Ian's Music Lessons

Ian's Music Lessons

5.0 (9)
19 hires on Lessons.com
1 employee
19 years in business

About this pro

Below is a list of just some of the things I can teach you on bass, guitar and/or ukulele:

Genres: blues, rock, country, classical, metal, pop, punk, indie, funk

Technique: strumming, lead playing, fingerpicking, speed-picking, sweep picking

Theory: note-reading, scales/improvisation, chord construction, timing/rhythm

Composition: putting it all together- songwriting!

Performance: How to get ready to play for an audience and not collapse under the pressure!

And this is all only the beginning.

I come to each lesson with a plan, based off how I feel each student learns and what their goals are. I always make it a mission to be patient and let the lessons move as fast as the student absorbs the information. I have taught literally hundreds of students over the years; 3-yr-olds to 80-yr-olds with great success!

At the risk of sounding cliche, everything. Music is a large part of my daily life: playing it, learning it (a good teacher never stops learning)- but most importantly, imparting that knowledge to others.

I care about each student individually and want to see them succeed. 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.

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Credentials

Chicago, IL 60647
Phone verified

9 Reviews

5.0

  • Chris R

    I’ve been taking guitar lessons with Ian for a few months now, and I love the steady progress that I’ve been making. Ian is very methodical in his 1-on-1 sessions, and he doesn’t let me move on until I’ve mastered a prior lesson. I like how he emphasizes timing and music theory. I also like how he balances teaching songs that I want to play while also learning from lesson books and other material. I started off doing his in-home lessons. However, due to the pandemic I switched to his virtual offerings, and I have to say that the transition has been mostly seamless. I find that he is still very observant and catches any subtle mistakes that I make while playing. In the past I’ve taken group guitar lessons elsewhere, and while fun, I find that I wasn’t truly learning or seeing significant improvement at the pace that I wanted. I already see significant improvements over the past few months of working with Ian, and I’d highly recommend Ian as a guitar teacher to anyone interested in learning to play and having fun while doing it.

  • Debra Sitar

    Ian is a fabulous instructor. I hired him in November, in a panic to learn a song to play for my family as a surprise by Christmas - he got me started right away and my family was surprised and impressed! He’s taught me much more since then with his well thought out lesson plans. I love the ease and convenience of online classes as well as his flexibility. I highly recommend Ian for any beginner, such as myself.

  • Diego Torres

    Ian is awesome! Excellent instructor! It's obvious he enjoys teaching and is excellent at it. My ukulele skills have increased significantly since working with Ian. I strongly recommend Ian for anyone looking to learn or advance their ukulele skills.

  • Sarah Thompson

    My three kids (7yrs, 7yrs, 9yrs) have been taking ukelele lessons with Ian for about 9 months now and love it. He is extremely reliable, timely and organized. We have had both in-person and online lessons with Ian and would definitely recommend him. It's great to see my kids picking up an instrument on their own now, for fun. :)


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FAQs


What is your typical process for working with a new student?

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 previously 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 has different goals. I always gear the lessons towards achieving the student's goals, as quickly as possible, mixed with bits of theory and knowledge -which are always applied towards actual songs of the student's choosing.

Either way, by the end of the first lesson you will be playing music better than where you were when we started. I guarantee this.


What education and/or training do you have that relates to your work?

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 (because this was before the internet). 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. 

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 as members!


Do you have a standard pricing system for your lessons? If so, please share the details here.

Yes. Your first lesson is always FREE. I want to meet you and give you a sample lesson first so you can make a decision before you spend a dime. After the free lesson, if you decide to continue, below are my weekly rates:

Your home:

30 min = $30

45 min = $40

60 min = $50

 

My home:

30 min = $24

45 min = $34

60 min = $44

 

Live online:

30 min = $20

45 min (most popular) = $28

60 min = $36


How did you get started teaching?

I started teaching in 2001 at a small music store called About Music in a nearby town to where I grew up. I began teaching at another music store called The Music Source about a year later because unfortunately, About Music closed down (It's sadly a common theme amongst small time music stores). At The Music Source, I became the top teacher within a year -eventually having around 60 students per week- and I stayed there for over 5 years. I had to cut back on students a bit when I opened my music venue, Swing State, in 2006. After I closed down the venue in 2015, I shifted back to teaching full-time, but now in people's homes, my home and online. 


What types of students have you worked with?

All types. As I write this, I currently have a 3-year-old guitar student and a 75-year-old ukulele student.  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 best for each student and then harness their innate talents from there.


Describe a recent event you are fond of.

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 techniques 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 or tell her where to put her fingers. It was an awesome moment and one I plan on re-creating again in the future with my students. The amazing moments are endless.


What advice would you give a student looking to hire a teacher in your area of expertise?

Try to find someone who has experience as a teacher- not just experience as a student.


What questions should students think through before talking to teachers about their needs?

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.