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Teachers at the Old Town School

Lisa Joy DeRosia

Wiggleworms Program, Guitar, Piano, Voice

“I started in Guitar 1 with Lisa D. and made more progress the first day than I did in six months trying to learn guitar on my own.”

Lisa DeRosia is an accomplished singer, guitarist, and songwriter with a unique and versatile voice. She has extensive performing and teaching experience. Played and sung regularly with the legendary Chicago institution, The Hoyle Brothers? Check. Traveled across the country with her award-winning band? Done that, too. Acquired expertise in multiple styles? Lisa’s musical know-how includes country, rock, folk, pop, blues, musical theatre, and classical, and she continues to play, write, sing, and teach with a wide range of influences.

Now in her 22nd year at the Old Town School, Lisa teaches both group classes and private lessons to children and adults. Her group guitar classes offer a fun and relaxing environment tailored to students’ needs, where adult players of all levels can try new things and explore diverse styles. With her wealth of experience, she is a resourceful and adaptable teacher whose classes have been described as inspiring, therapeutic, and “perfect for those new to the guitar.”

In Wiggleworms, Lullabies, and Meet the Instruments, children discover a love of music and connect to the possibilities of creative expression within themselves. Lisa’s fun classroom is a place of enrichment where kids explore their talents and encounter music they take into the rest of their lives. “The songs have become staples in our household,” one parent reports. Another adds, “We’re certain that Lisa has played a significant role in fostering our daughter’s love of music and her burgeoning interest in instruments.”

Lisa lives with her daughter in Chicago and is currently furthering her professional vocal studies, completing an M.F.A. in Vocal Pedagogy at Northeastern Illinois University, where she delves ever more deeply into music theory and classical vocal performance. She also plays and sings a variety of country, folk, rock, and blues tunes at gigs around the city.

Among other accomplishments as a singer and guitarist, Lisa’s notable work with her band Lush Budgett was hailed by one reviewer as “as much passion and authenticity as Dolly Parton or Loretta Lynn ever had. A winning combination of heart-melting vocals, engaging songwriting and brilliant playing.” The Lisa DeRosia and Lush Budgett album Yesterday Is Gone, for which Lisa wrote lyrics and co-wrote music, was called “one of the 10 best Chicago releases of the year” by the Daily Herald. She also recorded, played far and wide, and won competitions with previous bands the Corn Kings and Eden Deluxe. From childhood days singing in Michigan City, Indiana to her professional life as a teacher and performer, Lisa has continued to develop and share her musical knowledge and talent.

Get in touch with Lisa at lderosia@oldtownschool.org.

Education: B.A. in Film/Theater from Indiana University, 1985

Started at the Old Town School in November of 1996