Megon McDonough

Songwriting and Voice Instructor
Jazz / Popular Voice
Program Area: 
Private Instruction
Roots & Rock
Group Lessons
With Music Institute of Chicago since: 

Dr Harvey Ringle ~ Voice ~ private study Roosevelt University 1976

Douglas SuSu Mago ~ Voice ~ Private Study 1980 ~ present

Music Theory ~ Oakton Community College

Piano ~ private study ~ and Oakton  Community College

Glenna Sprague Second City

The Artistic Home Kathy Scambiatara

The Actors Center

Jay Paul Skelton Sitcom Workshop

Joanna Beckson NYC Theatre Intensive

Paul Sills Act One

Anne Jacques Sound Advice

Kate McClanaghan Second City

Various Instructors Art of Slow Comedy

Jimmy Carrane

Significant teachers and mentors: 

Spiritual teachers: Emmet Fox, Eric Butterworth, Thomas Merton, Meister Eckhart, Pee Wee Herman, The Marx Bros, Steve Martin, Marianne Williamson, Caroline Casey.

Voice teachers Dr Harvey Ringle who taught me: "You can't make it happen, you have to let it happen" Little did he know this would help me beyond singing!

My first piano teacher; Sister Mary Rebecca - I was probably her most undisciplined student - and not thrilled when I took up guitar, but she taught me that unless you practice, … meh!

Teaching philosophy and areas of expertise: 

When I was 10 years old, The Beatles saved my life.  So begins my song, Beatle Love. After the sudden death of my father and three months later of my oldest sister, I poured my feelings into poetry and songs. Music and songwriting became my Healer. I feel so fortunate to have had this love of songwriting my whole life, and that now I get to teach - or rather - guide others to express their unique songs. What I love about teaching songwriting is that there's very little "teaching" involved, but rather a reminding. During our lessons, we'll cover basics - just to give the student guidelines. Structure and form are important so you don't get discouraged! Picasso had to learn to paint before he could create his unique style. I like to think I take a very holistic approach - body, mind and spirit. And, when all is said and done, I consider myself a coach really. Encouraging songwriters to ask; "What if…" and to not let resistance win, but to Write! How does a student Prudent Exuberant for learning Burning To keep the brain wheels turning Toward greatness N' Hate less The hard work that it takes us Mortals In search of portals That will make us and not break us Before the muse Lights the fuse We lose another groove That will spark us Start us Down the path our heart was Originally planned for Began toward The hands for …Only this Write man, write!!

Awards and achievements: 

ASCAP Popular Panel Award 1992 ~ 2002

Professional affiliations & activities: 


Interests outside of music: 

Irish writers, Stand Up comedy, learning to play Folk Harp (ugh, hard!), yoga, Botanic Gardens, make up art, Traveling, Native American ritual/cultural, Zen authors. Want to study Aikido. Writing a book on all the wonderful expressions I grew up hearing, Reading The Joys of Yiddish

Favorite quote: 

Kindness is the highest form of wisdom ~ The Talmud


Manners will take you where money will not ~ My Dad

Favorite practice tip: 

10 minutes of object writing. Set a timer, choose an object and start writing. No editing, no punctuation concern, just pen to paper - as SOON as the timer goes off, even if you are mid word, STOP

Favorite composer or piece to play: 

Great songwriters from Gershwin to Gotye. Dylan, Jimmy Webb, Laura Nyro, Diane Warren, Stephen Sondheim, Favorite pieces to play are popular folk songs, as well as contemporary choral pieces. Original Songs

Favorite musical moment: 

Playing Saunders Theatre at Harvard University with The Four Bitchin' Babes when Clinton was running for office, when scandal broke out. Hillary had said she was not a "Stand By Your Man" kind of woman. I had written parody lyrics to Stand By Your Man by Tammy Wynette, and sang it that night. When I finished, a wall of applause, foot stomping and hollers came from the packed theater. Thrilling.