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Piano, Voice and Accordion Teachers

Brian James Vollriede

Mr. Brian James Vollriede: Piano ($26)
Thursday

Brian James Vollriede is currently the keyboardist for Delmark Records and recording artist for the famous Chicago blues band The Mike Wheeler Band. He has played and acted as musical director for The Chi-Lites, The Drifters, The Classic Five, Sugar Blue, John Lee Hooker Jr, Chico Banks and blues legend Lonnie Brooks. He is also a recording artist for Swississippi Records. He has a varied and diverse range of experiences and influences stemming from numerous tours and extensive studio work with Reggae, Country, Jazz, Rock, Zydeco, Pop, Blues and R&B groups.
Brian was inducted into the Chicago Blues Hall of Fame twice, once as a Master Blues Performer, and once as a part of The Mike Wheeler Band as a Master Blues Band. He was a College of DuPage lecturer on ensemble playing and improvisation, and the winner of 2015 Chicago Music Award for favorite blues band.
Brian has an Associates of Fine Arts degree with high honors from Illinois State University and College of DuPage and is currently working toward his B.A. in Music Education.
Brian has been teaching for the past 17 years, and most recently at the School of Rock. He is delighted to share his extensive knowledge of classical and popular music with the NMA students.
Brian is sponsored by Nord keyboards and Barbetta amplifications.

Jenna Hintz

Ms Jenna Hintz: Voice ($28) and Piano ($28)
Monday, Saturday

Jenna Hintz, soprano, is a graduate of the Boston University Opera Institute and holds a Bachelor of Music and Master of Music in vocal performance from the University of Illinois. She has recently returned to the area after living in New York City for the past 17 years where she was fortunate enough to combine her love of performing with her passion for teaching voice and piano. She has performed many operatic roles, concerts and recitals throughout this country and internationally, as well as continually teaching, accompanying and coaching. She has been teaching piano and voice privately and through various schools, such as the University of Illinois, University of Connecticut Community School and Hartt School of Music, for over 20 years. Jenna is experienced in working with many levels, styles and ages in both piano and voice. Not only does she believe in the importance of technique within the discipline of studying music, but she also hopes to instill in her students the passion and love of music that she herself found at an early age.
She still performs regularly while at the same time finding immense fulfillment in passing along the fundamental elements of music, such as technique, theory and pedagogy, to her students. She has been fortunate enough to not only watch her students grow and expand musically, but she also has seen firsthand the astounding effects a musical education can have on every aspect of a child or adult’s life.

Mila Taylor

Mrs. Mila Taylor: Piano ($28)
Monday, Thursday, Saturday

Mila Taylor started her music education in piano at the age of six with a private teacher, and in one year she was admitted to the Gnesin school for gifted kids. After graduation she was accepted to the Rostov College of Arts where she earned a bachelor degree in Music Education and Piano Performance. Mrs. Taylor learned Piano in the class of professor Valeria Varshavskaya - graduate of the Moscow conservatory, an outstanding pianist and teacher, a colleague and a close friend of Sviatoslav Richter - one of the greatest pianists of the 20th century. During the study, Mrs Taylor has been awarded several honors as a performer, participating in the competitions of young piano players at the regional and country level. Upon graduation Mrs.Taylor was admitted to the best rated University in Russia - Lomonosov Moscow University, where she got her master degree in History and Theory of Art. Mrs Taylor was teaching in music schools and privately in Moscow, Brussels, and the Chicago area ( since 2003). Also, she has a performance experience as a soloist, accompanist, and with a symphony orchestra. Russian classical piano school is one of the world famous and requires a lot of the discipline and rigorous workload. "In my teaching methods I follow my famous teachers. I am focused on building strong music reading and technical skills, playing from lead sheets and studying music theory and history as it applies to the pieces studied. I am very proud to continue traditions of the world famous Russian musicians." Mrs. Taylor is teaching all ages and all levels - from the beginning up to the conservatory level. Some students may choose to become professionals, others may just want to learn to play piano for fun. The goal is to help each student to open the world of music and enjoy the rewards that music brings.

Caitlin Desiree Hunter

Ms Caitlin Desiree Hunter: Piano ($26)
Monday, Wednesday

Originally from Nashville, Tennessee, Desiree Hunter, has received a Bachelors of Music in Music Education at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, and a Masters of Music Education from Illinois State University. Desiree teaches piano, violin, viola and cello and has performed with numerous chamber ensembles and as a soloist. Currently, Desiree teaches 5th and 6th grade orchestra in Yorkville, IL. She has also taught in Bloomington, IL, Knoxville, TN, and Moshi, Tanzania. In her free time, Desiree enjoys baking, knitting, and playing with her cat, Bucket. Desiree can't wait to be a part of Naperville Music Academy family!

