Mike Pollitt is a promotional partner with Little Lake County.
Music has long been a part of the life of Mike Pollitt. “When I was young a good friend’s mom pulled out her old vinyl records and handed me a live KISS record. When I saw them on the inside sleeve and listened to it, I knew music is what I wanted to do.” Today, he shares his expertise with budding musicians and seeks to develop that same level of enthusiasm he had as a child.
Since he was 12 years old, Mike Pollitt has written songs and led bands such as Uncle Zesty’s Old Time Bootknockers, who won The Last Banjo Standing competition at the 2012 Chicago Blues and Bluegrass Festival. As a touring musician, he’s traveled the country playing festivals and elite venues. “I fell into teaching by chance; but, once I did my life became not only directed towards music but teaching others the joys of music.”
Mike has 12 years of teaching experience with most stringed instruments. Guitar (all styles), 5 string Banjo (Scruggs and clawhammer styles), Mandolin, Ukulele, and Harmonica are his specialty. He also teaches basic instrument maintenance as well as Music theory. He often is called upon to help guitar students with school jazz band as many band teachers don’t play guitar.
Mike loves teaching, “I truly feel like teaching and inspiring is what I was born to do. There is no better feeling than seeing someone live a more enriched life because of something I have taught them.”
Children and adults of all ages are welcome to receive instruction from Mike, “I currently have students that range from 5 years old to 77 years old.”
His teaching style is fun and laid-back yet very goal-oriented, “I have great patience and stress the importance of practice and hard work. I pride myself on being very good at making the lesson very individual to the student. I do not teach out of a pre-written method book; however, each student will have all of the lesson material written by me so that their notes reflect the student’s individual learning ability. Most importantly I try to inspire students to constantly grow forward in their playing.”
Satisfied customers include one Grayslake mom who told us:
In just one year, our 6-year old son has made impressive progress learning ukulele with Mike. The lessons are so fun, he’s excited to learn more, focus well and even practice consistently! Mike’s technique and patience creates more confidence and enthusiasm than we could have imagined.
Classes are available at any time Monday through Friday from 11:00 a.m. until 9:00 p.m. out of Mike’s home at 640 N. Lake in Grayslake. Many Grayslake residents will recognize his home as the “Dinosaur House.”
“My second love is woodworking and as a little eye candy for the people who live in and travel through Grayslake I decided to build giant dinosaurs skeletons out of wood; like the balsa wood puzzles I had when I was a kid,” says Mike who only wants to bring smiles to everyone who sees them.
If a parent wants to foster an appreciation for music in their children, Mike recommends, “Have it playing all the time and talk about it. My students always hear me say ‘The best players are the best listeners.’ Go see live shows. Sometimes people are more inspired by a visual.”
For parents seeking an instrument for their child, Mike cautions, “You may not know what you like at first try. Be sure to let kids try many different instruments to find the one that speaks to them. And most important encourage. Ask your kids to play for you and talk to them about what they are doing. Playing an instrument is hard and takes time. Tell them you are hearing an improvement.”
Guests at Little Lake County’s recent event, “Love Rising: A Gluten-Free Celebration and Adoption Fundraiser” were delighted by Mike’s virtuosity and enjoyed “Gypsy Jazz” all afternoon while raising money for The Worth Family adoption fund. Mike was accompanied by Hayden Cortez, a local artist and soon-to-be graduate of the Art Institute of Chicago. Little Lake County was honored to showcase both their talents and immensely grateful for their performance.
Big heart. Big talent. Thank you Mike!
For more information contact Mike Pollitt at:
Disclosure: Mike donated his time for a Little Lake County event in exchange for this story. All thoughts and opinions belong to the writer and no further compensation was received.