ECC Private Music Lessons

Welcoming World Class Instructors

ECC's private music lessons are a great way to have fun and develop your creative expression style, whether you are a beginner or an experienced musician.

Interested in taking music classes at ECC?

Each semester, we offer various classes, including keyboard harmony, choral ensemble, choir, music literature, music of the world, music appreciation, and more. 
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We also offer non-credit classes through ECC's Continuing Education Department. Courses vary by semester but may include concert band, musical theater, and private lessons on various instruments. 

Need One Credit?

  • In-district students age 16 and older can earn college credit for private lessons. Students of all ages are always welcome as non-credit students.
  • Build your creative expression to connect with others!
  • Lessons are available year-round. Each semester, students receive fourteen ½-hour lessons for about $28 per lesson for instruction from professional, masters' level musicians who will help them connect with others through music.

GUITARS

Guitar with Jim Kanas

Jim Kanas is a jazz guitarist, American roots musician, guitar stylist, and composer. Jim studied classical guitar with Richard Pick and Leon Borkowski and attended Boston University as an education major, after which led to an interdisciplinary music degree from Northern Illinois University in guitar and American folk instruments. He was granted a scholarship to pursue graduate studies at NIU and earned a certificate in music education. Jim was featured on WTTW11, Chicago, PBS "Arts Across Illinois" and has performed at colleges, festivals, and broadcast medium throughout Illinois. Jim was with the Illinois Arts Council's Artist-in-Residence and ArtsTour programs for over 25 years and has conducted numerous school music residencies on the Development of American music through its ethnical roots. He has collaborated with well-known musicians including, Randy Sabien, Johnny Frigo, Howard Levy, Larry Gray, Frank Mantooth, Bill Evans (saxophone), Fareed Haque, Paul Wirtico, Don Stiernberg, Muriel Anderson, Corky Siegel, and others. While in college and soon after Jim had had the privilege to sit-in with, Steve Goodman, Alison Krauss, Jethro Burns, Vassar Clements, and the Nashville Cats. Jim’s commitment to education runs deep. He is a firm believer of collaborating with students to evoke the best possible performance experience, and making it about the student.

Guitar with Steve Serra

Steven Serra is a graduate of Elmhurst College and has performed in a number of classical guitar master classes with the Los Angeles Guitar Quartet, Scott Tenant, Shingo Fujii, The Australian Guitar Quartet, and Eduardo Fernandez. There his primary focus was classical and jazz guitar. In addition to guitar and seven-string guitar, he plays various fretted instruments including electric bass, ukulele, banjo and mandolin. As an active working musician, he also performs for various local theater and musical productions such as Mary Poppins (Deerfield Theater), Spring Awakening (Elgin Community College Theater), and Considering Matthew Shepard (Grace Lutheran River Forest).

VIOLIN/VIOLAS

Violin with Carol Dylan

Carol Dylan (Violin) has her Master of Music Degree from Eastman School of Music, and Bachelor of Music, magna cum laude, from North Park University. Carol is in her twentieth year as adjunct violin faculty at North Park University of Chicago in addition to her teaching at Elgin Community College. She performs frequently with jazz and society bands in Chicago and enjoys playing in theatre and ballet orchestras, appearing with the Joffrey Ballet, San Francisco Ballet, American Ballet Theatre, Bolshoi Ballet, and Broadway musicals. Carol also performs with several orchestras in the Chicago area including the Ravinia Festival Orchestra, Woodstock Mozart Festival, and has accompanied such stars as Luciano Pavarotti, Il Divo, Andrea Bocelli, and Barbra Streisand. While completing her Master’s degree, she was a scholarship pupil of Charles Castleman and attended the Aspen Music Festival as a recipient of a 3-year fellowship to study with Dorothy DeLay and Masao Kawasaki. She is the Assistant Concertmaster of the Chicago Sinfonietta and has participated in its numerous European and American tours, as well as in recordings with that group on the Fanfare and Cedille record labels. She is often heard on WFMT as part of that radio station's "Music from Studio One" and "Impromptu" programs, as well as in monthly live broadcasts of the Elgin Symphony Orchestra, where she is a member of the first violin section. 

