Chicago School of Music Teachers

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Richard Schieler | Guitar
Richard Schieler is a Chicago area native (aka suburbs).  Barely out of college, Richard founded the Chicago School of Music in 1998 when he walked into this little store on North Ave simply looking for a teaching job to supplement performing.  He has been teaching since, and at the time, he co-authored an early childhood curriculum and oversaw the development of one of the first distant learning programs in music.  Around that time, Schieler developed the pedagogical model for the school to which the success of the school is attributed.  He was been used as a source of many publications on the subject of music education.  Many of his students have gained acceptance into top music programs.  Schieler studied with Claire Callahan and earned a B.M. at CCM- University of Cincinnati and with David Sussman at Harper College.  His top musical faves are the Beatles, Bach, Wilco, Neil Young, and Johnny Cash.  When not doing things music related Richard might be reading, writing, exercising, or riding his bike. 

Tamara Anderson | Voice 
Grammy Award Winning Singing and Performing Techniques
Specializing in Rock, Pop, Blues, Country, Jazz and Musical Theater
Personalized State-of-the-Art Instruction
Vocal Health, Freedom & Confidence (Balancing the Mind and Body)
Tamara is an internationally respected Voice Teacher and Performance Coach.  She is the founder, creator and inspiration behind ‘The Progressive Singer’s Vocal and Performance Techniques’.  Tamara has a colorful and versatile musical background which includes voiceovers and jingles, singer/songwriter/guitarist, studio producer and talent development.  She has taught numerous touring and recording artists, Grammy Contenders and Dove Award Winners on major and indie labels; RCA, Sony, Atlantic, A&M, Jive, Decaydance, Fueled by Ramen, and IRIS Records; also, TV and screen artists on VH1 and MTV, Lionsgate and Warner Brothers Films.  She has also worked with winners and finalists on American Idol, America’s Got Talent, America’s Next Big Band, and Rockstar.   Tamara is also the Voice Teacher and Judge for “The Voice of McDonald’s”, which is there incredible International version of “American Idol”; and through this life changing event she has had the pleasure of working with such greats as;  David Foster and Fantasia.  Tamara has produced and recorded a CD “Unlimited Love” which was up for several awards, and is currently writing and producing a book, DVD and CD of her Progressive Singing  and Performance Techniques for release in the Fall of 2012.
She has taught 1,000 of artists not only privately, but reached them through Master’s Classes, Recording Studio Production Classes, and several Workshops as the featured Clinician.
Samantha Opp | Piano
Samantha Opp received her Bachelor of Music degree in Music Therapy from the University of the Pacific in Stockton, California, and is a Board-Certified Music Therapist (MT-BC).  She was selected as a winner of the annual Concerto Competition and performed Schumann's Concerto in A Minor in concert with the University Symphony Orchestra.  After graduating, Samantha relocated to Minneapolis, Minnesota and completed an internship at Park Nicollet Health Services.
Samantha's internship included work in home hospice, oncology, a bereavement group, and a Parkinson's adult day-center.  Following her internship, Samantha gained additional experience working in Chicago with children with autism and other developmental disabilities, in addition to time in a nursing home, and equine therapy barn, and a special needs school.  Samantha has also practiced music therapy in California in the oncology unit  at Memorial Hospital in Modesto and has assisted in a music enrichment program at Mary Graham Children's Shelter in French Camp.
Samantha has taught private piano lessons for fourteen years.  Her studio consists of both normal-functioning students and students with special needs.  Samantha's students study a diverse body of musical styles and repertoire, from Beethoven to Christina Perri, based on their interests and musical goals.  She is also a part of the Music Teacher's National Association (Northwest Suburban branch) and her students are given the opportunity to participate in the annual piano exams.
During her free time, she enjoys hanging out at coffee shops with her husband.  They recently welcomed a new little boy to their family.
Li-Ying Chang | Piano
Taiwanese pianist Li-Ying Chang graduated with a Master's of Music in Piano Performance from the Peabody Conservatory of Johns Hopkins University, under the tutelage of Benjamin Pasternack.  As a musician, Li-Ying seeks to share the transcendent experience of music with others as a solo and collaborating artist.  She is currently pursuing an Artist Diploma at the Chicago College of Performing Arts at Roosevelt University, in the studio of Meng-Chieh Liu and Dr. Winston Choi.  Li-Ying is a previous winner of the CCPA Showcase at Roosevelt, and played the opening concert at Pianofest 2013.  Li-Ying was chosen to collaborate with the CCPA Wind Ensemble for an annual performance at Ganz Hall in 2013.  Ms. Chang played the piano with CCPA's Chamber Orchestra as they recorded Thunderwalker, composed by Stacy Garrop, for Cedille Records.  Ms. Chang actively performs as a solo pianist and chamber musician in the Chicagoland area and is a teaching instructor at the Chicago School of Music.
Joanne McDade | Piano and Voice
Joanne McDade enjoys teaching piano and voice to children and adults of all ages and abilities.  She believes that learning music should be enjoyable, educational and nurturing to the body, intellect and spirit.  Joanne has taught private piano and voice for over 20 years.  She earned her Bachelor and Master degrees in Piano Performance from California State University, Sacramento, and her Master of Music degree in Vocal Performance from the University of Oregon, where she directed the University Womens' Chorus and taught applied voice.  Joanne is a Certified McClosky Voice Technician (CMVT), trained in working with individuals experiencing vocal difficulties or recovering from vocal injury.  She has taught at St. Francis High School, Sacramento City College, Sierra College, Umpqua Community College, the University of Oregon, and Hendrix College.  Joanne is a lyric soprano and avid recitalist, often performing works by contemporary American composers.
Louise Rogan |Voice and Piano
British mezzo-sopgrano, Louise Rogan is a gradute of of the Professionaol Diploma program at the Chicago College of Performing Arts. Performacne highlights at CCPA include Pamela (New York Stories), Third Lady (die Zauberflote), and the title role in the Chicago premeier of Amelia by Dargon Hagen. As a member of the Chicago Opera Theater Young Artist Program, Louise performed the role of second Lady (cover) in Die Zauberflote and Masha in Moscow Cheryomushki. Louise spent the 2014-2015 seawson with thOpera Colorqado as a Young Artist where she performed as Giovanna/II Paggio Juliette. Recently, Louise was the winner fo the Annual Elgin Opera Vocal Competition (2012). Louise received her Bachelor of Music Degree from Chicago College of Performing Arts and a Diploma in Vocal and Opera Studies from the Royal Northern College of Music.

