Our Staff

Begin Your Journey as a Musician


Brian Goodman

Piano, Guitar & Ukulele

Brian Goodman teaches piano, guitar and ukulele. He is a professional pianist with over a decade of experience teaching and performing. Brian has a Bachelor of Music Education degree from VanderCook College of Music. Brian has a strong foundation in classical pedagogy, jazz harmony/improvisation, and an extensive background in rock, blues, folk, soul, and bluegrass. […]

Nina St. Preux teaches voice. She is a professional vocalist with performance experience. Nina has a Master of Music in Vocal Performance from the Manhattan School of Music and a Bachelor of Music from Howard University.  Nina was born and raised in the south-side of Chicago where she attended The Chicago High School for the […]

Richard Valdez teaches guitar, bass, ukulele and banjo. He has more than a decade of experience teaching and performing. Ritch studied jazz and classical performance at the Chicago Academy for the Arts and also at the Chicago College for the Performing Arts at Roosevelt University. Ritch builds lessons around his student’s musical preferences; believing that […]



Melissa Finifrock teaches piano. She has over three decades of experience teaching and performing. Melissa has a Bachelor in Visual Arts and Spanish from NIU and a Master of Arts from Rockford University. Melissa taught elementary school for over a decade. She performed in several worship teams with Christian recording artists and as an accompanist […]

Diego Zapata teaches violin and viola. He is a professional violinist with years of experience in teaching and performing. Diego began his studies at the age of five in the “El Sistema” Venezuelan music program. He studied music at the Simon Bolivar Conservatory, the Latin American Academy of Violin, as well as in the Mozarteum […]

Music Director of the Chicago Philharmonia Orchestra since 1985, Farobag Homi C. has also served as the Artistic Director of the University of Chicago’s Performing Artists Series from 1990 through 2002 and principal conductor of its resident professional ensembles, the Mostly Mozart Chamber Players and the Camerata Virtuosi. He is also a skilled interpreter of […]

Brenda Kenyon teaches piano. Brenda is a retired music teacher with 30 plus years of experience teaching music to children of all ages. Brenda has a Bachelor of Music Education from the University of Pennsylvania at Mansfield and a Master of Music Education from Wright State University in Dayton, Ohio. In addition to teaching piano […]

Janet Kuester

Piano & Violin

Janet Kuester teaches violin, viola and piano. She founded The Music Connection in 2004. Janet has more than four decades of experience teaching and performing. She received her music degree from DePaul University and is a certified Suzuki Piano and Violin Teacher. Janet has performed with numerous orchestras including the Illinois Philharmonic. She is a […]

Matthew Kijowski teaches piano. He has years of teaching, performing and directing experience. Matthew began playing classical music at the age of six. He has a Bachelor of Music in Worship from North Park University where he received awards for both chamber music and solo classical piano. Matthew writes music, arranges music, directs worship teams […]