"A.J is the best guitar teacher ever. If it was not for him I would not be going to music school." – Willy Q. (recipient of full music scholarship to Lawrence University)
"My daughter has been taking guitar lessons with AJ for almost 2 years. He is an excellent teacher and is so patient with her. He cares about what she wants to learn and keeps her very engaged. It amazes me how much she has learned from him. I would highly recommend." – Laura A.
"My daughter has dedicated herself to weekly lessons with AJ for 2 years and she literally could not be happier. He has taken her from a very beginner to an advanced player with knowledge beyond belief. It is one of the things she looks most forward to each week. We are so lucky to have found AJ!!! He is so talented, kind, generous, inspirational and fun!!" – Liz S.
"AJ is an awesome guitar teacher - has my son playing full songs after a short time and he uses very cool technology. Hoping to start taking lessons myself soon. :-)" – Erika P.
"AJ Rocks! #NoBetterGuitarInstructorInChicago" – Andy S.
"AJ is passionate about teaching and uses a variety of creative techniques and equipment to help students learn. My son has been taking guitar from him for about 6 months and is always excited for his lesson each week. AJ is supportive of my son’s interests and goals and is patient and encouraging. His recent recital, in a fabulous venue and with the students backed up by a local band, was an amazing experience. I recommend AJ without hesitation." – Danielle W.
"Great teacher, I've been taking lessons from him for almost 4 years. He's taught me everything I know." – Archie A.
"AJ is an amazing teacher - his vast expertise will get you to your guitar goals. My son has been a student for two years, and loves working with AJ." – Ryan L.
"Our 11 year old daughter has been taking lessons with A.J. for nearly three years and we recommend him to everyone we know who wants to study guitar. He’s incredibly focused and patient. His calm demeanor makes his lessons enjoyable for our child, and of course she’s completely in awe of his musical talents. We couldn’t be happier with A.J.!" – Cory S.
"I have the unique perspective of seeing AJ both as my son’s guitar teacher and as a student of his myself. My son at the time was mainly interested in shredding which is one of the many styles that AJ is proficient. But AJ did more than just focus on that he was able to exposed my son to many other players and styles in the process. Suddenly my son wasn’t just playing Yngwie Malmsteen and Steve Vai. He was now mastering everything from Al Dimeola to fingerpicking Jerry Reed songs, making him a much more rounded player and increasing his enjoyment of the guitar.
For me, AJ has had to contend with someone who played by ear and was self taught, picking up a boat load of bad habits over the years. He has handled that daunting task with patience, humor and the ability to tailor lessons to a person’s interests, style and temperament. Whether it’s tackling Steely Dan solos, comping jazz chords, learning Mark Knopfler’s travis picking or making music theory relevant, AJ makes it possible to achieve any goal while keeping it fun at the same time. Today, I am a markedly better player thanks to him.
There aren’t many people, I can unequivocally recommend, but as a teacher, AJ is one of them." – Jeff A.
"I have been taking weekly lessons with AJ for almost 2 years. He is a really good teacher because he is patient and knows how to teach in a way that I can understand it. I look forward to seeing him every week because he is fun and I learn something new in each lesson. He can play a variety of different types of music which is really cool, from jazz, to rock, to classical and I now I can play all kinds of styles too." – Alex S. 14 years old
"Since starting guitar lessons only three months ago I have been progressing well. AJ has done a great job of steering the lessons toward areas I am interested in instead of sticking to a fixed script, this flexibility has helped me to advance quickly. AJ is so positive and encouraging, each week I look forward to the next steps in my guitar playing journey. I highly recommend AJ." - Vic S.
"I have been taking guitar lessons from AJ since 2011 (2017). I love his laid-back approach to learning, and I have also watched grow as a teacher, becoming more and more committed to learning new ways to motivate me and help me improve. He's the real deal!" - Jerry H.
"AJ is engaging, instructive and patient, transcending fundamentals of learning to guiding his student to appreciate learning and self-development. Flexibility with his schedule is a compliment to any parent with school-age children and the related balancing act for competing demands on time." – Bill L.
"I've been one of AJ's students now for almost three years and he has been one of the most patient teachers that I've been with and he works with you until you understand and are able to play what ever song that you may be working on. I wish I could take lessons with him more often as I think he has brought me a long way, not only does he know his music very well but he makes the lessons fun to go to and is willing to teach you any song. He not only knows the guitar very well but also the bass and other string instruments as I am one of his bass students. I'm very happy with lessons as I started playing in High School but I stopped, I wish I never did. Also, a shout out to all the other guys at the Music Gallery all a bunch of great and all very knowledgeable guys." – Marco T.
“In July of 2011 I started taking lessons from AJ. Despite the fact that I was practicing for 2-3 hours per day, I had absolutely no understanding of the guitar aside from how to read tabs. I struggled with simple riffs and had all but given up on the idea of playing full songs for years to come. I played the saxophone in high school so I knew how to read music but I had NO knowledge of even the simplest key things that need to be understood in order to do anything original with music, i.e. intervals, what makes a chord, what makes a scale etc.
I told AJ that my biggest desire was to be able to play the blues. Within one month (4 lessons with AJ) I was doing what I thought was a decent job of improvising blues over a backing track…with other instruments and everything…and I DIDN’T sound like I had no idea what key we were in!! In that same month, I started practicing a few exercises that AJ suggested I devote a few minutes to every day. Soon after I started practicing them, I thought what felt like a ton of riffs that had been kicking my butt for so long and moved on to more difficult ones. Finally, I felt like I wasn’t just spinning my wheels without results in hours of practice. I was actually improving and at a really fast pace!
It is now June of 2012 and in less than a year I have gone from a nearly conquered guitarist that couldn’t learn simple riffs, such as the opening riff to “Stranglehold”, to a guitarist that has the ability to play entire Stevie Ray Vaughan scores. I now have the confidence to push my limits with more difficult tunes every day. AJ has given me an understanding of chords, the fretboard, proper technique, improvisation, sight reading and many other things including music in general that no book was able to teach me in the years prior. I was at a wall a year ago and almost ready to give up on the guitar. Today I come home from work every day and head straight it my guitars. I loved playing today more than any day before it and will love playing tomorrow even more because of the knowledge AJ has given me and ability that he unlocked in me. Because of this awesome instruction, I will be applying for the Berklee College of Music in Boston next summer and I’m more confident every day that I will be accepted, thanks AJ!!” – Michael M.
“AJ is a gifted guitar instructor. Fluent in many different styles of guitar playing, but I especially like how he teaches me classical techniques. He is always open to figuring out new options for any problems I encounter, and doesn’t forget that musicality is part of playing well. He’s always encouraging, even when my playing isn’t quite up to snuff, and always makes me want to get home and practice some more! All in all, an awesome teacher!” – Jerry H.
“AJ makes learning so much fun. He knows all genres of music. He can go from classical to hard rock in the blink of an eye. If you’re looking for the best teachers the Music Gallery Academy is the place for you.” – Chad H
“AJ’s knowledge of the guitar is unbelievable. He is able to spot potential problems instantly and give you several different options to fix the problem. He is very dedicated in teaching the proper ways to play the guitar which will make the student a better guitar player. AJ was able to take complicated lessons and break them down into smaller, easier to learn components, and then teach them to me one at a time.” – Kyle S