March 21, 2019

Riot Fest Ticket Sales

Our friends at Riot Fest recently made an announcement that they are offering a limited amount of discounted 3-day GA passes through their website for $99.98. (It’s quite nice of them, and you can read more about it here:

We have gotten quite a few people asking us if the passes that we are selling as part of Riot Fest’s consignment sales would be offered at that price as well. At this time, our tickets are NOT included in this deal and remain at the $159.98 price that the 3-day GA passes were last listed on Riot Fest’s website before this promotion began. This looks to be a limited time online-only offer that is only available for purchases made through So if you’re looking for that sweet discounted price, hurry and snatch up your 3-day passes before they’re gone!

We’ll be here for you with $159.98 3-day GA passes without the service fees, CASH ONLY, once the $99.98 passes sell out (and they will sell out!!) Thank you for understanding and for helping us keep this great partnership between Music Garage and Riot Fest going year after year!


Monthly Room Availability Update – July 2018

We currently have one drum share and one band share rehearsal spaces available NOW, and two drum share rehearsal spaces coming open next month! Give us a call at 312-997-1972 to speak to a manager for more information or to schedule a tour to check out the rooms.

Hourly Business Closed June 28 – July 1!!


This year, Music Garage is the host of the Chicago date of Rock and Roll Fantasy Camp. This amazing camp will feature guitar legend Buddy Guy, rock goddess Nancy Wilson of Heart and Chris Layton of Stevie Ray Vaughan‘s Double Trouble!

Due to the size & nature of this event,
from Thursday, June 28th through Sunday, July 1st.

Monthly room tenants will have 24/7 access to their rooms as usual. We plan to reopen our hourly business on Sunday, July 1st in the late afternoon/evening with normal business hours resuming on Monday, July 2nd at 10AM.

If this camp sounds like the perfect opportunity to live out your rock star dreams, there is a special discount and still time to attend Rock and Roll Fantasy Camp for Music Garage clients! Use the code “Music Garage” for 10% off any Rock and Roll Fantasy Camp package!

Music Garage BBQ!

Save The Date!! We’ll be kicking off the summer with our annual client appreciation BBQ on Monday, June 18 from 6-9PM. 

Our friends from El Big Brother will be returning with their popular taco truck, as well as our grill master/manager John Kemper cooking up the usual burgers (both veggie & beef) and hot dogs, so come hungry!

We’ll be pouring some delicious Lagunitas Brewing Co beers as well.

Join us for live music, ticket giveaways from our venue partners Riot Fest and Reggies, merch giveaways from our neighbors at House of Vans, and a chance to hang out and connect with those in the Music Garage community.

To RSVP and get event updates, check out our Facebook event page here.

Monthly Availability Update – June 2018

We currently have two drum share rehearsal spaces coming open at the end of June! Give us a call at 312-997-1972 for more information or to schedule a tour to check out the room.

Summer Internship at Music Garage

Music Garage is looking for interns for the summer! Head over to the internships page to learn more about our program and how to apply. 

New Weekend Student Rate


Our weekend business has been booming! In order to accommodate time for all of our clients, we have a new weekend student rate going into effect next week, Saturday, March 24.

For student groups of 4 or more, $20/hour all day gets you time in the best rehearsal space in Chicago. The minimum rate of $15 is still available for our duos and trios. Our weekends are as busy as our peak weeknight hours (6-10PM) so we have adjusted the student rate to align with the demand for our rehearsal rooms. 

You can book your next rehearsal by clicking the “Schedule Now” button at the top of our page or calling us at 312-997-1972.

Music Garage is Looking for Interns!

 Winterns (1)

Music Garage is recruiting smart, passionate, organized self-starters for our 2017 Winter Intern team who can dedicate 15-20 hours/week from January 9 – May 14, 2017.

If you want to work in the music industry, there is no better place to get your foot in the door than Music Garage. You’ll have opportunities to network with the 3,000+ musicians that pass through our doors each week. Our staff will teach you what it takes, from both a business and creative perspective, to make it in the industry. We’ll work with you to refine your talents and provide opportunities to foster them, and we have a lot of fun along the way!

