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Meet the Instructors

Find an instructor for…
BANJO, MANDOLIN & UKELELE | GUITAR/BASS | PERCUSSION | PIANO | VIOLIN, CELLO & VIOLA | VOCALS | WOODWIND & BRASS

Banjo, Mandolin & Ukulele

James Jaffe
Bass, Guitar, Cello and Banjo • Available Tuesdays and Fridays
James studied at Elmhurst College where he earned Bachelor of Arts in music. His studies have covered a wide range of styles, with a strong focus on jazz and classical bass. After graduating, he went on to receive his Suzuki Certification for bass and taught bass and guitar for several years. He has recently begun to teach banjo and cello as well. James took a brief break from teaching to spend some time training as a luthier, focusing on bows for stringed instruments, but is now happy to be back doing what he loves most—teaching. In the past, James was a member of the Elmhurst Symphony and a substitute for the Rockford Symphony. He currently plays with the Chicago-based folk group The Ghasper Ghoul.
Q Kiser
Guitar, Bass,Ukulele, Piano, Brass, Mandolin • Available Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays
Q holds a Bachelor of Music from Indiana University, Fort Wayne, and has been a performer and teacher for more than 20 years. He teaches ukulele, guitar, bass, piano, trumpet, trombone, baritone, and tuba, incorporating music theory and ear training in the learning process. You can find Q onstage with the high energy and interactive band The Hat Guys and teaching rock and pop bands with Intonation Music Workshop. See what else Q is up to and where you can also see him perform and teach. Q has taught at A Sound Education since 2012.
Nick Matthopolous
Guitar, Banjo, Ukulele, Mandolin • Available Mondays and Thursdays
Nick has more than 10 years of musical experience comprised of performing, recording and teaching. He played saxophone throughout middle and high school, while adding guitar and bass to his knowledge at the end of seventh grade. Shortly after high school, Nick studied the banjo, mandolin and ukulele. Since high school, Nick has performed on both guitar and bass, playing various styles of music in various bands. He has a deep interest in various styles of music and appreciates focusing on not just the fundamentals, but whatever his students may be interested in as well.

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Guitar/Bass

Tim Egan
Guitar, Electric Bass • Available Tuesday–Saturday
A Brookfield native, Tim has his Bachelor's of Music from the Chicago College of Performing Arts at Roosevelt University. He has been playing guitar for 20 years, and is a noted multi-instrumentalist having performed professionally on piano and bass. Comfortable in all styles of music, Tim has been teaching music for seven years. He is also a noted composer, arranger and theorist. Tim has taught at A Sound Education since 2009.
Kimi Hayes
Guitar • Available Mondays and Wednesdays
Kimi has been playing rock, blues and country guitar for more than 20 years. In that time, she’s released five original albums while playing with such bands as Catfight, The Fabulous Janes and The Kimi Hayes Band. She’s also opened for acts like Sugarland, Gavin DeGraw, Willie Nelson and many more.
James Jaffe
Banjo, Bass, Guitar and Cello • Available Tuesdays and Fridays
Check out James’ profile, above.
Q Kiser
Guitar, Bass,Ukulele, Piano, Brass • Available Saturdays
Check out Q's profile, above.
Don Kovach
Guitar, Bass, Piano, Violin, Viola and Woodwind & Brass • Available Monday–Thursday and Saturdays

Don enjoys teaching students violin, viola, cello, double-bass, electric bass, guitar, piano and winds. He specializes in helping students develop strong technical skills, sensitive musical ears, dependable practice habits, music theory, history and a lifelong love of music.

Nearly an original—he has been teaching with A Sound Education for over 14 years. Though he plays all of these instruments—he primarily plays cello and bass. He has a Bachelor of Arts in Music Education from Elmhurst College and has completed graduate work at Vandercook College of Music. He has two sons with whom he enjoys sharing music.

