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Derrick M.

Naperville, IL

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.
...

Reviews

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Mikhail C. June 19, 2015
Drum · In home
Verified Student
My son really enjoyed his first lesson. He was able to play a little right away, which made it more fun for him.
Silhouette-80
Mike A. February 23, 2014
Drum
Verified Student
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
Drum
Verified Student
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
216276_313410_32823

Penny R.

Wheaton, IL

About Penny

ABOUT PENNY R.

I graduated from college in Virginia with a Bachelor of Music Education degree as a voice major, and minored in piano and violin. My teaching certificate was for vocal, instrumental and general music, grades K - 12, and I graduated Magna Cum Laude.

Graduate school brought me to Indiana, where I earned a Masters of Music in Vocal Performance. Migrating up to the Chicago area from there, I taught at a private music school (voice and small ensembles, as well as many faculty performances) before staying at home to raise our children, and teaching voice lessons privately in
my Studio. After 30 years of teaching, I'm still at it, and I still love it!

I am a Permanent Professional member of Music Teacher's National Association (MTNA), Illinois State Music Teacher's Association (ISMTA),West Suburban Chapter of ISMTA, as well as a member of National Association of Teachers of Singing. Most of my students are high school aged, but I have taught from ages seven through 70. My students regularly achieve MTNA's Music Achievement Award, are selected for District Choir and All-State Choir, as well as receive leading roles in high school and community musicals.

PHILOSOPHY

I believe that singing does something to words which nothing else can--it puts feelings to music. Everyone has feelings, and everyone can be musical. Those who pursue their vocal education can be rewarded with confidence in their ability to sing. The goal of my Studio is to promote the study of music, and to create a musical environment at each lesson so that every person's individual potential can become realized - all while having fun!

My Studio provides a nurturing environment for all singers, from beginning to advanced, children to adults. I will help you develop and maintain your vocal health, expand your vocal range, and develop your musicianship. You will learn to integrate a coordinated process of breath, pitch and tone, while exploring your vocal potential in a wide range of contemporary and classic musical styles. Teaching proper vocal technique is my primary goal with every student: fixing what is being used incorrectly, and enhancing what is already done well. I will work with you on any style of repertoire you desire: classical, opera, Broadway, jazz, folk, etc. I love it when a student wants a variety of song! And if your music theory skills are weak, we'll take care of that, too!

LESSONS

Children eighth grade and younger should sign up for half hour lessons; students high school and older should sign up for 45 minute lessons.

I am so excited to share the joy of making music with my new TakeLessons students! We get right into breathing, first thing. Once that is right, we can turn our attention to what's going on with the throat and mouth. All the while, we are learning songs by which we can practice whatever we're working on in the exercises. Everybody's different, with different tensions, both proper and antagonistic. We isolate the muscular tensions that are interfering with your perfect sound, and go from there!

*** Lesson Details ***
Come prepared to make a lot of noises with which you don't normally sing! We will explore every sound you are capable of - there's something to learn from most of them! Obviously, we'll concentrate on the ones we really want to sing with, while using a myriad of vocal exercises.

My studio brochure will explain many of the nuts and bolts of our lessons, and any expectations regarding practicing, keyboard ability and access, and how we work home practice when you don't know how to play piano. Generally, we spend about half the lesson time on warm ups/exercises, and half the time on songs. Sometimes we memorize them; sometimes we polish them; sometimes we just learn them quickly and move on to new things. Each lesson is a little different, depending on what I'm hearing from you that day.

I'm always happy to help you with school/church solos, audition material, choral parts, etc. Otherwise, we will choose repertoire together, taking into account your goals and interests, along with what makes good teaching material. Come join the fun and make some music!

*** Studio Equipment ***
My basement rec room serves as my teaching studio, so there are stairs with which to contend. Parents may stay either in the studio, or up in my living room to wait. The fully equipped studio contains a piano, audio-visual equipment for recording and play back, music stands, stools, a comfortable couch, and even a sink for quick water drinks! (Singing can make you thirsty!)

