Streamwood Music Lessons

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James P.

Wheaton, IL

About James

Early Guitar Studies & Pit Orchestra Performances (1995-2002)

I began taking guitar lessons at the age of 11 with blues/jazz guitarist Tom Castonzo, a frequent performer, bandleader and teacher in and around the Chicago area. My studies with Tom lasted for many years and covered various musical and technical aspects of many different styles ranging from jazz to classical and everything in between. In 2002, I began performing in pit orchestras for various musicals including Jesus Christ Superstar, Les Miserable, The Wiz, Little Shop of Horrors, and Seussical the Musical.

Original
Music Projects (2003-Present)

From 2003-2008, I wrote and performed music for 2 different progressive rock bands: Dream Haven and The Unit Theory. Dream Haven released the EP entitled “Nostalgia is Five Frame” and The Unit Theory released a full-length album entitled “Seed.” Both bands performed all over the greater Chicago-land area and helped me hone my skills as an electric guitarist. Throughout this time, we shared the stage with national touring & recording acts Fear Factory, Mastodon, Enuff Z’nuff, and Algernon, to name a few. I now play lead guitar in the Chicago-based alternative rock band Davenport Ed and am having started an all-instrumental acoustic/rock trio with two percussionists.

Undergraduate Studies (College of Dupage and Northern Illinois University: 2002-2008)

After high school, I attended the College of Dupage (COD) and began studying jazz guitar with Dr. Zvonimir Tot. Towards the end of my studies at COD, I developed an interest in classical guitar and took lessons from Steve Ramsdell. After I received my Associate’s Degree in Music from COD I started teaching private guitar lessons at various suburban Chicagoland locations. I graduated from COD in 2004 with an Associate in Music degree. In the fall of 2005, I started my Bachelor’s studies in Classical Guitar Performance at Northern Illinois University (NIU) with Fareed Haque (Winner of “Best World Guitarist” in Guitar Magazine). While at NIU, I continued to teach & perform up until I graduated in May 2008 with a Bachelor’s degree in Classical Guitar Performance.

Graduate Studies (New England Conservatory of Music: 2008-2010)

I started my graduate studies in August 2008 at the New England Conservatory of Music (NEC) in Boston, under the tutelage of world-renowned guitarist Eliot Fisk. As an active performer in the greater Boston area, I made it a goal to bring the classical guitar to unorthodox venues such as senior centers, local TV, hospitals, dialysis treatment centers, and even juvenile halls! While at NEC, I started to take an interest in transcription, which is the art of adapting a composition for a voice or instrument other than the original. Eliot Fisk is a master at this, and his guidance was profound. In June 2010, I graduated from NEC with a Master’s in Music (with Academic Honors) for Classical Guitar Performance. My master's recital was a tour-de-force of virtuosic classical, acoustic, and electric guitar pieces with music ranging from J.S. Bach to Joaquin Rodrigo to Steve Vai.

Flamenco Guitar & Ritmo Flamenco (2009-Present)

During my time at NEC, I was fortunate enough to meet Grisha Goryachev, a master flamenco guitarist. Grisha introduced me to the basic principals of flamenco guitar and proved to be a wonderful resource. I continue my flamenco guitar studies by learning historical flamenco recordings entirely by ear. Short of living in Spain for extended periods of time, I have found this to be the purest way of learning. I am now the flamenco guitarist for Ritmo Flamenco, an ensemble that features dancer Diane Campbell.

Professional Musician & Awards (2010 – Present)

I moved back to Chicago in July 2010 and have since had hundreds of performances that include weddings, corporate events, restaurants, recitals, and more. My reputation as a premiere performing guitarist has grown rapidly in the past 2 years, and I earned 2 awards at the end of 2012: “Top Solo Guitarist” on the world’s largest entertainment site which is Gig Master and “Best of Wedding” (the world’s largest wedding-planning site). I am a regular featured performing artist at premiere restaurants in the Chicago suburbs including The Cellar Bistro in Wheaton, Eddie Merlot’s in Warrenville, and Wildwood Steakhouse in Geneva.