Nick Matthopolous
Guitar, Banjo, Ukulele, Mandolin • Available Mondays and Thursdays
Check out Nick's profile, above.
Matt Rice
Guitar, Electric Bass • Available Monday through Saturday
Matt Rice has more than 20 years of experience playing guitar and studied under the legendary Harry Hmura. He is proficient in all styles of music—metal, jazz, rock, blues, shred, and more. Matt enjoys teaching students of all ages and with varying musical tastes. He's taught at A Sound Education since 2003.
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Percussion

Chris Morrow
Percussion • Available Monday–Thursday and Saturdays
Chris is a graduate of the Berklee College of Music in Boston. He is a professional drummer and percussionist in the Chicago area. An active performer and recording artist, Chris can be heard on albums by the Jigawatt Trio, the New Fuse, Matt Robinson and many others. He maintains a full performance schedule all over the Midwest with artists in a wide variety of genres. Chris has been teaching at A Sound Education since 2001, and has more than 50 students every week.
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Piano & Keyboard

Tim Egan
Piano • Available Tuesday–Saturday
Check out Tim's profile, above.
Don Kovach
Guitar, Bass, Piano, Violin, Viola and Woodwind & Brass • Available Monday–Thursday and Saturdays
Check out Don’s profile, above.
Sharon Little-Junsay
Piano, Keyboard, Organ • Available Monday–Saturday

Sharon Little-Junsay, affectionately known by students and staff alike as "Miss Sharon" has taught at A Sound Education since 2001. She treats each student as a distinct individual, while promoting and encouraging expression of their creative and physical gifts.

Miss Sharon's objectives as a piano instuctor are to:

  • Develop technique and facility at the piano or keyboard
  • Teach musicianship skills, theory, ear-training, sight-reading, listening, and performing for others
  • Instill life skills in younger students such as goal setting, good practice habits, personal discipline, and time management

A professional performer since the age of 12, Miss Sharon has been teaching for over 30 years at such esteemed venues as American Music World, Purdom's Suburban Music, and Soundpost. She's a member of the National Guild of Piano Teachers, Music Teachers National Association, and the International Association of Organ Teachers.

Tom Slater
Piano • Available Thursdays and Saturdays
Tom Slater has been playing and studying the piano for over 30 years. He studied music at Cleveland State University and has a solid background in classical, jazz and pop music. He is a multi-instrumentalist in several local bands who can also play the guitar, mandolin and trombone. Tom’s main goals are to help his students develop and maintain good practice habits, learn music theory, and get the most enjoyment and fulfillment you can from playing music.
Tina Wisniewski
Beginner Piano/Vocals • Available Mondays
Tina has been involved in music since she was seven, when she began playing the piano. Currently, she is pursuing a degree in music education at Elmhurst College. Tina is a member of the Concert Choir and Women's Chorus at Elmhurst, as well as a violinist in the Philharmonic Orchestra. She has participated in IMEA District Festivals, and recently sang with the College Choir in concert with Andrea Bocelli as a part of his national tour in Chicago. Tina had the opportunity in her senior year of high school to teach the women's choir and freshmen concert orchestra, alongside both directors. Since that time, she has known that she wants to teach and spread her love of music with students.
Erika Zenchak
Piano • Available Tuesdays
Erika has been playing the piano since age 5 and the flute since age 12, and took lessons with private instructors through high school.She graduated from Riverside-Brookfield High School in 2013, and went to Alma College in Michigan to pursue a Bachelors of Arts in Sociology and Spanish.At Alma College, Erika was a member of the Kiltie Marching Band and Flutique—a flute choir based in central Michigan. She graduated from Alma College in 2017, and is currently pursuing a Masters in Social Work at UIC, while working part-time for the Health and Human Services Department and teaching at A Sound Education. Erika loves to teach students of all ages and levels.
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Violin, Cello & Viola

Nissa Anderson
Violin, Viola and Cello • Available Tuesdays and Thursdays

Nissa has loved music for as long as she can remember. At three-years-old, she was dancing around her dad’s office as he played Stevie Ray Vaughn. At four, she was begging her older brothers to teach her something on their guitars. By eight, she was teaching herself, “I Want It That Way,” on her MIDI keyboard. And by nine, she finally decided to play the violin through the District 102 orchestra program and participated in orchestra from fourth grade until she graduated from Lyons Township in 2012. She is a recent graduate of Lake Forest College, with her Bachelor’s in Music Education. In her time at college, she participated in music ensembles from women’s choir to pit orchestra to West African drumming to symphonic orchestra and piano trio. Nissa is currently teaching both publicly and privately and is hoping to begin her Suzuki training this fall as well as continuing her violin studies.

