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For nearly a decade, I have enjoyed working with students of all ages, skill levels, and musical interests. As an instructor, I am committed to helping each student reach his or her individual goals and expectations. Prior to moving back to the Chicago area in 2013, I studied at Eastern Illinois University, where I earned an M.A. in guitar performance and a B.M. in jazz studies. Through my studies and experience, I was able to develop a well-rounded perspective on different musical and pedagogical styles. As I return to the Chicago area, I hope that my mentorship will continue to guide students toward their own aspirations.
I'm a lifelong musician, having started on the violin when I was 4 years old, and I am very grateful where that privilege has taken me. Music is an integral part of my life, and I credit great teachers and perserverance with how far I've come. I've performed professionally on violin and guitar with numerous ensembles and orchestras. This includes shows at the renowned Great American Music Hall in San Francisco, CA and Ravinia Festival in Highland Park, IL. I also coordinated and participated in performance and workshop events in various small villages in Indonesia. None of this would have been possible without the guidance of both great teachers and my incredible parents. Support, and a solid foundation is what can instill a love of music in a child, even an adult just starting off on an instrument. And even though technique and foundation are so useful in the develpoment of an artist, I play and teach because it's fun, and that's what I aim to inspire in my students.
I am a passionate and encouraging music instructor specializing in guitar, music theory, and songwriting. I graduated from Berklee College of Music in 2013 with a Bachelor of Music in Songwriting & Guitar Performance. I have gigged extensively in the Boston area and Midwest as a singer/songwriter, performed on various studio sessions, co-written songs in several genres, and played guitar for other musicians. My music has been featured on college radios and online blogs, and I have been fortunate enough to play the Berklee Performance Center, Faneuil Hall, and Harvard Square. I moved to Chicago in 2014 to pursue my love of teaching and performing.
I got my start in the experimental Minneapolis music scene as an adolescent in the early 2000's, the spirit of which I carried with me to Oberlin, OH. I got my Bachelors of Music from the conservatory there, where I designed my own major in Contemporary Bass Performance. The major allowed me to pursue my interest in Jazz, Classical, Computer Music and composition, extended techniques, and historical performance. In addition to my studies, I have toured internationally with the Oberlin Orchestra and several other groups, and have released seven albums of my own material.
I’ve been playing Guitar and Singing since I was 9 years old. Almost all of this was self-taught until I attended Columbia for Music theory and Composition after high school. There, I was ranked the top rated guitarist on fret-board jury for two semesters in a row, I was an examplary student and began my journey towards becoming and an accomplished pianist. Starting at the age of 12, I founded my first band and have played in a variety of original and cover bands ever since. Included in these experiences was Chicagoland regular rotation play on XRT's local music showcase and an interview on the Flabby Hoffman Show. While attending UIC I even dabbled in theatre, and though I I had little to no experiece as an actor, I achieved a lead role in three out of the four productions I was cast in. Of these four, two were rock musicals, including the Who's "Tommy." As you can see, my whole life is music. I love to teach, perform and compose music. Although I love all these elements of music, I would have to say that my greatest joy comes from seeing my students progress towards becoming accomplished musicians. Whatever your goals may be, I take great pride in helping you attain them.
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Once you’ve met with your teacher for your risk free trial lesson, continuing with Musika is easy! If you are satisfied with your lesson, all you have to do is register with us to continue! The trial will count as your first lesson if you continue, however, with our Great Match Guarantee™ if for any reason you decide not to continue then the trial is FREE. Go ahead give it a try, you really have nothing to lose.
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At Musika, we recommend that the earliest age at which students start to take guitar lessons is about 6 years old. A nylon stringed, half-size classical guitar will be the easiest and most comfortable instrument for younger students to play. In this age group, students will learn to play simple songs on the top strings. By the age of 7-8, students can start to form chords and play and sing along to some of their favorite songs. Students in the 10-12 age bracket, are likely to want to learn how to play rock music on an electric guitar, and should be comfortable playing a full sized guitar at this stage.
We have many adult students taking guitar lessons for the first time. Guitar lessons for adults are tailor made for your own needs and skill level. After a few weeks, you will increase your finger dexterity and hand strength, which will help you achieve your musical goals.
