First of all, I love all music. Here is a list of some of the things I am proficient in and can teach you: Genres (blues, rock, country, slide, classical, metal, pop), Technique (strumming, lead playing), Theory (note-reading, scales/improvisation, chord construction, timing/rhythm), Composition (putting it all together- songwriting!).
That said, I come to each lesson with a plan, based off how the student learns and what their goals are. I am patient and let the lessons move as fast as the student is willing. I have taught literally hundreds of students over the years; 3-yr-olds to 75-yr-olds with great success.
Everything. I love music: playing it, learning about it (a good teacher never stops learning)- but most importantly, I love imparting that knowledge to others. I'm great with people of any age because I care about each student individually. Nothing gives me more satisfaction as a teacher than seeing students having fun and achieving their personal goals- it means I am doing my job right.
Fun and suited to my speed of learning
From the get go, I try to find out what the student may already know. Some people can be surprised to find out they already know more than they thought. If they know little to nothing, that’s ok too!
Then within the first lesson or two, I get to know what teaching styles work best for them. Everyone is different. And everyone has different goals. I always gear the lessons towards achieving their goals, as quickly as possible, mixed with bits of theory and knowledge that are useful on all fronts along the way.
I was raised in a musical environment. My Dad and I listened to records throughout my childhood instead of watching t.v. When I got my first guitar, it felt natural to me. I quickly realized it was my calling to play music.. I borrowed every book I could get my hands on from friends and family. By 17 I was in the winning band in my high school battle of the bands. From there, I also picked up bass and ukulele. Since then I have played bass and guitar for several bands throughout the Chicagoland area (most of which I was the chief songwriter)- winning several awards in competitions/festivals. Some of those bands include: Mantra, Gift of Tongues and Swing State. Swing State achieved second place in the country in the Emergenza festival in 2006. (We might have got first place but the band broke up about a week before the final show. It's an interesting story, among many...)
I started teaching professionally in 2001 at a small music store called About Music in Libertyville, Illinois. Since then I've taught at several stores and schools- and I haven’t stopped since. Eventually in 2013 I started my own lesson business where I have teachers in all art forms ( www.lessonsandbeyond.com ). Most of my personal students now take lessons online and love it.
Apart from teaching, in 2006, I opened an all ages music venue/recording studio. We were open for over 9 years. There I met/recorded/and watched bands perform from all over the world. Many of the bands had some of my previous students!
Your first lesson is FREE. And if you decide to go with online lessons (which are taught live via Zoom or Skype) I will set up a free consultation with you before our first free lesson to help you get set up and to test everything to make sure everything is working properly.
Your home (within 10 miles of Logan Square, Chicago)
30 min = $30
45 min = $40
60 min = $50
My home (Logan Square, Chicago)
30 min = $24
45 min = $34
60 min = $44
Online (live via Skype or Zoom):
30 min = $18
45 min (most popular) = $28
60 min = $38
If you don’t live within travel range or want to travel, please don’t dismiss trying online (live via Skype or Zoom) lessons. More than half of my students take their lessons online and they are, in many ways, better than in-person lessons. Here’s some things to consider about online lessons:
-Contrary to many people’s beliefs (including mine until I started doing them a few years ago), it is not actually necessary for the teacher to be physically present with the student in lessons. I will be ‘live’ on your screen using Zoom (or Skype if you prefer) where you can hear and see me- and I can hear and see you the whole time, guiding you and answering all questions you might have during our lessons.
-Instead of writing in a notebook, I will be sending you files to read on your screen- that will be saved in a shared online folder (which you can always print out if you prefer physical copies). In addition, I will also be sending you recordings for you to play along with. It’s a great way to practice and learn. You will have all these files to keep for practicing along with between lessons.
-Online lessons are significantly cheaper because the teacher no longer needs to spend time/gas travelling to you
-You can do your lessons anywhere you have your computer/instrument. This is great for students who travel or have a hard time finding an exact location to do their lessons every week.
-Our scheduling availability is greatly broadened. Eliminating travel time means rescheduling/changing times is easy.
I started teaching at a small music store in a nearby town to where I grew up. I began teaching at another music store about a year later only because the first store closed down (it's unfortunately a common theme amongst small time music stores). At the second location, I became the top teacher within a year (eventually I had around 60 students per week) and I stayed there for over 5 years. I had to cut back when I opened my music venue in 2006, but I kept teaching while I could. Since then I have worked for over 10 teaching companies- physical stores/schools and online companies such as this. I’ve loved them all but now I teach privately to students at their homes, mine and online.
All types. As I type, I currently have a 3-year-old guitar student and a 73-year-old ukulele student. So there's an age range. As for personality types, I believe I've taught them all. Some people are more visual, some people learn by listening. Some people like structure, some people like more spontaneity. I see it as a part of my job to find out what works for you, and go with it!
Well although I’ve been teaching since 2001, I still get amazed by my experiences while teaching. And over those years, there hasn’t been a week that’s gone by where I didn’t add a new addition to my technique as a teacher. As I write, tonight I helped an adult student figure out a chord by sheer theory alone. In other words, instead of just showing her the chord I wanted her to play, I utilized recent information I had taught her and she figured out how to play the chord without me having to touch my guitar. It was an awesome moment and one I plan on re-creating again in the future with my students whenever possible. The amazing moments are endless.
Try to find someone who has experience as a teacher- not just experience as a student.
What are your goals? Do you want to just learn some songs to play for family and friends around the campfire? Do you want to write your own music? Do you want to play open mics at cafes? Do you want to start a band someday?
It helps to know where you want to go with all of this so you can start going down the right path. It’s ok to change your goals as you go or not even know what your goals are as well- but it helps to try to figure them out. It’s a great way to keep you motivated. And the right teacher should be able to help you along and keep it fun as you go.