Our teachers are renowned performers and passionate educators that live and work in the Chicagoland area. They are committed to consistent student growth and excellence.  Each teacher at CSMA has been background checked and has been an expert in their field for over 10 years.


Many of our artist-teachers have music degrees from the most recognizable schools in the space.

Tom Hicks



Hailed as an artist of ‘magnificent pianism’, Guernsey-born pianist Tom Hicks has been praised for his ‘gorgeously creative playing’ that ‘transports the listener to another place and time’. Hicks is a gold medallist in numerous national and international competitions and holds degrees and awards from The University of Manchester, The Royal Northern College of Music, Yale University and Northwestern University.

Rachel Mossburg


Always seeking a good adventure, violist Rachel Mossburg continually explores ways in which to nourish her musical wanderlust. She is an engaging performer, active chamber musician, has a love for teaching private lessons to youth, and enjoys pushing musical boundaries by playing genres of all types. Having come from a classical background, she is also passionate about supporting talented young composers and playing new works.

David Chiriboga

Classical/Spanish Guitar

David Chiriboga, a musician of Ecuadorian heritage, was born and raised in Chicago. He is a  renowned international resident guitarist with Ensemble Español Spanish Dance Theater. His beginning guitar program aims to cover the foundations of playing an acoustic nylon string guitar.  This includes basic technique, rhythms and music reading,  with the goal of playing your first songs! 

Thomas Kimball

Spanish Style Guitar, Vocals


Thomas Kimball began playing the Spanish guitar in 1992, following an inspiring trip to Mexico. Based in Chicago, he has been fortunate to be able to study Flamenco and Latin American styles with respected local and visiting artists.

Kirsten Leslie

Voice, Piano


Kirsten Leslie, originally from the Chicago area, has performed nationally and internationally as both a singer and actress. Her repertoire is quite diverse including operatic roles, musical theatre roles, and straight theatre roles.

Susie Smith



Susie is a versatile musician and educator in the Chicagoland area. She has toured with classical ensembles in London, Prague, Rome, and Los Angeles. Ms. Miller has played at prestigious venues such as St. Peter’s Basilica in Vatican City.

Dana Anex

Violin, Viola


Dana Anex studied viola performance with Helen Callus at Northwestern University, where she received her Bachelor of Music in 2019. She recently completed her Master’s degree at The University of Chicago, where she studied music theory and history.

Lina Mar Yamin



Lina has studied with Janet Sung (DePaul), Kevin Lawrence (UNCSA) and Edgar Aponte (El Sistema). Before coming to Chicago, she was for more than fifteen years a part of “El Sistema” – a social program focused on providing free music education to children and young students- in Caracas, Venezuela.

Chris Winters

Guitar, Ukulele

Chris teaches children and adults, beginners to advanced. He is extremely knowledgeable about the history of rock and roll, and different styles of blues electric guitar. He recorded three albums with the band Mississippi Heat and toured with them throughout Europe and Canada.

Emily Munn-Wood


Emily will begin her first season with the Peoria Symphony in the fall. She graduated from the University of Massachusetts-Amherst, summa cum laude, with a bachelor’s degree in cello performance and from DePaul University, summa cum laude, with a master’s degree in cello performance.

Liza Micelli

Voice, Piano


Cataloged by her peers as a young visionary and promising artist, Liza Micelli has been the principal keyboardist for Jussie Smollett, Terrence Howard, and celebrity guest artists on 20th Century Fox’s hit television show Empire since its inception in 2015. Liza has performed with Alicia Keys, Patti LaBelle, Rita Ora, and others.

John Pope

Band, Flute, Clarinet, Saxophone, Bassoon

Upon completing his music education degree at Valdosta State University in Georgia, John developed a passion for performing on the bassoon. He regularly performs with professional orchestras in the far west suburbs such as Fox Valley Orchestra.

Noah Plotkin


Noah Plotkin is a professionally trained drum set and world percussion musician who is a 2007 graduate of the Berklee College of Music in Boston. He has collaborated as a percussionist with notable institutions in the U.S.and abroad including Emerson College, Boston College, and The Batsheva Dance Company in Tel Aviv, Israel.

Joanna Schulz

French Horn

Joanna Schulz is a dedicated chamber and orchestral performer. A resident of Chicago, Illinois, Joana performs as a member of the Gaudete Brass Quintet. Originally from Vancouver, CA, Joanna moved to the US to become a member of the UW-Madison faculty ensemble, the Wingra Wind Quintet from 2015 through 2019.

