Hours of Operation
Our Music Source Teachers
Musicians serving Musicians
Laura Murphy - Vocal & Piano Instructor
Laura Murphy has performed professionally with the prestigious Lyric Opera of Chicago. She understudied numerous apprentice roles and performed with the Lyric Opera Chorus. She has performed major operatic roles including: Carmen, Madam Butterfly, and Rigoletto. She received her B.M. in vocal performance at the University of Illinois. She has studied with Lydia Veazie, Francis Crawford, Eric Dalheim, Norman Gulbrandsen and Diane White. As a teacher, Ms. Murphy's primary focus is teaching singers to sing with a Bel Canto technique. Bel canto literally means, beautiful singing. lt is a term used to describe all Italian singing, but in particular the light, bright quality. She helps fulfill the needs of talented young singers who are striving to obtain the skills and technique that will enable them to perform well and build confidence. She enjoys teaching voice students of all levels. Ms. Murphy has the ability to communicate with people of all ages whether it be teaching, acting, singing or performing.
Michelle McManus Welch - Violin Instructor
Michelle McManus Welch received a B.M and M.M from American Conservatory in Chicago. While in college, she played with Civic Orchestra of Chicago, as well as many other ensembles in the area. She continued to perform after college, and played in the Northwest Indiana symphony for a year, as she began to teach. Ms. Welch has registered eight units of Suzuki training with the Suzuki association of the Americas, and has been teaching both traditional and Suzuki violin lessons to both children and adults for over twenty years. She feels a solid foundation in music reading and technique is important to the development of all violinists, and hopes to foster a love of music with supplemental materials that suit each individual musician.
Tony teaches percussion & drumset, marching band, and bells. Tony's experience drumming started very early! Born into a family of musicians, Tony's home was filled with the sounds of Jazz, Big Band, R&B and even Rock 'n Roll 24/7. Tony started drumming around 2 years old, and before long found himself on stage playing the maracas in his dad's band. Tony remembers watching the drummer during each number, and realized then that he too wanted to be a drummer! Tony played all through school, every chance he could, and showed skills beyond his years, both playing skills and reading music. He attended music camps and brought home 27 1st place medals before 9th grade! In 9th grade he attended Interlocken Camp where the best of the best from around the world would meet and play music. Tony played in the Jazz Band and Marching Bands all through high school which prepared him well for his next assignment: The Navy!
Tony was in the Navy for 10 years. He was stationed in Pearl Harbor for 5 years and at Great Lakes in Illinois for 5 years. His primary responsibility was drumming in the prestigious Navy Band. The Navy Band is more than a marching band, they are also a concert band, jazz band, rock 'n roll band, etc., so Tony was able to keep well versed in various styles - something he still does today.
Tony has been teaching private lessons non-stop since 1989, and much of that time has been here at Music Source. Tony has helped thousands of percussion students become accomplished and successful. Drummers, be sure to watch for Tony's free drum clinics held here at Music Source. Check out Tony's Teacher Page to find out more about the many bands he's played in, past recordings, a drum book he wrote, and his own band now: Stone Black/Stone Blue.
A family man, Tony loves to cook pasta and makes his own pasta sauce when at home. He loves Big Band Swing: 1940 to present, and is the author of "The Snare Drum Book, The Basic 26". As busy as he is, Tony always finds time to play for his own enjoyment and plays weekly at his local Church.
Tyler teaches all styles of guitar and ukelele. Tyler is widely varied in the types of music he likes to play: from classical to metal, from Yes to Led Zeppelin. Kids love Tyler! They appreciate his patience.
Jason is a professional musician who has perfected the art of teaching for all ages and levels. A classically-trained pianist who grew up in a professional musician's household, Jason's been playing for 27 years and believes in starting kids young. While Blues and Jazz are personal favorites, Jason teaches all styles of piano including Gospel, Rock, Comtemporary and New Age styles. We've been very fortunate to have Jason teaching here at Music Source for the past 16 years as he has shown that he can consistently develop students whether they start off as beginners or come to Jason as advanced students wanting to broaden their skills.
Mike teaches all styles of guitar and mandolin and the Scruggs style of banjo. Mike is a professional musician with a passion for studying the theory and history behind any music he plays, and Mike does a great job passing this on to his students, regardless of age. Growing up and going to school in this area, Mike gives back to the community and stays in tune with young kids by volunteering for Field Days at local area schools. He has a gift for keeping theory and history at the appropriate age level for the student.
