My approach is Learner-Centered. I teach you "how to fish" rather that feeding you a fish. My students say I " . . . know how to simplify complex ideas into an easy-to-understand language. His teaching style is down-to-earth." My goal is to de-mystify concepts while facilitating students to develop their own personal voice - I help you become the player you want to be.
I have been teaching all ages and levels for almost 30 years, college-level workshops, and Master classes. My academic background includes 5 years of Grad school culminating in a DMA (Doctor of Musical Arts) program at the famed Eastman School of Music. Many of my students are at a professional level. I've been evaluated by my superiors as a "gifted teacher with an intense interest in the personal development of students and a great sensitivity to their individual needs."
Cancellations should be made within 24 hours of lesson time to avoid a 50% fee. Make up lessons can be arranged.
Doctor of Musical Arts (DMA) in Jazz and Contemporary Media
Focus in Jazz Arranging and Ethnomusicology - The Eastman School of Music, Rochester, NY (ABD)
Master of Music (MM) Major in Jazz Studies and Arranging - William Paterson University, Wayne, NJ May 2011
Bachelor of Arts (BA)
Interdisciplinary Studies: Music Business and Performance - Empire State College (SUNY), NY March 2009
Certificate in Professional Music Focus in Performance – Berklee College of Music, Boston, MA 1979
College Coursework Friends World College, Long Island, NY 1975
Music Instructor USA, Hong Kong, Singapore, China, Japan 1973 - Present
Clinician USA, Singapore, Japan 1983 - Present
English Teacher Japan 2003-2009
Berlitz Japan, Inc. - Teaching evaluators wrote: “ . . . excellent; gifted; . . . With an intense interest in the personal development of his students and a great sensitivity to their individual needs and cultural background . . .. ”
Michael Franklin, an adult learner, said: “Recently I have rededicated myself to learning how to play the guitar. I have used guitar instructors in the past and can honestly say Greg Chako is the best I have worked with. His teaching style makes learning to play the guitar fun, and he keeps me motivated to practice in between our sessions. I recommend Greg with full confidence to anyone who is serious about learning how to play guitar. His passion and dedication to his work will be obvious to anyone who utilizes his service.”
Yap Shu Mei, Violinist and Director of Mandeville Conservatory of Music,
said: “I was already playing classical violin professionally when I met Greg Chako, but I was apprehensive about improvisation. Greg gave me just the right materials to work on and also helped me gain the confidence I lacked. Now I can play jazz and popular forms of music with a greater sense of assurance and enjoyment.”
Patrick Teng, Guitar enthusiast and part-time instructor, said, “Greg Chako taught me everything I need to know about improvisation in music. Regardless of genre, he has an uncanny way of breaking complex concepts into simple theory that anyone could understand. After lessons with him over the years, my skills improved and I got a part-time job as a guitar instructor with the Cristofori Music School and have been teaching there for 3 years now.”
American William Gathright, a professional bassist, said, “I’m a former student of the great Ron Carter. After meeting Greg Chako in Asia, I continued my jazz studies with him. Greg filled in knowledge gaps that have been key to my musical growth and was especially instrumental in helping me to understand and utilize “melodic minor” harmony. Playing and studying with Greg has truly created opportunities for me; as a result, I am currently involved with the “SINGJAZZ” festival and am one of the most in-demand bassists in Singapore.”
Yvette Atienza, Jazz Singer and Head Vocal Coach at Verve Music and Dance School, said, “Early on in my career, when I committed myself to developing fully as a jazz singer, Greg was very supportive and helpful in offering constructive feedback, especially when it came to repertoire choices and musicianship pointers. In addition, observing him conduct his own business activities – especially with regard to procuring and maintaining gigs – proved especially enlightening and informative for my own foray into the world of music business.”
Derek Short, professional American bassist and bandleader in Japan, said, “Greg has an immense knowledge of Harmony and improvisatory tools and more importantly, knows how to simplify complex ideas into an easy-to-understand language. His teaching style is down-to-earth.”
University of Massachusetts Fine Arts Center Director, Dr. Frederick Tillis, said, “Greg Chako displays an outstanding leadership role and ability to work with students of varying and diverse backgrounds . . .” and has, “ . . . Energetic, industrious organizational skills and an adept ability in matters of arts business.”
Arts Events Management USA, Hong Kong, Singapore, China, Japan 1983 - 2009
Performing and Recording Artist USA, Hong Kong, Singapore, China, Japan 1983 – Present
Released 10 Internationally Acclaimed Jazz CDs – Includes: Fifty original compositions, some with lyrics; variety of musical formats; unique stylistically, with interesting instrumentation; functioned as leader and musical director, arranger and contractor; authored liner notes, conceptualized cover art, led all production and business aspects; got charted, international radio airplay, and consistently rave reviews.
If you want to learn guitar the "right" way Greg Chako is your man. He is well educated in music theory and a highly accomplished professional composer and jazz musician. Jazz is his passion, but Greg can play it all. He is a patient teacher with the right amount of encouragement for any age or any level of student. Greg also has a dry sense of humor so sessions are always fun.
I work with Greg for a couple years at DHR guitar experience, a boutique guitar shop in the Cincinnati area. I found them to be very professional and informative. I've known of Greg as a professional Jazz guitarist for a number of years and after meeting him at the opportunity to take jazz guitar lessons from him. I was not surprised at the extensive knowledge he had of the guitar and applying Jazz to it. From dominant Court scales, pentatonic scales, upper structured triads, tritone substitution, 2-5-1 chord voicings, to harmonic movement and harmonizing melodies with chord solos I have found Greg to be superior in instruction has applied to jazz guitar. If you're really serious about jazz guitar then Greg is the instructor that most satisfies that discipline.
I've taken several lessons from Greg. He's an excellent teacher and very generous with his time and resources. In addition, I've heard Greg perform at various venues. He's as accomplished performing live as he is on the CD's he's recorded.
Greg is an inspiration to new and experienced guitar players with his vast knowledge in theory and playing and understanding the needs of the student.
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