Rebecca Song, Piano

Rebecca Song is a certified Suzuki Piano teacher who taught both in Minneapolis, and at Suzuki-Orff School for Young Musicians (now Chicago Center for Music Education). She has utilized her teaching skills by teaching both traditionally and with the Suzuki Method for Piano to students of all ages for the past 21 years. Rebecca earned a Bachelor of Music Education degree from Iowa Wesleyan College, and a Master of Arts degree in Piano Pedagogy from Western Illinois University.

In addition to teaching, Rebecca works as a music therapist. She earned a music therapy equivalency from Augsburg College, in Minneapolis, Minnesota. She is a board certified music therapist, and works in an assisted living facility in Evanston, Illinois. Rebecca has worked with stroke victims, individuals with dementia/Alzheimer’s Disease, Parkinson’s Disease, in adult day services, and has worked with disabled children throughout the Chicago Public Schools.




Mary Melnikova, Piano

Mary Melnikova started learning piano at the age of five, and continued her studies in piano performance at Penza State Music School in Russia. She has taught piano privately since 2013, and she utilizes an individual approach to every student depending on age, music preferences and personal learning style. Mary's pedagogy style is based on combination of theory, technique, and performance.  She includes exercises, sight reading and warm-ups in my lessons, as well as scales. Students are free to chose their own repertoire of music or follow her selections. Mary focuses mostly on classical music, including works by Mozart, Bach, Einaudi, and Zimmer, but also enjoys teaching jazz piano. In addition to teaching piano, Mary is fluent in both Russian and English, and enjoys yoga and outdoor sports in her free time.

Jordan Jenkins, Piano

Jordan Jenkins is a composer, pianist, and educator based in Chicago, IL. Jordan caught the music bug very early, teaching himself to play a variety of instruments until finally settling in on piano and bass. Jordan has performed in a variety of ensembles, given solo recitals, and performed in collaboration with singers and instrumentalists throughout his career. Recently completing his Master’s degree in Composition, Jordan loves writing music for all types of ensembles and in many different musical styles. As an educator, Jordan has taught piano, bass, and guitar lessons as well as tutored students in music theory for the past 3 years, and firmly believes in the power of music as a positive influence in all aspects of life. When not doing anything musical, Jordan can be found spending time with friends and family, reading, biking around Chicago, or lounging around with his beloved cats Pipsqueak and Banzai. More about Jordan can be found at

Margaret Winchell, Piano

Chicago Piano Teacher

Margaret Winchell is a dynamic and energetic music educator in the Chicagoland area. Having grown up in a musical family, she has played the piano since she was five and has also studied voice and French horn in the years since. Her varied musical studies took her to Houston’s High School for the Performing and Visual Arts and to numerous summer high school music festivals. She then earned her Bachelor of Music Education from Wheaton College, where she was also awarded the prestigious Presser Scholarship for her work in Wheaton’s Conservatory of Music. She is privileged to count among her teachers Vanessa Chase, Dr. Sohyoung Park, and Dr. Daniel Paul Horn.

While Margaret finds great delight in the aesthetic beauty of music, she is even more interested in how the process of learning and studying music shapes us as people. Her training in theater also brings her to consider music performance primarily as storytelling, and she is continually finding new ways to bridge the disciplines of theater and music. In her recent classroom teaching, she has been described by colleagues as inspiring, engaging, and adaptable, and she is eager to transfer these skills to working with students one-on-one through City Strings Chicago.