While his roots are in rock 'n roll, his versatility led him to jazz and now he's our resident bluegrass-lover extraordinaire! Around here we like to say he went from Kiss to Djanjo Rhinehardt to Bill Monroe. When not teaching Mike is gigging full-time. He was in the band Cream Tangerine for four years and is now in a bluegrass band called Uncle Zesty's Oldtime Bootknockers where he plays guitar, banjo, and mandolin, in addition to vocals.
In his spare time Mike enjoys old-time music, American history and folklore, and songwriting of all types.
Chris teaches all styles of bass. Chris is a a very talented teacher who currently teaches private lessons at both College of Lake County and McHenry County College. He graduated in 1984 with honors from the Wisconsin Conservatory of Music with a B.S. in Performance on String Bass. While there, he studied bass with Harold Miller who has played nationally for entertainers such as Bob Hope, Mickey Rooney and the Drifters. He also studied with renouned educator Reggie Willis. He graduated with honors from DePaul University with a Master of Music in Performance on String Bass. While there, Chris studied bass with jazz bassist Kelly Sill.
Chris has played bass for several professional recordings, performances and CD's including a new release scheduled for early 2011.
Cyndi specializes in both brass and woodwind instruments, teaches flute, trumpet, french horn and recorder. She offers instruction in basic technical and rhythmic skills with a focus on classical, jazz and commercial styles. Cyndi adheres to basics and fundamentals and has the solo awards and honors to attest to their value.
Cyndi has played several roles throughout her musical journey. She received a full scholarship to the Interlochen Arts Academy at age 16, graduated among the highest ranked chairs, and was one of the few freshman to get into both the premier wind ensemble and top jazz band at the University of Iowa. She was also a finalist for the Washington D.C. Navy band at just 20 years old. Other notable accomplishments include regular membership in the Dixieland band at Six Flags Great America, a five year run as principle cornet with the Illinois Brass Band (including 8 solo awards in both the technical and slow melody categories at the North American Brass Band competitions), a successfull audition with Royal Caribbean Cruise Lines as a jazz/commercial trumpeter, and being a finalist for the US Army band's "Pershing's Own" in Washington D.C. She also has several other local, nation and international solo awards on all three instruments. Cyndi describes one of her most memorable "wow" moments as when she heard her flute and trumpet solos being aired over local radio in 2008!In 2012 Cyndi made her Carnegie Hall debut as the first place winner in the amateur division of an international flute solo competition. Not afraid to rise to a challenge, just one year later she competed again in a different international arena, earning a 2nd place and yet another opportunity to perform at Carnegie Hall. This competition was open to all musical genres and instruments - including voice - and both amateur and professional musicians. Cyndi was not only the lone wind player to get above a 3rd place, but did it on flute, French horn, and trumpet while performing her own arrangement of the Carnival of Venice! Cyndi feels that if there isn't a piece written for all three instruments to be performed by one person, why not write it yourself?
When not competing, performing or teaching music, Cyndi likes to create and compete using other art media including ceramics, jewelry, candles, cake decoration, and whatever else she decides to invent. Seeing variety as the spice of life, Cyndi also has a black belt in Taekwondo and is an internationally published photographer.
Neal Lukenbill Neal has been a guitar instructor for 6 years. He studied commercial music at Millikin University. Neal teaches Jazz, Classical, POP/Contemporary music and music theory. He has a Jazz combo group as well as a local Rock group he writes for.
Todd teaches bass and guitar, with a specialty in bass. He is very comfortable with all age groups and is proficient in teaching Rock, Funk, Blues, Country and Reggae.
Todd is a classically trained professional musician and learned all the basics at an early age. He's been performing with live bands for 13 years, including gigs at White Sox Park and fun venues like Milwaukee County Fair, Lake County Fairgrounds, McHenry County and Southeastern Wisconsin festivals and fairs!
Todd has a real passion for songwriting and devotes time to that in addition to his own band NoOneSouldier which performs his original songs. NoOneSouldier has gigs lined up from Kenosha Wisconin to Lake County, Illinois, in addition, Todd also plays with Old Brown Shoes which is known for Blues and Soul music.
When Todd isn't playing, teaching or writing songs, Todd loves watching other live bands or curling up with a good set of headphones.
Jeanette has been teaching piano for 12 years at various music centers, as well as teaching out of students' homes for the last 7 years. She has been playing piano for 22 year, including 9 years of instruction starting in second grade. She has taught students of all ages from 4 through 75 at all levels from beginner to advanced, including experience with autistic children, ADD, cerebral palsy, and other special needs.
While being a classically trained musician herself, Jeanette also strives to provide an individualized lesson experience to each student by traversing all genres and styles of music. Regardless of the style taught, music theory and proper technique remain a cornerstone of all lessons.
