Jan is the owner/director of the Suzuki Music School of Lincoln Park and teaches cello and Kindermusik. She is also on faculty at the Merit School of Music where she teaches cello, a Pre-Kindergarten music class, and directs the Stradivarius Strings Orchestra. Jan holds a Bachelor of Music in Music Education from DePaul University.
In addition, she has taken Suzuki teacher training for Cello Books 1-10, and has taken the courses Every Child Can, Suzuki Principles in Action (SPA), and the Cello Practicum. She currently studies with Dr. Tanya Carey. Jan has been a judge for Sherwood Community Music School’s String Fest and the Chinese Fine Arts Society Music Festival. Jan has performed with the Chicago City Wide Symphony Orchestra, the Lake Shore Symphony Orchestra, and is currently the principal cellist with the Lakeview Orchestra. She also performs as a soloist and chamber music musician around the Chicago area.
Nina is an enthusiastic Suzuki violin teacher. She is registered through Book 7, having studied with Nancy Jackson and Edward Kreitman. Nina also studied with Mimi Zweig at her summer institute at Indiana University. She teaches at the Suzuki Music School of Lincoln Park as well as privately.
Nina has performed throughout the country touring as a member of the New York City Opera National Company and Western Opera Theater (San Francisco). She formerly played with the Sarasota Opera and with the New World Symphony in Miami Beach, Florida. Nina has played many summer festivals including the AIMS Orchestra in Graz, Austria and the Spoleto Festival both in Spoleto, Italy and Charleston, SC. She is an active freelancer in the Chicago-area. Some of the groups with which she plays include Milwaukee Ballet Orchestra, Light Opera Works and New Philharmonic Orchestra. Nina was invited to perform a solo at Preston Bradley Hall with the Chicago Chamber Orchestra. She received her BM from Northwestern University and her MM from the University of Houston.
Jay has taught Suzuki piano since 1998. He has a MS in education from Wheelock College in Boston, specializing in primary education. He was a former Peace Corps volunteer in Togo, a former teacher/deputy head teacher at Kisumu International School in Kenya, and field officer/teacher for Harvard University’s WorldTeach Project, also in Kenya. He has studied piano with Darryl Rosenberg, Kathleen Supove, Sara Kohane, Vladimir Leyetchkiss, Leena Crothers, Greg Slowik, and has done master classes with Melvin Chen (Yale University), Diane Andersen (Conservatoire Royale de Musique, Belgium), and Rebecca Rafaelli (New Haven). He also teaches Suzuki piano at the Music Institute of Chicago. Jay lives in Evanston and has two Lhasa Apso rescue dogs named Fred and Ethel.
Cynthia has taught at SMSLP since 1987. She earned a B.A. in Music Education from Montclair State College, NJ, and an M.S. in Biology from IIT. She spent two years in the Navy and twenty-three years as a medical research technician at Michael Reese and Rush hospitals. She has studied Suzuki pedagogy through Book VII having studied with Yasko Joichi, Carole Bigler, and Valery-Lloyd Watts. She also teaches in her home studio in Oak Park. Cynthia is a member of CAMTA, National Guild of Piano Teachers, and SAA. Her husband, Michael, plays the French horn, and her daughter (an SMS alumna) teaches violin in Baltimore. She is the pianist at her church and is a student of Dr. Michael Fritsch of Wheaton. Cynthia is an amateur composer.
A dedicated teacher, Linda Veleckis teaches violin & piano at the Suzuki Music School of Lincoln Park and serves as Director of Orchestras in Orland Park, Illinois, where she conducts four orchestras serving over 200 young musicians. Her private studio in Chicago focuses on developing strong technical foundation and preparing students for competitions and auditions.
Linda has performed as a soloist, chamber and orchestral musician throughout the United States and Europe. Orchestrally, she has performed with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, Lyric Opera Orchestra, Chicago Sinfonietta, Elgin Symphony, New Philharmonic and currently serves as principal second violin with both the Illinois Philharmonic and Heartland Festival Orchestras.
Her dedication to the musical life extends beyond the concert stage and teaching studio: Linda has served as Executive Director of several orchestras and is in demand as a consultant for symphonic organizations. Her doctoral dissertation, “Beyond the Podium: the Leadership Traits of Symphony Orchestra Conductors” is often cited as the first study of conductor viewed through the lens of organizational behavior. She has presented papers at the national conferences of the Organization Development Institute and the American String Teachers Association (ASTA).