Emily Moran

Ms Emily Moran: Voice ($27) and Piano ($27)
Tuesday, Thursday

Emily Moran has been a music teacher for many years, with expertise in vocal, piano and general music. She holds a Bachelor's of Music Education from Gustavus Adolphus College in Minnesota. Previous teaching experience includes: teaching music in Sotogrande, Spain; teaching English in Seoul, South Korea; teaching private piano and voice lessons in Minnesota and Illinois; and teaching K-8 music and choir in Chicago and North Chicago, Illinois. She currently teaches K-5 general music full time in West Chicago. She has been a member of choirs for over 10 years, and has performed in countless musical productions.

Matt Kavanaugh

Mr. Matt Kavanaugh: Piano ($27)
Thursday, Friday

Matt Kavanaugh is a multi instrumentalist from Naperville, Il who has been playing, studying, and performing music throughout the last 15 years.. In 2017, he graduated from Elmhurst College, where he studied guitar with Frank Portolese, Mike Pinto, and Neal Alger, and piano with Frank Caruso and Mark Streder.
Matt is currently working towards a graduate degree from Northern Illinois University, studying under Fareed Haque. Matt can be currently found playing around the Chicagoland area in various jazz, rock, and pop groups. His teaching experience ranges from students ages 5-70, and in all genres. His teaching philosophy focuses on each individual student, their musical interests, music fundamentals, and enjoying your musical journey at your own pace!

Josh Hylland Piano

Mr. Josh Hylland: Piano ($28)
Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Saturday

Josh Hylland has been a member of NMA faculty for 3 years now teaching piano, guitar, and drums. He is a member of Music Teacher National Association, and of Naperville Chapter ISMTA, and is active in preparing his piano students for IL State Piano Exam. He also created the curriculum for NMA Merit Certificate Exam in drums. In addition, Josh’s students had great success at IMA Competition in the previous years, many of whom brought home trophies, placing among the top 3 competitors in their class.
Josh started his musical journey playing percussion in middle school band, and enrolling in choir shortly thereafter. He has been a dedicated musician since picking up the guitar at age 12, and eventually began taking lessons from local musicians. Prior to legal driving age, Josh had already begun giving lessons to family acquaintances as well as a few friends from school, and in doing so discovered a new type of joy, teaching music to others. Since then he has continued to seek out eager students, giving lessons out of home and thoroughly exploring every musical opportunity he saw, as well as every instrument he could get his hands on. Since graduating high school he studied music theory as well as jazz guitar and piano at Waubonsee Community College before moving on to play bass guitar in a band fronted by former Buddy Guy guitarist, Frank Blinkal for two years. Since then he has played live and in studios with various acts in Chicago and the surrounding areas. Josh continues his search for new musical endeavors, and always strives to help students take the next step.

Kristofer Spike

Mr. Kristofer Spike: Piano ($28)
Wednesday

Kris has a Bachelor of Music Education degree from the Sydney Conservatorium of Music and also a licentiate diploma in piano performance from Trinity College, London. As well as performing the standard classical repertoire, Kris has diversified into many different styles of music as performer, composer and arranger. His teaching philosophy is based on the belief that all students deserve to be taught in a way that sequential, logical and thorough. After making sure that students have a firm grasp of the basics Kris is able to tailor his approach to match the interests of the student and work towards achieving their goals and musical aspirations. As an active composer Kris places great importance on developing a working knowledge of music theory and being able to incorporate that into practical music performance. Examples of Kris's composing and performing can be heard on his YouTube channel.
Examples of Kris's composing and performing

Vera Pelin

Ms Vera Pelin: Voice ($27) and Piano ($27)
Friday

Vera Pelin is a pianist from Republic of Moldova. She has been playing piano, harpsichord and organ for 19 years and been teaching voice and piano for seven. She has a Bachelor of Music from the National University of Music in Bucharest, Romania, in piano performance. She has performed at festivals in Hungary, Romania and her home country, and has played in recitals in performance halls in both Romania and Moldova. She participated in national piano and chamber music competitions. She also has been a member of choirs from a young age: choir "Vocile primaverii" R. Moldova, choir "Rapsodia" R. Moldova, music ensemble of folk music "Dor dorulet" R. Moldova and several church choirs.

