Wednesday, November 2, 2016

New Website


I've created a new website and no longer update my blog. To see more information regarding lessons please visit me at:

You can also contact me directly though:

If you are interested in lessons, I moved to Plainfield, IL on Red Maple Drive.

Have a wonderful day!


Monday, November 3, 2014

Group Guitar Classes starting in January

I'm really excited to offer two group guitar classes starting in January.  

 The classes are designed for beginners so we'll cover:

-Instrument Care
-Reading Music
-Playing Melodies
-Playing Chords
-Proper Technique

There will be 2 months of lessons.  One class will be on Saturdays at 10:10am to 10:50am from January 3rd through February 21st.  The other class will be Mondays at 4:10pm to 4:50pm from January 5th through February 23rd.  
Required Items
     -Bring your own guitar or rent one from me ($30 including case, tuner, and stand)
     -If you already have a guitar, it will work for the class
     -If you are buying a new instrument I recommend a classical/nylon string guitar
           (I recommend you do NOT buy First Act as they do not stay in tune)

     -Mel Bay's Guitar Method Book 1 or Extended Edition

     -Folder and Pencil

The class is $120 but if you sign up by December 20th, it is discounted to $100 for the 8 classes.

Sign up now as space is limited!  Especially if you want to rent a guitar as I only have 3 spares to rent out.  


Thursday, September 4, 2014

Monday and Saturday Lessons


To make things easier on my students and myself I am switching to tuition-style payments where the amount you pay stays the same per month regardless of number of weeks.  What does this mean?  The cost of lessons has now been evened out through the year.  Instead of paying $90 for most months, $112.50 for the months that have 5 weeks, or $67.50 if a lesson has been cancelled due to holidays every month will be $95.  It makes budgeting easier for most families and I've already had great feedback from my students!

I also had a lot of requests for every other week lessons and finally figured out a way to offer them without sacrificing my most requested time slots to part time lessons which were difficult to line up with other people.  I am now offering lessons on Mondays twice a month.  Most months will be the first and third Mondays but it may need to change due to holidays (like this month) or unavoidable obligations.  There will always be two lessons a month costing $50 per month. 

Saturdays were also requested and I am ready to offer them.  They will normally be on the first, second, and fourth Saturdays of each month.  Like the Monday lessons, they may need to be moved occasionally due to holidays or unavoidable obligations.  Saturday lessons will cost $78 per month.

Contact me if you would like to start lessons on Saturdays or Mondays! 


Oh - Free group lessons will now need to be in the afternoon to accommodate the Saturday lessons!  This Saturday we have 4-9 from 1:00-1:45, 10-18 from 2:00-2:45, and adults from 3:00-3:45.

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Summer Classes!

I hope everyone is as excited as I am with how close summer is!  I'm also excited to announce my summer classes have been finalized!  To see or print a copy of the flier, click here ==>  Summer Classes

If you are ready to register for the classes, click here ===> Registration Form

A couple notes though...  
  1. If you are registering and paying with cash or check you can drop it off by my house.
  2. If you are paying by mail please only pay with check.
  3. I just set up paypal which is on the left side of your screen. <===  You will need to EMAIL me the registration form so I know who is coming to the class.  Paypal has ADDITIONAL CONVENIENCE FEES associated with it.  If you don't want the fee, don't use paypal.  But if there is a problem with paypal please let me know as I just started using it today!

If you have any questions, please let me know!

Have a great day!

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Putting together group lessons


First, a reminder that next week, April 1-3, I am on vacation and am not hosting lessons.  Lessons will resume as usual on April 8th. 

We also have our first Master Classes coming up on April 12th.  The time is TBD still based on your schedules but will be 30-45 minutes long and each person will have an opportunity to sing or play something they are working on.

Group Lessons

I am in the process of putting together some group classes and would appreciate your input. 

Group lessons may include:
  • Theory Level 1 (any age)
  • Theory Level 2 (any age)
  • Beginner Guitar (7yo+)
  • Beginner Ukulele (7yo+)
  • General Music (4yo-7yo)
  • General Music  (7yo-10yo)
  • Choir  (9yo+)
I can only guess as to what people are interested in and what is convenient for your schedules.  I appreciate your feedback even if you are not interested in taking group lessons.  I also understand that even if you express interest in these lessons you may decide not to take them.  Regardless, your feedback is very valuable to me and I appreciate the time you take to help me offer well timed group lessons.