*** Specialties ***
In my 30+ years of teaching private lessons, I've amassed quite a toolbox of eclectic musical resources. That said, I still find muscle manipulative exercises while vocalizing to be the quickest route for most students to have success in building their long term voice. So I utilize those techniques frequently. With proper, healthy vocal production, a student can sing in any genre they choose. I am very concerned about producing a healthy voice with a free tone, particularly for children, so that all students can go forward into whatever style they choose with good vocal production.
...

Reviews

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Jen July 24, 2015
Singing · In studio
Penny is an amazing instructor! She is 100% focused during every minute of your lesson! My 12 year old daughter has taken lessons with her for almost a year. She really focuses on technique which I feel is so important! I see progress in my daughter during every lesson!
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Carla B. June 2, 2015
Singing · In home
Verified Student
Penny is awesome. She's not only talented as a singer but talented as an instructor. Highly recommend!!
Silhouette-80
Justine E. March 19, 2015
Singing · In home
Verified Student
Penny seems knowledgable and professional. She was very energetic and related well to my 13 year old daughter.
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Penny R.

Penny R.

Wheaton, IL 60187
(10)
starting at
$26.75 / 30-min
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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

Silhouette-80
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.
Silhouette-80
Rahul H. May 3, 2013
Classical Guitar
Verified Student
An awesome teacher

I have been learning acoustic and classical guitar from James for more than 2 years now. His technique of teaching, the motivation, tips and videos he provides are simply exceptional. I would surely recommend him for anyone interested.
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James P.

James P.

Wheaton, IL 60189
(8)
starting at
$30 / 30-min
Profile_37409_pi_headshot

John S.

Chicago, IL

About John

I have a Bachelor of Music in Jazz Studies with voice as my primary instrument from Western Michigan University, one of the best of such programs in the world. Along with my vast jazz experience, I have over 8 years of classical voice under my belt as well as the ability to teach beginner to intermediate piano, guitar. and trombone. I cater each lesson to the interests and needs of the student while building a musical foundation that will serve them for years to come. Do you need to prepare an audition? Do you want to make the top choir next year? Do you want to be a gigging musician who can h
old his or her own on any stage? We may be a perfect fit.
...

Reviews

Thumb_37409_pi_headshot
John S. July 24, 2014
Jazz Voice · In studio
Jack is a great teacher who really tailors each of his lessons to suit my needs. I learn something new and exciting every time I take a lesson, and he has helped me boost my confidence as a performer. I can't think of a better person to take lessons with!
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John S.

John S.

Glen Ellyn, IL 60137
(1)
starting at
$30 / 30-min
Profile_44053_pi_25199_755558787279_5637160_n

Dan M.

Glen Ellyn, IL

About Dan

Dan M. is a freelance musician and private lesson instructor in the Chicago area. Born in the Chicago suburbs, Mr. M. graduated from Northern Illinois University with a Bachelor of Music in euphonium performance, and traveled to Colorado where he earned a Master of Music in trombone performance at the University of Colorado at Boulder. As an active musician, he has performed on trombone and euphonium in many musical groups ranging form wind ensembles and orchestras to brass quintets and other chamber groups. Mr. M. was also a member of the Flatirons Brass Quintet at the University of Colorado,
which toured to Beijing, China, and placed in the semi-finals of the internationally known Fischoff Chamber Music Competition.

As a teacher, Mr. M. has been teaching students of a wide range of ages and abilities for over eight years. Some of his students have been selected to Honor Bands and All-State Bands across the country. Through quickly identifying strengths and weaknesses, and catering to ambitions and desires, his students experience a fun and inspirational learning environment that has been found with much success.
...

Reviews

Silhouette-80
adam B. August 18, 2014
Euphonium · In home
Dan has taught for about 10 years and speaks with efficient feedback. His experiences playing in ensembles has made him an extremely strong musician. I would recommend him for any advanced brass lesson tutoring. He can relate to people of any age so younger students would benefit from his energetic nature as well.
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Dan M.

Dan M.

Glen Ellyn, IL 60137
(1)
starting at
$25 / 30-min

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