Meet Our Instructors

Our teachers are some of the finest musicians in the nation all located in the Chicago area - active professionals with a passion for teaching all ages.

World-Class Instructors.

Learning to play an instrument can have a significantly positive impact on the lives of children. Our excellent instructors are dedicated and enthusiastic and highly experienced professionals who will inspire their students and make learning process fun and enjoyable.

Irina Fatykhova Magill

Founder and Director

Irina Fatykhova Magill was born in Russia. She started her music lessons when she was 7. At the age of 11 she continued her education in Kazan State Conservatory Special Music High school. She graduated from Moscow State Conservatory in 2005 (diploma with distinction) where she studied under Professor Igor Frolov.

Angelo Hart

Piano, Composition - Jazz, Improvisation

Angelo Hart has always had a unique and expressive approach to his instrument. Angelo has studied jazz and classical legends such as Thelonius Monk, Art Tatum, Cecil Taylor, Oscar Peterson, Keith Jarrett, Herbie Hancock, and Chick Corea, Debussy, Liszt, Chopin, Beethoven and many more.

Dylan Barnett


Dylan Barnett is a Chicago based guitarist, composer, songwriter, and educator whose eclectic involvement in a variety of genres sets him apart from the average musician. With an extensive background in everything from jazz, rock, funk, and blues, Dylan's musical style refuses to be confined to a single genre, and instead embraces a mixture of all the music that inspires him.

Alice Liu

Piano - Mandarin, English

Pianist Guannan Alice Liu was born and raised in Shenzhen, China, and started playing the piano at the age of four. Alice recently graduated from Bienen School of Music of Northwestern University with a Bachelor’s of Music degree in Piano Performance where she studied with Dr. Sylvia Wang.

Gabriela Lara

Piano, Violin

Gabriela Lara began her music studies in Barquisemeto, Venezuela at the age of 8 and became a member of “El Sistema,” and toured as Concertmaster of the Lara Youth Orchestra and the National Youth Orchestra of Venezuela in 2017.

Chester Tam


Chester Tam comes from Hong Kong. He made his first step in music under his mother's friend, and at the age of four. He made enormous improvements after training by pianist Zhao Ning and won the Second Prize at the Hong Kong Youth Music Competition 2013. Besides taking part in school concerts, he has also participated in various master classes by famous pianist and teachers, such as Lang Lang, András Schiff, Kwok Gabriel.

Austyn Estey-Ang


Austyn Estey-Ang is a notable free lance musician in the Chicagoland area. He has a Bachelor’s degree in Oboe Performance and a Master’s degree in Orchestral Studies from the Chicago College of Performing Arts. He has experience mentoring students in the Chicago Orchestral Academy’s Protégé Philharmonic as well as privately teaching middle schools students and adults.

Gustavo Cortinas

Gustavo Cortiñas

Drums and Percussion - Spanish, English

A graduate of Loyola University New Orleans (BM Jazz, Minor in Philosophy, Magna Cum Laude, 2011), and Northwestern University (MM Jazz, 2013), Gustavo Cortiñas has developed a successful career in the US for over a decade, leading and accompanying ensembles in renowned stages and festivals in North America, Latin America, Asia, and Europe.

Xiaoke Guo

Violin - Mandarin, English

XiaoKe was born in China and has 5 years experienced for all-age violin teaching. She graduated from Roosevelt University and studied under Yuan-qing Yu. She collaborated with many regional orchestras around Chicago. XiaoKe is very delighted to share her music inspiration and teaching method combination with students. The purpose for students is to achieve their goals and have lots of fun with music.

Jesus Linarez

Violin - Spanish, English

Violinist Jesus Linarez began his musical studies in Venezuela, at the Music Conservatory “Vicente Emilio Sojo.” Linarez worked with Maestro Jose Francisco del Castillo for 7 years at the Latin American Academy and was a member of the Venezuelan orchestra organization, “El Sistema”, serving as a principal with the 2017 National Youth Orchestra of Venezuela.

