Our Instructors

JC’s prides itself on the caliber of our instructors at both of our locations. Our instructors have diverse backgrounds and years of experience in music and/or education. Many of our staff members have been with us for over ten years, and all of our instructors have or are working towards a degree in music and/or education or have a performing background.

Abby

Piano
Abby has a genuine passion for music. Her love for music began in kindergarten with piano lessons, and it has since blossomed into a life long goal. She quotes, “I study music because it brings me peace, comfort, and pleasure. In performing music, I hope to bring that same experience to my audience.” She is an active orchestral musician, solo performer, and chamber music recitalist in the Fox Valley and Chicago areas. Most recent piano performances include participation in the American Grands XVIII Piano Showcase, Teachers and Performers level; and she played as keyboardist for Rising Star Theatreworks pit orchestra for their Wizard of Oz and Legally Blonde productions. Along with her instrumental pursuits, Abigail studied voice and has participated in the Fox Valley Homeschool Chorus and the Bolingbrook Fine Arts Chorale. In October of 2013, she had the unique opportunity and privilege to perform with the Midwest Homeschool Fine Arts Chorale at the Illinois Capitol Building.

Breanna

Piano & Voice
Breanna began formal piano lessons at the age of five. She continued her music education throughout her college career. She has an Elementary Education degree from Providence Baptist College in Elgin, IL. Breanna is active in her church where she is one of the regular pianists, accompanies vocal groups and sings. She has also performed with the college tour groups as both a singer and a pianist. Breanna has an energy and passion for both piano and voice and it shows strongly in her teaching style. She works with children, teens and adults of all ages and music levels and brings a positive, upbeat attitude to her lessons and the studio.

Cara

Violin & Beginner Piano
Cara began playing violin in third grade, and continued her love of music through taking lessons, playing in orchestras at school, in church, in musical and opera pit orchestras, in wedding quartets, and in chamber music groups in high school and college. She attended Illinois Wesleyan University in Bloomington, Illinois, and studied Music Education with a focus in String Pedagogy and instrumental music. She also took piano lessons and played flute in IWU's pep band, and performed and worked as a counselor at a summer chamber music program for four years. She currently teaches as an elementary orchestra teacher in Woodstock, Illinois, and enjoys exploring and experiencing music with her students. She believes that anyone can learn to play an instrument, and that we can learn other important lessons through music as well.

Charlie

Guitar, Bass & Ukulele
Charlie joined the JCs team and 2017 and has been a favorite of students and parents alike. Charlie Porter is a multi-instrumentalist and composer. He is an alumni of the Interlochen Arts Academy and Berklee College of Music where he majored in cello performance and Electronic Production & Design, respectively. He has studied with Grammy-winning Cellist Eugene Friesen as well as avant-garde composer Marti Epstein. His focuses include free improvisation, music theory, experimental performance techniques and microtonal composition. He enjoys sharing his vast knowledge of music theory with his students, including everything from beginner music theory to modern classical techniques to jazz harmony and improvisation. Charlie is a passionate teacher and enjoys sharing his techniques with his students, and his easygoing personality and extensive knowledge will help beginner, intermediate and advanced students alike take their music to the next level.

Chris

Piano & Flute
Chris comes to us with over twenty years of performance and teaching experience and is one of our longest-tenured instructors here at JC’s. She is a graduate from DePaul University and holds a Bachelor’s of Performance in flute and piano. She has performed with many organizations, including the Rochester Symphony and the Portland State Wind Ensemble, and is an active member of the Music Teacher’s Association. Chris has a serious dedication to the education of her piano and flute students and works with both children and adults in both instruments. If you are looking for an instructor who will challenge you to raise the bar with your music education through instruction and regular practice, Chris is the instructor for you!

Christa

Piano
Christa is an experienced pianist who began lessons at the age of five and has been playing for over fourteen years. At age 12, she began playing regularly in services at her church. She has a deep love for music and piano and enjoys teaching and sharing it with others. She is currently attending Providence Baptist College working towards a degree in Elementary Education and also furthering her own music studies.

Connie

Piano
Connie joins us with several years of teaching and performance experience. She has been a pianist since high school and continues to perform on a regular basis. She has accompanied many church and school choirs, other vocal ensembles, soloists and instrumentalists. Connie has taught children and adults of all ages and her lesson plans are adaptable to each student. She wants to build upon each student’s strengths and interests. She continues to study music in an effort to offer more to her students.

