Our Music Teachers

Our teachers require that the potential student be at least  7 years of age.

If you are interested in finding out about the lessons we offer, the prices, or available times/days, please call our store (847) 623-8565 or e-mail us for more information.


Lauren Moldenhauer - Flute

Lauren earned a Bachelors Degree in flute performance from Northwestern University and a Masters Degree from the Catholic University of America in Washington, DC.  She has been an intern with the Dayton C. Miller Flute Collection at the Library of Congress, a member of the World Winds Woodwind Quintet, and principal flutist of the Bel Cantani Opera Company.  She is currently on the board of the Chicago Flute Club serving as the Publicity Chair.  Lauren also freelances in the Chicago and Milwaukee metropolitan areas.

Andrew Carpenter - Saxophones & Clarinets

Described as "...an artist of great skill and rare sensitivity," Andrew has performed as a recitalist and soloist throughout the United States.  He has performed on Chicago's Dame Myra Hess Memorial Concert Series that was broadcast on WFMT-FM and has recorded with the Elgin Symphony.  His work on the saxophone and clarinet has been featured in numerous orchestral, chamber music, jazz band, and musical theater engagements.  Andrew is a saxophone and clarinet instructor at Sherwood Conservatory, and has served on the faculties of the University of Illinois at Chicago and the College of Lake County.  He holds a Bachelors Degree from Ithaca College and a Masters Degree from Northwestern University.  His primary teachers are Dr. Steven Mauk and Dr. Frederick L. Hemke.


Paul Hefner

Trained in music education and performance, along with 11 years of college teaching experience, Paul Hefner brings the highest level of quality instruction to his brass lessons. His extensive knowledge of classical and jazz literature is incorporated into his instruction. Paul's music work often includes judging Jr. High and High School solo and ensemble contests as well as band, orchestra, and jazz contests. In addition, Paul taught music for 11 years as adjunct faculty at the College of Lake County. There he instructed low brass, concert band, and jazz band. Also, Paul has been a featured soloist with national groups including Allegheny College in Pennsylvania, Windjammers Unlimited in Florida, as well as local groups including FullScore Chamber Orchestra, and the Lake Geneva Symphony Orchestra. Paul's students have successfully auditioned to become members of the CYSO (Chicago Youth Symphony Orchestra) and have gained entry to well regarded colleges studying music performance and education.


Joe Varhula

Not only has Joe attended both the University of Illinois and Roosevelt University, but he has performed professionally with several big bands including Wes Covington and has played for such greats as Bob Hope, Connie Francis, and numerous other personalities.  While he had taught at the College of Lake County for over twenty years, today Joe leads two percussion ensembles and is on the staff at both Riverview School in Silver Lake, WI and Christian Life School in Kenosha, WI.  He still freelances in the Chicago area and frequently performs with the band Limited Edition and the Ralph Marterie Band.


Jaime Rukstales

Jaime earned a Bachelors Degree both in music from the School of Music and in Elementary Education from Illinois Wesleyan University.  In addition to being a founding member of the Silver Strings Quartet, she has over 25 years of experience in violin and ensemble performance.  Over the years, Jaime has performed with the Waukegan Symphony Orchestra, the North Suburban Symphony, the Northbrook Symphony Orchestra, and the Racine Symphony Orchestra.  She continues to perform with the American-Croatian Waukegan Tamburizans and her quartet, the Silver Strings.

Guitar, Bass & Ukulele

Joe Cropin

Having studied guitar under Robert White, Frank Ramoro, and Frank Portolese, Joe is professional working musician in the Chicago area.  Besides performing professionally, Joe has recorded at the Chicago Recording Studios, the Comtrack Studios, and performed on the Grammy winning album by Pops Staples at Sonic Arts Studio.  He has performed with Mitch Rider, Erik Scott, Dave Bickler, Dennis Johnson, and Paul Wertico.


Tara Singer

Currently a faculty member at McHenry County College, Tara has been a professional pianist and music educator in the greater Chicago area for over 30 years.  She holds a Bachelors Degree in piano pedagogy from Northeastern Illinois University as well as a Masters of Music Degree in jazz studies.  On top of that, Tara received a post-graduate certificate in jazz piano from Northern Illinois University.

Angie Ashmore

Angie has a Bachelors Degree from Carthage College with an emphasis in performance.  She has been a church pianist and choir director for various churches including being the music director at Assemblies of God for nearly twenty years.  Angie has over fifteen years of experience teaching piano.

Meileen Van Diggelen

Since first teaching piano at the age of fifteen, Meileen went on to earn a Bachelors Degree in Music Education from Millikin University.  She has taught both general music and chorus at Abbott Middle School in Waukegan.  Besides teaching for us at A-major, Meileen teaches both voice and piano from her home.