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Testimonials from Clients and Colleagues

"Laura’s methods are grounded in technique but are accessible to any music style you use. From Gospel, to rock, to classical theatre, she’s helped me perfect the use of my instrument in a healthy yet uninhibited form."

–Isaiah E. Brooms, Film/Stage Actor

"Laura has helped me to understand more of who I am and why I write what I do. I’ve found our time together to be very fruitful in opening and expanding my creative process. Her business sense is a great compliment to her songwriting ear."

–Chris Grano, Singer-Songwriter

"Laura Kessler has a remarkable understanding and facility with almost every kind of music area possible. She is able to cater and adapt herself to your needs to provide a truly unique and personalized music education."

–Joel Esher
Music Director & Northwestern University Music Major

"Laura is an excellent voice and piano teacher. She helped me to find my voice and challenged me to think "outside the box" with respect to career goals and making a living as an artist. She urged me to audition for a music directing internship at Second City and helped me to develop my skills as a Music Director through her knowledge of different musical genres and styles."

–Katy Marquardt, Music Director, Actress & Singer

"As an up and coming musician learning the hard way for many years, I’ve always felt confident in my knowledge of the industry and comfortable in my abilities. However, I always wanted to get better and take myself to the next level professionally…Ear training, rock vocal techniques and music theory were the three areas of my game I wanted to improve. After interviewing several vocal coaches in the area, Laura stood out heads and shoulders above the rest and we began to work together. What started as "voice lessons" grew into a full spectrum of teaching and consulting. Our sessions grew from basic vocal techniques into piano lessons into full-on music composition and songwriting. As we progressed further, Laura became my band’s personal music coach helping us in areas such as A&R, marketing, image, stage performance and surviving the cutthroat music industry. Not only have I improved as a vocalist, I feel much better prepared in helping my band put itself in a position to be successful."

–Matt Walus, Lead Singer

"Laura coached me on fleshing out some lyrics I had written for our comedy review and transforming them into a funny piece of musical theatre that the director wound up using as the show’s closer. The result, thanks to her guidance (and the music she composed), was a high-energy tune, complete with a funny rap section (one of Laura’s many suggestions) that drew a huge laugh. I’d recommend working with Laura to anyone interested in developing their songwriting skills."

–J.P. Stephenson, Writer

"The work I did with Laura has helped to improve every facet of my business communication and image. She is top notch."

–M.A., Dept. of Agriculture

"It's great to be able to give someone a lyric sheet and know that you are going to receive something brilliant. Laura does just that. With her music she adds the perfect feeling to a song. She can take something good and make it great."

-Mark Lobo, Writer & Songwriter

"Laura Kessler is more than a great musician and teacher, she's a terrific mentor. Over the past year she's helped me focus on what I want to accomplish in music. I'm now writing music for children and I find it very rewarding."

–Suzanne Pass, Singer/Songwriter,

"As a director, it’s great to have a composer that you can work easily with who is very reliable and accommodating, especially when working with a new work that you have to be very flexible with. Laura was all of those things….We worked on "Emoticons Gone Wild" at Second City a couple years ago and she was one of the most enthusiastic, creative, talented, and flexible people that I’ve ever worked with."

–Molly Martin, Theatre Director
AEA Stage Manager-New York

"I knew I had a good voice for rock, but with Laura helping me on my range, tone and breath support it has improved A LOT! I am still going to take lessons from Laura because she helped me and I know she can help anyone else no matter what genre."

–Jeff Dean, Lead singer
Chicago and Washington D.C.

"Before I met and started working with Laura Kessler I had not been able to perform as a solo artist. I was experiencing a paralyzing fear of getting on stage alone and suffered from an overwhelming sense of not being a good enough musician on my own. I’m not sure what the turning point was for me or what specifically it was that Laura said or did that changed this for me. What I do know is that she guided me to understand that I alone keep myself chained to these fears and I alone have to free myself from them. She just pointed me in the direction of the key (which I of course had possession of all along).

I have been performing as a solo artist since Feb 17th of 2006 and will be going on my first mini tour in April. Those who know me well are shocked at the transformation. I would literally get physically ill before an open mic. Today, I am performing all over Chicago, New York, Minneapolis and Wisconsin. I have had the pleasure to work with the most amazing musicians and am finishing my first CD as we speak."

–Monica del Castillo, Singer/Songwriter

"Laura Kessler helped me understand time management and find a system that works specifically for me. She guided me towards a more productive self, which has helped me balance my career and personal life. Spending time with Laura is experiencing time management at its best."

–S.F., Artist and Photographer

"Ms. Kessler was more than an excellent teacher. She became a mentor and friend."

–V.M., Accountant, South America
Accent Reduction Client

"Laura has a combination of business acumen and initiative that has led her to many impressive projects. Although we are colleagues at The Second City, I have trained with her to improve my own creative abilities and gain a better understanding of the business side of the music industry. Laura possesses the ability to frame ideas into a product that targets more than just patrons; she can market ideas to decision-makers in entertainment such as prominent artists, directors and producers. Her musical development goes well beyond the classroom."

–Shane Shariffskul, Music Director

"Laura brings great insights to help her students tap into their talents. She helped me dramatically improve my improvisation work by getting me to understand the range of my voice in ways that I never did before - frankly, it helped me land a first-time successful audition to The Second City Conservatory."

–Tim Touhy, Actor & Musician

"When I started I was tone deaf, had terrible pitch problems, and no musical background. Now, a few months later, I have total control of my voice, which has also made characters easier for my improv."

