Instructors who teach: Piano

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Sammie Arizmendi

Sammie Arizmendi

Samantha Arizmendi is a pianist, violinist, vocalist, and guitarist, hailing from Waukegan. Born into a family of musicians, she started studying piano and violin at age five and grew up singing at family parties. She later received pre-collegiate classical training in piano and voice from the Zion Conservatory of Music, where she learned the value of hard work and regular practice. Sammie obtained her bachelor of science in nursing, with a minor in music, from Marquette University.

Sammie is the music director of St. Anastasia Parish in Waukegan, where she has continued the development of the choral program for the last five years and started the parish’s first Teen Choir. Sammie is also the accompanist for the Swedish Glee Club of Lake County and the Filipino Choir of Lake County.

Sammie’s favorite aspect of teaching is fostering her students’ curiosity, and watching their faces light up when new skills click.

Jacob Bicknase

Jacob Bicknase

Originally from small-town Wisconsin, Jacob is an exciting addition to the Chicago music community. Jacob’s father, also a piano teacher, gave him a lifelong passion for the arts at a young age. After growing up with a background in piano, Jacob began developing his percussion skills, earning his bachelor’s in percussion performance at University of Wisconsin (Madison).

Jacob’s skills as a recording and performing musician have taken him to Europe, Asia, Australia, and Latin America. Throughout his travels, he became well-versed in many styles of music. He loves playing and teaching everything from jazz, Afro-Brazilian, and Afro-Cuban, to rock and R&B, to symphonic and musical-theater repertoire. He has shared the stage with amazing musicians like Freddy Cole, Charles Bradley, Lukas Nelson, Tedeschi Trucks, and legendary James Brown collaborator Clyde “Funky Drummer” Stubblefield.

With nearly a decade of teaching experience, Jacob instills above all else a passion for music-making. He employs a warm, personal, and creative approach that makes his students want to learn, helping them realize their musical goals. He looks forward to working with more great students in the year ahead.