David Onderdonk

Guitar, Ukulele, and Mandolin Instructor
Guitar (acoustic & electric)
Classical Guitar
Program Area: 
Private Instruction
Roots & Rock
Group Lessons
Jazz Studies
With Music Institute of Chicago since: 

University of Illinois at Urbana, IL. Classical guitar major.


I also played in the U of I Jazz Band under John Garvey.

Significant teachers and mentors: 

I took master classes with Manuel Barrueco, Eliot Fisk, Eduardo Fernandez, and Turibio Santos.

Teaching philosophy and areas of expertise: 

The root word of education is educe. I try to find each student's natural capabilities by asking questions and drawing out what is already in place. I try and find out how each student learns and help them develop their skills.

Awards and achievements: 

Featured guitarist in JAZZIZ magazine for their "Guitars on Fire" issue.

Professional affiliations & activities: 

I have played and/or recorded with Michael Feinstein, Kurt Elling (three Grammy nominated albums), Fareed Haque, Terry Callier, Grazyna Auguscik, Fred Simon, Marlene Rosenberg, and The Lakeside Singers. I have also appeared on recordings with Pharoah Sanders, Mavis Staples, Casandra Wilson, Mike Stern, Howard Levy, and Paul Wertico among others. I'm also a member of the Chicago Jazz Composers Collective.

Interests outside of music: 

I love crossword puzzles. I love being outside riding my bike. I've also recently gotten into making photo collages of abstract images generated from things like rusted out trash cans and parts of the breakwater.

Favorite practice tip: 

Practice slowly and focused.

Favorite composer or piece to play: 


Favorite musical moment: 

In general, I always like the duration right before the last chord. It's like a glimpse of eternity.