Steve Ramsdell

Jazz and Classical Guitar Faculty
Guitar (acoustic & electric)
Classical Guitar
Electric Bass
Program Area: 
Private Instruction
Jazz Studies
With Music Institute of Chicago since: 

Steve received his Master's Degree in Jazz Pedagogy, and his Bachelor's Degree in Classical Guitar Performance from Northwestern University.

Significant teachers and mentors: 

Several of Steve's most significant teachers/mentors from his years of studying were: Anne Waller, Paul Berliner, and David Bloom.

Teaching philosophy and areas of expertise: 

Steve's philosophy on teaching focuses on where the students are, and then using that to try to meet them at that level and go from there. The goal with this is that over time he and the student will focus on technique, applied theory, listening, and repertoire in order to develop the overall musicianship needed to play at a high level. Considering that different styles of playing develop different skill sets, he enjoys working with Classical, Jazz, and other popular styles.

Awards and achievements: 

Mr. Ramsdell performs commercial music, original music as a leader, jazz classics, and solo classical music. Some of his performance highlights include New Year's Eve celebrations at Mandalay Bay in Las Vegas, his original music at SPACE in Evanston, performances with Spider Saloff at the Iridium in New York, and shows with Matt Geraghty at Ondojazz in Lisbon and the Chicago Jazz Fest. His musical arrangements can be heard on Spider Saloff's CD 'Like Glass' while his original compositions appear on his release 'Looking For...' and his first CD, 'Steve Ramsdell Group'. As a teacher with decades of experience, Steve works with all levels of guitarists, striving to help his students develop the skills needed to pursue their musical goals.

Professional affiliations & activities: 

In addition to all of Mr. Ramsdell's achievements, he is also on the faculty at Wheaton College and College of Du Page. Furthermore, he performs professionally in myriad styles as a soloist and in small and large ensembles as well.

Interests outside of music: 

Aside from all of his playing and performing, Steve enjoys reading, staying fit, and traveling.

Favorite practice tip: 

Empty your hands!

Favorite composer or piece to play: 

Bach, Villa-Lobos, Bebop and original compositions.

Favorite musical moment: 

I don't have a favorite! So many greats...on so many so many styles...

Research and presentations / publications: 

Editorial Work on Paul Berliner's book "Thinking in Jazz"

Interview with jazz guitarist John Abercrombie in the IAJE journal(1996)

Participated in Folkloric Workshops in Brazil (1997) and Cuba (1998)