Pan Xiao, Piano

Piano Teacher Chicago

Pan Xiao, pianist, hails from Boulder, Colorado, and has been living in the Chicago area for the last 6 years. Having played the piano since age 8, she is currently a second-year master's student in piano performance at Northwestern University’s Bienen School of Music under the tutelage of Alan Chow and Boris Slutsky. Pan is also a graduate of Northwestern's dual-degree program and holds two bachelor’s degrees—in piano performance and chemistry. Most recent performances and awards include the 2017 Farewell Trust Award from the Musician's Club of Women and the 2015 WFMT Bach Keyboard Festival. Pan has a passion for piano pedagogy and has worked closely with Dr. Marcia Bosits in the pedagogy department at Northwestern. She will present in the poster session at this year’s Illinois State Music Teacher’s Association (ISMTA) conference on teaching the adult piano class. Outside of piano, Pan has participated in the Alice Millar Chapel Choir for six years and can be occasionally heard as a featured soprano soloist with the choir. She also currently serves as the choir manager.

Nathan Lo, Cello and Piano

Nathan Lo comes from a musical family; he started learning piano at the age of 4 and cello at the age of 7. Throughout his music career, he has attended various music festivals and institutions, such as the Meadowmount School of Music, the Aspen School of Music, Interharmony International Music Festival, and University of Houston's Piano summer camp. He is currently studying piano performance under Professor Alan Chow of Northwestern University's Bienen School of Music, and his past teachers have included Anton Nel, John Weems, and Nancy Weems. In addition, he has also had extensive training with cello performance, studying with Brinton Smith, Lachezar Kostov, Anthony Kitai, Vagram Saradjian, and Norman Fisher. Nathan has won various awards throughout his lifetime for his musical abilities, including TMTA's Piano Concerto Competition, the Schmidbauer Young Artist Competition, and the Juanita Miller Competition. 

Chicago Cello and Piano

Katie Schoepflin, Piano

Chicago Piano Teachers

Katie Schoepflin, clarinetist, vocalist, pianist and composer lives in Chicago and works as a freelance musician. As a member of Ensemble Dal Niente, she has had the privilege of working with and performing the works of Hans Abrahamsen, Louis Andriessen, Raphael Cendo, Brian Ferneyhough, Lee Hyla, George Lewis, Enno Poppe and Augusta Reed Thomas. Katie has recently had the extraordinary privilege of performing Enno Poppe’s clarinet concerto, Holz. She also performed with Dal Niente at the 2014 International Summer Courses for New Music in Darmstadt, Germany. Katie was part of the 2016 resident ensemble at The Walden School and will be returning for a second time this summer.

Katie earned her Bachelor of Music degree from Indiana University where she won the IU clarinet concerto competition and was awarded a Performer’s Certificate. She was a participant at the 2006 Henry Mancini Institute in Los Angeles. In 2008, Katie spent a year abroad in Japan where she was principal clarinetist of the Kakogawa Philharmonic Orchestra in Hyogo prefecture. She also sang jazz sets regularly in Kobe. Katie is also the recipient of an Essentially Ellington jazz soloist award for the clarinet. She earned her Master of Music degree in 2011 from McGill University where she was awarded a full Schulich School of Music scholarship. While studying at McGill, Katie was a participant in the 2011 National Youth Orchestra of Canada, touring and performing extensively throughout Canada. Her primary instructors have been John Bruce Yeh, Alain Desgagne, James Campbell, Frank Kowalsky and Mary Kantor. When she is not making music, Katie is designing and creating jewelry for her shop.

Allison Chambers, Cello

Chicago Cello Teacher

Chicagoland native Allison Chambers fell in love with the cello at the age of nine. She holds a bachelor’s degree from Elmhurst College in music education, where she studied with Edward Moore. While at Elmhurst, Allison was selected as the 2012 Elmhurst College Philharmonic Concerto Competition Winner, performing the Elgar Cello Concerto. After graduating with her undergraduate degree, she spent a year substitute teaching as a high school orchestra director.

Wishing to devote more time to her cello, she decided to pursue a master’s degree in performance at the Chicago College of Performing Arts of Roosevelt University under the tutelage of Richard Hirschl. She was awarded her degree in May 2016 and is embarking on an exciting career path in music that encompasses performance, teaching, and arts management. Allison is currently a member of the Civic Orchestra of Chicago and enjoys teaching privately. When she isn’t behind her cello, you can find Allison spending time with loved ones, exploring the outdoors, or curled up with a good book. 

