Strauts Chess & Music Lessons

Strauts Chess & Music Lessons

2 employees
24 years in business

About this pro


I am a chess coach with over 5 years experience teaching kids from Chicago to New York to CT to Oregon. I have played tournament chess, blitz chess and bullet chess, and I am familiar with many different tournament rules. My wife is also a chess coach,  and tournament director, but as her career has grown she has taken up the role of consultant.  I am familiar with all 3 stages of the game at many levels, and will develop a lesson plan for each student.


As a classically trained (Purchase College) musician with eclectic tastes, I can teach writing and arrangement, reading music, theory and ear training.  I can also teach Traditional Irish Tenor Banjo for Ceili music as well as many different types of alternative and subculture genres (Punk, Reggae, Ska, hardcore...).  Hit me up!!!

Chess is great in that it teaches kids to make plans and stick with them, as well as the dire (but not too dire) consequences of making a mistake, as well as the sometimes abstract lesson of learning from our failures. In 2018 the Bridgeport Organization for Youth Sports honored me as Educator of the year.  

Music is just what I was born to do, and I am happy to impart my knowledge on performance, recording and composition to anyone who will listen!!

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Chicago, IL 60616
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What is your typical process for working with a new student?

Learning they're level of play (beginner-advanced) and finding a way for them to imrove that they will enjoy.

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

I went to (what was at the time) a prestigious Music School (college) and was accepted on performance alone.  I studied arrangement and performance.  I have toured both the US and Europe as a professional music

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


How did you get started teaching?

Helping out friends who wanted to learn, which taught me how much I enjoy teaching.

What types of students have you worked with?

All types.

Describe a recent event you are fond of.

I played Tenor Banjo with some well known Chicago Irish Musicians at my own wedding, and put down the banjo once my wife had walked up to the alter.

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

Music is personal.  Find someone you enjoy working with.

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

is Where do they want to go with music?  Is this a hobby or a way to meet girls/boys, or do you really just want to play? And if so, how bad...?