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Music Teachers at The Music Connection in Sycamore! (click on teacher's name for bio)

The Music Connection is a full-service music lesson studio. We have highly talented and professional music instructors who teach lessons for the following instruments: piano, voice, guitar, flute, piccolo, clarinet, oboe, alto saxophone, tenor saxophone, trumpet, trombone, baritone/euphonium, Fr. horn, tuba, violin, viola, cello, string bass, drums, and percussion.  We offer both group and one-on-one lessons. Whether you are just starting out as a musician or want to further your musical knowledge and talent, our teachers have years of experience instructing music. Sign up today to further your musical talent!

Kenna Pospisil has been a musician for over a decade and has been an educator for five years. Her musical career began in grade school on clarinet, then later adding saxophone and flute in high school. She is qualified to teach all woodwinds from her methods and techniques classes at Northern Illinois University. She studies Music Education and is expected to student teach in spring 2021. Kenna regularly attends the Illinois Music Educators Convention in Peoria, IL and has studied Orff, Kodály, and Dalcroze pedagogy there. She has performed in the NIU Wind Symphony, saxophone quartets, the University Jazz Ensemble, and the Huskie Marching band. Outside of school, Kenna has also performed with her former high school, Lyons Township High School in Lagrange, IL, and the Woodstock Opera House in the pit orchestra on multiple saxophones, clarinet, and flute. Kenna also welcomes a broad spectrum of ability and skills. She was most recently the music director for Penguin Players in Dekalb; a musical theatre for adults with special needs.

2020 Availability

  • Tuesday (after 5:30)
  • Wed (after 12)
  • Friday/Sat (after 12)
  • Sunday

 

 

Kenna

While growing up in the providence of Ulsan, South Korea, Jung Bin Woo committed himself to studying music and performing as a cello artist. His musical performances and education began in Busan High School of Arts and later continued at Northern Illinois University for Cello Performance. He looks forward to teaching new cello students of all ages and backgrounds.

2020 AVAILABILITY

  • Tuesday/Wednesday/Thursday — after 5pm
Jung Bin Woo

Cesar Martinez is a guitarist born in Leon GTO, Mexico and raised in Chicago, IL. His music and guitar playing has been described as authentic and energetic. Cesar was a student at Chicago High School for the Arts where his love of music grew. During his time at Chiarts he was offered many opportunities such as studying with jazz greats, performing on 98.7 WFMT, Chicago’s classical radio station, with his classical guitar trio, and sharing the stage with world famous guitarist Earl Klugh.

After graduating Chiarts, Cesar decided to stay in Chicago and study jazz and contemporary music at Roosevelt University. During this time, he was given the opportunities to play in legendary venues such as the Jazz Showcase, Room 43, Andy’s Jazz Club, and the famous Auditorium Theatre. His time at Roosevelt opened his ears to music outside of jazz and classical, where he played in Afro-Cuban, Fusion, Brazilian, R&B and even Avant-Garde groups. All of which has contributed to Cesar’s eclectic style.

2020 Availability

  • Sunday — 3-6pm
  • Monday/Tuesday/Friday — after 4pm

 

Cesar Martinez

Isaac Armstead is the trumpet instructor for The Music Connection, LLC. A native out of the Chicago suburbs, Mr. Armstead has a diverse musical background that includes jazz, classical, and contemporary music. He is an undergraduate student at Northern Illinois University. He is currently the lead trumpet of the acclaimed NIU Jazz Orchestra, Wind Ensemble, and has performed as principal trumpet in the NIU Philharmonic. Mr. Armstead has performed with several different musical groups, and had the pleasure to perform at the Elmhurst Jazz Fest, a featured artist at Jazz in the Meadows festival, and an ILMEA All-State musician. His primary teachers include Art Davis, Mark Ponzo, Tayna Darby, Wayne Bergeron, Brain Finn, Ron Carter, Reggie Thomas, Rodrigo Villanueva, Ronnie Wooten, Lucia Matos, and Thomas Bough. Mr. Armstead is a brother of Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia, the men’s music fraternity of America. Outside of his studies, Mr. Armstead is active in several different musical groups. He plays in a chamber brass quintet, The Naperville Municipal band, and has been the brass instructor at Streator Township High School for two years. He has been awarded the Louis Armstrong Jazz Award as well as the John Phillip Sousa Award. Mr. Armstead is very passionate about music and performing. His goal is to continue his love and passion for music through all of his students, and looks forward to working with trumpet players of all ages and skill levels.