Danny

Guitar & Ukulele
Danny joins us with over ten years of playing and performance experience. He has a deep love for music from all around the world. Dan has a strong background in composition and improvisation and shares this passion with his students. He is a valuable member of a local band and can be seen playing in the Chicago area as well as the surrounding Midwest. Dan is currently attending Elgin Community College.

David

Guitar
David joins JC’s Guitars & Music Lessons with over ten years of teaching experience and world-wide performance recognition. It is David's incredible knowledge and expertise in playing as well as teaching guitar that has brought many guitarists from around the world just to do lessons and learn from him. David was a member of MANOWAR and DSG (David Shankle Group). He is well known for playing 7 string over-the-neck scales and arpeggios, string skipping, and a master of many guitar techniques. He is considered one of the top 10 fastest guitarists in the world. After setting out on his own, David attended Roosevelt Music University in Chicago to improve his jazz and classical guitar skills. Having refined his craft, David brings years of experience and hard work to the table. David has played in front of some of the biggest rock and metal crowds all over the world, including 70,000+ people at Earthshaker Fest 2005 and 40,000+ people with his band DSG at the First Annual Magic Circle Festival in 2007. David is a well respected and talented Composer and Guitarist who enjoys sharing his passion for music of all kinds to his students. He looks forward to meeting and teaching all of his new students.

Dylan

Guitar & Voice
Growing up in the DeKalb area, Dylan was introduced to many instruments at a young age. He showed a strong interest in Guitar, Bass, Drums and Ukulele. As he grew more serious in music, he focused his music education on Guitar and Vocals. Dylan is a member of the Illinois Music Education Association and was a valued part of the All State Honors Mixed Chorus. He is currently majoring in Music Production. Dylan is actively writing music for a local band where he is the lead vocalist and rhythm guitar player. He is a fun, energetic and ambitious instructor that enjoys sharing the love and knowledge of music, not only to his students but to residence of a local retirement community.

Esther

Piano
Esther joins us with several years of teaching and performance experience. She is a graduate from the American Conservatory of Music, where she received the highest honors during the Concerto Competition. Esther has participated and won several Illinois & National Association of Christian School contests in solo and dual piano. She has a strong focus in classical music, improvisation and music theory. Currently, in addition to being an instructor here at JC’s, Esther teaches piano and music theory at the college level at Providence Baptist College.

Geanne

Piano
Geanne was introduced to piano at a very young age and has been playing ever since! She is currently studying music education at Providence Baptist College. Geanne is excited to share her love and passion for music with her students and looks forward to teaching a new generation of musicians to excel in their piano playing and studies!

Jeremy

Drums
Having grown up in a musical family, Jeremy developed his passion for percussion and the drum set at a very young age. As a child, he began performing at his church with ensembles that were under the direction of his father. Jeremy continued to play music throughout high school, where he was placed in ensembles that brought him to perform in Germany and at Carnegie Hall. Currently, Jeremy is a student at DePaul University where he is studying jazz drum set under the tutelage of Dana Hall. Jeremy regularly gigs around Chicagoland, and is well-versed in playing and teaching a variety of different musical genres. He loves to share his passion for and knowledge of music with others, and always strives to give each of his students a technical and conceptual approach to playing the drum set.

Joe

Guitar & Bass
Joe has been a bass & guitar instructor for JC’s since we opened our original store in 2004. With over 11 years of teaching experience, Joe’s knowledge and technical skills have helped students excel in their guitar and bass playing regardless of experience level. His positive and encouraging teaching style are just a few of the reasons why many of Joe’s students have stayed with him for more than 3, 5 and even 10 years! With his songwriting and performance experience, Joe is able to give our students real world skills as well as a music theory background. Joe also specializes in teaching guitar to our youngest and most delicate new guitar players.

Joseph

Guitar
Joe has a passion for music that started when he first picked up a guitar at the age of 11. He's played for 10 years now and picked up bass guitar, drums, and vocals as well during that time. He's played live music in multiple bands, traveled around Illinois and the surrounding area, even playing a few times at the Arcada Theater in Saint Charles. Joe began his music education with lessons from JC's and furthered it at Elgin Community College, where he learned more advanced music theory as well as music production. While he does specialize in the heavy metal/rock genres, Joe constantly strives to find and learn about as much music as he can. One of Joe's favorite things to do is analyze songs and see what makes them sound good. Finding out the theory behind some of the most popular songs and seeing what makes them so memorable is something he's found fascinating since he began learning about music theory. And with 2 years of music theory study under his belt, not much surprises him, but in the end, furthers his love of music.

