Guitar Chicago

Seen & Noted: Music lessons play on at work

Squeezed for time, but want to learn to play an instrument? Music teachers are striking a chord with lunchtime piano and guitar lessons for downtown office workers.

Roland Moyer, founder of Lunch Time Lessons, carries a portable electronic keyboard right into his students' workplaces. Headphones for the keyboard are available to keep the noise down.

"A lot of adults want to take lessons but don't have the time," says Mr. Moyer, who charges $30 per half-hour. "If you're stuck at work, this is a way to bring it to you."

Aspiring guitar players take lessons from James Lenger, who rents space in the Smurfit-Stone building, 150 N. Michigan Ave. Mr. Lenger, founder of Guitar Chicago, offers lessons at midday as well as before and after business hours: "A number of people are looking for an oasis from work."

Mr. Lenger, who charges $25 per half-hour, estimates that about 90% of his students are business professionals who work nearby. "About half of my students are attorneys. I get bankers, too," he says.

One of those attorneys, Des Peters, a senior associate at Kirkland & Ellis LLP, says he has little time to play or practice. He started lessons at lunch and now takes them before work.

"He's got a guitar there; all you bring is your notebook," he says. "It's like a mental holiday. You use a different side of your brain."

©2008 by Crain Communications Inc.

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