Our interns are the face of the Music Garage. You’ll be part of a team (8-10 interns) working towards a common goal of providing the best music rehearsal experience in Chicago. You’ll greet our customers, set up our hourly rehearsals (both booking appointments and preparing the rooms), handle transactions and provide customer service at our front desk. This is where you’ll get hands-on experience interacting with musicians and gaining knowledge about gear. There may be no better networking opportunity in Chicago!

In addition to the hourly business, interns will focus on 1-2 core projects for the duration of their internship. These projects each focus on a specific aspect of the music business and will enable you to develop and hone the skills you need to make a career in the music business.

Check out our Internships page for our program description, requirements and details on how to apply.
Deadline is Friday, December 16!

Breast Cancer Awareness Fundraiser

BC sticker

Happy October! We’re celebrating Breast Cancer Awareness Month with our annual fundraiser. Stop by the front desk to buy a limited edition pink Music Garage sticker or guitar pick for $1. You can also donate any amount if you don’t want the swag, but come on, it’s pretty cool! Either way, Music Garage will match ALL revenue donated to the cause to Bright Pink, a wonderful non-profit based in Chicago that focuses on breast and ovarian cancer prevention & early detection. Help us raise funds and awareness all month long!

bc ig

July 2016: Music Education


Us and Them: The Disconnect Between Musical Education and the Modern World

by Bridget Stiebris

There’s nothing like the pungent smell of litter and increased crime reports to mark the beginning of another Chicago summer. With the stress of exams behind them, high school and college students alike can finally take a breath of relief as their obligations drift away for a fleeting three months. For the collegiate musician, a formal education brings the expectations of coursework immersed in relevant and rigorous training that will lead to a smarter, more capable musician, ready to meet the demands of today’s complex world of music. But is that the reality? University art curricula are often criticized for graduating students who have no preparation for the business of art. Do musicians fare any better?

Perhaps so, for those who seek a career as a classical musician, as conservatories and colleges build their music programs around this genre. But what of the electric guitar virtuoso, the wicked fast rapper, of the visionary contemporary composer? Does the classical curriculum educate and prepare them for a career in modern music?

Now, I am not suggesting that students analyze a Beyonce album, but hasn’t something musically important happened within the past 56 years? Why is almost every genre besides classical seemingly ignored by this curriculum? Sure, schools have a jazz studies department. However, as said by a jazz professor at DePaul, “Music school is a place for classical education. Jazz is merely tolerated.”

So what is the reasoning behind this stark discipline of classical music in formal education? While there is no question of the importance of Mahler or Mozart on the complexities of harmonic dissonance and chordal structure, surely someone in the non-classical world has made a difference in the culture and understanding of music. Gospel music unites those of the same faith and creates a passionate, rewarding experience and safer communities. Modern folk music, along with musical theater, rock, and jazz, each have rich histories filled with innovations that influenced not only the music of today, but each other. So why do we keep all of these innovators swept under the rug?


Academic Opinions

Mark Maxwell:

Classical Guitar professor at DePaul

“There have been settings of Beatles tunes by classical composers such as Luciano Berio, Toru Takemitsu and Peter Serkin among others. This in no way goes towards creating a pop music curriculum. The idea of traditional classical training, which honestly has been watered down since I was in school and sort of pathetic compared to European conservatory training, is to give serious musicians the rigorous training they need to function in the demanding venues of classical music. ‘Contemporary’ music is pervasive in the culture. But even then some schools like Berklee in Boston have their main curriculum in popular music.”


Joe Clark:

Adjunct professor of Aural Training, Jazz Trumpet at DePaul

“Yes, schools should have opportunities to explore all kinds of music. There are certain elements of sound and performance that are essential for professional musicians. Studying “classical music” or “jazz music” can be a very effective way of teaching those concepts. However, the application of those concepts is nearly universal!

Classical music and jazz music are both genres that deal with a high degree of complexity and nuance in their sounds and require a critical rooting in aesthetics, history, and the study of art.  Although I can think of exceptions in nearly every genre, the success of “pop” genres can be predicated on cultural influence, lyrical poetics, the machinations of music business, and a whole bunch of other concepts that don’t necessarily have to do with the sound itself. I always encourage students to expand their musical horizons and check out as much music as they can, but my ear training classes have a fundamental rooting in classical music because it is such a fertile source of examples of a variety of harmonic and melodic sounds.”