Ariel Patkin, Violin and Viola

Violin Lessons Chicago

Ariel Patkin is an enthusiastic teacher and performer who enjoys sharing her lifelong love of music with others. Beginning as a Suzuki violin student at age three, she later discovered the charm of the viola and went on to perform on both instruments throughout the United States, Canada, and Italy. Before graduating from high school, Ms. Patkin had already performed as a soloist with two orchestras, and attended several highly regarded summer music festivals, including the Boston University Tanglewood Institute.

As a member of the Civic Orchestra of Chicago, Ms. Patkin has the great privilege of collaborating with and learning from world-class musicians such as Yo-Yo Ma and the musicians of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra. In addition to her love of orchestral playing, Ms. Patkin is passionate about chamber music, and especially enjoys performing with quartets and in baroque ensembles. She has also performed and premiered numerous contemporary works as a soloist and  a member of several new music ensembles, including the Hartt School’s Foot In The Door ensemble.

An active proponent of musician wellness, Ms. Patkin studies The Alexander Technique and received Suzuki training at the Colorado Suzuki Institute. She holds an M.M. in Viola Performance from the University of Colorado Boulder and an B.M. from The Hartt School.

Molly Rife, Cello

Cello Lessons

A native of Tucson, Arizona, Molly Rife began playing the cello at age 11. Growing up in a family full of musicians, it was no surprise that she developed a passion for music as a youngster. Molly decided to brave the cold and is now an active performer and teacher in Chicago. Molly holds a Bachelor of Music degree in Performance from Arizona State University where she studied with Thomas Landschoot. She received her Master of Music degree in Performance from DePaul University under the tutelage of Stephen Balderston. 

Molly currently holds a position with the Northwest Indiana Symphony Orchestra and plays frequently with the Illinois Symphony Orchestra and the New Philharmonic Orchestra. Molly is also a member of 42nd Parallel, a conductorless chamber orchestra founded by her colleagues in Chicago. An advocate of contemporary music, Molly has performed, recorded, and collaborated with many local Chicago composers and the contemporary ensemble Fonema Consort. Molly has performed at venues such as the Merle Reskin Theatre, Constellation, the Greenhouse Theatre, and the Redmoon Theatre.

Molly is enthusiastic about various genres of music. She has performed and recorded with local Chicago bands and artists, including the Grammy-nominated band Sidewalk Chalk, B Forrest, America's Got Talent Semifinalist Sharon Irving, Isaiah Oby, YONEE, and Aryk Crowder. She has also appeared on recordings for the Shedd Aquarium Aquatic show One World: Make a Difference, Sam I Am Film’s movie Scrooge and Marley, and Team Starkid’s album and production Twisted: The Untold Story of a Royal Vizier. Molly has performed at many local Chicago venues, including the House of Blues, Double Door, and Martyrs. She has also performed at many local festivals, including the Logan Square Arts Festival, Classical Revolution, and the Wabash Arts Crawl.

In addition to performing, Molly loves to teach aspiring cellists of all ages. Along with City Strings, Molly currently teaches private cello lessons at Southport Performing Arts Conservatory and Terra Sounds School of Music and Arts. She has also taught at the Merit School of Music, Music For Kids, Sherry-Brener Ltd., and Linton Milano Music Center.

