About South Loop Piano Lessons
South Loop Piano Lessons, a division of Champaign School of Music, helps students of all ages and levels learn to play the music they love and enjoy doing it with the aid of a friendly, professional teacher who creates a plan to meet each student's personal goals.
South Loop Piano Lessons offers lessons at our convenient South Loop location and in the comfort of your own home via Skype or Zoom:
About our Teachers
Dan began piano lessons as a young child and as a teenager developed a passion for playing piano, particularly the music of Beethoven. He holds college degrees in music education and vocal performance and has taught piano for more than 10 years to students of all ages and experience levels. As a teacher, pianist and church organist, he strives to inspire the passion he felt for music and playing piano as a teenager to all his students.
His teaching methods include emphasizing pattern recognition and ear training along with a strong foundation of music theory and technique. By teaching students to think about music with a big-picture perspective and identify specific problems, he encourages and achieves quick and steady growth in each student.
It is his greatest joy to inspire his students to develop a life-long love for music. Besides teaching, Mr. Dan conducts the orchestra and choir at his church, is an accomplished composer and loves biking.
Mr. Vinnie is a lifelong Chicagoan and has been teaching and performing music in the city and across the country for twenty years. He entered DePaul's School of Music on a performance scholarship, but after discovering a passion for teaching, earned his degree in education. Upon completing his education, he toured the country as the musical director for the Second City Touring Company and for three Mainstage revues at the Second City Theater. He is an accomplished piano and guitar teacher, composer and performer and has worked in both Montessori and Chicago Public Schools as a music teacher.
His background in education and development guides his teaching whether working with children, adults, or seniors. He meets his students where they are and helps them reach for where they can be. His goal is for his students to develop a lifelong relationship with playing the piano, as well as a love of music.
Mr. Vinnie is curious about all aspects of music from the cultural to the scientific. He is the creator and host of the video series "Exploring Sound with Mr. Vinnie" which is available through Bennet Live on YouTube and Facebook.
is a singing and piano teacher, accompanist, mezzo-soprano, and performer located in Chicago. She holds a bachelor’s degree from Columbia College Chicago in Music and Theatre. Her credits include Music Directing MT productions at Columbia College; collaborating on projects as an accompanist, performer, and educator; and educating students through BAMtheatre in the suburbs of Chicago.
Ms. Clare immensely enjoys working with children and peers of all ages to help them meet their various musical goals. She loves playing piano, singing, and feels fortunate that she can share her knowledge with her students. Her philosophy on music education is simple—consistency, healthy habits, and attention to technical execution will give every student a strong foundation. Recognizing that each student is unique, Ms. Clare is flexible and creative in her teaching approach. She believes in her students’ abilities and that everyone can thrive as a musician if they are given the individual attention necessary to do so.
In her spare time, Ms Clare enjoys composing, playing Jazz, discovering the Chicago neighborhoods and entertaining two kittens, Mabel and Doris, who do their own impromptu improvisations on the keyboard!
is a pianist and vocalist who began developing her love for music in the dusty hallways of the Wausau Conservatory of Music in her hometown in Wisconsin. Her piano music can be heard at Howl at the Moon Dueling Pianos, at special events in music venues around the Midwest, and is soon to be on all streaming platforms with the release of her debut music album.
Her work as a vocal music educator is specialized in Contemporary Commercial Music (CCM) as she completed her undergraduate degree at Western Michigan University in Jazz Performance. Her vocal pedagogical style is rooted in vocal techniques, knowledge from Speech-Language Pathologists, and emotional intelligence in order to foster healthy and empowered use of the voice. From rocking the karaoke stage to preparing students for auditions and performances, her priority is to help musicians find their authentic voice both on and off the stage.
A robust piano background enables her to create custom music arrangements for her students and teach both pop culture hits, lofty Classical pieces or Jazz standards. In her free time, she can be found at Argentine Tango milongas or listening to podcasts.
Ms Jia is an emerging artist from China and has performed in several venues throughout China and the United States, including many locations in Chicago. Ms Jia is a frequent Master Class performer and has played for such famous artists as: Meng-Chieh Liu, Adam Neiman, Idil Biret and Edward Auer. She holds a bachelor’s degree in piano performance from the Chicago College of Performing Arts and is currently working toward her master’s degree under pianists Edward Auer and Dr. Winston Choi.
As a passionate teacher, she has researched many piano pedagogical methodologies and draws on a wealth of disciplines to teach according to her students learning style. Ms Jia aims to nurture each student's strengths and create a positive environment to build on their current skills in every lesson. Prior to joining the faculty at South Loop Piano Lessons, she taught at Xilin Arts Academy for 6 years.
