Columbia College Chicago

Meet the Faculty

Jeremiah Benham

Suzuki Guitar

Preferred Student Age: 3 to Adult.

Preferred Student Level: Beginner to early intermediate.

Briefly describe your musical pursuits outside Sherwood.

I teach guitar for “Baby Steps” at the Suzuki-Orff School. I am also teaching guitar at DePaul University in the Community Music Division. Besides practicing, I enjoy the analysis of composition and composing my own works. I am also involved in several mailing lists regarding the composition of electro-acoustic music. I also perform for non-profit and corporate events.

What do you want to impart to your students through your teaching?

I want to teach them skills that they can use in any type of music or instrument that they choose to take. I usually divide my lesson time between technique, theory/composition/ improvisation, and repertoire. I want them to understand the pieces they are playing, not just play pieces or songs. I want to work on tapping their creativity.

Are there specific methods or techniques that you use in your teaching that may be important to share with prospective students?

Many students come to me wanting to learn different styles of music. I try to give them a mix of classical techniques, scale and chord playing as well as the pieces of their liking so that they become well-rounded.

What do you enjoy most about teaching?

I enjoy having an opportunity to get paid using my instrument and musicianship skills. I enjoy having a steady income (something that performance alone does not provide). I also enjoy seeing students getting excited about music.

What is your earliest musical experience?
I had general music all through grade school. This would compose my earliest memories besides my aunt playing her guitar for me when I was around 4 or 5.

Please describe one of your favorite teachers.
Tom Miller, DePaul University professor of Sound Recording Technology and MIDI/Electronic Music – I really enjoyed his classes the most. He was very organized, energetic, and used many visual aids. I enjoyed the mix of music and technology that was presented very enthusiastically. I also very much enjoyed masterclasses with people like Oscal Ghiglia, Elliot Fisk, and Jamey Aebersold. I enjoyed the philosophical aspects of Aebersold’s classes and I enjoy his quotes and anecdotes.

What is your favorite type of music?

I have many favorite composers. I enjoy Richard Boulanger from Berkley; Chowning from Stanford. I also really like Villa-lobos, Leo Brower, Jeff Herrington. My favorite musical period would be the 20th and 21st Centuries.