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.


Scott Mensching

Scott has been with Music Makers since September, 2007. Scott teaches private Drum lessons for any age. He is the percussionist for the nationally known band: The Moon-rays.

Scott has 34 years experience as a professional musician. During that time he has formed and performed with Traffic Jam (Bluesfest headliner) Tropical Espionage, The Atomic Martini’s, and the Moon-Rays. He has produced and recorded four international- selling albums and won the JPF Independent Music Award for Thrill and Chills over 30,000 other albums.

He is an accredited and licenced music Writer, Producer and Publisher with ASCAP. He has had four songs featured in motion pictures and is credited on the IMDB. The title song for the upcoming movie “Johnny X” was co-written by Scott. You can watch the Moon-rays perform this song.

Scott co-produced and performed on the Moon-Ray’s latest album: “Swingin’ at the Seance” which can be purchased at Amazon.com., CD Baby or at Music Makers…for Life, Inc. You get a nice discount if purchased at our studio! Scott has times available on Fridays and Saturdays.


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.


Julia Miller

Julia Miller specializes in teaching piano, voice, and clarinet. She
received her BM and MM degrees from Northwestern University where she
majored in Vocal Performance and Music Education. Mrs. Miller is a
certified Illinois music educator for K-12 and taught six years in the
Illinois public school system. She has also taught private lessons for
over ten years. Mrs. Miller has performed everywhere from the famous
Tanglewood Institute in Lenox, MA to the Lyric Opera stage in Chicago.
She is a classically trained opera singer, but also has performed
musical theater, barbershop, and a capella.


Martin Pazdioch

By working on core vocal skills such as posture, breath support, tone quality, projection, register integration, diction, and learning the essential elements of singing in different musical styles, you can find your true voice for any style of music, gain confidence in your technique and sound, and polish your performance skills. In addition to being in demand as a voice teacher and clinician at numerous vocal workshops for over 20 years, Martin has been a member of the voice faculty of Dominican University, Barat College, and several prominent area high schools. He maintains a healthy roster of private voice students of all levels, from beginning through emerging professional. He is most proud of all the accomplishments of his students. Current and former students have been heard singing: at their local churches and synagogues, in undergraduate music programs at universities throughout the United States such as Eastman, U of I, BU, and Cincinnati Conservatory, among many others, as music scholarship winners, in a cappella groups, as solo recording artists and songwriters, at professional theaters throughout the Chicago area, on Broadway, and in the national touring companies of Broadway shows. Currently Martin is the Director of Music Ministries, choirmaster, and organist at St. Martin’s (just a coincidence!) Episcopal Church in Des Plaines.


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.


Liz Bumpus

Hi! I’m Liz and I’ve always had a love for music! Throughout elementary, middle and high school I performed in various choirs, musicals and bands. In 2005 I received my Bachelors Degree in Music Education and have been teaching ever since. When I’m not teaching I enjoy performing in the area and spending time with my family.


Spencer Weidner