  1. If you, a family member, or a friend are interested in any of these classes, what classes are you interested in? 
  2. Are there any classes not listed you would like to see offered?
  3. Group lessons will most likely be 50 minutes long.  What day of the week and what time would fit into your schedule best?
  4. Should group lessons be offered all year long or just in summer?
  5. For guitar and ukulele, would you prefer to purchase your own instrument or pay an additional fee to rent one from me?
  6. For theory, would you prefer one lesson a week, two a week, or to come each day for one week which would finish the entire level?
In case you are wondering...
Theory will be following Alfred's Essentials of Music Theory.  It can be for a beginner or for someone in the middle of their book.  While the lesson time is done as a group, attention is given individually and each person can be at a different point. 
Guitar and Ukulele will be for people who have little to no knowledge of playing one of these instruments.  If you know a couple chords and a few notes, you will still learn a lot in these lessons and find this beginner level enjoyable.
General Music will be for any level of music knowledge.  The younger group will spend time each week exploring instruments, learning new songs, singing story books, and learning the basics of music theory.  The older group will do similar things but they will also learn to play one or more songs on the glockenspiel (what you would call a xylophone), ukulele, guitar, and piano.
Choir will be small and focus on proper technique.  We will learn a few songs in unison as well as a few with harmony.  The difficulty of the music will depend on those involved.  If enough people are interested, choir will be split into two groups based on ability to offer advanced students the opportunity of singing more challenging music.

Feel free to pass this on to anyone you think is interested!  I welcome any and all feedback!

Have a great day!

Monday, February 24, 2014

Why read music? and a bit about Theory Lessons

"Why should I learn how to read music if I can already play my instrument?"

Whenever I hear a statement similar to that my instinct is to say "because you should" which isn't very profound or helpful.  The truth is that all dedicated musicians read some form of music notation but there is only one form that is clear, allows for intricate details, and translates across all languages. 

Reading tablature, chord charts, arrows going up and down, or single letters written out are all forms of music notation.  Literally they are all ways to write music so this could be confusing but I'm going to refer to the one on the staff as music notation for the purposes of this post.

Music notation is a language.  Each symbol means something different, just like letters.  When you string them together in different ways you create different sounds, just like words.  Just as it takes time to go from sounding out letters to reading novels, it takes time to go from reading notes to reading a score. 

TAB (tablature) is a really fast way to learn melodic lines on a guitar.  There is a line for each string and the number tells you the fret to play but it doesn't tell you the rhythm or the meter.  In order for you to know these things you need to listen to the music.  Plus, it doesn't readily translate to other instruments.  TAB as well as chord charts are readily available online for free.  Great!  Except very few people who make them can make them accurately so generally you learn the song incorrectly by reading them. 

You can always figure out the correct music yourself but that means you are limited to what you can currently hear.  This is called aural dictation which is a skill that takes time to learn and is substantially harder than reading music notation.  Teaching this skill I refer to it as ear training.

You may have noticed that all of these rely on either you or someone else listening to the music.  Aural dictation is an amazing skill and very important to being a good musician but if you rely on it you are constantly being held back from reaching your potential

Taking the time to learn how to read music notation will accelerate your playing.  You will know with certainty what you are playing or singing, will learn what you are hearing and how to notate it better (here's that aural dictation popping up again), will allow you to write it down such that someone else can read it or can play it on a different instrument, and so much more.  You will be a better musician if you can read music. 


Theory and composition lessons with me encompass a wide variety of possibilities.  They are the most flexible forms of lessons you can take and are formulated around your goals.  They are also easy to teach multiple students at the same time (I don't charge extra for the second person).

Theory and composition lessons could be for:
  1. The person who plays an instrument but doesn't know how to read the music.   (Even if I don't know how to play your instrument I can teach you to read music and what the notes are on your instrument).
  2. The person who plays and instrument and reads the music but doesn't understand more complex things like chord structures, cadences, modalities, etc.
  3. The person who needs help with ear training/aural dictation.
  4. The person who wants help learning how to sight read.
  5. The person who doesn't know how to write down their own ideas/compositions.
  6. The person going away to college to study music that wants to pass out of classes.  (In college you can take proficiency tests to show you already know the subject matter.  It allows you to free up time in college and saves a lot of money since college credits can cost over $1000 per credit and theory/ear training classes often are 3-4 credit classes). 
Whatever you are looking for, I will tailor lessons to your needs and since these lessons don't need to be every week to be beneficial you can save money by taking lessons only as often as you see fit. 

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Refer a friend and receive free lessons!

If you are currently a student of mine and you refer a friend for a free trial lesson, you receive $5 off just for having them come in.

If they sign up for lessons, you both get a free lesson after their 6th paid lesson.

There is no limit on how many friends you can refer!