Comparing these two perspectives, it is interesting to see how opinions vary based on areas of study. I feel like some professors give modernity consideration, but never seriously think about adding it to a curriculum. Others may have such a concentration on the classical areas that they have no need to consider a more modern approach. It seems to me that if any sort of change were to come for this topic, we would need a push from contemporary-based performers and teachers who believe in the value of modernity in the classroom. While Professor Clark  makes an excellent point in the richness of classical music’s harmonies, he also acknowledges that these concepts can be applied to almost any genre — which is exactly what we can do.

An opposing argument to this might be: why is there a need to teach modern music in the first place? These students will have no use for this. Why is there a need to bring the Rolling Stones in the same room as Haydn?

Read on.

Walking Contradiction: Rocking with a Degree

 by Bridget Stiebris

When you think of rock music, what typically comes to mind? If you’re my grandparents, you’ll probably imagine a sweaty stadium full of angsty punks, thrashing about and punching one another in the face. And if you ever attend a Slipknot concert, that’s probably what you’ll see. Is that really all that contemporary music has to offer the world? Think of the numerous recorded performances of Jimi Hendrix. With impeccable flowing movements and a precision so sharp it’s almost scary, Hendrix twists and bends the strings of his guitar as it wails through the night. And what about Bruce Springsteen and the E Street band? A timeless performer, Springsteen fills the audience with pure energy and nostalgic delight as a saxophone solo captivates the room. To dismiss this as “dumb” or “reckless” simply wouldn’t make sense. After all, Brian May, the guitarist for Queen, holds a degree in Astrophysics and has worked with NASA on numerous occasions. Dexter Holland, vocalist for The Offspring, has a PhD in molecular biology and has penned multiple scientific research papers.

It’s undeniable that these artists, and countless more, have touched the hearts of millions across the world. It’s music like this that inspires, influences, and propels us through the good and the bad of each passing day. So how does the classical world continue to dismiss it as not “serious” enough? We talk of the brilliance of John Cage, a 1950s composer who created the prepared piano (filled with bolts and rubber bands to alter the sounds of the strings) and wrote the famous 4’33” (a shocking 4 minutes and 33 seconds of pure silence). We study the music of Henry Cowell, who composed a piece called “The Banshee,” which consists of a bow roughly scraping different areas of a cello. Yet, these examples are dubbed “avant-garde” and praised for their contribution to new ideas in composition and technique.

I must stress that my goal here is not to put down or ridicule classical music; only to compare its ideals with contemporary music, and question why it can’t be taken as seriously in our modern world as the pieces above. I am constantly trying to figure out the true purpose behind this definition of “smart” music, and music that is unworthy of this title. And so, in an attempt to answer this question, we must consider those who have a degree in formal music education, and chose to pursue contemporary music paths instead. There is so much we can learn from music school graduates, but above all, we can explore how they have come to fit into the contemporary scene with their formal degrees and years of training.


Kris Meyers:

Umphrey's McGee (Meyers on right)

Umphrey’s McGee (Meyers on right)

Drummer for touring jam band Umphrey’s McGee

Masters of Music, DePaul University

“There’s a learning curve with whatever artists you’re dealing with…how they want to learn songs. But the discipline you get from the rehearsal techniques, the pedagogy, your classes, and the programs –especially at DePaul — they teach you how to memorize things. They teach you about chart reading, about style features. You study all the artists from past, present, of that genre. Understand when someone is playing a certain way.  You learn to speak the language. Big band teaches you a lot about how to set up with the proper fills, how to set up rhythmic figures. DePaul is right in the metropolitan Chicago area, so you’re getting hands-on experience playing gigs, which is where you learn a lot of the real lessons in life.”

Catch Umphrey’s McGee at Union Park in Chicago on September 2.