Violin with Agnieszka Likos

Agnieszka Likos (Violin) has her Master’s Degree in violin performance from the Chicago College of Performing Arts at Roosevelt University in the studio of S. Hersh & Bachelor’s Degree from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Agnieszka is a co-founder and a violin teacher at the Likos String Academy in downtown Chicago. Agnieszka realizes her musical interests in the field of chamber music, performing at multiple chamber music festivals in Santu Lussurgiu, Sardinia (Italy), Bowdoin (ME), Madeline Island (WI), Hot Springs (AR), and Urbana-Champaign (IL). She took part in multiple masterclasses led by outstanding chamber musicians such as Itamar Golan, Gordan Nikolic, the Guarneri Quartet, Pacifica Quartet, Hugo Wolf Quartet, Arianna Quartet, Parker Quartet, and Shanghai Quartet. From 2004 to 2006 she was a member of Chicago Youth Symphony Orchestra and Chamber Music Program. In addition to teaching, Agnieszka is a member of Heartland Symphony Orchestra and Northbrook Symphony Orchestra.

Violin & Viola with Paula Johannesen

Paula Johannesen (Violin and Viola) has her Bachelor’s in Violin Performance from the University of Illinois, where she also studied Voice and Viola & Master’s in Violin Performance from Chicago College of Performing Arts at Roosevelt University. She frequently plays violin with the Chicago Composer’s Orchestra, Chicago Symphonic Pops, New Philharmonic, Symphony of Oak Park and River Forest, Wheaton Summer Pops, where she is principal second violin, and most recently she finished her tenure with Civic Orchestra of Chicago. Paula has performed all over the world, from Carnegie Hall in New York, Matsumoto Castle in Japan, to the American Embassy in Luxembourg. Paula started teaching right out of High School, studying Pedagogy in Undergrad, and taking Suzuki teacher training at the American Suzuki Institute and the Chicago Suzuki Institute. In 2014, Paula joined The Whiskey Brothers, an Irish band based around Chicago. She also has been a Fiddler in more than one production of Fiddler on the Roof, and plays other styles, from Bluegrass to Heavy Metal. She is a founding member of Greenleaf Strings, a string quartet, trio, or sometimes even a duo. 

OTHER STRINGS

Cello with Kerena Moeller

Kerena Moeller has a Graduate Performance Diploma from Peabody Conservatory of Music, Master's Degree in Music Performance & Literature from Eastman School of Music & Bachelor's Degree in Music, and The Royal Northern College of Music in Manchester England. British cellist, Kerena Moeller, has performed concertos by Tchaikovsky, Schumann, and Elgar with orchestras in England and the United States. She has performed and toured in Europe and Japan with many of the leading orchestras including the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra, Baltimore Chamber Orchestra, Annapolis Symphony Orchestra (principal cellist), Harrisburg Symphony Orchestra, and the Handel Choir. She is currently the assistant principal cellist in the Northwest Indiana Symphony Orchestra and a section cellist with the Rockford Symphony, Illinois Philharmonic Orchestra as well as the Elgin Symphony Orchestra.  In addition to teaching at ECC, Kerena is on faculty at the Music Academy of Rockford College since 2009 and teaches at the NIU Community Music School. 

Double Bass with Tim Shaffer

Tim Shaffer has a Bachelor of Music – Indiana University School of Music. Individual instruction will help you reach your full potential like many of Tim Shaffer’s Bass students who have gone on to study at the nation’s leading music schools.  Mr. Shaffer has been a professional double bassist since the age of twenty when he joined the New Orleans Symphony, and has since been the Principal Bassist of the Elgin Symphony Orchestra, section bassist with the Grant Park Orchestra of Chicago at Millennium Park during the summer performance season, as well as an active freelance musician and substitute musician with Lyric Opera of Chicago and the Chicago Symphony Orchestra. He has toured throughout the United States, Europe, and Japan and has recorded with various ensembles during his career. 