Alejandro Cortes



Born into a family of musicians, Alejandro was always surrounded by the music of Mexico and Latin America. As a member of the United Community Center’s Latin jazz band in Milwaukee,WI, he was introduced to the music of Tito Puente and Sergio Mendez, which set the course for the rest of his musical journey.

Valentina Guillen Mensello



Born and raised in Venezuela, Valentina began her violin studies when she was 7 years old. Years later, she became part of “El Sistema”, a music education orchestra program in Venezuela. Currently, Valentina is a member of the Civic Orchestra of Chicago for the 2021-2022 season.

Rouchana Iagoudina


Rouchana studied dance at the Joel Hall Dance Center in Chicago and with a renowned founder of the Chicago Moving Company, the late Nana Shienflug, creator of Conscious Body. She graduated from a Russian university with an MA in education. After moving to the USA she decided to pursue her long life passion – dance!

Seth Pae

Violin, Viola

Seth completed both a Master’s Degree and an Artist Diploma at DePaul University, studying with Wei-Ting Quo of the Chicago Symphony and legendary Chicago violist, Rami Solomonow. Seth is a champion of playing new music. He frequently works with Chicago-based composers and premiers new works.

Camilo Rincon

Guitar, Ukulele, Piano, Bass

Camilo has taught music since 2010 in the bilingual, musical, cultural-immersion program, Son Chiquitos. Additionally, he has taught private lessons for classical guitar, Son Jarocho (guitars and singing), and music theory. He is a musician and a music teacher who teaches guitar, bass, piano, and ukulele.

Dan Nicholson



Dan studied with Jack Wilkins at USF and Chicago saxophone legend Bunky Green at UNF. After obtaining his degree and gaining valuable experience working with luminaries such as Joe Williams, Mel Torme, Arturo Sandoval, and John Pizarelli as a part of the Disney Grammy All American College Jazz Band, Dan moved to Chicago and became a sought-after side man.

Hiroko Nagahata


Hiroko Nagahata has performed internationally for solo and chamber music. She was a
Special Presentation Award winner of the Artists International Audition and made her
New York solo recital debut at Carnegie Weill Recital Hall in 2009. She has
accompanied for renowned organizations such as Lyric Opera of Chicago, Choirs of
America, and Chinese Fine Arts Society among many others.

Stephanie Aaron


Stephanie moved to Chicago to focus her energies on music, specifically as a jazz singer and
educator. She has performed at some of the city’s most prestigious hotels and clubs, including Andy’s Jazz Club, The Jazz Showcase, The Peninsula Hotel, The Drake Hotel, Jilly’s on Rush Street, and many others.

Dalia Chin



Chicago-based Costa Rican flutist Dalia Chin is a founding member of Fonema Consort and regular member of the Chicago Composers Orchestra, both of which are dedicated to performing music by living composers. She has been in- residence and given performances at the New England Conservatory , the University of Chicago, and more.

Chad McCullough


Heralded for his “solos of mercurial poetry and high craft” (Chicago Tribune) Chicago based trumpeter/composer Chad McCullough is active throughout the world. His latest album, Forward, was released in the foal of 2020 and was featured in several “Best Jazz Releases of the Year” lists, including the Chicago Tribune, and All about Jazz.

Patrick Jasper

Jazz Saxophone, Guitar & Piano

Patrick is a graduate of Columbia College Chicago. As an educator, Patrick uses theory and songwriting as well as traditional repertoire to inspire students to be creative. Through knowledge of piano harmony and technique, he hopes to help others develop a deeper understanding of music and the tools to play in any situation

Mike Hanko


Michael began playing piano at the age of 6.  He studied performance and composition at Northern Illinois University, jazz piano with Willie Pickens at the Chicago Conservatory College, composition and creative writing at Columbia College, and arranging with Cliff Colnot at DePaul University.

Ryan Donlin


Ryan Donlin is a guitarist, bassist, pianist, composer, and teacher in Chicago, IL. He has been teaching music lessons for four years. Ryan has a Bachelor’s of Music in Contemporary Musicianship from Illinois Wesleyan University, where he studied Classical and Jazz music. Ryan performs frequently in and around Chicago with his band, Red Scarves.

Olga Kossovich



Olga Kossovich was born in Moscow, Russia. She started her musical training at the preparatory classes of Central Music School at the Moscow State Conservatory at age four. At the same time, she received her first piano and violin lessons. Olga was teaching piano students of all ages both in academies and privately during her studying in North Dakota for 3 years.

Jennifer Rule

Musical Theater


Jennifer received a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Theatre from Western Michigan University and is a graduate of the Second City Conservatory. Before touring nationally with children’s musicals she performed in many Chicago theaters. Her greatest joy is the rehearsal process when she can create those amazing moments together into a fabulous show!