–Graham Marvin, Actor

"I’ve tried several teachers and Laura is the best voice teacher I’ve used. Equally important to the improvements to my voice, she helped me focus my goals as a singer and musician. In working with her, I realized that my vocal confidence and stage presence needed to be addressed; she helped me immensely in these areas. I’ve recommended her to several of my musician friends and all have been happy with their progress after working with her."

–Scott Ely

"Her musical knowledge and scholarship compliment her intuition and experience, allowing each lesson to be customized to the student’s personal needs and abilities, ensuring the success of the client no matter what their goals might be. She never fails to combine hard work with fun, always creating a positive atmosphere conducive to musical and personal growth."

–Chastity Unique

"Laura Kessler's help with my improv piano technique was very valuable. Her knowledge of many different musical styles and her instincts and experience in accompaniment for improv groups enabled me to play for groups of my own within 3 months with confidence and skill."

–G.P., Pianist, Actor & Improviser

"When I started, I was a mousy choir singer. After taking lessons from Laura, I now have a greater range and the confidence to appear on stage with a band. An added bonus was the work out! We focused on ab and leg exercises that I still use today…Laura is a wonderful strength advisor as well. We focused on core workouts which really strengthened my abdominals. We worked on the exercise ball, and she had a lot of new techniques I had not tried before. My singing voice improved because my strength at the core was improving."

–April K.

"I had only been playing piano for six months when I was diagnosed with a Repetitive Stress Injury (RSI). I am a computer programmer by profession, and spend hours at a time typing. When she learned that I had recently begun playing the piano, my physical therapist recommended that I stop, to avoid any additional stress. I was crushed. I had always wanted to play piano and was so happy that I had finally begun lessons. The idea of giving it up, just when I was beginning to see real progress in my playing, was hugely depressing. If Laura wasn’t my piano instructor, I don’t think I would be playing piano today. When she found out that I had been diagnosed with an RSI, she went above and beyond in helping me. Under her guidance, I was able not only to continue learning music and playing piano, but also how to treat my injury and correct the behaviors and actions that may have led to it. Laura has been my piano instructor for over 2 years, and our lessons continue to be something I look forward to each week."

-James Conway

"I met Laura Kessler within my first few months of moving to Chicago. I performed in a student show at The Second City Training Center, and Laura was like a beacon on the horizon; her fresh approach to coaching a somewhat non-musical cast was close to miraculous – every member who had been shaky before became even more confident with her help. Over the next two years I have performed in more shows under her astute musical direction and have also studied as a private vocal student in her studio. Laura’s professionalism, business savvy, and most of all her unique musicianship has been nothing short of inspiring for me on my journey as a performer. I hope to work with her for many years to come."

–Laura Meyer, Actress, Singer & Improviser

"Laura’s unique ability to instill discipline, and yet, remain very patient with my progress as a beginning piano student has been very promising in my development. In almost 3 years I have reached a level of reading and piano playing that has surprised my band, my family and many of my friends. The lessons are mentally therapeutic, and they have even helped me relax more in my personal life. I plan on continuing my development with Laura and incorporating keyboard into more creative endeavors like performing live with the band on keys, songwriting and recording."

–Larry Knox

"Laura designed a study program combining custom exercises and standard workbooks for me that quickly elevated my level of playing and improvising ability in just a few short months."

–B. Hollett

"Laura Kessler has a knack for helping singer/songwriters. Her insightful suggestions improved every song that I brought to her, both in terms of the song’s structure as well as the performance style. She really strives to help her students achieve their personal goals."

–Maris Yanow

"Alex has been under the tutelage of Laura Kessler for over 3 years now. He has continually progressed in piano through her efforts. Furthermore, it is evident that her lessons have paid off with Alex’s strong knowledge base in music theory and in helping him do extremely well at learning guitar and drums completely on his own. She has definitely helped plant the seeds of a budding musician."

–D. Cardenas, father of Alex

"Laura is both patient and exacting as a vocal coach. Working with her was a pleasure, and the greatest benefit was that, while enjoying the work, I was growing as a performer. While her one-on-one coaching built up my confidence and helped me with my vocal range, Laura is equally adept at working with singers of varying levels of experience, one of many challenges of the music improv genre. She has a great ability to communicate and teach the specifics that can make songs funny".

–Megan Powell, Actress & Improviser

"Laura has been like a catalyst to my musical pursuit. Not only has she helped with my songwriting and vocals. She's helped pave the way through the misconceptions I had about being a solo performer and being a band member. Laura has truly helped me put it all together... She has a great insight for what sounds good regardless of genre and has helped me build the confidence I need to perform as a solo artist. Her advice is timeless."

–David Beaubien

"Laura brings talent, honesty and integrity into every project she undertakes. The consummate professional, Laura works tirelessly until she achieves the exact result that she is looking for. It has been a great pleasure to work with someone who sets the bar so high."

–Kimberly Weeks, Writer, Director & Performer
New York

"After spending time with Laura Kessler, not only did my vocal range, dynamics and overall vocal quality improve, so did my understanding of the physiology of the human voice, the proper and safe way to sing and the overall use of the body to maximize my potential. Additionally, her coaching skills in and around my career in and out of the industry dramatically improved my approach to my music and the industry altogether. Laura Kessler does not take a cookie cutter approach to her clients. Her approach to her clients is as unique as their voices themselves."

–Rob Askew