PIANO

Piano with Sandra Anderson

Sandra Anderson is a pianist and instructor in the Fox Valley area of Illinois.  Her students range in age from kindergarten through high school, college, and adult, and in level from beginner to the advanced.  Her students participate regularly in studio classes, recitals, Achievement in Music evaluations, American Grands concerts, and charitable programs. Sandra’s performing includes accompanying soloists, both student and professional, accompanying choirs at schools and churches, and providing music for various church services.  She currently plays regularly at Larkin High School in Elgin and at the Unitarian Universalist Society of Geneva.  Her past performing includes a ten-year association with the James Street Players, a chamber music ensemble.  This group performed at the St. Charles Art and Music Festival, St. Charles Public Library, Morton Arboretum in Lisle, Northern Illinois University in DeKalb, the Illinois Chamber Symphony's chamber music series, and the Unitarian Universalist Societies in Evanston and Geneva. Sandra holds a Master of Music degree in piano performance from the University of Illinois at Urbana/Champaign.  Her principal teacher was Dr. William Heiles.  She earned a Bachelor of Music degree in piano performance at the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire where her principal teacher was Mme. Penelope Cecchini.  College honors include Summa Cum Laude graduation, and Phi Kappa Phi (academic), and Pi Kappa Lambda (music) honor society membership.  She is a member of the women’s music fraternity Sigma Alpha Iota.

Jazz Piano/Piano with Ray Koehler

Ray Koehler (Jazz Piano / Piano) has his Master of Music – University of Massachusetts at Amherst. Cool jazz piano sounds in addition to fundamental piano instruction are offered with experienced master performer and instructor, Ray Koehler. He has studied and performed with outstanding musicians including Gary Burton, Max Roach, Juseff Lattif, and Billy Taylor, and has performed at many notable Jazz clubs including the Village Vanguard and Birdland in New York. Mr. Koehler has toured widely throughout Europe, Japan, and Mexico, and is an active freelance performer and instructor in the Chicago area.  Ray also teaches Jazz Theory and Music Appreciation at ECC. 

Piano with Sharel Cassity

Sharel Cassity has her Masters in Music from The Juilliard School and a Bachelor of Fine Arts from The New School for Jazz & Contemporary Music in New York City. She is a saxophonist, woodwindist, pianist, and educator. She has over 25 years of professional experience as a performer, composer, bandleader, music educator, clinician, and recording artist. As a young girl, Sharel started her musical journey at the age of 6 on the piano. Quickly winning state-level competitions by age 8, she went on to compete and win numerous awards on a national level, eventually placing in the Disney International Piano Concerto Competition at age 11. As a classical pianist Sharel has performed works by J.S. Bach, Mozart, Beethoven, Chopin, and more. In addition to performing, Sharel has always been passionate about teaching and inspiring future generations of musicians. Having held a private studio for over 20 years, her students have won scholarships to the Hartt School of Music and have been placed in Jazz for Teens, Jazz House Kids, and the Jazz Standard Youth Orchestra. 

Piano with Stephanie Spolum

Stephanie Spolum, Music Director, began piano studies at age 6 in her hometown of Warren, MI. She began college-level piano studies in high school, first at Oakland University then at Bowling Green State University under the tutelage of Dr. Michael Benson.  She won the state-level Fine Arts Festival for piano twice in high school, and performed at the national level competition twice, receiving superior ratings.  She went to complete her Bachelor’s of Music in Piano Performance and Pedagogy from Michigan State University, studying under Midori Koga, Marie France-Lefevre, and Deborah Moriarty.  While attending at MSU, Stephanie was active as a soloist and accompanist in vocal and percussion ensembles, including a collaboration with Yamaha Artist and percussionist, Ney Rosauro.  She also performed in the Michigan State University drumline and marching band. 

In 2007, Stephanie moved to St. Charles, IL, and began teaching privately at Cordogan’s Pianoland.  In 2011, she accepted a music position at St. Patrick Catholic School and became a general music educator to grades K-8.  In 2014, she graduated with a Master of Arts in Teaching, specializing in K-9 education and music.  Stephanie has served as a church accompanist and choir director for St. Patrick Catholic Church and school, as well as the Congregational Church of Christ in St. Charles.  She also accompanies for high school solo and ensembles performances and has participated in the American Grands concert since 2008.