*** Lesson Details ***
***Teaching students ages 10+***

My first goal as an instructor is to get an idea of what the student's goals are as a guitarist, and then we start working towards that goal. This means that while the basic concepts are covered (chords, some sight-reading in most cases, scales, etc), no student curriculum is exactly the same. After a few months of studying with me, no matter what style of music, we will have learned notes, chords, and songs that are of interest to the student. Then, we will discuss how all of those elements tie together and map out a practice routine. A goal I have for every student is to create a realistic, efficient, and enjoyable practice routine that produces results.

*** Studio Equipment ***
Music stands, guitars (acoustic, electric, classical), cable/amp, appropriate paper materials & books for learning music.

*** Travel Equipment ***
I do not travel to lessons.

*** Specialties ***
I specialize in classical, rock, pop, & music theory.
...

Reviews

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Mike McCullough April 5, 2016
Guitar · In home
Verified Student
Jim is a great instructor, and a great guy. I feel like I am making good progress after only 5 weeks.
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Lisa G. March 12, 2014
Guitar
Verified Student
Talented Teacher and Guitarist

Jim teaches my daughter guitar. He is her fourth guitar teacher and by far the best one of all. She has had lessons from him for the past two years. Besides talent, he has the schooling to back him up. She has learned a lot from Jim, and he truly listens to her input. It's amazing how good he is and how good my daughter has become. Jim is also very patient, positive and motivating.
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Julian V. January 20, 2014
Guitar
Verified Student
Jim is a top-notch professional

I contacted Jim through TakeLessons because I saw that he had the best reviews on the site and he is not far from where I live. I came to him as a beginner guitarist, with my only experience being teaching myself some basic stuff with the aid of YouTube.

Jim started out by first figuring out what my goals were in playing guitar so that he could take the most suitable approach in teaching me. At our first lesson, he had me play what I could and he gave me advice on all the fundamentals that are really important. He even noticed that I had an unorthodox way of making a G chord and gave me tips on the proper way to position my fretting hand so that, decades down the road, I do not run into trouble with pain and that sort of thing. Whheeeeeewwwww. Good save there.

Jim is very good at seeing the big picture in context with your goals as a student and delivering the lesson accordingly. He takes notes and emails them to you after the lesson, which is very nice to have. He makes videos during the lesson and then sends you a link to the video so that you can watch it a million times if you need. He does his best to accommodate your schedule if anything comes up and you have to reschedule, which I have done several times.

Jim is easy-going and has a good sense of humor, which makes the lesson more enjoyable.

In addition, Jim also performs very often in the local area and one time I was fortunate enough to see him perform in his band. His guitar solo gave me chills in my spine. This might seem off-topic, but it's not, because the reason I bring it up is because I was inspired to want to play more often and learn more because I see my guitar teacher rocking the stage and who doesn't want to do that, and also if you're going to pay for something, don't you want to make sure you're getting the best product out there? Jim is a true professional and boy can he play. Please excuse the run-on sentence.

I'm leaving this review because I'm moving and I just had my last lesson with Jim and the money I invested was money well spent.
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James P.

James P.

Wheaton, IL 60187
(9)
starting at
$30 / 30-min
Profile_56239_pi_Steve Bitte Head Shot Edit

Steven B.

Hanover Park, IL

About Steven

I have been studying and performing music for 20+ years. After majoring in music at College of Dupage in Glen Ellyn IL, I went to step up my level of study at the Percussion Institute of Technology (P.I.T.) at Musician's Institute in Hollywood, CA in 2001 attaining a Performance Certificate from my time studying there.

Moving back to Chicago after L.A. in 2002 proved to be the right move as this is when I began my teaching career. With 12+ years of private and group music instruction experience, I have worked with Hix Brothers Music, Naperville Music, Roselle Music, Streamwood Park Distri
ct, After School Enrichment Solution's Guitar Stars, Band For Today, Guitar Fundamentals, Chicago Guitar Instruction, Schaumburg Music Academy, Music Makers of Western Springs, and also maintain a private clientele. Well into a thousand lessons taught, students have stayed with me for up to 7 years. You, the student, will gain all the experience I have gained from my 20 years of study, performance, and instruction.