Ms Jia enjoys sharing her music with the local hospitals, retirement homes and churches such as Northwestern Women's Hospital, The Breakers, Music@Grace. She also likes exploring nature, dancing, and reading.
Mr Hector from Monterrey, Mexico, has never known a life without music and pedagogy in it. Born into a family of musicians, he received intense musical education from the age of 4. His own mother is a veteran piano teacher, expert in the Suzuki teaching method, and he saw and heard music lessons taking place every day in his own home. Under his mother’s mentorship, he started teaching at the age of 16. Since then, he has taught students of all ages, beginning through advanced.
His main goal is to help his students find the joy in music-making that he experiences every day. Each lesson is designed to incorporate their interests and musical preferences so that gaining piano playing skill becomes easy and fun
Mr Hector is a vibrant performer, regularly performing solo recitals throughout the world including Monterey, Spain, France and the US. In 2018, he won first prize in the First International Piano Festival of Xalapa. He is currently working on obtaining his Master’s degree at the Chicago College of Performing Arts, where he is studying with the acclaimed Mexican pianist Jorge Federico Osorio."
Our Founder, Ms Holly, has been teaching piano for 18 years. Her students have gone on to major in music, join performing groups and simply enjoy playing for themselves. She is the Owner of the Champaign School of Music which she started in 2003 in Champaign, Illinois. The Champaign School of Music has 150+ students studying piano, guitar, voice, drums, woodwinds, brass and early childhood music.
Holly now resides in the South Loop of Chicago and has opened South Loop Piano Lessons. South Loop Piano Lessons is for beginning through advanced students of all ages who love music and are passionate about achieving their potential in music and life. Her students say that she is: "fun, funny and energetic". She adds, "….especially after a double espresso! We work hard, but enjoy laughing together!"
Her Certifications, Honors and Leadership include:
Influential teachers have included: Concert artist Pawel Chenchinski, Pedagoge Jane Tan, Technique specialist Seymour Fink and Chicago Blues teacher Erwin Helfer. Holly also had the opportunity to study with Seymour Bernstein in New York.
Holly draws from a competitive background in ballroom & latin dance, body building and public speaking to give her students the edge in: developing a healthy, relaxed piano technique, developing expressiveness in music and preparing for performance.
To begin learning to play the piano, call us or fill out our Request Info Form. Its never too late and, rarely too early!
"An institution with exceptional instructors!"
- Imran Khan, Attorney at Law
"I wanted to let you know that I will be attending the University of Illinois-Urbana as a music major next fall. I know all of those piano lessons I had with you helped in my success so far!! My mom tells me that the strong music foundation and practice habits I learned when I worked with you is what has made it possible for me to develop my music to this point. I had very successful auditions at several different colleges and have been offered music talent scholarships, too." - Kate M.
"I am a 7 year old girl and I am half Japanese and half ' American. I go to piano class once a week. I have been learning piano for about 10 months and can play over forty songs on the piano. I have had 2 piano recitals that were really fun and really crowded. My piano teacher is awesome. She is so nice and she always pushes me to become a better pianist. My favorite thing about piano school is learning new songs and then playing them for my mom and dad!" --Terra B. Age 7
"In my opinion, the quality of any school simply boils down to the quality of its instructors and my daughter's piano teacher is fantastic. It is clear her teacher's life revolves around music and her passion for teaching inspires all of us. I really don't want to have to force my children to practice - so the fact that her teacher both challenges and inspires her to learn - which results in her wanting to practice makes music in our home a joy rather than a struggle." --Kurt B.
I thoroughly enjoyed taking lessons. I'd always wanted to learn how to play, even have a piano, so at 42 I decided it was time. My Grandmother had passed away and it would have meant a lot to her to know she helped pay for some classes for me.
My teacher was wonderful. She was cheerful, very, very knowledgeable and full of enthusiasm for teaching the class. She wasn't afraid to make us play what we were learning, never scolded us for not learning quickly enough [like a younger student might have] and made it a truly enjoyable experience. I'm not going to be performing in public anytime soon, but I feel more confident sitting down at my piano now. She helped us with her encouragement and her endless enthusiasm. Mistakes were not a problem. She wanted us to play loudly and enjoy hitting the keys. - just like kids. That's a lot of why I wanted to take the class and stuck with the entire session. I wanted to come play and learn.
--Janet M. Age 42
"Katie's progress in playing piano constantly amazes our family. She always looks forward to her lessons and what new things she can learn.
Katie performed recently at a small talent show. Their were many other children playing piano, yet Katie's performance caught the attention of many of the parents. As we were leaving the talent show I had one parent congratulating Katie and asking where she took piano because they were so impressed with her performance."
--Marilyn and Mike F.
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