James Jaffe
Banjo, Bass, Guitar and Cello • Available Tuesdays and Fridays
Check out James’ profile, above.
Don Kovach
Guitar, Bass, Piano, Violin, Viola and Woodwind & Brass • Available Monday–Thursday and Saturdays
Check out Don’s profile, above.
Jessica Kus
Violin & Viola • Available Wednesdays and Saturdays

Jessica has always been interested in music, starting with piano lessons at age four. She enjoys singing, guitar, piano, and violin but her primary instrument is the viola, which she has played for 17 years. She is a graduate of Northern Illinois University with a degree in viola performance, where she studied under Anthony Devroye of the Avalon String Quartet. While at NIU, she performed with the NIU Philharmonic, Kishwaukee Symphony Orchestra, string chamber groups, and played in the steel band for a semester. She previously performed with Chicago Youth Concert Orchestra, West Suburban Youth Symphony and was an IMEA All State Musician.

Jessica is a registered Suzuki teacher for violin books one through three through the Suzuki Association of the Americas. She studied with Ann Montzka-Smelser at NIU and at Suzuki Institute at Steven's Point. This year Jessica will continue her registration through more advanced books.

Jessica has studied with Michael Hining of Oak Park since high school, and is currently working with him in preparation for graduate school auditions. She currently plays with the Windy City String Ensemble, Kishwaukee Symphony Orchestra, and a local pop-rock band.

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Vocals

Mike Edwards
Vocals • Available Tuesdays and Fridays
Mike has been active in music for more 20 years. As a multi-instrumentalist (vocals, drums, guitar, bass, and keyboards), he has been a professional performer since age 17. He attended the University of Illinois as a music composition major. After college, he continued pursuing a professional music career, performing in both original and cover bands. He has appeared with a multitude of bands at venues around Chicago and the Midwest including the Metro and Buddy Guy’s Legends. He has been teaching music for several years. As a voice instructor he specializes in classical, soul, blues, rock and jazz singing for all ages.
Tina Wisniewski
Vocals/Beginner Piano • Available Mondays
Read Tina's profile, above.
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Woodwinds & Brass

Tim Kerwin
Woodwind & Brass • Available Tuesdays

Tim received his BA in Music Education from the University of Wisconsin. He was a graduate student at the University of Chicago and finished his Masters Degree at Northeastern Illinois University.

Tim’s current position at Curie High School for the Performing Arts in Chicago focuses on instrumental and electronic music. His primary instrument is French horn and he enjoys teaching students of all levels and ages.

Don Kovach
Guitar, Bass, Piano, Violin, Viola and Woodwind & Brass • Available Monday–Thursday and Saturdays
Check out Don’s profile, above.
Rick Reynolds
Saxophone, Flute, Clarinet • Available Thursdays
Rick received his Bachelors of Music degree in Music Education from NIU in Dekalb, Illinois. A former assistant band director at Riverside-Brookfield High School, he has been teaching private lessons for more than 20 years. Rick also performs with the band “Midnight” on sax, flute and vocals. He has taught at A Sound Education since 2001.
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Banjo, Mandolin & Ukulele

James Jaffe
Bass, Guitar, Cello and Banjo • Available Tuesdays and Fridays
James studied at Elmhurst College where he earned Bachelor of Arts in music. His studies have covered a wide range of styles, with a strong focus on jazz and classical bass. After graduating, he went on to receive his Suzuki Certification for bass and taught bass and guitar for several years. He has recently begun to teach banjo and cello as well. James took a brief break from teaching to spend some time training as a luthier, focusing on bows for stringed instruments, but is now happy to be back doing what he loves most—teaching. In the past, James was a member of the Elmhurst Symphony and a substitute for the Rockford Symphony. He currently plays with the Chicago-based folk group The Ghasper Ghoul.
Q Kiser
Guitar, Bass,Ukulele, Piano, Brass, Mandolin • Available Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays
Q holds a Bachelor of Music from Indiana University, Fort Wayne, and has been a performer and teacher for more than 20 years. He teaches ukulele, guitar, bass, piano, trumpet, trombone, baritone, and tuba, incorporating music theory and ear training in the learning process. You can find Q onstage with the high energy and interactive band The Hat Guys and teaching rock and pop bands with Intonation Music Workshop. See what else Q is up to and where you can also see him perform and teach. Q has taught at A Sound Education since 2012.
Nick Matthopolous
Guitar, Banjo, Ukulele, Mandolin • Available Mondays and Thursdays
Nick has more than 10 years of musical experience comprised of performing, recording and teaching. He played saxophone throughout middle and high school, while adding guitar and bass to his knowledge at the end of seventh grade. Shortly after high school, Nick studied the banjo, mandolin and ukulele. Since high school, Nick has performed on both guitar and bass, playing various styles of music in various bands. He has a deep interest in various styles of music and appreciates focusing on not just the fundamentals, but whatever his students may be interested in as well.

