Growing up in Alton, Illinois, John has had a life-long interest in music. He started playing guitar in middle school and joined rock bands in high school and college. John attributes his love of bluegrass, old time, country and folk music to his mother. He had the unique privilege of spending 14 months after college living in New Delhi, India, where he worked in a school and traveled extensively. It was during this time that John decided to commit his life to music. Befriending and collaborating with Indian folk and classical musicians inspired John to return to the United States and delve into the traditions of American music through his guitar, mandolin, banjo, and voice. He started this in-depth study at the Old Town School, and continues to learn and be inspired by his masterful colleagues. John hones his craft outside of the classroom in several bluegrass, old time, Cajun, and rock bands, and he established a bluegrass jam that brings together the hottest pickers in the Chicago bluegrass scene.
Studying guitar and bluegrass music with John is fun, demanding, and very rewarding. His day job in an elementary school has prepared him to be a highly experienced teacher. Whether working with children or adults, John knows how to connect with his students and teach them individually and meaningfully. Starting with the skills and interests his students bring with them to the classroom, he creates a collaborative learning environment that improves all his students' musical abilities. John’s students leave his classes challenged and smiling, ready to dig deep and practice hard.
John joined the Old Town School Summer Camp team in 2011 as a camp counselor. He loved it so much that he decided to stick around! John has been the Camp Leader of the Summer Camp in the Old Town School’s Lincoln West site since 2012 and he really is smitten with the amazing camp classes, the dedicated and eager campers, and the incredibly committed and talented summer camp teaching team that he fell in love with on his very first day of Old Town School Summer Camp.
Started at the Old Town School in June of 2011