Performing with various bands in the 2000's, I pinpointed my style and mastered my technique that gave me many performance opportunities regionally and nationally, noting most current act U2 tribute Vertigo USA and country rock cover act soon to be announced featuring members of Trash Martini.

I am co-founder of the music licensing production company Blue Shade Music, co-writing with astute musicians in the Chicago area for music libraries in Florida and California currently.

With national and international touring experience, I was featured in an exclusive interview for Online Drummer in August of 2011 sharing my knowledge and experience of music and drums.

Thank you for reading, and I hope to have a fun and educational time with you!

*** Lesson Details ***
Practicing everyday with an occasional day off is very important in the student's progress. I always say 10 minutes is better than 0 minutes.

For DRUM lessons, the student can expect to learn:
*to read music notation and music charts
*to read drum notation
*songs by real bands
*timekeeping via a metronome
*hand technique and foot technique
*rudiments
*all styles of music
*double bass
*drum grooves and drum fills
*marching band/concert band material (if involved in school)

For PIANO lessons, the student can expect to learn:
*to read music notation
*to read music charts/lead sheets
*music theory
*intervals
*chords and inversions
*chord progressions
*scales
*fingering
*styles of blues, jazz, pop, rock, and traditional
*songs you wish to learn

For GUITAR + BASS lessons, the student can expect to learn:
*to learn to read music notation
*to learn to read a music chart
*music theory
*scales
*chords
*chord progressions
*fingering
*styles of pop, rock, and blues
*songs you wish to learn

*** Travel Equipment ***
I provide no equipment. The student must have an acoustic or electric drum set, a practice pad, a music stand, a metronome, sticks, curriculum book(s), headphones, an acoustic or electric guitar, and an acoustic or electric piano.

*** Specialties ***
Rock, Funk, Blues, RnB, Soul, Country, Jazz, Latin, Pop, Metal
...

Reviews

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Dui S. December 7, 2015
Guitar · In home
Verified Student
My son is enjoying playing the guitar cause of Steve. He is a great instructor. I would recommend him to anyone.
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Meg D. April 15, 2015
Guitar · In home
Verified Student
Steven is a great teacher! He's flexible, and works well with all ages! He's teaching my 3 kids, drums, guitar and bass. He's very receptive and adjusts his lessons according to what my kids are interested in. For example one of my kids was learning notes, but then the other wanted to learn a specific song and he easily adjusted to focus on what each of them wanted to do to. My kids love him!
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S G. March 7, 2015
Drum
I took 5 in-home guitar lessons from Steve and loved every minute! I had never played guitar before so we were starting from scratch. We covered a lot of information, tailored to what I wanted to learn, and I felt like I made a lot of progress in a short amount of time. Steve was always on time, well-prepared for lessons, and was very encouraging. I would recommend Steve to anyone interested in taking guitar lessons.
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Steven B.

Steven B.

Hanover Park, IL 60133
(16)
starting at
$35 / 30-min
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Paulette L.

Streamwood, IL

About Paulette

Hello!

My name is Paulette L., and I am a recent graduate of Elmhurst College, which is located in the nearby suburb of Elmhurst, Illinois. In May, I earned my Bachelor's in Music Business along with minors in Communications and Spanish.

Music has played a significant role in my life since I began studying piano at the age of 5, and it continued to play this significant role after I began taking guitar lessons at the age of 10. After about 7 years of piano studies and 2 years of guitar studies, I decided to take a small break from my overall music studies and instead place my
focus on my academics and additional extracurricular activities. Shortly after beginning high school, however, I started up my guitar studies again through my involvement in my Parish'€™s Young Adult Choir/Band. Shortly afterwards, during my sophomore year of high school to be precise, I was walking by the piano in the living room of my house and felt a small tug to sit down and try to plunk out a few measures of a slightly familiar song; ever since then, I have not been quite able to stop wanting to keep learning!