Back to top

Guitar/Bass

Tim Egan
Guitar, Electric Bass • Available Tuesday–Saturday
A Brookfield native, Tim has his Bachelor's of Music from the Chicago College of Performing Arts at Roosevelt University. He has been playing guitar for 20 years, and is a noted multi-instrumentalist having performed professionally on piano and bass. Comfortable in all styles of music, Tim has been teaching music for seven years. He is also a noted composer, arranger and theorist. Tim has taught at A Sound Education since 2009.
Kimi Hayes
Guitar • Available Mondays and Wednesdays
Kimi has been playing rock, blues and country guitar for more than 20 years. In that time, she’s released five original albums while playing with such bands as Catfight, The Fabulous Janes and The Kimi Hayes Band. She’s also opened for acts like Sugarland, Gavin DeGraw, Willie Nelson and many more.
James Jaffe
Banjo, Bass, Guitar and Cello • Available Tuesdays and Fridays
Check out James’ profile, above.
Q Kiser
Guitar, Bass,Ukulele, Piano, Brass • Available Saturdays
Check out Q's profile, above.
Don Kovach
Guitar, Bass, Piano, Violin, Viola and Woodwind & Brass • Available Monday–Thursday and Saturdays

Don enjoys teaching students violin, viola, cello, double-bass, electric bass, guitar, piano and winds. He specializes in helping students develop strong technical skills, sensitive musical ears, dependable practice habits, music theory, history and a lifelong love of music.

Nearly an original—he has been teaching with A Sound Education for over 14 years. Though he plays all of these instruments—he primarily plays cello and bass. He has a Bachelor of Arts in Music Education from Elmhurst College and has completed graduate work at Vandercook College of Music. He has two sons with whom he enjoys sharing music.

Nick Matthopolous
Guitar, Banjo, Ukulele, Mandolin • Available Mondays and Thursdays
Check out Nick's profile, above.
Matt Rice
Guitar, Electric Bass • Available Monday through Saturday
Matt Rice has more than 20 years of experience playing guitar and studied under the legendary Harry Hmura. He is proficient in all styles of music—metal, jazz, rock, blues, shred, and more. Matt enjoys teaching students of all ages and with varying musical tastes. He's taught at A Sound Education since 2003.
Back to top

Percussion

Chris Morrow
Percussion • Available Monday–Thursday and Saturdays
Chris is a graduate of the Berklee College of Music in Boston. He is a professional drummer and percussionist in the Chicago area. An active performer and recording artist, Chris can be heard on albums by the Jigawatt Trio, the New Fuse, Matt Robinson and many others. He maintains a full performance schedule all over the Midwest with artists in a wide variety of genres. Chris has been teaching at A Sound Education since 2001, and has more than 50 students every week.
Back to top

Piano & Keyboard

Tim Egan
Piano • Available Tuesday–Saturday
Check out Tim's profile, above.

Don Kovach
Guitar, Bass, Piano, Violin, Viola and Woodwind & Brass • Available Monday–Thursday and Saturdays
Check out Don’s profile, above.

Sharon Little-Junsay
Piano, Keyboard, Organ • Available Monday–Saturday

Sharon Little-Junsay, affectionately known by students and staff alike as "Miss Sharon" has taught at A Sound Education since 2001. She treats each student as a distinct individual, while promoting and encouraging expression of their creative and physical gifts.

Miss Sharon's objectives as a piano instuctor are to:

  • Develop technique and facility at the piano or keyboard
  • Teach musicianship skills, theory, ear-training, sight-reading, listening, and performing for others
  • Instill life skills in younger students such as goal setting, good practice habits, personal discipline, and time management

A professional performer since the age of 12, Miss Sharon has been teaching for over 30 years at such esteemed venues as American Music World, Purdom's Suburban Music, and Soundpost. She's a member of the National Guild of Piano Teachers, Music Teachers National Association, and the International Association of Organ Teachers.


