North Shore Music Masters

North Shore Music Masters

5.0 (1)
1 hire on
4 employees
27 years in business

About this pro

The North Shore Music Masters studio has been active for 20 years in the same location in Northbrook. Some studio activities include a recital (currently being held at Steinway Piano Gallery - Northbrook), participation in the National Piano Playing Auditions (May), participation in the Music Festival ( a six piano duet extravaganza) held in the Northbrook Court Mall every September (the only event of its kind in the U.S.).  Lessons are on a 1 to 2/week basis every week (per request).  There are 5 sessions of anywhere from 8 - 9 - 10 lesson packeges divided into the normal school year semesters so it is convenient for school vacation.  Parent involvement is outstanding -  critical for student progress.  The studio also serves the adult population in whatever way the student chooses - from the hobbyist to the serious classical player.

The enormous teacher satisfaction gained from student progress to the superior quality as determined in the Auditions by non-biased evaluators.

The interesting student interaction exhibited in the average lesson to lesson experience from week to week.  When the music curriculum is correct for the student who makes the correct amount of effort, there is a wonderful trust factor established with the student and also with the parents who entrust the child development to the teacher.

The success factor of this studio exhibits the above.

Teacher credentials - membership:

Music Teachers National Association

National College of Musicians

Early Childhood Music Education

National Music Educators Association

Teacher accomplishments:

Bachelors and Masters Degree in Music Education with piano as primary instrument

Teaching for 35 years - as General Music Teacher in the Public School System and manager of the private North Shore Music Masters Studio in Northbrook.

Piano involvement in duo/trio/quartet ensemble performance and CD production.


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Deerfield, IL 60015
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1 Review


  • Jody Van Swearingen

    Judith took the time to meet with my daughter and evaluate her experience on violin and to be warm, encouraging and lety daughter set he own pace with practice. She willingly plays each day with no fuss. I think that's due to Judith treating her like a responsible young musician.


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

Have parents or responsible person for the student, sit in on all lessons reasonably so they can help with the home practice.

For the young learner, start slowly.  Choose method books with good art, bright colors.  Discuss the story behind the piece.  Note reading for only the piece being studied.  Emphasize directions of skips and steps on the staff first, then basic note names with correlating finger patterns. Take at least 1 new song for each lesson, 2 preferable.  Suggest 15-20 minute daily supervised  practice to parent to keep interest level up.

For the older learner, also start slowly.  Choose colorful method books that are presented with clear, easy to read notation, much like a reading book with slightly larger print.  Begin with finger patterns, then move to basic 5 finger pattern note reading.  Emphasize directional skips and steps to find notes and eventually to reading only the notation presented in the learning song.  Use the vocabulary presented in the text.

For the older beginner, teach as a tutor would in a normal school setting.  Always allow the student to keep their composure rather than challenging them.  For the Junior High student, choose colorful books that are easily readable with explanations that they can easily understand if studying  the information themselves, as some very motivated ones would like to do.  Establish practice habits from day 1.

There are many very good method books for the adult beginner with accompanying CD's.

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

Bachelor Degree and Masters Degree in Music Education with piano as primary instrument, organ as secondary instrument.  Through the years,many motivational/methods classes attended, sponsored by colleges and universities,the local music teacher organizations I belong to, and book publishing companies.

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

Standard tuitio prices:

$29.00 per half hour of instruction.

$40.00 per 45 minute session

$55.00 for 1 hour.

 One introductory free lesson.

Studio information sheets give tuition prices per session payable at 1st or 2nd week of an 8 - 9 - 10 week package of lessons.

  Option to pay by the lesson

Suggested that all beginners into second year students (up to about age 8/9)  meet with teacher twice a week with 20% reduction on tuition prices per session..  More teacher contact time lowers stress levels in beginning learning and makes for a happier younger student.

How did you get started teaching?

It was a natural result of Music Education degrees and some very inspirational teaching from teachers I highly respected through my years of private lesson study from grade school on up to college.

What types of students have you worked with?

All ages from 3 - 4 through my present wonderful experience with my 92 year old "young" man.  I have taught in poor and affluent communities from preK through college level and those in a bi-lingual situation.  With music language is no barrier.  Example is what counts.

Describe a recent event you are fond of.

The last Piano Festival in the Northbrook Court Mall situation in September 2015.  Wonderful, non-threatening performance situation in a "piano orchestra" for the youngest to the older, more mature students skill-wise.

A successful "made-to-remember" situation for all who performed.  Student self esteem kept very high.

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

Check out the physical location of the teaching room.

Is the teacher friendly and accepting of mistakes in the learning process?

Is the assignment from week to week something that can be reasonably done given the amount of homework load and outside sport activities?  Is this an agreed issue between teacher, you and your parents?

Does the teacher expect regular practice, even though you are already busy with school life?  Do you have a schedule for your own personal practice like you do for your homework completion at school?

Does the teacher work slowly enough that you do not become frustrated?  And conversely, push you enough so that you are not bored with the same music -- unless you really are not practicing enough to move forward more quickly?

Do you want a disciplined approach to learning classical music as opposed to a more relaxed approach with modern pop?

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

For the younger student, the goal is to do what the parents and teacher suggest as a beginning learning experience and to practice within a home schedule set up by the parents/teacher (suggestion).

For the older student, decide why you are taking lessons that demand regular practice and what goal you expect to reach per the musical performance event within the music studio (recitals, etc)

If you decide to participate in performance events, know that strict preparation is required so that you are comfortable within the skill level that you are presently in and can perform in a responsible way.  Know that you can overcome performance fears if the proper preparation is done.

Nothing great is ever achieved without hard work in any aspect of life.