Madeline Capistran, Violin

A native of Fargo, North Dakota, violinist Madeline Capistran began studying violin at age 9 with her mother, Jane Linde Capistran.  As a teenager, she continued her studies with Sally O'Reilly at the University of Minnesota.  Ms. Capistran holds a B.M. in violin performance from Michigan State University and a M.M. in violin performance from DePaul University, where she studied with Ilya Kaler.  As an active orchestral and chamber musician, Ms. Capistran was a member of the Civic Orchestra of Chicago for two seasons, the Fargo-Moorhead Symphony for four years, and has attended such summer programs as Musicorda, Meadowmount, the Colorado College Summer Music Festival, the Hot Springs Music Festival, Dakota Chamber Music, and the University of Nebraska-Lincoln Chamber Music Institute.  She has performed in master classes for the St. Lawrence String Quartet and Janet Sung, and has appeared as part of the “Noontime Concert Series” at the University of Chicago.  As a soloist, Ms. Capistran has performed with the Fargo-Moorhead Symphony, the Fargo-Moorhead Area Youth Symphony, on National Public Radio's show "From the Top" with pianist Christopher O'Riley, and most recently with Chicago’s Logan Chamber Players. Ms. Capistran is also in her third season as Assistant Concertmaster of Orchestra Iowa in Cedar Rapids, IA, and in her first season playing with the Northwest Indiana Symphony.  She is currently living in Chicago where she teaches, free-lances, and performs regularly with the New Millennium Orchestra, the Rockford Symphony Orchestra, Access Contemporary Music, and as concertmaster of Chamber Opera Chicago.  

Violin Lessons Chicago

Victor Sotelo, Cello

Chicago Cello and Suzuki Lessons

Victor Sotelo is a Chicago based cellist whose performances have taken him across the United States and abroad. He is a top prizewinner in numerous competitions including Protégé International and Alexander & Buono International Competitions. Mr. Sotelo made his professional debut in 2002 performing the Dvorak Concerto with the Louisville Orchestra. The following year, he was invited as a guest performer for the American Cello Congress as a result of being a finalist for the ASTA National Solo Competition. In 2010, he made his Carnegie Hall recital debut. Mr. Sotelo has had the privilege of closely collaborating in ensembles with eminent artists including Yo Yo Ma, Carter Brey, and Midori Goto at the Schleswig-Holstein Festival in Germany. He has been heard in string quartet radio broadcasts from the Rush Hour and Dame Myra Hess concert series for WFMT Chicago. His chamber discography includes an album of some previously unrecorded works entitled, “Folks and Fantasies: The Chamber Music of William Grant Still & Clifford Julstrom”, released in 2013. Additional chamber concert collaborations have included members of Chicago, Pittsburgh, St. Louis, and Colorado symphony orchestras.  

Mr. Sotelo is a current member of South Bend Symphony and Chicago Arts Orchestra as well as a substitute member for Grant Park Symphony, Louisville Orchestra, and Chicago Sinfonietta. Additionally, he has performed with New World Symphony and was a member of the Civic Orchestra of Chicago. He is a graduate of the Northwestern University Beinen School of Music, under the tutelage of Hans Jorgen Jensen. He has previously worked in masterclasses with Gary Hoffman, Miklós Perényi, Paul Katz, Aldo Parisot, Timothy Eddy, Joel Krosnick, and Ralph Kirshbaum. 

Dorthy White Okpebholo, Violin and Viola

Chicago Suzuki Violin Lessons

Violinist and violist, Dorthy White Okpebholo, maintains an active career as an orchestral musician, recitalist, and educator. From a young age, her orchestral experiences have taken her across the and United States of America and the world, including Carnegie, Music, and Orchestra Halls. As an orchestral musician, she has performed with the Columbus Symphony (OH), Civic Orchestra of Chicago, Chicago Sinfonietta, Camerata Chicago, Jackson Symphony (TN), Sphinx Virtuosi, Aspen Music Festival, and Lancaster Music Festival. As a chamber musician, she has performed with many accomplished artists, including, cellist, Yo-Yo Ma. As a soloist, she won second place in the 2003 Geraldine B. Gee International Viola Competition and has been a semi-finalist in the National Sphinx Competition.  She has also appeared of several commercially released albums. She received her bachelor's and master's degrees from the University of Cincinnati, College-Conservatory of Music where she studied with Masao Kawasaki and Catherine Carroll.