Tom Slater

Piano • Available Thursdays and Saturdays
Tom Slater has been playing and studying the piano for over 30 years. He studied music at Cleveland State University and has a solid background in classical, jazz and pop music. He is a multi-instrumentalist in several local bands who can also play the guitar, mandolin and trombone. Tom’s main goals are to help his students develop and maintain good practice habits, learn music theory, and get the most enjoyment and fulfillment you can from playing music.
Tina Wisniewski
Beginner Piano/Vocals • Available Mondays
Tina has been involved in music since she was seven, when she began playing the piano. Currently, she is pursuing a degree in music education at Elmhurst College. Tina is a member of the Concert Choir and Women's Chorus at Elmhurst, as well as a violinist in the Philharmonic Orchestra. She has participated in IMEA District Festivals, and recently sang with the College Choir in concert with Andrea Bocelli as a part of his national tour in Chicago. Tina had the opportunity in her senior year of high school to teach the women's choir and freshmen concert orchestra, alongside both directors. Since that time, she has known that she wants to teach and spread her love of music with students.
Back to top

Violin, Cello & Viola

Nissa Anderson
Violin, Viola and Cello • Available Tuesdays and Thursdays

Nissa has loved music for as long as she can remember. At three-years-old, she was dancing around her dad’s office as he played Stevie Ray Vaughn. At four, she was begging her older brothers to teach her something on their guitars. By eight, she was teaching herself, “I Want It That Way,” on her MIDI keyboard. And by nine, she finally decided to play the violin through the District 102 orchestra program and participated in orchestra from fourth grade until she graduated from Lyons Township in 2012. She is a recent graduate of Lake Forest College, with her Bachelor’s in Music Education. In her time at college, she participated in music ensembles from women’s choir to pit orchestra to West African drumming to symphonic orchestra and piano trio. Nissa is currently teaching both publicly and privately and is hoping to begin her Suzuki training this fall as well as continuing her violin studies.

James Jaffe
Banjo, Bass, Guitar and Cello • Available Tuesdays and Fridays
Check out James’ profile, above.
Don Kovach
Guitar, Bass, Piano, Violin, Viola and Woodwind & Brass • Available Monday–Thursday and Saturdays
Check out Don’s profile, above.
Jessica Kus
Violin & Viola • Available Wednesdays and Saturdays

Jessica has always been interested in music, starting with piano lessons at age four. She enjoys singing, guitar, piano, and violin but her primary instrument is the viola, which she has played for 17 years. She is a graduate of Northern Illinois University with a degree in viola performance, where she studied under Anthony Devroye of the Avalon String Quartet. While at NIU, she performed with the NIU Philharmonic, Kishwaukee Symphony Orchestra, string chamber groups, and played in the steel band for a semester. She previously performed with Chicago Youth Concert Orchestra, West Suburban Youth Symphony and was an IMEA All State Musician.

Jessica is a registered Suzuki teacher for violin books one through three through the Suzuki Association of the Americas. She studied with Ann Montzka-Smelser at NIU and at Suzuki Institute at Steven's Point. This year Jessica will continue her registration through more advanced books.

Jessica has studied with Michael Hining of Oak Park since high school, and is currently working with him in preparation for graduate school auditions. She currently plays with the Windy City String Ensemble, Kishwaukee Symphony Orchestra, and a local pop-rock band.

Back to top

Vocals

Mike Edwards
Vocals • Available Tuesdays and Fridays
Mike has been active in music for more 20 years. As a multi-instrumentalist (vocals, drums, guitar, bass, and keyboards), he has been a professional performer since age 17. He attended the University of Illinois as a music composition major. After college, he continued pursuing a professional music career, performing in both original and cover bands. He has appeared with a multitude of bands at venues around Chicago and the Midwest including the Metro and Buddy Guy’s Legends. He has been teaching music for several years. As a voice instructor he specializes in classical, soul, blues, rock and jazz singing for all ages.
Tina Wisniewski
Vocals/Beginner Piano • Available Mondays
Read Tina's profile, above.
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Woodwinds & Brass

Tim Kerwin
Woodwind & Brass • Available Tuesdays

Tim received his BA in Music Education from the University of Wisconsin. He was a graduate student at the University of Chicago and finished his Masters Degree at Northeastern Illinois University.

Tim’s current position at Curie High School for the Performing Arts in Chicago focuses on instrumental and electronic music. His primary instrument is French horn and he enjoys teaching students of all levels and ages.

Don Kovach
Guitar, Bass, Piano, Violin, Viola and Woodwind & Brass • Available Monday–Thursday and Saturdays
Check out Don’s profile, above.
Rick Reynolds
Saxophone, Flute, Clarinet • Available Thursdays
Rick received his Bachelors of Music degree in Music Education from NIU in Dekalb, Illinois. A former assistant band director at Riverside-Brookfield High School, he has been teaching private lessons for more than 20 years. Rick also performs with the band “Midnight” on sax, flute and vocals. He has taught at A Sound Education since 2001.
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