Arcana (Clark on left)

Arcana (Clark on left)

Joe Clark:

Adjunct professor at DePaul and lead trumpet in local jazz band Arcana

Masters of Music, DePaul University

“One of the most valuable parts of getting a degree in music is being surrounded with a bunch of other people who want to have a career in music. Every member of Arcana has different degrees: Classical Performance (Will Russel), Music Education (Mark Hiebert), Jazz Performance (Dave Agee), and Jazz/Classical Composition (Me). We also all come from different states. If it wasn’t for DePaul University, I can’t imagine our paths crossing any other way. Additionally, our different backgrounds give us different viewpoints and areas of expertise which makes sure we don’t become an echo chamber of the same kind of ideas. Plus, many of our fans first heard about us through musical connections that started at DePaul.”

Find out more about the incredible jazz outfit Arcana here.




Bob Koutek:

Bassist for local rock group North of Eight, Singer/Songwriter, Recording Artist

Bachelor’s in Music Performance, The American Musical and Dramatic Academy

North of Eight (Koutek, far left)

North of Eight (Koutek, far left)

“The formal aspect of my musical education technically began in high school when I joined choir. I had a phenomenal instructor named Debora Utley, who really made sure that music theory was a huge part of our curriculum. Fast forward to college in NYC, where I tested into Advanced Music Theory and was continually challenged to push the boundaries of my own understand of music and all its mysteries. Initially starting with a focus on musical theatre, our professor, by the name of Peter Susser, exposed us to many genres, from classical and jazz, to pop and everything in between. In no time the training I was experiencing inevitably bled into all forms of music I was performing or writing. It has helped me to communicate my musical ideas with other musicians clearly.

I cannot stress how important formal music education has been in my career. Learning music theory and more importantly being able to put it into practice has opened many doors that might have been previously closed. I believe it has helped me become a better musician and band-mate. I’ve played the clubs for nobody. The band has headlined the Metro and House of Blues here in Chicago. I’ve even I’ve sung and danced on Broadway. I truly feel as though I appreciate music more, even being out in the crowd just listening, having had musical education in my life.”

You can see North of Eight at the 4th Annual Homegrown Arts and Music Festival in Lisle, IL on August 6 and 7.


These artists are clearly not your average symphony orchestra members, yet they all praise their education for enabling them to perform better in the modern world. So if you ask the question, “how does modern music apply to classical?” You have your answer in their words.

Like it or not, all music is connected. The skills you need to sight-read will help you to quickly figure out a riff. The energy you deliver in an audition will prepare you for a sold out night on stage. Contemporary music has too much relevance in our world to be thrown away from the classroom. The concept of music education has such incredible potential to give students a comprehensive guide to the galaxies of art that await them in the world — and I say we let it.

 Music Education 101

by Lyssa Sheng

Growing up, while other kids my age were watching Barney and The Big Comfy Couch, my parents would sit me down in front of TRL and had me dancing to Janet Jackson in the family room of my grandparents house. My very first memory was when I attended my first concert at the ripe age of two; N*Sync was playing Allstate Arena, my dad had me in his arms and I remember seeing bright flashing blue lights. I played the saxophone in elementary school and got an acoustic guitar for my 11th birthday so I could learn how to play Jonas Brothers songs. My entire life was shaped by music and still very much is. Music has become a big part of people’s lives and it has connected everyone to one another.

In fifth grade, I remember seeing a commercial while watching MTV with Beyoncé talking about keeping music programs in schools and at the time, I didn’t realize it was a big issue. I couldn’t really wrap my head around the fact that there were people that wanted to get rid of music programs when it was such a big thing in my hometown. The dictionary definition of music education is “the field of study associated with the teaching and learning of music.” Whether younger kids join an after school club to learn more about an instrument or when people go to college specifically to learn about the business side of music, people tend to forget that music education is a real thing in today’s society.

In Chicago’s very own backyard, we have Columbia College of Chicago which offers tons of music related majors such as Music Management and Composition. Then we also have DePaul University which is widely recognized for their music program. Being situated in the middle of one the largest cities in America has its advantages.

Nowadays, being able to study music in school and then take it on as a professional career is a path that many people have decided to take, whether it be actually performing music or being involved with the music side of it. Music education is something that is becoming more common every day and people need to remember that there are certain individuals who want to pursue music for the rest of their lives.