Joann Cho, Music teacher

A new music school is headed to 844 Madison St. in Oak Park and is run by a former Triton College music professor.  

Joann Cho’s Oak Park School of Music is set to begin holding classes for both children and adults on June 17 and will offer lessons on a range of instruments, including piano, guitar, ukulele, as well as songwriting and some dance classes.

Cho, who served as a music professor at Triton since 2014, said she’s found a number of gaps in terms of how young people are taught about music.

She said she’s heard that story over and over again during her last 20 years working as a music teacher and professor.

“I wanted to figure out how to retain students over a long period of time,” she said. “I also wanted to figure out what is driving students to first take music lessons and then drives them away.”

She said Oak Park School of Music will take a different approach from other music schools.

Traditional one-on-one instruction can be restrictive and provide a narrow perspective in terms of students’ needs. Instructors at her school will offer a variety of approaches to help usher students through their musical journey, she said. That includes individual instruction as well as group classes. 

One of the group piano classes offers 12 digital pianos where the instructor can tune in through a headset to hear what each individual student is playing. 

She also will offer classes on world music “to promote a wider pathway to students interested in learning about music.” 

Cho said she chose Oak Park, in part, because of its location and “in Oak Park there is no school like ours in terms of the scope and size and variety and approach I have to create holistic musicians, rather than one following one method or style.” 

She added that while Oak Park is desirable for many because of its proximity to the city, Cho said, “One of the things Oak Park residents really want is … for this to be part of their center and hub. They don’t want to have to travel to the city.”

Enrollment for the first eight-week session is under way, and the school will hold a grand opening on Aug. 17.  

More information is available at

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