WOODWINDS

Flute with Scott Metlicka

Scott Metlicka has his Master’s degree in Flute Performance - Northwestern University. From chamber music to Broadway, Scott Metlicka’s impressive performance resume and passion for teaching benefits flute students of all ages and skill levels. A member of the Elgin, Rockford, Wisconsin Philharmonic, and South Bend Symphonies, Scott’s other orchestral engagements include Chicago Opera Theater, Grant Park Symphony, Madison Symphony, and the Wisconsin Chamber Orchestra as well as chamber music performances with several ensembles. He studied with Walfrid Kujala, Mary Stolper, and Mary Louise Poor. Scott won first prize in the Chicago Flute Club Piccolo Competition.  As a soloist, Scott played the Ibert Flute Concerto with the Rockford Symphony in 2016 and the Liebermann Piccolo Concerto with the South Bend Symphony in 2017. Scott previously taught flute method classes for music education majors at DePaul University. He has also served as president and membership chair of the Chicago Flute Club. 

Bassoon with Gwyn Downey

Gwyn Downey has her Bachelor of Music, Music Theory, and Composition from Ball state University. She has been a performer and private music instructor in the Fox Valley and Chicago area since 1985.  Her instructors include Homer Pence, Anne Eagleton from the Lyric Opera, Willard Elliot, CSO, Robert Barris, and Bill Buchmann, CSO. She currently plays principal bassoon with the Park Ridge Orchestra and the Fox Valley Orchestra and performs chamber music with the Opus 3 Woodwind Trio.  She recently performed the Mozart Bassoon Concerto with the Park Ridge and Fox Valley Orchestras.  She has performed with the Rockford Symphony, Civic Orchestra of Chicago, The Mozart Festival Orchestra, Illinois Philharmonic, Northbrook Symphony, Evanston Symphony, and New Philharmonic Orchestra. She also serves as an adjunct bassoon professor at Judson University.

Oboe with Debra Freedland

Debra Freedland has her Master of Music – Indiana University. Debra’s extensive orchestral experience offers oboe students of all skill levels an opportunity to reach their full potential as they learn from Ms. Freedland. Her impressive orchestral experience includes principal positions with the Duluth-Superior Symphony Orchestra, Tulsa Philharmonic, the Spoleto Festival Orchestra, and the Seoul Philharmonic, as well as her current position as the Principal oboe with the Elgin Symphony Orchestra, Rockford Symphony Orchestra, and the Light Opera Works. 

Saxophone with Sharel Cassity

Sharel Cassity has her Masters in Music from The Juilliard School and a Bachelor of Fine Arts from The New School for Jazz & Contemporary Music in New York City. She is a saxophonist, woodwindist, pianist, and educator. She has over 25 years of professional experience as a performer, composer, bandleader, music educator, clinician, and recording artist Sharel has shared the stage with jazz luminaries Wynton Marsalis, Herbie Hancock, Roy Hargrove, and Natalie Cole; mainstream artists Aretha Franklin, Trisha Yearwood, Vanessa Williams and Fantasia, to name a few. Her experience with artists of this caliber has given her invaluable insight to what is takes to be successful in the music industry. In addition to performing, Sharel has always been passionate about teaching and inspiring future generations of musicians. Having held a private studio for over 20 years, her students have won scholarships to the Hartt School of Music and have been placed in Jazz for Teens, Jazz House Kids, and the Jazz Standard Youth Orchestra.

Clarinet and Saxophone with Deborah Zelman

Deborah Zelman has her Masters of Music degree in Clarinet Performance and a Bachelor of Science in Music Education from University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, where she studied under the direction of Howard Klug. She has also studied with Charlene Zimmerman of the Grant Park Symphony and Lyric Opera Orchestra. Ms. Zelman performs locally as a principal clarinetist with the DuPage Symphony Orchestra and DuPage Symphony Woodwind Quintet. She is an active freelance and jazz musician, and performs regularly as a clarinetist, saxophonist, and jazz vocalist with the DuPage Community Jazz Ensemble and Zazz Quintet. Deborah is an adjunct faculty member at Elgin Community College where she is the private music lesson manager, and maintains the clarinet and saxophone studios in addition to a private studio in Naperville and two area high schools. She has extensive teaching experience at all levels and also serves as Director of Children’s Choirs at Saint John’s Episcopal Church in Naperville. 

