Sugar Grove Music Lessons

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Music Lesson Reviews from Students

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About Derrick M.

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Naperville, IL

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About Derrick
Derrick began playing the drums at the age of 8 in the elementary school concert band. He started out on just a snare drum but when he was 12, he got his first real drum set, and started a life of music.

Fast forward a few years and Derrick had experience playing in jazz bands, marching bands, concert bands, steel pan calypso band, along with his local garage band. After high school, Derrick moved to California to attend the Musicians Institutes in Hollywood California. There he studied under some of the greatest professionals in the business, and was exposed to a wide variety of music sty
les ranging from, Latin, R&B, Jazz, Funk, Rock, etc.

After graduating from school, Derrick moved back to Chicago where he has been playing weekly gigs, and touring around the country with his bands. Derrick is a young, energetic, but most importantly, patient drummer, who loves to share his craft with the world.

*** Lesson Details ***
Derrick is laid back in his teaching style, but expects all of his students to practice and make weekly progression. He uses time tested and proven books and methods to teach his students the mechanics, theories, and techniques it takes to be a world class drummer. Reading and snare exercises are an important part of the curriculum, but not the main focus. He likes his students to enjoy what they are doing, so he brings other things to the lessons such as fun endurance and rhythm games. A brand new student that is dedicated to practicing could expect to be learning their favorite songs in 3 months time, and be playing in bands shortly afterward.

*** Studio Equipment ***
All pro gear! Ludwig, Dw, Pearl, Mapex, Zildjian, Sabian and more. Multiple drum kits set up in the studio, along with sound system, and mac book pro.

*** Travel Equipment ***
I will bring lesson material (books, sheet music, etc.) and iPod with apps such as metronome and the ability to listen to music. Isolation headphones to listen to songs while playing along. Stick, brushes. Anything else I might need.

Students are expected to have drum sticks a music stand and at very minimum a practice pad, all though a drum set is preferable.

*** Specialties ***
Drum set is my specialty. I have experience with all major styles of music, and can teach any style. Other emphasis on playing in a band and percussion.
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Reviews
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Mikhail C. June 19, 2015
Verified Student · Drum · In home
My son really enjoyed his first lesson. He was able to play a little right away, which made it more fun for him.
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Mike A. February 23, 2014
Verified Student · Drum ·
Great teacher!

Great with my daughter (age 7). She looks forward to her lesson every week, and is learning rapidly. He has great patience and has gotten to know my daughter and listens to her feedback while at the same time offering encouraging instruction.
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Shirley L. December 29, 2013
Verified Student · Drum ·
Great Drum Teacher

My daughter had been taking private drum lesson for years before she started with Derrick. At the first lesson, Derrick told her how important it was to feel the music, other than just working on technique. That was exactly what she needed to work on. Derrick has a broad experience with playing different type of music. He likes to show her how to play, which helps her understand right away. He is very nice and patient. He is flexible and reliable in terms of lesson schedules. He uses lots of references, songs and exercises in his teaching. Now, my daughter enjoys her lessons and practices a lot more.
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Derrick M.

Derrick M.

Naperville, IL 60565
(7)
starting at
$29 / 30-min

About Matthew N.

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Naperville, IL

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About Matthew
Matthew N. has been an educator and performer in the Chicago area and suburbs for over 10 years. Currently holding a studio of nearly 30 students he has become one of the area's many successful private instructors. Teaching piano, drums, and guitar Matthew can accommodate any student's needs and musical ambitions in those areas.

Matthew has studied at the collegiate level at the University of Iowa and holds a Bachelors in Percussion Performance. He has also been performing professionally at many of Chicago's finest venues for many years. Matthew is an audio engineer certified in Pro Tools a
nd Logic Pro, which are industry standard programs. Students are able to record and learn the art of production as they learn their instrument if they so choose. This allows students to hear themselves and learn from their performance as well as share their passion with family and friends as they create music.

Students are encouraged to pursue whatever moves them and are never restricted to any one type of practicing or playing. The main goal is to allow the student to find his or her own path in music and develop their own abilities in whatever way they see fit.

BM in Percussion Performance
University of Iowa

Studied with:
Dr. Dan Moore, Vern Spevak, Chic Evans, Ron Spaeth, Jim Dreier

Received Music Scholarship to attend U of Iowa

Conservatory of Recording Arts & Sciences
-Received Many Certifications and Degree
-Certified in Pro Tools Recording Software

*** Lesson Details ***
Students will have full access during lesson time to recording equipment. The best way to learn how to improve is to listen to yourself play. The student will be able to take home recordings of themselves and study what they can work on, helping them to make the decision on what they would like to improve on.

Students are encouraged to use Alfreds Method Books for Snare and Drum Set, Riley Books, and the Chester book for independence. Also, I teach the Faber Piano Adventures Series. Alfred's and Hal Leonard for guitar.

A cancellation 24hrs in advance is always appreciated.
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Reviews
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Jim R. February 15, 2017
Verified Student · Guitar · In studio
He knows his stuff. He is giving me instructions that will take me to the next level.
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Sidney January 9, 2017
Verified Student · Guitar · In home
We really enjoyed the first lesson!!! Thank you!!!
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Sidney January 9, 2017
Verified Student · Guitar · In home
We really enjoyed the first lesson!!! Thank you!!!
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Matthew N.

Matthew N.

Naperville, IL 60565
(16)
starting at
$32 / 30-min

About Rick T.