Kate Carter | Violin

Kate Carter is a versatile performer and passionate educator. An award-winning violinist, she made her Carnegie Hall solo debut in February of 2014. 

As a concerto soloist, Kate has frequently appeared with the Elmhurst Symphony, with whom she is Assistant Concertmaster. In the 2015-2016 season, she will perform Bloch’s Baal Shem with the Mid-Columbia Symphony in Washington.

Kate performs with the ensemble Camerata Chicago, with whom she toured Europe in 2013. An alumna of the Civic Orchestra of Chicago, she also appears regularly with the Chicago Philharmonic, Fulcrum Point New Music Project, and other Chicago-based ensembles.

An avid chamber musician, she has collaborated in duo, trio and quartet performances at the Chicago Cultural Center, Green Mill, Sounds of the South Loop, (Un)familiar Music Series, Chopin Theater, and many others. She frequently performs in recital with pianist Louise Chan.

Kate is a dedicated instructor of violin and a registered Suzuki instructor with over 15 years of experience teaching all ages, from beginners to college students to adults. She earned the Doctorate of Music in Violin Performance in 2011 from Northwestern University, where she was teaching assistant to Gerardo Ribeiro. She earned the Master of Music from the Eastman School of Music, where she was teaching assistant to Lynn Blakeslee. She is currently on faculty at Lake Forest College, the Merit School of Music, the Elmhurst Music Academy, and the Christopher Laughlin School of Music.

