Teachers & Staff

Theresa Villec

Mrs Villec has a Master in Music Education degree with emphasis on General Music and Choral/Vocal. She taught music to K-8 students in both the public and private schools for many years. She has developed programs and methods that successfully teach children to ready and play music well and Founded Music Makers…for Life in 2006. She also continues her professional singing and piano playing career.
Mrs. Villec trained under Dr. Clifford Reims when he was chairman and director of the Voice Department of the Opera Theater at Roosevelt University in Chicago. He is listed in Who’s Who in American Music, International Who’s Who of Musicians and is proud of two former students, the famous sopranos Barbara Daniels and Jeannine Altmeyer.
She was also trained by Dr. Robert Long, one of Chicago’s most influential and respected voice teachers and had in earlier days performed roles in such operas as “Rigoletto,” “Faust” and “Carmen,” and made more than 100 appearances as Azael in Debussy’s “L’Enfant Prodigue.” Mr. Long served in naval intelligence in the Pacific during World War II, and returned from the war to sing in the American premiere of “Peter Grimes,” the Benjamin Britten opera, in 1946. With the former Chicago Opera and other groups, he sang under the direction of Fritz Reiner, Artur Rodzinski and Karl Krueger. He performed in “Peter Grimes” under the direction of Leonard Bernstein. Mrs. Villec was chosen as a 2015 Everyday Hero for her work in education, by the Northwest Herald.


Judson Brown

Judson has is BA in Audio Arts and Acoustics with a minor in Jazz Performance. He specializes in guitar, bass and piano but also plays sax, flute, clarinet, and bassoon. He has been a freelance professional musician as well as music teacher for the last few years. Judson also writes and records his own music and his solo debut album will be released in 2010. He currently performs with Bella Cain.

Heidi Helstadt

Heidi has over 15 years of private studio teachng experience She received her BS in Instrumental Music Education K-12 from Northwestern College in St. Paul, MN and also received her MM degree in Woodwind Performance (saxophone emphasis) from the University of Idaho-Lionel Hampton School of Music in Moscow, ID. She has a wealth of experience teaching students of all ages and abilities and also and has over 15 years experience in teaching beginning and intermediate piano as well as completeing coursework in piano pedagogy.

Ken Cubala

Ken has taught at Allecgro Music Academy in Lemont for many years. He has a BA in Audio Production. He’s directed Rock School bands and has performed at vaious local venues as well as the Taste of Chicago. He also owns/operates his own Recording Studio.

Lon Schmidt

Lon has a Master of Music Degree from the Chicago Musical College at Roosevelt University. He spent 32 years at Cary Junior High where he was director of choirs & taught classroom guitar. His post graduate studies at Vandercook College of Music include: “Beginning Guitar”, “Guitar for the Non-Guitarist”, “Guitar Skills & Curriculum”, “Guitar Literature & Pedagogy”.

Vanessa Bettcher

Vanessa Bettcher Lent got her Bachelor’s of Music in Vocal Music Education in May 2005 from Millikin University. She has her Type 10 Teaching Certificate for K-12 Music-Standard Education. She has 25 years of piano and 20 years violin playing experience, and 13 years of private teaching experience.

Maria Villec

Maria Villec is a teacher, performer and student of music. Growing up through the years with Music Makers has inspired her to make music a lifelong career. Formerly working the reception desk, she began teaching voice and piano at Music Makers in Summer of 2016. When she is not at Music Makers, she is working with her band, The Almas, or working on her own music. She stays involved with the local music scene with The Almas and by writing reviews for local bands. Maria is attending McHenry County College in pursuit of an Associates in Fine Arts Music, graduating in 2018.