Led by Founder and Director Mike O’Mara, a longtime Evanston resident and teacher with 15+ years’ teaching experience, etc. Music School represents a holistic approach to musical and theatrical education wherein private lessons, ensembles, classes and original productions at every level involve and respect the students’ interests and strive to utilize them to foster motivation towards achieving each young artist’s goals via organic, collaborative study and experimentation.
Each lesson, class and production at etc. is tied together at every level. From the beginner to the most advanced, each student can see first-hand how their own efforts work to help the entire community of learners. Songs learned in private lessons are then used in student-produced cabarets and musical revues; pieces written in workshops are later performed in our communities; and scenes polished in classes later form the basis of original works of musical theater.
Core Tenets of the etc. Music School:
Guided by the core beliefs that every child, teen and adult deserves an opportunity to learn and create art in an affirming atmosphere and understanding that everyone can contribute to an arts community, the etc. Music School teaches and learns with the following core tenets of operation:
1. The most important part of any school is the students – not the company. What is done in the interest of the students is what is good for the school.
2. Arts education and participation is a core component of the human experience and deserved by all, regardless of race, religion (or choice not to follow a religion), economic status, gender, age, or sexual orientation.
3. An arts school is only as strong as it’s most inexperienced student. It is the responsibility of those who have acquired skills over time and through training to mentor and affirm those who are just starting their arts journey. We were all them once.
4. Innovative, original, exciting programming should not be limited by audition only to those with the benefit of being born with tremendous innate ability, access to private tutors or extroverted personality types. It is the responsibility of our community to affirm and celebrate the efforts put forth by all students at all levels. There will therefore be NO audition requirement to taking part in etc.’s original productions.
5. Teachers in the arts form unique and special bonds with their students. The trust put forth by students towards their teachers should always be rewarded with consistency and respect on the part of the teacher. All teachers at etc. Music School are expected to be there because they want to be teachers first and foremost.
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We like to get to know all of our students on a personal level, and tailor our teaching towards what most inspires everyone learning from us! We feel it's most important to allow the student to discover their own path in music and theater, rather than dictate to them what they 'should' like at each level.
All of our teachers have at least one degree in their field of study, with most having a Master's as well. Our teachers have multiple years of experience in the fields in which they are teaching for us. The Director, Mike O'Mara, has a Master's in Music Composition and 15 years of experience as a teacher in both private lessons (piano, songwriting, voice) and group ensembles (instrumental, choir, musical theater).
For private lessons, our pricing is:
30-min. lesson: $55.00
45-min. lesson: $70.00
60-min. lesson: $80.00
(From the Director, Mike O'Mara)
I never felt as though I 'fit in' as a young person. Though I displayed natural ability, I didn't enjoy my music lessons until a teacher in middle school realized what wasn't working and took the time to talk to me about what inspired ME. That changed the course of my life, and from that moment I decided that I wanted to live a life of teaching in the arts, attempting to recreate that moment for others.
We have worked with students from the age of 4 to 65 and above, of all levels of experience, from beginners to professionals!
We are very proud of winning the Evanston Mayor's Award for the Arts in 2014 and again being nominated for the award in 2016, for our students being invited to perform at Disney World in 2015, and for our numerous performances at various local civic events in and around Chicagoland!
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