John Devens Music

John Devens Music

5.0 (2)
1 employee
51 years in business

About this pro

As a teacher rule number one is patience. Every student can play music. My job is to find the key that unlocks each students potential. I've been teaching for 40 years. I teach most styles of music including theory, songwriting and composition. I teach students to read music if they desire. I can also teach using a tablature system.

I like the challange of teaching anyone to play music and enjoy the experience. I have been successful at teaching for 40 years and have seen several  of my students play into adulthood. That is very rewarding rewarding for me. I have taught at Chicago's Old Town School Of Folk Music and World Folk Music Company.

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Chicago, IL 60643
Email verified

2 Reviews


  • Linda O'Keefe

    John's music lesson was uber therapeutic. I turned around. Felt so much more positive & happy. Thank you

  • Linda O'Keefe

    John Devens is the best music teacher I've ever had. I've had many teachers in different areas of Music. John has been teaching me the dulcimer I really enjoy it. I've learned more music from him than any other instructor.


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

I like to get to know a students strengths and weaknesses quickly and teach accordingly. I do not use cookie cutter methods. For instance, I will not use the same material for every student. For this reason I shy away from a lot of "beginner books." I use a lot of hand outs and develope lesson plans based on each individual students needs. My son Jeremy will sit in on lessons when a student wants to learn some of the more modern pop genres. He teached everything from Green Day to Heavy Metal bands like Disturbed and Atilla. Many young students love sessions with Jeremy.

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

I've been trained at the Old Town School of Folk Music and have taken classes in advanced teaching, songwriting and composition.

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

My lessons are generally 45 minutes at $35. I will go a full hour at times if needed.

How did you get started teaching?

I started teaching in 1072 at the Old Town School of Folk Music where I was trained in individual teaching and group teaching. I owned and operated a music school from 1997 to 2009 called World Folk Music Company.

What types of students have you worked with?

I work with all types of people. I've worked with young children, teens and adults. Many teachers shy away from adult beginners, but I have been very successful. I have taught students with disabilities such as loss of motor skills due to strokes and people with Autism.

Describe a recent event you are fond of.

A recent experiences I am proud of was hitting a breakthrough with an adult student who suffered a stroke and has weak motor skills. He recently mastered a tough rhythm pattern we have been working on for about a month.

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

Reviews are nice, but starting out with about four lessons should give a student a good idea if the teacher is a good fit.

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

What do I want to do with music? Do I want to learn some nice sing-a-longs and play chords to accompany myself, or do I want to read music?

Know what kind of music you want to eventually play. Blues, Jazz, Folk etc.

Will I make a committment to study on a daily basis for at least three months? Committment is the most important part of studying music. It doesn't have to be long practices as long as they are consistent.

I tell my students that the physical aspect of playing an instrument is not all related to "talent." Students may think they have no talent because the physical part is tough at first. This is something I to stress to my stufents all the time. First one has to work through the "finger calisthenics" just like an athlete works on motor skills related to their field.