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214109_275778_29837
Elburn, IL
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About Rick
A bachelors degree in music ed and 20+ years of playing, teaching and performing experience comes with you to every one of our lessons. Whether it be on trumpet, guitar, piano or voice I will consistently stress fundamentals that lead students towards the musicians they strive to be. I feel incorporating music that is relevant to the student and his or her goals is paramount and doable! I will always demonstrate the techniques and ideas I espouse. Lastly, I show my students the joy music has put in my life and in turn, show them how to play music towards the same ends. I am currently workin
g towards a masters in Jazz Studies at Northern Illinois University (2015) and perform regularly in the area.

*** Lesson Details ***
Lessons are typically broken up into 5 main parts
1) physical technique and warm up
- this refers to the mastery of the physical movements involved in playing the instrument
2) vocabulary practice (either by reading and/or by ear)
- scales
- chords
3) reading
- sight reading
- prepared reading
4) learning to play by ear
- song transcription and analysis
5) warm down and re-emphasis of key concepts

*** Studio Equipment ***
The teacher's home studio lessons are taught in the front room of the house. There is an acoustic piano, an electric piano, a music stand, stereo, guitar, amp, laptop, trumpets, books, and seating are all available.

*** Travel Equipment ***
I will have everything I need and can furnish music. I expect student to have a stand and a working instrument.

*** Specialties ***
I can improvise proficiently and understand music theory very well

***Special Notes***
-if you are located slightly outside my travel radius especially fox valley usually I can accommodate
-if you cant find a time that works usually i am able to fit you in somewhere else. i am flexible!
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Reviews
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Don W. November 29, 2016
Verified Student · Guitar · In home
My kids love Mr. Rick and have learned so much in the first several lessons. We are beyond impressed !
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Don W. November 29, 2016
Verified Student · Guitar · In home
My kids love Mr. Rick and have learned so much in the first several lessons. We are beyond impressed !
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Mary Ellen July 8, 2016
Verified Student · Piano · In home
I loved working with Rick. He works in a very different way, an approach that is really beneficial for me as an adult beginner. He teaches music structure and we worked with a singer songwriter that I love. He is pleasant and patient and very knowledgable. I highly recommend giving Rick a try for looking at playing music from a new angle.
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Rick T.

Rick T.

Elburn, IL 60119
(10)
starting at
$29 / 30-min

About James P.

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Wheaton, IL

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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.
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Reviews
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Mike McCullough April 5, 2016
Verified Student · Guitar · In home
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
Verified Student · Guitar ·
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
Verified Student · Guitar ·
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

About Cameron R.

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Glen Ellyn, IL

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About Cameron
I'm a 21 year old guitarist and composer, with an education from Berklee College of Music. I am an active session guitarist and songwriter for myself and others. I can teach you how to reach your goals as a musician or songwriter. I have extensive recording and studio experience. I will teach you what is necessary for you to reach your goals. If you are interested in just learning songs, I will not focus on theory or songwriting. If you want to learn how to compose music, I will teach you about harmony and what makes the difference between a good song and a hit song. I can also help you get ac
cepted to any music school in the country. The truth is, most popular songs only require a small amount of chord knowledge to be played on guitar, and I would love to make that happen for you.

My guitar lessons do not have a set curriculum, because the curriculum is made individually for each student, depending on their goals, strengths, and interests. I have always strived for my guitar lessons and teaching style to bring the student to the point that they truly want to be at. Many other teachers and music schools will teach you strands of information that may have been interesting to them, but the same might not be true for the student. We are all individuals and have different tastes, and the lesson plans must take that into account. I am here to help students achieve their goals and desires on the instrument, and that is why my lessons stand out.

My studio is located in Glen Ellyn, IL and has all the equipment to help making guitar has easy as it can be.

Studio Includes:
-Recording Capability
-Music Stands
-Amps, Cords, Strings etc.
-Books and Sheet Music
-Logic/Pro Tools/Finale and other music software

I have played guitar in professionally produced musicals such as "Godspell" and "Once Upon A Mattress." I have also been a pit guitarist for high school and middle school show choirs, requiring excellent reading skills and on the spot adaptation to changes.
...
Reviews
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Nick January 30, 2016
· Guitar · In studio
Great knowledge of guitar, music theory and composition. Cameron will keep you on track and focused on what you want to learn.
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Tessa January 23, 2016
· Guitar · In studio
Cameron was one of the best teachers i have ever come into contact with. What struck me most was his patience, understanding and independent thinking. He was very observant of what worked best for me and he made the teaching program fit my speed and comfortability,while at the same time pushing me out of my comfort zone. Cameron is very thorough and fills his lessons with personal experiences of his own,new ways of thinking, good starting points and things to remember. Feel free to ask him questions about whatever is on your mind when it comes to guitar playing. With Cameron's knowledge, he will leave you with new ways of thinking about guitar, questions answered, and a new understanding. I would strongly suggest sharing the knowledge given to you by Cameron with everyone you know. His lessons are accurate, thorough, and factual. I would recommend him to anyone, especially people who want the best for their money and for their time.
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Marcus Shalamo October 25, 2015
· Guitar · Online
Cameron helped me improve my guitar playing a lot. I came to him as a complete beginner, and after 1 week, I was already able to play some of my favorite songs.
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Cameron R.

Cameron R.

Glen Ellyn, IL 60137
(3)
starting at
$25 / 30-min

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