KAISERFor nearly a decade, Steve Kaiser has enjoyed working with students of all ages, skill levels, and musical interests. As an instructor, he is committed to helping each student reach his or her individual goals and expectations. Prior to moving back to the Chicago area in 2013, Steve studied at Eastern Illinois University, where he earned a Master of Arts in Guitar Performance and a Bachelor of Music in jazz studies. Throughout his time at Eastern, Steve taught guitar lessons through EIU’s community music program. While working on his master’s degree, he was also a guest lecturer for a course entitled “The Evolution of Jazz and Rock” and a substitute instructor for EIU’s jazz improvisation course.

Although he stresses that learning music requires focus and dedication, Steve approaches each lesson with a sense of humor and tries to create a laid back environment. Through thoughtful and positive mentorship, he hopes to inspire students to think creatively and follow their own aspirations. When he is away from his teaching studio, Steve is often performing, composing, or studying new concepts on the guitar. His inspirations include Nels Cline, Bill Frisell, Roscoe Mitchell, Jim Hall, Derek Bailey, Ken Vandermark, and Brian Blade.

“My teaching philosophy is based on the notion that everyone can succeed if they maintain a consistent and positive work ethic,” said Steve.  “I believe that everyone has their own gifts that benefit them within the learning process.  As an educator, it is my obligation to find these gifts within each student.  After discovering these gifts, I strive to nurture each student’s relationship with music.”

Students will find Steve to be an energetic, positive and encouraging presence in their music education.

First piece of music that had a profound effect on me:  “Bright Size Life” by Pat Metheny

Music teachers who inspired me the most: Scott Hesse, guitarist and leader of the guitar program at Eastern Illinois University; Peter Aglinskas, guitarist and instructor at Harper College, Mark Prchal, guitarist and first guitar instructor

How I am making the world a better place:

I contribute to my community through education. When working with each student, I try to understand his or her relationship with music and nurture that to the best of my abilities. As a result, I hope that my students will strengthen their bonds with creativity and develop skills that will remain applicable throughout their lives.

Favorite quote about music:  “The more one studies the harmony of music, and then studies human nature – how people agree, and how they disagree, how there is attraction and repulsion – the more one sees that it is all music.” – Hazrat Inayat Khan