Hello everyone! My name is Ben Crino. I am currently pursuing a masters degree in Jazz Performance at Northern Illinois University. Although jazz music is my true passion now, my musical roots spread very far, and I also have a very deep passion for teaching and learning. As a kid, my parents surrounded me with 90’s grunge, rock and roll, americana music, and many singer songwriters as well. As a young guitar player, I was determined to learn as many of these songs that I had as a kid. I would spend hours at a time learning my favorite Nirvana songs, or maybe my favorite Red hot Chili Peppers song, or even learning my Jimi Hendrix and Dave Matthews songs as well. Along with learning guitar, I became very interested in the upright bass and classical music, which I studied for about 10 years. During my time studying the upright bass, I had the opportunity to compete in many competitions as well as travel with an orchestra to Germany and play in many cathedrals.
Because of my singer songwriter exposure as a young guitar player and music listener, I also became extremely interested in writing my own songs. I started out by just writing these songs for myself, but quickly I began to want to share these songs with the world! With a band of mine in highschool, I recorded an album and one single of entirely my own original music. I have kept this passion and still continue to record my originals with different groups in studios.
Near the second half of highschool, I asked my parents to sign me up for jazz guitar lessons. As a young musician, I thought the pure purpose of learning jazz was the technical advantages of the music, but, I ended up falling madly in love with the music. The approach to the history, culture, study and lifestyle of jazz brought me so much joy, and it has never failed to bring me that same joy to this day as it did when I first fell in love. During my time in my undergraduate degree at Western Michigan University, I recorded a full length album with a 9 piece jazz fusion band, recorded 2 EPs with Jazz vocalists, played at the Detroit Jazz Festival, and also held jam sessions and played gigs once or twice a week, while also teaching at a music school, much like The Music Connection, LLC, for my second half of my degree.
All this being said, I feel that everything that I have experienced as a musician and student so far has led me to this moment in time – teaching you at The Music Connection, LLC! Just like the study of improvisation in jazz, I believe there is an art to the study of teaching. In my experience, every student needs a different approach and requires a different set of skills from their teacher in order to give them the best experience and outcome possible. As a teacher, I am not only here to help you learn how to play guitar, but also to deepen each one of my student’s love and awareness of music. This can be done with my 6 year old students, and this can be done with my 45 year old students as well. No matter the age, skill level, or amount of natural talent, I am positive that every student has the potential and ability to play the songs they love, and I am so excited to be a part of that journey!!