Western Springs Music Lessons

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Music Lesson Reviews from Students

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Popular Music Teachers near Western Springs

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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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Patrick C. March 1, 2017
Verified Student · Piano · In home
Matt was very knowledgeable and gave me a good starting point. I have never played before so this was a whole new experience. He arrived on time and was very efficient.
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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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Matthew N.

Matthew N.

Naperville, IL 60565
(17)
starting at
$32 / 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.
...
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 Matt B.

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Chicago, IL

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About Matt
I earned a Bachelor's of Music in Classical Guitar Performance from Capital University in Columbus, OH.

I currently teach private guitar lessons, sing and play guitar in the Chicago rock band Dead Parade, and transcribe music professionally for a wide variety of clients. Occasionally, I write articles or do interviews that appear in magazines such as Guitar World. In the past, I worked for 8 years as a guitar teacher, transcriber, consultant, and free-lance writer for a popular subscription guitar site. I also served as a guitar instructor/lecturer at Capital University's Community Music Sc
hool under the direction of renowned music educator Dr. Rebecca Johnson. Over the duration of my 16 year teaching career, I have taught over a 200 students of all ages and levels of experience.

I developed a reputation of being a musical jack of all trades. I am proficient in teaching and performing any style of guitar. However, I am best known for my rock guitar playing, songwriting abilities, classical guitar performance skills, and my ability to teach these skill sets effectively.
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Reviews
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West Foster February 27, 2017
Verified Student · Acoustic Guitar · Online
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Rob February 10, 2017
· Guitar · In home
In my humble opinion, Matt is the best rock guitarist and teacher in Chicago. I took lessons with three other teachers in the city before working with Matt. All paled in comparison in both the playing and teaching departments. He truly makes playing and improving fun and easy! His playing speaks for itself. His teaching seems to be perfectly tailored to your goals, whatever they may be. He's literally an encyclopedia of musical knowledge.
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Matt December 23, 2016
· Blues Guitar · Online
Can't say enough good things. I've always been more of a rhythm player. The whole subject of lead guitar is really intimidating. I never knew where to begin, so I never have. I started taking lessons with Matt to see if I could get a structured approach to learning to improvise, play memorized solos, etc. He's made something that was totally intimidating very easy to understand. It really helps to have a professional teach you a logical process since there is such an overwhelming amount of information to learn and apply.
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Matt B.

Matt B.

Chicago, IL 60622
(19)
starting at
$25 / 30-min

About Nick G.

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Chicago, IL

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About Nick
Learn how to compose, produce and engineer successful music from a working multi-platinum selling composer and music producer! Nick will take you step by step, in his own studio, through the process of creating your own successful track. Classically trained at the prestigious Royal Academy of Music Nick will teach you all the basic essentials that drive hit music making your music sound like a pro! Nick G., also known as world music artist Nicholas G., is a Yamaha sponsored artist who has written, self produced and engineered over 250 songs and 17 albums selling millions worldwide achieving 55
consecutive weeks on the Billboard Charts. His warm and and nurturing approach towards students as well as his ability to explain techniques in a simple and accessible manner make him an exceptional teacher. His songwriting, engineering and production skills are unparalleled amongst his peers and he is a proven / verifiable figure in the world of music on an international and highly respected level.

His music has been licensed and used by numerous companies such as Discovery Channel, Wynn Resorts, Universal, Sea World, Chrysler, Mercedes Benz, Bose Audio to name a few.

He currently produces for multiple Billboard charting dance and pop acts who have received multiple iTunes top 100 dance and Billboard charting singles. TakeLesson's recently published this article by Nick titled "15 Things You Must Do to Make it in the Music Industry": http://bit.ly/1LNR0J4

Nick is a long time voting member of NARAS, The Grammy’s, and is currently active within the Chicago Chapter.

In Nick's lessons you will learn:
– Techniques used in creating exceptional productions and mixes
– Introduction to DAW's (Digital Audio Workstations)
– Laying the foundation for a successful song within a DAW
– Song construction, top line melody and lyric writing
– Working with vocals and vocalists
– Recording all the elements, making the right choices
– Mixing, effect processing and learning objectivity
– Mastering and finalizing your project
– Exposure, getting your track heard. The do’s and don'ts of the music industry
– Follow up. Keep producing and creating from what you have learned. I can be a valuable team member for you and add you to my business network.
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Reviews
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Lai yin February 14, 2017
· Composition · In studio
He is a funny guy and provide a relaxing and enjoyable class and i can get new knowledge on music. I expect the next class.
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Monika J. January 22, 2017
Verified Student · Songwriting · In studio
I just started my lessons and have been impressed by his holistic and fun teaching method! I definitely feel like I'm learning and expanding my knowledge of what I need to do to become a successful songwriter in the industry! ...I can't wait for my next session!:)
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Jarod January 17, 2017
· Audio Engineering · In studio
I have been working with Nick for about 6 months now to learn music production and record my own music. Nick is very dedicated to helping his students succeed, even if that goes beyond the hourly lessons. I am constantly reaching out to him with questions and receiving helpful feedback. I am amazed how I have improved these last few months because of Nick, and look forward to what he can do to help me further evolve my career as a musician. Learning from someone with such experience and success in the industry is a priceless opportunity that I would never advise anyone pass up.
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Nick G.

Nick G.

Chicago, IL 60608
(19)
starting at
$35 / 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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Roger .. March 15, 2017
Verified Student · Guitar · Online
Cameron is great. He is very interested in my progress and has a wealth of experience to share. He's always looking for student feedback to ensure you are getting just what you want. I am looking forward to my next lesson.

In case you have any doubts on what teacher to select, go watch his videos. He is a monster player with lots of singing in his note choice and phrasing. He is a top musician.
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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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Cameron R.

Cameron R.

Glen Ellyn, IL 60137
(4)
starting at
$25 / 30-min

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