Brass

Trumpet with Ryan Hobbs

Ryan Hobbs has his Master of Music- University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, BM- DePaul University. Ryan is an active freelance musician and teacher in Chicago. He is a regular member of the Northbrook Symphony Orchestra, and is the founder/trumpet of Northside Brass. Ryan maintains a versatile schedule as a musician and as a classical player has played extra with the Oistrach Symphony (Chicago), International Chamber Artists (Chicago) Paderewski Symphony (Chicago), The Millar Brass Ensemble, Bach-Week Festival (Chicago), New Philharmonic Orchestra, Fox Valley Symphony (Appleton, WI), Present Music Milwaukee, Illinois Philharmonic Orchestra, Fox Valley Orchestra (Aurora, IL), Peoria Symphony Orchestra, Battle Creek Symphony Orchestra (MI), Dubuque Symphony Orchestra (IA), Racine Symphony Orchestra, and the Kenosha Symphony Orchestra. As a commercial player Ryan has played extra with Dennis DeYoung and “Styx”, Doc Severinson, and the Tommy Dorsey Orchestra. He can also be found in Broadway show pit orchestras around Chicago including recent runs of Kiss me Kate, Guys and Dolls, and In the Heights. Finally, Ryan is passionate about music education and maintains an active private studio in the Chicago-land area with over 50 students. 

Trombone, Euphonium, and Tuba with Andrew Rozsa

Dr. Andrew Rozsa has his Doctor of Music from McGill University and Master of Music degree in Performance from the Cleveland Institute of Music, he currently serves as bass trombonist with the Illinois Philharmonic and the Quad City Symphony. While at McGill University, he was a two-time Schulich Award winner, and a featured soloist with the McGill Trombone Ensemble.  His doctoral research involved the study of metallurgical and design properties of trombones and their effects on the feel and sound of said instruments. A frequent guest musician, he has performed as a substitute with the Montréal Symphony, Madison Symphony, Chicago Philharmonic, Des Moines Symphony, Thunder Bay (Ontario) Symphony, Orchestra Iowa, Elgin Symphony, Northwest Indiana Symphony, Illinois Symphony, New Philharmonic Orchestra, and the Rockford Symphony, among others.  An active educator, Andrew has served on the faculty of McGill University, McGill Conservatory, and numerous high schools in the suburban Chicago area. As a composer, his works have been premiered by the Cleveland Chamber Symphony and the Albuquerque City Schools’ string program, among others. His major trombone teachers were Doug Bennett, Allen Kofsky, Thomas Klaber, Charles Vernon, Mark Fisher, Floyd Cooley, James Box, and Pierre Beaudry.  He studied composition with Dan Adams, James Feldman, and Loris Chobanian.  He was also a participant at the 2011 Alessi Seminar.

French Horn with Jeremiah Frederick

Jeremiah Frederick has his Master of Music, Northwestern University and Lawrence University, BM. Jeremiah is currently Associate Principal horn of the South Bend Symphony and a member of the Chicago Philharmonic and the IRIS Orchestra. In addition, Jeremiah has played with the Lyric Opera of Chicago, the Civic Orchestra of Chicago, the Grant Park, Elgin, Rockford and Omaha Symphonies, the Fort Wayne Philharmonic, and the Joffrey Ballet. Solo engagements have included performances of Schumann’s Concertpiece with the Fox Valley Symphony and South Bend Symphony, Mozart’s Sinfonia Concertante with the Fort Wayne Philharmonic and Jacob's Concerto for Horn and Strings at Northwestern University. In 2018, Mr. Frederick was artist-in-residence for the Racine Symphony, performing many community recitals and a performance of Mozart’s Concerto No. 3 with the orchestra. An avid chamber musician, Mr. Frederick is a member of the Millar Brass and a founding member of Quintet Attacca, a wind quintet and winner of the 2002 Fischoff National Chamber Music Competition. Following this honor, Quintet Attacca has toured in the Midwest in addition to concerts in New York City and Italy. Quintet Attacca is currently in residence at The Music Institute of Chicago. Mr. Frederick is a frequent pit musician in Chicago. He has performed the pre-Broadway world premieres of Tootsie, The Addams Family and Big Fish and performed many Broadway in Chicago and local productions, including The Phantom of the Opera, The Lion King, and Les Miserables. Jeremiah graduated from). His teachers have included Gail Williams, Bill Barnewitz, and James DeCorsey. PERCUSSION

