hard questions. Why doesn’t this sound good? What am I doing wrong? How do I fix this? These are hard questions to answer. In my 40+ years living with the piano I’ve learned how to answer those questions and help others do the same. I have a strong background in improvisation and composition and prefer to teach those who want to understand how music works. If you’d like to learn to play by ear, from a fake book, arrange or compose, or improve your playing to feel more confident and sound better playing your favorite music, reach out with questions. There are always questions!
About Scott C.

First and foremost, my goal has always been to figure out how music works and get better at it. I’m still working on that goal. Understanding how the most talented musicians create music has always been fascinating to me and I’ve found the process of learning to connect with music on a deeper level and help others do the same to be the most rewarding pursuit. I started tinkering at the piano in the early 80’s as soon as I could climb up on the piano bench, trying to play what I heard my parents play and whatever other catchy tunes were in my head. This led to formal piano lessons starting at the age of 5, then guitar lessons in high school and playing in rock bands and jam bands in high school and college. I studied classical and jazz piano in college, playing in numerous jazz trios, quartets, and big bands during that time, and finished my masters in jazz piano at Northern Illinois University in 2007. I started teaching piano in 1998, traveling to my students. I taught part time while I was in college and have been teaching full time since finishing grad school. I’ve also continued to play regularly with jazz groups in the Chicago area over the last decade. Recently I decided it’s time to change things up, so I sold my grand piano and Fender Rhodes and downsized to just a keyboard and started traveling in an RV in the summer of 2022... so I teach online when I'm on the road which works great!

Teaches all skill levels

Teaching since 1998

Master of Music Jazz Piano

Age: 7+

Has background check

Instructor details
Subject: Piano
Teaches 1 subjects. Different subjects may have different prices.
Student's Home
Student's Home

Work hours

Times are shown in your local timezone (UTC-08:00) Pacific Time (US & Canada)
30 minutes
60 minutes
90 minutes
Photos & videos5 photos & videos
ReviewsWrite a review
6 Reviews
5Review Star
4Review Star
3Review Star
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1Review Star

I’m so grateful to have found Scott for my piano teacher 7+ years ago and can’t say enough good things about him as my teacher. He is simply the best in my eyes. I had 10+ years of lessons as a child, so a decent knowledge and background. I purchased a piano in my 30’s and still had many old music books and dabbled in that for many years. I found Scott in my 50’s when I realized i needed a professional to help guide me to grow and improve. What I was trying to do on my own wasn’t cutting it. And grown and improved I have and continue to do so. From learning fake books (I had no clue what these were and was very intimidated by them), the importance and benefit of a metronome, endless theory and more! He helped me realize that I knew more than I thought I knew and how to apply that. He’s very good at helping you figure some things out on your own if he knows that is in your realm to do so. And no more classical music for me…unless I want to of course, but it’s been great learning 12 bar blues, jazz songs, rock songs, some improvising and the ability to change and embellish sheet music to your liking. I look forward to my lessons, look forward to practicing and would highly recommend Scott to anyone wanting to learn piano from the beginning or to expand your current piano skills. When things return to normal, I look forward to having in-home lessons. When we switched to Skype due to the pandemic, I felt like I had a sense of normalcy still getting to see Scott weekly and continuing my lessons. As I said at the beginning, I’m very grateful for knowing him and having him as my teacher.

Posted Dec 22, 2021
Student's home

Scott is the best! He's been teaching my 14-year-old daughter since she was about 7, and he has been the perfect fit for her musical interests. He has limitless patience and an immense ability to engage and guide students in a very personalized way. My daughter's interests expanded to include music theory, and Scott's vast expertise in that area allowed him to engage her on a whole new level, and to bring improvisation using her favorite musical pieces into her weekly lessons. I've seen her grow so much as a musician, and Scott has really helped to instill in her an appreciation of the process as well as a love of music as a whole. We are so grateful we found Scott--we couldn't be happier! (Also, while my daughter usually sees Scott in person, we did have virtual lessons for about 18 months during the pandemic. The experience continued to be thoroughly enjoyable and very productive!)

Posted Dec 22, 2021

Hooking up with Scott more than six years ago was one of the seminal events of my life. His insights to my needs and boundless patience with a minimally talented “older” student have buoyed my confidence and drive more times than I care to admit. We met through a mutual friend at a performance of a well-known saxophonist in a small club in a Chicago suburb. After talking for a few minutes, we agreed to give each other try as teacher and student. I had taken lessons decades earlier, along with my young daughter, from a traditional neighborhood piano teacher. Other things got in the way of that pursuit. Past 60 when I met Scott, I decided to get serious about learning by ear, improvising and playing jazz standards, Broadway tunes and the Great American Songbook. As dedicated and as disciplined as I am, this has not been an easy process for me. Scott continually reminds me of the truth of that statement, and from him it comes across as a positive, re-enforcing statement of encouragement. One of the things I enjoy about our weekly sessions is that Scott urges me to think through problems or aspects of what I’m working on that I don’t quite understand, don’t fully grasp. He doesn’t lay it all out for me ahead of time, which would cause me, the student, to rely on the teacher for all the answers, thereby slowing my learning. I know Scott’s overall approach is working for me, and it will too with students of any age. My wife was a brilliant elementary-school teacher for more than 40 years. She often listens in during my lessons, and we later talk about Scott’s methods and clear communication. She thinks a lot of Scott as a teacher, and that’s an endorsement she doesn’t dispense lightly.

Posted Dec 22, 2021
Private piano teacher
Mar 1998 - Present
self employed
Teaching students of all ages how to teach themselves, to find inspiration, motivation, dedication, and the skills to succeed with music the way they want to. Always putting students first, knowing that the joy of music will be their guide.
Master of Music Jazz Piano
Sep 2005 - May 2007
Northern Illinois University
Bachelor of General Studies - Music Emphasis
Sep 1999 - Jul 2004
Ball State University
Native Proficiency

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