Josh

Guitar & Bass
Ever since Josh was in middle school, he has been interested in learning and playing music. He first was a member in the middle school choir. He sung in choir through high school. While a sophomore in high school he picked up the guitar and has not looked back. Josh has been playing guitar for over 10 years and Bass guitar for almost 5 years. He has been learning and performing multiple genres of music. These genres include: Hard Rock, Pop, Classical, Metal, Jazz and more. He is currently attending North Central College in Naperville. While in college, Joshua has studied Classical and Jazz music. Along with these subjects, he also has taken many music theory, education, composition, and improvisation classes. Performance wise, he has played locally in the Chicago land area and internationally. Josh is a fun and passionate instructor that wants his students to meet their goals as well has having an engaging experience playing music they want to learn.

Kelsey

Piano, Cello and Beginner Violin
Originally from Shillington, Pennsylvania, Kelsey first started studying cello in fourth grade, going on to participate in many music festivals throughout her years in grade school. After high school, she attended and received her B.A. in Music from Mansfield University. While attending Mansfield, she took string lessons on violin and viola, and was an active participant in the university’s string program, allowing community members to receive private lessons every week and participate in group lessons and orchestra every Saturday morning. On her summers off from college, she also taught privately and helped teach in non-profit summer string programs hosted in her community. She is currently attending Northern Illinois University to receive her Master’s degree in Cello Performance. Kelsey looks forward to passing along her knowledge of and love for music to her students!

Ken

Drums & Percussion
Ken has been teaching drums in the area for many years, and his styles range from jazz, rock, funk, metal to world grooves. He has been playing drums for over 20 years and has played in many local bands. If he’s not playing live music, he’s usually writing, recording and PRACTICING!!! Ken’s goal is to teach new students to read music and understand rhythm, and, after that, begin to learn simple songs. Further techniques will be taught so students are able to find their own percussion style. He believes consistent practice is key for students and looks forward to working with aspiring drummers and advanced percussionists alike!

Marisa

Violin, Viola & Cello
Marisa is originally from Downers Grove and grew up playing music in orchestra. She ventured from the viola to the string bass and never looked back. She took it all the way to college with her where she studied to receive her Bachelor's of Music Education degree from VanderCook College of Music in Chicago. She then moved out to Algonquin to teach in District 300 as a 5th grade orchestra teacher. Marisa's goal for all students is to learn to love music through playing. Practice is key but practicing smarter is always better than practicing harder. She wanted to give students the opportunities she had as a kid and hopes to develop a strong drive to perform in all her students.

Robert

Piano
Robert is a young contemporary composer who has won multiple American awards on the state and national level for his work, and has had several world premiere performances of his compositions featured on the radio. Due to Robert's array of interests, years of tutelage, and a vast contrast in experience, critics often remark upon his unique and original demonstration of harmonic and rhythmic vocabulary, and his defining synthesis of various musical styles. Robert has been sharing this passion for music and art with his students for over 7 years. He not only teaches his students how to play their instrument, but also provides them with a vast knowledge of music theory, aural techniques, music history, and improvisation methods, because he believes those elements are essential for a student to mature in their creativity as a musician.

Ryan

Piano & Voice
Ryan teaches piano, voice, songwriting, and music theory. Growing up in Batavia, Ryan started taking piano lessons at a young age and then switched to pipe organ in middle school. From there, he went on to deeply study musical improvisation and composition in high school. In addition to that, since 2007, he has been involved in various rock bands in different capacities including vocalist, keyboardist, drummer, bassist, song writer, arranger, producer, and audio engineer. In 2014 Ryan graduated with honors from Millikin University with a BFA in Music Business with a Vocal Emphasis. In his teaching style, Ryan prefers a more goal-oriented approach to curriculum and pedagogy instead of a one size fits all mentality. He is interested in setting short and long term goals that are attuned to what you want to get out of taking lessons. This, coupled with a strong emphasis on core technical skills and music literacy, creates lessons that the student will find exciting and fulfilling.