2020 Availability

  • Wednesday after 5pm
  • Call for other possible availability
Isaac Armstead

Madeleine Felder began her cello career when she was just 4 years old. Since that early start, she has gone on to numerous honors, including selection as an Illinois All-State Cellist three times, two tours in Europe as a Principal Cellist, Principal Cello of the Murray State University
Symphony, Section Cellist in the prestigious Elgin Youth Symphony, Assistant Principal of the Rockford Youth Symphony Orchestra and selection for the Tri-M Music Honor Society. She has performed from Paris to Ravinia to London to Disney World. Maddy is an active musician in the state-line area and enjoys not only performing, but sharing her love of music with students of all ages!

2020 Availability

  • Thursday after 5pm
Maddy Felder

Kearsti-Rae (K-Rae) is a Board-Certified, Neurologic Music Therapist and owner of Safe In Sound Music Therapy. She has been practicing for 5 years. Specializing in serving individuals with Autism, K-Rae is certified to work birth to death and has experience with populations including Fragile X Syndrome, Down Syndrome, Emotional/Behavioral Disorders, Speech Disorders, Sensory Processing Disorder, Dup15Q, and Schizophrenia. With extensive experience with the IEP process and goal writing, K-Rae prioritizes collaborating with families and other service providers of her clients. Her goal is to provide quality, client-centered, individualized, and evidence-based music therapy services to clients in order to improve their overall health, quality of life, and daily functioning.

2020 Availability

  • Thursday Evenings

 

K-Rae-Knowles

“Darren Figgins is a Junior Vocal Performance major at Northern Illinois University. An active collegiate singer, he has been involved in academic, community, church, and pre-professional ensembles across the country and abroad including work in Kipsamwe, Kenya where he taught as a competitive music coach. At Northern Illinois University, he has sung lead roles with the NIU Opera Theater and performed as a soloist with the NIU Concert Choir. He is currently studying under Professor Myron Myers (Acclaimed Basso Cantante and former member of the Music of the Baroque ensemble).”

2020 Availability:

Friday — after 4:30pm

Saturday — by appointment only

Sunday — after 12:15pm

Katie Monroy is a cellist currently enrolled at Northern Illinois University. From the age of nine, she has been actively involved in the Schaumburg Youth Orchestras, the Elgin Youth Symphony Orchestra, District 211 Honors Orchestra, among others as well. She has taught for over four years, helping students grow and improve their skills, and has actively volunteered at different schools tutoring younger students as well. She looks forward to helping music students of all ages and skill levels.

She is now accepting new students.

2020 Availability

  • Monday/Thursday — 5:30-7:30pm
Katie

Born in Russia, Natalia started attending music school at the age of 7 and would eventually earn her Associates degree in Music from a local vocational music school. She later attended a 5-year program at Rostov State Music Institute and received a Master’s degree in Music for piano. She worked at the Fine Arts School in Taganrog, Russia, the same elementary music school she graduated from, as a piano teacher and an accompanist for 10 years. In 2000, she moved with her family to the United States and has been teaching piano and general music class at different schools and studios since 2001. She teaches students as young as 5 years old and from all backgrounds. She is currently employed as a music teacher at Cornerstone Christian Academy in Sycamore and looks forward to teaching many piano students.

2020 Availability
  • Thursday — 3:45-7:30pm

 

Natalia Diehl

Ben has over 20 years of professional percussion experience in both teaching and performance. But, his musical journey began long before that while growing up in Texas and Missouri. After playing clarinet in his middle school bands, he caught the percussion bug while being immersed in the rich musical environment found in and around St. Louis, and the rest is history. Some of his St. Louis percussion teachers include Thomas Stubbs (St. Louis Symphony Orchestra), Michael Farris, and Glen “Papa” Wright. Ben is also fortunate to have been able to train and perform with some of the most talented young musicians in the St. Louis Symphony Youth Orchestra (Leonard Slatkin, consultant). Ben later chose to make percussion his career and, upon a recommendation from his high school band director, travelled to Northern Illinois University, a school known for it’s world music, jazz, and percussion education. His primary instructors were Rich Holly and Robert Chappell. Ben earned a Bachelor of Music in Percussion Performance in 1998 and is fortunate to have performed at the Percussive Arts Society International Convention in Atlanta, GA with the N.I.U. Steel Band, under the direction of Al O’Connor and Cliff Alexis, and also during their Taiwan tour, among other things.

