Lessons
Learn guitar, bass, mandolin, piano, and more! The Upper Bout offers one-on-one private lessons with our experienced instructors. Interested? Great! Please email [email protected], or call the store at 217-607-8132.

Music Lessons

Piano and voice instructor: Dr. Felix Chan

Dr. Felix Chan received his BM at the University of North Texas. He earned his Master's and Doctoral degrees in Music from the University of Illinois. Besides the USA and Hong Kong, he has performed in Europe where he received additional musical training in France (Paris), Austria (the Esterhazy Palace), Italy and Poland.

He has taught piano to children, teenagers and adults in all levels and abilities for more than 20 years. He is an experienced teacher, recitalist and accompanist. He has taught at the U of Illinois and The Conservatory of Central Illinois. From 2002 to 2007, he played in 19 musicals (over 135 performances) and he was the musical director for two musicals.

Dr. Chan's piano teachers include Ian Hobson, Katherine Glaser (a devoted student of the legendary pianist and pedagogue Artur Schnabel), Ward Davenny, William Heiles, Kenneth Drake (an expert in Beethoven and the pianoforte instrument of his time), Joseph Banowetz and Tony Caramia (jazz piano). He is also a classically trained singer (baritone). He has sung in four full-length operas and in many major choral works.

Dr. Chan is committed to teach every student and provide them with quality instruction so they can reach the best of their musical abilities.

 

Guitar instructor: Caleb Cook

Caleb Cook has 20 years experience playing guitar, and over 10 years experience in the general field of music performance/education.

Caleb received his A.F.A. in Music Performance from Parkland College in 2006. At Parkland, he studied with local guitar professors Wes Howard, Jordan Kaye and Shawn Purcell. During his time at Parkland he studied and practiced classical guitar, classical music theory, jazz guitar, jazz theory, and composition.

Caleb participated in several collegiate ensembles in his time at Parkland, including: Jazz Big Band; Small Jazz Combo; Classical Guitar Ensemble; and he spent two years singing with the Parkland Chamber Choir.

Caleb is a regular gigging musician who has been performing for live audiences since he was 17. Since graduating from Parkland he has played a part in several bands as singer and/or guitar player as well as further developed his solo career as an acoustic artist and song writer.

Caleb offers lessons in guitar, bass guitar, banjo, mandolin, ukulele, music theory and composition. It is his goal to teach and inspire other developing musicians, while continually growing himself.

 

Guitar instructor: Sean Fraser

Sean has taught people of all ages and backgrounds for over 14 years pointing them in the right direction and helping them achieve their musical goals. He believes in tailoring each lesson to the individual student's passions, interests in musical styles, songs and specific techniques while making sure that no bad habits are developed. In addition, he strives to guide students around common pitfalls of learning the guitar. In his lesson plans, Sean incorporates core fundamentals such as chord theory, scales and advanced sequences, sight-reading and rhythm studies, improvisation, music theory and technical exercises.

Using an immersive teaching method Sean utilizes the latest in educational software technologies such as Guitar Pro and Transkriber to help students grasp songs, concepts, and techniques more quickly and efficiently. As part of his technical immersion he uses a 32” digital display which acts as a digital blackboard enhancing students’ ability to learn. Student’s learning time is also maximized through the use of pre-printed lesson materials and onsite transcriptions printed at the touch of a button.

In addition to guitar itself, in his studio, Sean also covers the use of guitar effects and signal chains to help students find the sounds they are looking for. He also incorporates pedal boards for electric guitar students to give them a “real world” taste of what it takes to play live with effects units. Students are also exposed to multi track recording and how to layer tracks into songs and the ins and outs of the recording process. With all of these tools in his studio at his disposal his goal is to help students not only see a more complete picture of the guitar, but its place in popular music. For additional information please visit seanfraserguitar.com

 

Guitar instructor: Bill Kirby
Bill is an Educator, Guitarist, and Bass Guitarist from Tolono Il. He studied music education at Parkland College and further advanced his musical education while studying classical guitar under Nicholas Lambson of Humboldt State University. He also studied jazz under West Coast Vocalist, Bill Allison.
For more information, visit kirbo-corner.com

Favorite gear: Zon Sonus Custom 6 string bass

 

Guitar instructor: Dr. Guido Sánchez-Portuguez

Guido began his musical studies at the University of Costa Rica’s School of Music, where he graduated with honors in 2001 under the guidance of Mario Solera. Guido then completed the Master’s program, with the distinguished professor and internationally acclaimed guitarist Ernesto Bitetti, and the prestigious Doctoral Program at the Jacobs School of Music, graduating in May 2012 as Doctor of Music in Guitar with minors in Music Theory and Composition. In the area of composition, he has studied with composers Luis Diego Herra, Sven-David Sandstrom, Per Martensson, Gabriela Ortiz, and Don Freund. He has participated in masterclasses with numerous figures including Leo Brouwer, Costas Cotsiolis, Pepe Romero, Eduardo Fernández, Nuccio D’Angelo, Javier Hinojosa, Jorge Luis Zamora, Jorge Cardoso, Mario Ulloa, Juan Falú, Francisco Ortiz, Eduardo Martín, Baltazar Benítez and Jesús Ortega.

Guido is a professional performer and has toured and competed internationally--a winner of multiple awards, where he has also been recognized for his compositions. His most recent CD release, “Trazos” features Guido’s music for solo guitar, guitar trio and guitar quartet composed over the last 15 years. From 2009-2014, Guido was the Resident Arranger and Musical Director of the Latin American Popular Music Ensemble at the Jacobs School of Music. With this ensemble, he recently recorded a CD featuring his ability as a performer and arranger, as well as director and producer. In 2012, Guido directed and produced a CD with the Grammy-winning singer Sylvia McNair in which he is also featured as performer and arranger.

Guido is a seasoned guitar instructor. He has been teaching guitar for over 20 years both in private settings and in university classrooms. Guido has also directed several music ensembles, most recently at the Jacob’s School of Music in 2014 where he also taught two courses: Latin American Popular Music History and Techniques for Arranging in Latin Styles. He is also a co-owner of the "Escuela Superior de Guitarra" in Costa Rica, for which he has worked as a teacher and director. Guido is currently the Director of Guitar Studies and teaches World Music at Franklin College Music Department in Indiana.

Guido lives in Champaign, IL where he also teaches private students. Although Guido is a formally-trained classical guitarist, he teaches any age and any style--Guido has worked extensively with students on both electric and acoustic guitar. Guido’s initial guitar interest at an early age was playing the electric guitar, and he has performed in multiple bands ranging from rock to country.

For additional information please visit www.guidoguitar.com.