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Student Spotlight: Brett & Kevin | The Music Gallery of Highland Park

Brett and Kevin with Guitars
Brett & Kevin

 Brett and Kevin have been good friends since college. They started taking guitar lessons together about a year ago as a way to keep bonding while learning a new skill. Watching them challenge and encourage each other with remarkable consistency has been a pleasure to witness. Thanks to Brett and Kevin for always wanting to know more than they did yesterday!

MG: What is the best restaurant in Chicagoland (asking for a friend)? 

B: Tough question. It depends on what you are looking for. Pizza - Pizano's. Steak - Joes Stone Crab. Italian - La Scarola. Burger - Gibsons, Hugo's bar or Au Cheval.  Fun and ethnic - Tanta.
K: For restaurant: Brett Boehm is the man. He knows his restaurants. But, for hamburgers: Charlie Beinlich's. For pizza: Barnaby's (thin) and Lou Malnati's (thick). Casual dining: Bob Chinn's. Fine dining: Gibson's or Morton's.
MG: What inspired you to start learning the guitar?  
B: Guitar is something I always wished I knew how to play.  I once tried to teach myself with a plastic string classical guitar before the days of internet access.  That was a major fail.  I tried again when I was older and my kids were young.  My teacher was not the right fit and time was limited.  Another fail.  Still determined, when the kids got a bit older, I decided to try again and find the right teacher.  I called The Music Gallery and they paired me up with Zach.  Smooth sailing ever since.
K: I was inspired to learn the guitar as I was looking for a creative outlet for my next chapter in life (within the next 10 years).  It is important to retire from work with interests and hobbies that provide meaning.
MG: What have you enjoyed the most about taking guitar lessons?
B: Playing guitar gives me a sense of peace and achievement.  Each night when I sit down, I get to work on something that I want to do and not something that I have to do. Most of my life revolves around others, obligations, and commitments.  I have no problem with that, but it is nice to do something for myself that is productive, creative and healthy.

K: As my background is in Finance as a Financial advisor (and past CPA), I have enjoyed using the other side of my brain and being creative. I have enjoyed learning how to understand and read music from an entry-level perspective. It is humbling and frustrating yet incredibly challenging and rewarding with each new step forward.

I have loved taking guitar lessons with a close friend. We can share our experience and growth. We support and give each other a little extra push for motivation.

Zach has been the perfect teacher for us. He has built our lessons around our beginner background while incorporating suggestions of artists or genres we like. Zach has provided a great balance of theory and form. Many insights he shares with us during our lessons resonate in later practice sessions.  Zach keeps the lessons fun while challenging us to the next level.  Our weekly lessons are one of my highlights each week.

MG: Has learning an instrument impacted any other areas of your life?
B: Besides having an outlet, it continues to allow me to maintain and enhance friendships.  This last time, I started taking lessons with my college roommate, Kevin.  It is really fun having a buddy who is at the same level when learning an instrument.  We encourage each other and share voice memos with our progression.  We also learn from each other since we are working on the same stuff at the same time.  We have another college friend who has been playing since high school.  He is very good, but I enjoy meeting and playing with him too.
K: Learning to play the guitar has been an incredibly creative outlet for me. It has allowed me to tackle other issues or problems in my life with a different less calculated perspective.

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