Pooja Deshpande

Ms Pooja Deshpande​: Piano ($27)
Tuesday, Friday

Pooja’s love for music began at the age of 4 when she began to seek training in Indian classical music- vocals and harmonium. She has successfully completed Madhyama from Gandharva Mahavidyalaya, Hyderabad. While pursuing a Computer Science Engineering degree, she performed on keyboards at sought-after venues as a part of classic rock bands. During this time, she recognized her growing passion for music. She has successfully completed Grade 6 in music theory (ABRSM) and Electronic keyboard (Trinity College of London). She moved to Sydney, Australia to study music at a Bachelor’s level from Academy of Music and Performing Arts (AMPA). After graduating, she had the opportunity to train students of all ages and levels at two different music organizations in Sydney. With the fundamentals and meaningful experience in her hands, she feels excited to contribute to the teaching program at NMA. When she is not musically occupied, one can find her feeding and rescuing animals.

Melissa Piantedosi

Ms Melissa Piantedosi: Voice ($26) and Piano ($26)
Tuesday, Wednesday

Melissa Piantedosi, voice and piano instructor, has been performing for over 17 years. Her education includes a Masters Degree from Chicago College of Performing Arts at Roosevelt University and a Bachelor Degree from The Boston Conservatory, both in Vocal Performance.​ Melissa has performed in a wide variety of venues across the country and in Verona, Italy. She is comfortable singing and teaching classical as well as popular styles of music. Operatic roles she has performed include Fanette in Milton Granger’s comic opera, Bluebeard’s Waiting Room and goddesses Venere and Pallade in Monteverdi’s L’incoronazione di Poppea.
Melissa co-founded Con Fuoco, a group that tells compelling stories of the lives of composers through performance of art song and prose. Melissa also has experience giving educational outreach performances with South Shore Opera Company at the Chicago Cultural Center and the Helen C. Peirce School of International Studies. It is one of Melissa’s greatest joys to share her knowledge and passion of music with others. Her goal is to not only teach her students a reliable technique, but to help them find their unique voice and expression through the music.

Andrew Wilson

Mr. Andrew Wilson​: Piano ($28) and Accordion ($27)
Monday, Tuesday, Friday

Andrew Wilson first entered the music realm at age 9 taking piano lessons from a private music instructor down the street. During 3 years of lessons he placed 2nd and 3rd place in the North Central College Sonata Festival and in Geneva’s Swedish Days Solo & Duet competition. Growing tired of classical music; Andrew took a break from piano lessons at age 12 he began teaching himself to play drum set. Throughout high school Andrew excelled at the drums, played in several high school bands, and taught himself to play the guitar. Andrew graduated from Naperville North H.S. and attended Southern Illinois University Carbondale to study Audio Production and Music. While at SIU he learned the art of classical guitar, furthered his knowledge of music theory and aural skills, and learned to play the accordion. Andrew graduated from SIUC in 2012 with a BA in Audio Production and a Music Minor. Since July 2014, Andrew has been playing accordion in the cover band Folkified, which plays all around the Chicago area. Andrew’s philosophy is based on teaching kids the fundamentals and key components of music through songs they want to learn. This keeps kids entertained and focused while they learn and enhances progress. Andrew is excited to be a member of Naperville Music Academy faculty!

Christopher Castillio

Mr. Christopher Castillo: Piano ($27)
Thursday, Friday, Saturday

A multi-faceted musician and educator, Christopher Castillo is both a noted performer and composer. He has performed as an orchestral violinist, chamber musician and soloist throughout the greater Chicago area and the Midwest. He has also improvised in rock, blues, and jazz bands. His principal teachers include Edgar Gabriel of String Fusion and Dr. Sarah Gentry. His numerous compositions, including Starvation in the Presence of Grace, Pain, and Philosopher in a Jar have been premiered by local and national artists at both Illinois State University and Elmhurst College. While at Elmhurst College he regularly participated in the World Music Festival, showcasing works of Piazzolla and famed Bollywood film composer A.R. Rahman, among others. In recent years Chris has increasingly turned his attention to pedagogy and currently teaches strings at local area schools. His hobbies include fine woodworking and traveling.
Chris holds a Masters degree from Illinois State University and a Bachelors from Elmhurst College. He is currently preparing for his Suzuki Method teacher certification.