I offer an exceptionally deep repertoire knowledge to target the student's interests, strengths, and areas of growth. Along with my sense of which books and repertoire to assign at a given stage of your musical journey, I offer a relaxed atmosphere with plenty of humor (riddles are a specialty).
My teaching philosophy is based on personalized but traditional methods -- No gimmicks! In this endeavor I draw on 22 years of lesson teaching, 25 years of classroom teaching (with an "Excellence in Teaching Award" from the Graham School), and a Ph.D. in composition from the University of Chicago.
You'll enjoy learning on a vintage baby grand piano in a classic bungalow. I'm conveniently located in the near west suburbs with ample free parking, close to I-290 and I-55. 5-10 minute walk from bus lines, 1 mile walk from BNSF Metra.
Learn more at GibbonsMusicLessons.com
The best part of teaching is the cameraderie with the people who come to me for help achieving their artistic goals. I'm inspired by the delight and pride my students experience as they progress -- regardless of the age or level.
What distinguishes John as a teacher is not his encyclopedic knowledge of classical music or his technical mastery of piano. It is his relentless focus on my personal understanding of the music. John is never content to simply lecture; he takes enormous care to ensure the student truly learns. His feedback is never generic, always tailored to the precise needs of the student. He guides your efforts with the wisdom and acuity of a seasoned professional. Sitting at the bench with John each week will undoubtedly deepen your appreciation for music and expand your skills as a pianist. It will also leave you feeling grateful to have found such a talented, caring teacher.
John has the rare ability to be both wildly brilliant and relatable. He is able to connect with music scholar or beginning student, treating both with equal respect. He translates his musical expertise with grace and wit.
Our family has been working with John since 2011 . My older son started when he was five years old - in 2011 and is still taking lessons from John as of 2020. The younger one started too when he was five and has been going for a couple of years now. We have had other piano teachers for our kids- initially when John was unavailable at the music lessons place we were customers of , and later due to our moving to a suburb that was geographically distant. It is hard to find good teachers. Some do not challenge the kids enough to produce appreciable progress. Some others , while technically proficient, do not have a passion for teaching and sharing knowledge - and do not tailor the classes to the child. After one such experience where my younger son had made barely any progress despite two(or was it three) months of lessons, I decided to switch back to taking lessons from John - even though this involves an hour long commute each way. We do not regret doing that. He does a great job at identifying what skills and knowledge are required to make progress, and adjusting those according to the child and the child's progress. The classes are entertaining enough to hold the child's interest , while being challenging enough to induce progress. John also tries to educate the kids, in an age appropriate way, to the wider world of music and art in general. You can tell that there is a passion for music and the arts and an effort to share that beauty with his students. In my opinion, this ability to tailor the lessons to the child is what has ensured that my kids keep making progress, over the years. We are extremely satisfied with our piano lessons and I can, and do, highly recommend John for someone serious about learning piano. Here are some of my son's piano pieces from a few years ago https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLx4aSnH30eSD3NEouSrTCcyxMpfC50Y2V
I've studied with John Gibbons for more than ten years. There's no better guide to the beauty and wonder and magic of piano performance. His command of the piano literature is outstanding, surpassed only by his whole-hearted commitment to passing along his knowledge to others,which he does in a kind, cheerful, and respectful manner.
My process for working with new students falls into three categories: young beginners, “grownup” beginners, and those with some prior music experience (all ages).
At all ages and levels, I’ll start by asking about your prior music experience and what role you’d like music to play in your life. In other words, what goals do you have for your lessons? I’ll also ask whether you have access to an instrument and how much time you’re able to set aside for your music. In other words, practice time! (If you’re the parent of a younger student, you’ll chime in here.)
If you’ve played before: bring some music you like! Because, after I listen to your thoughts and goals about music, I’ll listen to you playing a piece you enjoy.
After that we move onto logistics of scheduling and discussing what your next piece will be.