Jeanette generally uses Faber and Faber Piano Adventures lesson books, but also has experience with Alfreds, Thompson, and various others. Supplemental material is introduced as necessary, including Hanon, music flash cards, sight-reading books and activities, ear training, scale/chord practice, etc.
Jeanette's goal as a teacher is to make lessons fun yet challenging while also allowing students to progress at their own individual pace. She also encourages her students to explore different styles and forms of playing as they advance and learn theory to prepare them for playing beyond their method books. She keeps detailed accounts of each lesson taught and conveys progress to parents(when applicable) at the end of every lesson so parents can remain an active element in their child's learning process. Communication is a huge part of music as well as teaching and every effort is made to include the parents which can greatly help in the students progress and overall experience.
Ryan started as a guitar student here at Music Source and quickly has become one of the most talented young players coming from the Lake County area. His goal as a teacher is to make sure that his students develop a passion and interest in the music they are learning, keeping the elements of fun and creative involvement at a maximum, while at the same time teaching them the useful theory and technical knowledge of the instrument that will ultimately benefit their musical skills in the long run. Ryan teaches everything from standard Rock and Pop to Country, Blues, Metal, Jazz, Classical, and even more obscure genres such as New Wave and Punk rock.
Ryan has made a name for himself in the local Alternative band Convolution, his band having won countless battle of the bands and having played gigs all around the Northern Chicago and Southern Wisconsin area. Not only has his group taken first in the local Warren Township High School Battle of the Bands every time they have competed, they even beat out over a hundred other bands in the Illinois Battle of the Bands competition, taking their music all the way to the State Fair in Springfield to compete against the top 5 teen bands from the statewide competition. They ended up taking 2nd overall! Convolution is currently finishing up their debut full length album, which is set for a late July/early August of 2014 release.
In his free time, Ryan loves doing all things music, writing songs, listening to music, even producing rap instrumentals for fellow musicians, but can also be found outside playing basketball or tennis and hanging out with friends on rare occasion.
Ryan has come full circle and began teaching here at Music Source in the fall of 2013. If you are looking for a patient teacher who will help stimulate self-musicality from students and help anyone get better at all levels, you needn't look any further.
Flutist Darlene Drew (Interlochen Arts Academy, Northwestern University B.M. with honors, Florida State University M. M.) has been an active part of the Chicago freelance music scene for the past 30 years. She has performed with many ensembles including the Chicago Symphony, Lyric Opera, Grant Park Symphony, Elgin Symphony Orchestra, Joffrey Ballet, Bolshoi Ballet, and has served as Principal Flute and soloist with the Ravinia Festival Orchestra for over 20 years. A longtime performer in musical theatre, she has played for many major productions and served as a member of the touring company of Disney's Lion King performing on 14 ethnic flutes. She was highlighted on ABC TV’s Backstage Pass to the Lion King in many cities across the country, was interviewed on NPR and was the feature cover article for Flute Talk Magazine in December 2007. Her chamber ensemble Trio Elan, has been featured on WFMT Radio and has a CD Premiere Trio Elan published and distributed by World Library Publications. Darlene started teaching flute and piano during high school and served as a teaching assistant while earning her Masters at Florida State University. She also currently teaches at Columbia College of Chicago and serves as a Solo and Ensemble judge.
Jessica Nellessen is the saxophone and clarinet teacher at Music Source. Ms. Nellessen serves as a private lesson's instructor, as well as coaching quartets, quintets, and various other saxophone ensembles. Ms. Nellessen performs primarily as a soloist, but also performs with chamber groups and larger ensembles. Although she is primarily a classical saxophonist, Ms. Nellessen performs as a freelance jazz and funk musician as well. As a member of the North American Saxophone Alliance, Ms. Nellessen represents herself, her students, and her colleagues by attending Regional Conferences as well as continuous support for the N.A.S.A. program.
A recent graduate of the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, Ms. Nellessen completed the requirements to obtain a Master of Music degree. She served as the graduate saxophone teaching assistant, as well as serving as the head librarian to the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee Bands program as part of her Graduate Assistantship.
Prior to coming to Music Source in Grayslake, Illinois, Ms. Nellessen graduated with a Master of Music degree from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, under the direction of Professor Curt Hanrahan. She earned her Bachelor of Music degree from Southern Illinois University Carbondale, under the direction of Dr. Richard Kelley. She has also attended conferences with notable saxophonists Professor Debra Richtmeyer, Dr. Kenneth Tse, and Dr. Frederick L. Hemke. Ms. Nellessen won the "I Love Music" Scholarship from the United Methodist Church in McHenry, IL, to assist with her pursuing her Bachelor's degree.