After graduation, Ben travelled to Nashville, TN to pursue a career in the studio scene. He was fortunate to meet and work with some great people from various parts of the Nashville music industry for over 10 years. He also marched 3 years with the DCA drum corps Music City Legend and also helped start the corps from the ground up in 2003. Other unique experiences while living in Nashville included working for several years at Treeworks Chimes and Row-Loff Productions.

In 2011, Ben relocated to Northern Illinois to pursue his Professional Educators License in K-12 Music Education at Northern Illinois University again. Some of his teachers from his time at N.I.U. include Rich Holly, Robert Chappell, Dr. Greg Beyer, Liam Teague, Dr. Ronald Wooten, and Dr. Mary Lynn Doherty.

Ben currently teaches band in the Wheaton CUSD 200, maintains another private studio in Sycamore, and freelances in the Chicagoland area. He is also Percussion Coordinator and Percussion Arranger for the Racine Scouts Drum and Bugle Corps. In the fall of 2013, Ben started his own summer drum line activity for area percussionists called Cadence Percussion. More information can be found at www.cadencepercussion.org.

Ben is a member of the Percussive Arts Society and Illinois Music Educators Association. Ben desires that all percussionists, regardless of age or skill level, learn the techniques and skills needed to be a well-rounded percussionist (i.e. mallets/snare/timpani/drum set/electronics) while having some fun too! Please feel free to contact him with any questions: benmusic@hotmail.com # 615-300-3482 (cell).

2020 Availability

  • Sunday — 11-6pm
  • Wednesday — 5-7pm
Ben Weaver

Sarah is a senior, pursing a Bachelor of Music from Northern Illinois University. Her primary focus is vocal performance with secondary studies in piano and organ. Sarah has played piano for about 14 years, having participated in the National Piano Guild Auditions and the annual American Grands concert at Elgin Community College. In the past, she had accompanied for her high school choir and local middle school choir and had also been a rehearsal assistant for the Communities in Schools Drama and Drums Camp in Aurora, accompanying rehearsals and coaching vocals. Sarah actively accompanies for music students at NIU, playing for juries and recitals, and offers her accompanying skills to local organizations, recently including the Fox Valley Youth Choir. She also has accompanied at numerous churches in Aurora and DeKalb, was previously the music director at St. Mary of the Assumption in Maple Park, and currently holds the position as music director at Christ the Teacher Parish and Newman Center in DeKalb. In addition to piano, Sarah also sings with the NIU Concert Choir and Opera Theatre, and contributes her voice to church music ministries as well.

2020 Availability

  • Wednesday/Thursday/Friday — 3-5pm
Sarah Wright

Chano Cruz is a working bassist in the Midwest who displays versatility in many styles on his primary instrument, the double bass. He is also an electric bassist and has toured with multiple groups.

Teaching is another strong suit and he has taught students out of Beloit High School who have gone on to win the Essentially Ellington Competition.

He is currently studying at the Northern Illinois University School of Music and continues to perform in cities all around the Midwest.

2020 Availability

  • Tuesday/Wednesday — 5-8pm

Born in Taiwan, Hui-Hsuan Su (“Ariel”) is currently a Performer’s Certificate student at Northern Illinois University. She received her Masters degree in cello performance from the University of Hartford in the Hartt School, and has had master classes with many cello maestros, such as Paul Katz, Colin Carr, Amit Peled, Rhonda Rider, and Zuill Bailey.

Hui enjoys giving solo cello performances and playing in chamber music ensembles. She has had master classes with the JACK Quartet, Chiara String Quartet, and Parker Quartet. Besides classical music, she has also played in various new music ensembles and Chinese orchestras.

Hui looks forward to teaching music students of all ages and skill levels at The Music Connection in Sycamore.

2020 Availability

  • Sunday/Tuesday after 5pm
Hui-Hsuan Su

Piano Accompanist, Arranger, Educator, Bandleader, and Jazz Musician, Antonio Foster was born on September 6, 1995 to Terry Anderson and Kennie Stidmon in St. Louis, MO. In his youth he was inspired by his grandmother, who was a church pianist. At the the age of 9 he studied piano from Charles R. Asbury. Later he had the chance to study with Harvey Lockhart, Peter Martin, Phil Dunlap, and Adaron “Pops” Jackson. Throughout his career Foster has played for played for churches, jazz ensembles, and an array of diverse performances over the years. He continues to educate students and perform with his group today.

2020 Availability:

Tuesday: 6-9pm

Wednesday: 5-9pm

Saturday: 11am-5pm


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