Kate is passionate about the psychology of performance, helping students to achieve their best performance while also increasing self-confidence and a sense of well-being. She has presented lectures at Chapman University, Salt Creek Music Teachers’ Association, and others. She blogs about performance psychology and other performing-related matters at

Aaron Getsug | Saxophone/Clarinet

Aaron Getsug grew up on the north side of Chicago.  He was fortunate enough to be able to take advantage of the great schools that Chicago has to offer.  At age 11 Getsug began studying baritone and alto saxophone with Ernest Dawkins at the AACM School of Music on Chicago's south side and joined The South Shore Youth Jazz ensemble on 1st chair tenor saxophone at age 16.  South Shore was led by Ron Carter under Gallery 37 funding.  Both Dawkins and Carter together are responsible for some of the best jazz musicians on the Chicago and International scene's today.  Getsug attended Berklee Music College for Saxophone studies with George Garzone and Frank Tiberi of the Woody Herman Orchestra.  Theory, ear training, composition, harmony, composition and theory were also studied at Berklee.   At this time Bb clarinet, bass clarinet and EEb contra alto clarinet were studied with Peter Kokinias at The Boston Conservatory.  Getsug held the EEb contra alto clarinet chair in The Boston Conservatories Clarinet Choir.  (it's like a bassoon with clarinet keys and reed).   Getsug since then has had the opportunity to study with and perform with some of the world's greatest musicians and particularly saxophonists.    
 Today, at the age of 34, Getsug is very active on his baritone and tenor around Chicago as well as the rest of the Midwest, South and internationally in France, Italy and most recently London.  He is currently holding saxophone seats in The Chicago 12, live The Spirit Big Band, The Roadburner's, Bailey Dee's Late Night Bait, Izzy and the Catastrophic's (Brooklyn NY), Miss Jubilee (St.Louis), Felix and the Cat's and Getsug's very own "Gigs and the Northsider's.  Most recently Getsug had the honor of playing lead blues tenor at the Congac blues Fest in France backing Jimi Johnson and also Syleena Johnson.  Then joined Ernest Dawkins' Live the Spirit Big Band on baritone for a 2 week tour in France and London performing a piece written by Dawkins dedicated to the 50th anniversary of The "I Have A Dream Speach" by MLK.  
Getsug has been teaching for many years in many different atmospheres.  He was the general music instructor and band director at The Elaine Locke Charter Academy on Chicago's West Side for 3 years during the early to mid 2000's.   Now at The Chicago School of Music and Skinner North Elementary teaching saxophone and clarinet Aaron is right at home teaching kids and adults in the neighborhood he grew up in.  His sax/clarinet program can accommodate students of just about any skill level beginner to pro and most any style musically.   He also coaches Judo and began coaching at The Menomonee Club at the age of 15 and taught there until recently.   
Bethany McKnight |  Piano
Bethany McKnight is a native of Michigan, where she spent six years teaching student of all ages at the Crescendo Academy of Music in Kalamazoo before her recent move to Chicago in 2013. Bethany is a passionate and dedicated music educator who enjoys working with students of all ages ang abilities.  In addition to private teaching and mentoring, Bethany also spent five years teaching group piano for the Irving S. Gilmore International Keyboard Festival's piano lab program where she gained the experience of working with students with a wide range of ages and abiliites. While her primary emphais is on classical music, she has been integrating her research on music from non-Western cultures into her teaching and playing. Bethany is a graduate of Western Michigan University and Michigan State University where she earned a Master of Music in Piano Pedagogy.
Laura Hoffman | Piano
Laura Hoffman is the author of several blues and jazz books for both kids and adults.  She has most recently published The Blues Cookbook for intermediate pianists, taking those new to blues through various styles with the help of a CD full of accompaniments and examples by Ms. Hoffman.  Featured in Today's Chicago Woman as one of the Fifty Women of the Year for her work in music, she has taught at the CSOM since it's inception and remains in high demand as both a teacher and performer.  Splitting her time between Chicago and New York City, Ms. Hoffman has worked with such musical artists as Alan Swain, Skip Green, Jack Hubal, Willie Pickens, Duke Ellington, Stan Kenton, Bob Hope, Marilyn McCoo, Al Hirt, Redd Foxx, Liza Minelli, and Lou Washington.  A regular in the jazz and blues scene in Chicago, she has performed with jazz trios and quartets all over the greater Chicago area, music-directed several Chicago broadway shows, and worked as a mentor through the Ravinia Festival's outreach program. Ms. Hoffman studies Feng Shui and Yoga in her free time and believes in the creative potential of all individuals. Laura has been teaching at the Chicago School of Music since 1999. 