Throughout the four years I studied and enhanced my skills at Elmhurst College, I took private lessons for Piano, Classical Guitar, and Voice, and I have completed four levels of Music Theory. I am organized, hard~working, detail~oriented, accustomed to working with people of a variety of age groups and learning preferences, sociable, adaptable, easy to get along with, fair, creative, pro~active, and proficient in English and Spanish.

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact TakeLessons and I wish you the best in your future music studies!

Paulette L.
...

Reviews

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Dylan L. June 5, 2016
Piano · In studio
Verified Student
Paulette is a phenomenal teacher. She's been very patient and tried different approaches with my 5 year old son and that has worked very well for Dylan (including him telling her the names of dinosaurs and cars characters he has and quizzing her on it :)) I hoped that at the end of the first 5 lessons Dylan would have an appreciation for and want to learn piano and thanks to Paulette, he not only wants to learn but also is excited about it and teaches his dad what he learns. I am so happy with this that I just bought and additional 12 lessons! I would recommend Paulette to anyone looking to learn to play the piano!!
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Bella April 12, 2016
Piano · In home
Verified Student
Paulette is wonderful! My daughter was very excited to learn piano, although she had never had formal lessons in the past. Paulette was very patient with her, and continued to tailor the lesson to her pace. Very excited to continue!
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Anthony M. March 8, 2016
Guitar · In studio
Verified Student
She very good my son its happy with her 👍🏽
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Paulette L.

Paulette L.

Streamwood, IL 60107
(4)
starting at
$25 / 30-min
Profile_43367_pi_MKIStatue

Michelle Kei I.

Arlington Heights, IL

About Michelle Kei

Michelle Kei I., a soprano of Japanese and American heritage, "uses her strong dramatic soprano to slice through the orchestra" in a varied repertoire that encompasses Verismo to Broadway. Possessing a captivating stage presence and praised as "superb," "gifted," and a "constant breakaway from the rest of the vocal pack," she has entertained audiences on stages around the world.

Those are the first two sentences of my professional biography. I thought I'd use them to get the ball rolling.

Ever since I can remember, I've always been a performer. I come from a very musical family. I was al
ways singing! I sang at home, in church, in show-choir and musicals at school - basically anywhere I could find an audience!

When I decided to go to college to study music, I chose the prestigious School of Music at Indiana University. I wanted to sing Broadway, but my father encouraged me to study classical singing first, so I'd have the foundations for a bulletproof technique that could endure a long and demanding career. I'm so glad that he did!

Who would have thought that I would learn to LOVE opera?!? It had everything that Broadway did, and so much more! Plus, I learned to fill a theater with the sound of my voice and soar over the orchestra WITHOUT A MICROPHONE!!!

Would you like to learn how to do that? I can show you how.

Let me help you find your REAL VOICE!!!

What you can expect from me:

- I will provide a supportive and effective work environment.

- I will make recommendations on repertoire based upon your goals

- I will provide you with an individualized regimen of study based upon your strengths and development, not a standardized format of study.

What I expect from you:

- Learn the musical selections we choose. Your lesson time should be used for improving your technique, not learning your music.

- Leave your outside life at the door. It will be waiting for you when you leave.

- Enjoy the process. Experiment. If it doesn't work, try something else. Take constructive criticism as an opportunity for improvement, not as a personal attack.

- Commit yourself fully! Be engaged. The benefit you receive is equal to the work you put into the process.
...

