The Music Gallery Academy's priority is to identify and achieve each student's unique musical potential and provide the challenge, guidance, and inspiration to equip them for life-long enjoyment of music and learning through study, performance, and focus on the arts.
The Music Gallery Academy has been offering the best private lessons in the Chicago area since 1974. We aim to continue our forty-five year commitment to excellence and student success by offering personalized and professional instruction to students of all ages, backgrounds, and skill levels.
Guitar Lessons with our instructors have helped countless guitarists of all ages and skill levels unlock the fretboard. Explore a variety of techniques and genres while learning simple to advanced music theory, improvisation, rhythmic studies, fretboard visualization, and more! Jam on your favorite tracks and discover the tools to make any guitar sing.
Our vocal coaches can help you discover the full potential of your voice in a comfortable and supportive environment with exercises specially designed to help develop your musical ear, breath support, tone production, and vocal control.
Drum & Percussion Lessons:
Our drum instructors teach rock, metal, jazz, funk, blues and many other styles. Drum language can be complex and our instructors will challenge any drummer with a wide variety of technical exercises designed to improve your speed and comfort while reinforcing the rudimentary concepts the give drummers great time, technique, and control.
Our piano teachers help students understand the language of music with a method that is practical and accessible to absolute beginners and experienced musicians alike. Our piano lessons cover sight-reading, music theory, rhythm, technique, ear training and more. Lessons are tailored to each students ability and style preference.
The Ukulele is a school favorite for entry level children through adults. The ukulele can be as beautiful and interesting as any other instrument, but its small size and soft strings make it the ideal choice for delicate hands. The chord shapes learned on the ukulele transfer easily to the guitar, making it an excellent option for young aspiring guitarists.
Bass Guitar Lessons:
Our bass instructors have helped many students construct strong bass lines, develop a great sound, and relax into a groove. We cover styles and techniques from Larry Graham's funky thumb to Paul McCartney's melodic walk. The Bass Guitar lessons also cover slap bass, fretless bass, rhythm and groove, music theory, technique and reading.
Music Gallery Band Classes:
Have you always wanted to play in a band? Music Gallery Academy lets you live that dream in the Band Classes where you'll learn to play with others, organize rehearsals, and perform on stage!
Songwriting & Music Technology Courses:
Learn fundamental composition skills with score writing software and recording technology with songwriting lessons or music technology courses. Make beats, cut samples, arrange melody, harmony, rhythm, lyrics, and structure to create a sound that is uniquely and totally you!
Recitals are fun and exciting, but can also seem stressful. The pressure turns up to 11 for some people when they think about performing in front of an eager crowd.
Here are some tips for entering the performance phase of your musicianship.
1. Know how you sound and how you want to sound
Record yourself when you can. You can do this with small personal recording devices like a Zoom or a free recording software like audacity, but a smartphone is usually the most practical option.
Practicing in a large space whenever possible is also a good idea. The demands of projecting in a concert hall are different than a practice room.
2. Don't try to be better on stage than you are at home
We are all here to support your progress in music. If you don't sound as good as you want to sound, no biggie. Keep your head up, celebrate where you are, and recognize that you're better now than you were 6 months ago. It's all part of the process.
3. Downplay The Importance of Performing
Nerves will get you down if you let them. It's hard to play with shaky hands and a nervous voice. Performing definitely can definitely be nerve wracking (and even disappointing) if you've invested your hopes and dreams in the few moments you'll be on stage. It's best to frame the idea of performing as a practical extension of your journey as a musician and enjoy those few spotlight moments.
4. Address the physical cause and effect of nerves before you hit the stage
What happens to your body when you get nervous and how can you prevent it? We get tense, short of breath, maybe a little shaky, or anxious. Trying to take a deep breath when you're already shaking in your boots doesn't do much good. The trick to getting anti-anxiety breathing exercises to work for you onstage is to incorporate them into daily practice. If you’re used to breathing while you play every day in the practice room, you can do it in performance too!
5. Be kind to yourself and silence the negative self chatter
Artists can be a little self defeating in this way. We tend to attach a lot of negativity to what others might think of our performances, but frankly, nobody shows up to the performance to have their minds blown. People show up to performances because they want to see somebody really enjoying something they love and that's exactly what you are doing. These performances aren't about how good you are or how much people should love your performance. They're about giving something you love to an audience you love. Make a habit of thanking of your imaginary audience with gratitude so that you will feel this emotion as you walk out on the stage.
Congratulations to Music Gallery Academy student, Gen Nehrt! ☺
Gen was recently declared a top performer at the Uncommon Ground Open Mic in Chicago where she performed Lost Boy by Ruth B.
Gen demonstrated something we love to see in students. She sought performance opportunities and used the skills she learned here to gift others with her music. She faced the terror of pre-performance, the relief of adrenaline, and is experiencing the lasting confidence that follows vulnerability in a public space. Gen’s experience is especially remarkable to us because she just started playing the guitar within the past year. Within this short time of dedicated practice, her playing went from beginner to performing musician and she discovered the tenacity to overcome the crippling anxiety that sometimes accompanies pre-performance.
Gen realized a valuable lesson of performance. She was secure enough to say to herself, “Even if I tank, it will be okay”.
This reminds us that wrong notes are just steps closer to the right ones. We should all celebrate where we are and let our best efforts speak for themselves and trust that each performance serves to make us better performers over time.
Thanks to Gen for her ambition and congratulations to her success!
Music Gallery Instructor and founder of SolJAMM LLC, Torin Hopkins, headed up an interactive jam session with about 30 students at this years Focus on the Arts event at Highland Park High School.
This insightful event showed us how music is language by demonstrating the myriad conversational elements that take place in a jam session. Torin's interactive and ambitious approach caused the whole room to smile and experience music in a brand new way.
Thank you to Torin, SolJAMM LLC, and Focus Highland Park for allowing The Music Gallery to continue to take part in something that nourishes and inspires musicians.