Marc Piane |  Acoustic / Electric Bass, Drums, and Electronic Music

Marc is an experienced jazz performer and plays frequently throughout Chicago with Q-Blue, ESP, Lori McClain and many others.  He co-founded and co-directs the Summer Lab On Stage program at the University of Chicago Laboratory Schools.  He spends his free time going the park with his two kids and riding his bike.  His love of jazz and black coffee runs deep, consequently he rarely sleeps.  Piane has been teaching at Chicago School of Music since it's inception since 1998. For more info about Marc check out


Carly Stein | Voice

Carolyn Jeanette Stein hails from the suburbs of Chicago where at a young age she sang for Mstislav Rostropovich at a Chicago Gala in his honor.  More recently, Ms. Stein created the title role in the U.S. Premiere of Silla by G.F. Handel and was a Pine Mountain Music Festival Resident Artist.  Ms. Stein has sung with the Boston Lyric Opera, Opera Boston, Chicago Opera Theater and Ravinia Steans Music Institute.  Carolyn holds a Master of Music degree in Vocal Performance from the New England Conservatory, where she was awarded the Helen Haxton Stare Presidential Scholarship. While attending NEC, Ms. Stein studied with Luretta Bybee, was featured in a masterclass with Renée Fleming, and played the roles of Clori (L’Egisto), Dorothée (Cendrillon) and Rosa Gonzales (Summer and Smoke). Prior to her work at NEC, Carolyn studied at the Manhattan School of Music and the Salzburg Mozarteum.  Carolyn attended the Chautauqua Institution under the direction of Marlena Malas, singing the roles of Mother Goose (Rake’s Progress) and Annina (La Traviata). In addition to her classical roles, Carolyn was a member of the American Musical Theater Ensemble in New York under the direction of Carolyn Marlow. Carolyn's upcoming engagements include Chicago Opera Theater Young Artist and Chicago Lyric Opera Chorus.
Teaching Philosophy
Learning how to sing is about personal development and individual progress. I am a big proponent of maintaining physical health and proper singing technique which is juxtaposed with the focus on the emotional nature of music. These two ideas are crucial for any developing singer.

It is important for me to develop trust with all of my students as we work towards the discovery of their fach.  I never like to push my students beyond their natural ability and prefer to work towards singing goals in a healthy manner.  Being confident in knowledge of vocal pedagogy (anatomy, physiology, and acoustics) is important to any singer and allows students to work towards a proficient vocal methodology.  As students' technique becomes stronger, it is my role to help them connect emotionally to the music as communicating powerful messages is the mark of a fine singer.  

In my studio, I believe that each student is unique and will require an individual path towards common voice goals. One of my strengths is my ability to communicate and teach vocal technique. Having more than 17 years of vocal pedagogy education, I have achieved a high proficiency and developed methods to explain these techniques to all of my students.

As a student 
I grew up in Northbrook, IL. Growing up, music lessons was a magical privilege that I got to take part in once a week.  My father and my teacher exposed me to music from all over the world, in languages that were completely foreign to me and this is what sparked my interest in classical music.  When I started lessons, I began singing lyrical musical theater.  My teacher was diligent and instructed me that the most important thing to learn first was proper vocal pedagogy.  As I became more solid in my technique, we moved onto art song and arias. Of course - we did have fun to!

Other Activities

More than anything, I like to bake. There's something special to me about taking the chaos of different ingredients and putting them together to make something delicious. 

Cathy Litaker I Harp, Piano
Cathy Litaker has been playing harp for 20 years.  She did her Undergraduate degree at Indiana University with Susann McDonald, and did her Masters degree at Roosevelt University; Chicago College of Performing Arts with Sarah Bullen, Principal Harp of Chicago Symphony Orchestra.  She is currently a freelance harpist and teacher in the Chicagoland area, and is an active substitute for Chicago  Symphony Orchestra, Lyric Opera of Chicago, and New World Symphony.  She has participated in many festivals around the world including YOA Orchestra of the Americas on the South American tour, China tour and Pacific Music Festival in Japan.   She has always been active in performing chamber music and is a founding member of the Chicago Harp Quartet; a new group aiming to expand the repertoire and exposure of the harp.  Catherine has been teaching for 6 years, beginning with pedagogy classes at IU.  She has taught to students of all ages with a strong focus on technique, playing and musicianship.