Steve Butters

Steve Butters has his Masters of Music-University of Illinois. Steve Butters has been performing professionally in Chicago since 1991, and has performed throughout the United States, Europe, and Asia as a soloist and as a member of such diverse groups as Tone Road Ramblers Ensemble, NoAmnesia, and Maverick Ensemble. Steve has recorded for the Opus One, Einstein, and Drag City music labels. Though still widely regarded as an interpreter of contemporary percussion music, Steve began focusing on the steel drum soon after moving to the Chicago area. In addition to performing and teaching private music lessons for ECC, Steve directs the Elgin Community College Steel Band program. He is also on the faculty of Chicago State University where he teaches Percussion and Percussion Methods, and his Steel Band group, Pan Chicago, has been livening up the Chicago area with sounds of the Caribbean since 2000. 

VOICE

Kathi Bernhard

Kathi Bernhard has her MA-Curriculum & Instruction, Concordia University; Bachelors of Music, Milliken University. Performer and former middle and high school choir director and music teacher, Kathi Bernhard, has an impressive career as a music educator. She was on staff at ECC as an instructor for Music for the Elementary Teacher for seven years and has been listed in Who’s Who Among American Teachers numerous times.  Ms. Bernhard has guest conducted several middle school and high school choral festivals in addition to the Elgin Children’s Choir and Chamber choirs. She led Elgin High School IMEA Division I Chamber Choir in addition to the high school’s madrigal group, vocal jazz ensemble, musical theater productions, and she directed five choirs daily during her tenure at EHS. Coming from an educator’s background, Kathi uses a combination of imagery, Alexander’s Technique, and visual resources to help her students acquire a solid understanding of vocal skills in order to tap into the beauty and musicality of their voice. 

JoEllyn Caulfield

JoEllyn Caulfield has her Master of Music Degree from Michigan State University and a Bachelor of Music Degree from Northern Illinois University, both in Vocal Performance. Her students have gained admission and received scholarships to numerous colleges and universities for Undergraduate and Master’s Degree Music Programs. Students have attended prominent summer programs, had successes in competitions, and frequently perform as leading roles in high school, community, and college theatres. JoEllyn also directs two extra-curricular female ensembles at OEHS, an a cappella group and a jazz group. In addition to teaching, Ms. Caulfield has an active performing career including Mozart’s Credo Mass, Missa Brevis in C, and Regina Coeli, Handel’s Messiah, Buxtehude’s Magnificat, and Haydn’s Creation. She also performs with Cor Cantiamo, a professional touring choir based out of DeKalb, IL, and has recorded 3 cd’s with them. She has performed in concerts in Italy, England, Germany, and Poland. Ms. Caulfield is a member of the Chicago Chapter of the National Association of Teachers of Singing (NATS). 

Christopher Jackson

Jackson's tenor voice has been described as "a warm lyric voice with a high extension." as a tenor, Christopher Jackson is a versatile singer with experience ranging from the early music of the Baroque period to Gospel music. While at home on the operatic stage, he has experience as a voice teacher and coach, professional chorister, and recitalist. Christopher has numerous opera credits, and his solo concert repertoire includes Bach's Mass in B minor, Magnificat, Handel's The Messiah, and many more. In addition, he has performed with Cor Catiamo, The Canterbury Concert Series, and the St. Charles Singers as a choral musician. His experiences in choral ensembles have taken him to perform at venues such as Alice Tully Hall at Lincoln Center in NYC and national conferences like American Choral Directors Association (ACDA).