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Max Hellermann
BA in Performance from Oberlin Conservatory
MMEd, VanderCook College of Music
(2013 projected)

Photo by Abi Fernandez


Originally from Milwaukee, Max has called Chicago home for the past seven years.  Currently, he resides in Logan Square with his wife, Maggie.  In addition to pursuing his MMEd degree, Max composes, arranges, teaches, and plays in several Chicago-based bands.

At 30 years old, Max has used his vast musical experience to create a unique style that showcases his musical maturity and versatility. As a multi-instrumentalist, Max’s sound encompasses a broad range. From the tradition of classical violin, to the aural improvisational styles of jazz and blues guitar, his musicianship imbues his love for this ancient art form.

Through his early violin studies, Max developed an ear that would lead him to pick up the guitar a few years later. In addition to his private studies with guitarists Bill Martin and Bobby Ferrazza and several teachers on the violin, he received his bachelor's in jazz guitar with a minor in Ethnomusicology from Oberlin Conservatory in 2005.

Over the years Max has shared the stage with legendary musicians such as Randy Sabien, Gary Bartz, Jimmy Heath, Victor Campbell, Al Johnson, Clyde Stubblefield, Bill Martin, Billy Hart, Joey DeFrancesco, The Platters, and many others.

To view my resume click here. 

Photo by: Alex Fries

Philosophy of Teaching
1. Effective teaching requires a balance between structure and flexibility to accommodate diverse student learning styles and backgrounds.
2. Mutual respect and disciplinary consistency must be established early and maintained throughout the relationship between the student and teacher.
3. Collaboration and communication with colleagues fosters continued growth and understanding of the learning process.
4. Teachers must communicate clearly to students as well as their parents or guardians to convey expectations, goals, concerns, and accomplishments.
5. Every student can benefit and grow through music education.
6. Above all, we are role models, and must always exhibit and live our values.

About VanderCook College of Music

VanderCook College of Music is the only degree-granting institution in the United States solely dedicated to music teacher education. The mission of the college is to enrich the lives of present and future generations through the preparation of teachers in instrumental, choral, and general music disciplines. Its broad-based curriculum is designed to prepare teachers with strong character, skill in the process of teaching, and respect for the essential role of music in our culture.