Reviews

Silhouette-80
Jeannette W. August 6, 2016
Musical Theater · In studio
Verified Student
My daughter started working with Michelle and Robert when she started preparing for a role in a musical. As a result of Michelle and Robert's wonderful encouragement and specialized work with my daughter, she landed the lead title role and was absolutely FANTASTIC! They have really helped my daughter develop her voice which has really helped her in confidence. As my daughter is about the enter high school, I feel Michelle and Robert are doing a great job preparing her for whatever auditions might come her way. I really do appreciate their meticulous work with my daughter. I would fully recommend Michelle and Robert to anyone. They really do work with any starting point.
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Jeannette W. August 4, 2016
Musical Theater · In studio
Verified Student
Michelle and Robert are fabulous teachers! My daughter first met Michelle to help her with her with an audition where she landed the leading title roll. They have been very supportive and nurturing in her quest in becoming a confident singer and I have full confidence that they will prepare her well for future auditions. Great job, Michelle and Robert!!!
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Tina M. June 23, 2016
Opera Voice · In studio
Verified Student
I started working with Michelle and Robert in mid-March. I clicked with them right away. Knowing that we only had about a month and a half before my audition date, we worked very diligently. They did a great job customizing my lessons to really prepare me for my audition. I had a couple of songs picked out and we began ironing out the details right away. Michelle and Robert knew exactly how to challenge me more and more each lesson. They quickly helped me to find my own unique and healthy sound that felt very comfortable. We not only focused on the music and the voice, but also stage presence, interview preparation, and acting out the pieces. I went into the audition feeling positively over-prepared. I was not only accepted into the program, but also offered a generous scholarship. Quickly after my audition we began working on new, more challenging pieces. I am very happy to have the opportunity to work with Michelle and Robert. I cannot thank them enough for all the hard work they put in for their students. I would definitely recommend studying with them for any serious vocalist looking to fine-tune their craft.
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Michelle Kei I.

Michelle Kei I.

Arlington Heights, IL 60005
(19)
starting at
$35 / 30-min
Profile_65952_pi_10629432_10103018746684480_4509523063961864217_o

Eric J.

Elgin, IL

About Eric

Hi.
I'm Eric and I own a Music Lesson Studio in Elgin, IL.

I specialize in working with beginners of any age as well as advanced students who are interested in taking their playing to the next level. Here are some of the things I like to focus on.

Child beginners: Learning to read music. Building confidence and self esteem through learning to play guitar. General music education. Teaching children songs they enjoy to listen to.

Adult Beginners: Learning to play popular rock songs. Chord strumming. Having a nice, relaxing, no pressure lesson.

Advanced students: Learning to read mu
sic at a professional level. Lead guitar. Jazz improvisation.

I'm a professional, full time musician and educator and my guitar has been paying my bills my entire adult life. I have real world, professional experience playing and teaching guitar as well as bass guitar, drums, piano, mandolin and more on countless gigs here in Northern, IL. I teach between 30-50 private students per week. I have taught hundreds of students in the past 12 years how to reach their musical goals. I've played tons of theater. I played guitar, mandolin, and drums as a swing musician for the Chicago Production of Jersey Boys at the Bank of America Theater in 2008. In 2014 I played a lot theater gigs for local productions such as Little Shop of Horrors (bass), Hands on a Hardbody (Guitar, Steel/Slide) and Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dream Coat (guitar). I grew up as a gigging rock n roll/blues guitar player, but my heart is in jazz. I am confident and fluent in, and have gigged most styles of guitar playing.
...

Reviews

Silhouette-80
Josh August 4, 2016
Guitar · In studio
Verified Student
My son is thrilled. Eric was friendly, funny and patient. Josh is so excited for his next lesson.
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J.R. M. June 29, 2016
Guitar · In studio
I met with Eric at his studio in Elgin, and he was extremely friendly and welcoming. He gave me a very good and informational lesson on some specific musical questions I had about progressing in my saxophone career. He gave me specific instructions on places to visit, useful websites, and names of people. This information may seem trivial, but I was at a personal stopping point on some issues, and Eric provided the tools for me to continue. I highly recommend Eric to anyone looking to learn what it means to be a professional.
Silhouette-80
James D. February 8, 2016
Guitar · In studio
Verified Student
Great teacher. He is knowledgeable and patient with kids.
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Eric J.

Eric J.

Elgin, IL 60120
(11)
starting at
$22 / 30-min

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