Raising the Bar with Twelve Tone Music School! | Chicago North Shore Moms


Chicago North Shore Moms had the pleasure of hearing from Founder and CEO of Twelve Tone Music School in Glenview, John Lonergan, about what makes this music school such a unique program to the North Shore (hint: it’s not just about the students), what a “week-in-the-life” of a student looks like, and finally, some pretty proud moments from the last three years! Plus, don’t miss the chance to see these young bands perform in this weekend’s Annual Glenview Blocktoberfest, going on October 2, beginning at 11:00am!


Hi John! Please introduce Twelve Tone Music School.

Hi! My name is John Lonergan and I am the Founder and CEO of Twelve Tone Music School in Glenview. The school has been around for some time but was reinvented in 2019.


 What is the class structure of Twelve Tone Music School?

Twelve Tone has a flexible class structure! We have a mix of group and private classes. We try to be flexible with our offerings and continue to monitor and learn the best formats for different students. Some students really thrive in group settings, while others find the small group or one on one the most helpful. It’s really about paying attention to the students’ needs and finding the right fit.



Do students perform live in front of audiences in a band?

Yes! Students do have the option to perform live. Performances are a part of the program, but not the sole focus. Twelve Tone is co-founded by a group of musicians who truly love to play and teach music. Therefore, if a student prefers to just jam in class and not get on stage, that’s great too. It’s all about fostering a love of playing music. Performances are a part of that but not the sole focus.



What is your music training philosophy?

Our goal is to find the music and format that truly unlocks every student’s love of music. Whether performing live or just jamming at home. As long as they keep learning and love playing, that’s amazing.



There are many music schools on the North Shore. What makes Twelve Tone unique among other music schools?

First, it’s Twelve Tone teachers: We have started the process of moving to completely full time teachers with benefits and long term growth. If you talk to our co-founding team they all have one thing in common that launched their musical journey – an inspirational teacher.

This is why we are building the next generation of music education by focusing on the teachers as much as anything else. Everything we do is to create an amazing and collaborative space for teachers and students.


What was the inspiration behind becoming involved in Twelve Tone Music School?

We tried every music school in our area and just nothing clicked for our own two kids. So, we said there has to be a better way. We set about creating a better situation and now our son is the lead guitar in his Jam class and loves playing. It’s something he truly enjoys and without Twelve Tone may have been lost forever.


What has been your proudest moment since opening Twelve Tone Music School?

In particular, watching my son evolve and come out of his shell. We built the school on the premise that creating an amazing teacher/student relationship would be the key to a kid’s musical success. Seeing this start with my son and then spread to the entire school is really something! Another thing that has been amazing was watching the transformation of the teachers as we started trying new things. Once they realized this was not just going to be the same old music teaching experience, but that they have input and respect, really brought things to life for them.


What is a week in the life of a Twelve Tone student like?

Each week students have an individual and group lesson as they work towards a goal. Our teachers follow along with our proprietary practice technology and can assign lessons and work through a customized dashboard. It’s a really unique technology advancement for a music school!



What was the most difficult road block you encountered with regards to starting your business and/ior opening your doors for the first time?

Well – let’s say the entire world shared in a pretty horrific 18 months. Let’s just hope the future is bright.


What’s on the line up for Twelve Tone Music School?

We are thrilled to announce that our Twelve Tone bands are performing at Blocktoberfest in Glenview this upcoming weekend, on October 2, 2021! Stage times and bands are in this event link. We are so proud of our students!


Last but not least, how do our readers learn more about Twelve Tone Music School programs for their kids?

We encourage you to sign up for a FREE trial lesson! We have adult lessons, too! Learn more on the website, and follow along with us on Facebook and/or Instagram for day-to-day information. And reach out at (847) 901-7161.


Twelve Tone Music School is located at: 1742 Glenview Rd., Glenview, IL 60025

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