A half size (or three-quarter size) acoustic guitar is highly recommended for younger students. For older students, an electric guitar may be suitable, provided they can hold it correctly and with comfort. A good student model guitar can be obtained brand new for about $150 to $200. Electric guitar players will also need an amplifier as well as guitar cables, which will cost extra. Generally speaking, the higher the quality of the instrument, the easier it is to play. The ease of which an instrument plays is particularly important for young learners, as they will take to it quicker and enjoy their playing and practice more.
Save time by having a teacher come to your home! No need to pack up and transport your guitar between lessons, and no need to guzzle gas either. The instructors in our network provide a private, customized one-on-one lesson for each student. Your home will also be both a comfortable and safe environment for your lessons.
Beginners will start working on core skills such as fretting notes, strumming chords, and playing simple songs on one or more strings. Once students learn the basic open chords, they can begin to play their favorite songs! Teachers will cover sight reading, and music theory, and can even teach students how to compose their own songs. More advanced topics might include jazz or blues improvisation, guitar soloing, and/or classical guitar repertoire.
Review by Kristin
Ted S. is teaching clarinet to one of my children, and piano to two others. He is extremely knowledgeable, and very encouraging. His teaching methods are keeping my children enthused about their lessons, and without that, you have nothing. Two of my children were taking piano lesson from another teacher for the past year, and not progressing. Ted has been able to evaluate their skills individually, determine what was missing in their music education, and begin again with some early basics they seem to have missed. I am convinced we are finally moving forward, and am very happy about that. I wish I would have made this change much earlier.
Review by Maurice Romero
This is the 1st time I've ever taken lessons, and Robert has been a pleasure to work with. I've made quick progress and have enjoyed the process. I'm always listening for those tips that you can't find in a book. I can count on Robert to be strict on the fundamentals and am clear it will make a difference in the long run.
Review by Jane A.
I started taking voice lessons from Ali when I was 19 and a sophomore in college. Though I was hesitant to be starting "late", I felt very comfortable with Ali and her teaching style. We identified several key issues that really made a difference and improved my voice technique. It was fun to sing popular, beautiful songs in our recital! If only I lived in Los Angeles, I would still be a student. Highly recommended!
Review by Travis Dalenberg
Travis is the greatest. He knows his music and how to teach it. He gives you time to learn, but will not allow student time to get lazy. I know he teaches all age groups. Young pre-teens to us old folks 78 years young. I have been taking lessons from him since early December 2014. He is a true professional. You can't go wrong with him.
Review by Maria
My daughter has been taking piano lessons through her school district program for the last two years. She had learned a lot in that class but I noticed that she needed advanced classes at this point. After reviewing several websites I decided to enroll my daughter for the trial at MUSIKA. We got Mrs. Veronica B., and I am more than happy we got her as my daughter's teacher. Mrs. Veronica B. was very professional and very knowledgeable at the trial day. She was able to assess my daughter skill's level, and then she was able to give suggestions about how to improve those skills. My daughter has taken 5 classes with Mrs. Barker, and I can see she enjoys each class and she's improved a lot since day one. I can picture my daughter playing her favorites songs on the piano very soon!!! :-)
Review by Marcia Hecht
Karleen has really turned it around for me. My previous teacher (not from Musika) had me feeling anxious, upset, and incapable...NOT the desired result! Karleen's method is clear, appropriate for my beginning level, and (best of all) actually lets me achieve some progress! I'm actually looking forward to my lessons now!
Review by Justin
I've been taking lessons from Michael once a week for eight weeks now, and with his help I have made dramatic improvements with my sax. Michael is a funny, nice, patient and all around great instructor. I'd recommend Michael, as an instructor, to anyone who wants to improve their skills and have fun while doing it.
Review by Terri
Caitlyn is friendly, helpful and still holds my high-school aged daughter accountable for practicing. She also makes sure the music technique is mastered correctly during the lessons - they work hard and still have a good time together. I can highly recommend her as a flute teacher. My daughter is very happy & grateful to have found Caitlyn as a teacher.
Review by Vanessa
Eduard is an amazing teacher. (Coming from someone who previously knew the basics of playing and music.) He is not to harsh with his words and is extremely nice. Eduard has a great amout of experience and displays it through his teachings. Specifically by making it easy to follow along with his words to actions. As a person with a wondering mind whom is distracted easily, it is easy to pay attention.