Jonathan Saillant


Jonathan grew up in Phoenix Arizona where he began as a self taught guitarist at the age of
12. Later on Jonathan received a Bachelors of Arts from Northern Arizona University
studying Jazz, classical guitar and composition. Now living in Chicago Jonathan continues
to play and study a variety of musical styles from Jazz, Classical, Rock, Blues, and Latin

Dana Anex

Viola, Violin, Composition - Jazz, Bluegrass

Dana Anex studied viola with Helen Callus at Northwestern University, where she received her Bachelor of Music in 2019. She teaches private and group classes in violin and viola in Chicago at Andersonville String Academy and Chicago School of Musical Arts. She resides in Hyde Park, studying music in the Master of Arts Program in the Humanities at The University of Chicago.

Jeff Mellen


Jeff Mellen is a multi-instrumentalist specializing in voice and choral conducting, as well as guitar and electric bass. He completed an undergraduate degree in Music from Kenyon College in central Ohio, where he had the opportunity to lead multiple singing groups and teach vocal technique to several of his peers. Jeff believes in helping students succeed by encouraging them to have confidence in their own abilities and talents.

Rebecca Gaspelin

Voice, Piano

Rebecca May Gaspelin, soprano, received her Bachelor of Music degree in Vocal Performance from the Chicago College of Performing Arts, and her Master of Music degree at Loyola University in the studio of Luretta Bybee. She has been heard singing with organizations such as the Bach Festival Society of Winter Park and New Orleans Opera Association.

Matt Tatone

Voice, Guitar, Bass

If you’re looking for a music teacher who’s fun, engaging and consistently goes above and beyond for his students, then you’ve found the right guy. I’ve been a singer my entire life and I’ve been singing Broadway, rock and pop music on professional stages for almost a decade. I began my guitar journey at the age of 13 and immediately fell in love with the instrument.

Melody Xin

Piano - Mandarin, English

As a young pianist with six years of teaching experience, Melody Xin devotes herself into music education with her passion, creativity and patience. She was born in China, began her piano journey when she was five years old. After 5 years of dedicated learning, she passed the highest level of Chinese Piano Examination.

Dgybert Jean


Dgybert Jean started his violin studies at age eleven in his home state of Massachusetts. He holds a B.M. in Violin Performance and a minor in Education Studies from Ithaca College. In 2018, Mr. Jean was a fellow at the Chloe Trevor Music Academy, teaching and performing in the fellowship ensemble. He now studies with Jasmine Lin at the Chicago College of Performing Arts at Roosevelt University, pursuing a M.M. in Violin Performance.

Kitt Lyles


Kitt Lyles is a professional jazz bassist, composer, and educator with a BM from Northwestern University in jazz studies. He performs regularly at jazz clubs and other venues throughout Chicago. Kitt teaches guitar, electric bass, upright bass, ukulele, mandolin, and piano.

Amro Helmy

Piano, Guitar, Oud - Arabic, English

Amro Helmy is a unique, highly talented Arabic teacher and Oud player who has mastered a large number of styles using different techniques, approaches and textures. His style of playing and compositions has earned Amro considerable international attention.

Leah Andricopulos


Ms. Leah has played piano for 17 years and has three degrees in Piano Performance. Teaching for 7 years, she has worked with students ages 5 to 76 in groups and one-on-one. Her greatest wish is to help you discover what learning music can bring to your or your student's life.

iPlayMusic School Julian Merluzzi

Julian Merluzzi


Julian Merluzzi is a Chicago-based drummer and percussionist. He graduated from DePaul University with a BM in Jazz Studies. Through his love of music and the drum set, he has been mentored by many musicians in Chicago such as Greg Essig, Phil Beale, Ernie Adams, and Dana Hall.

iPlayMusic School Andrii Shtandryk

Andrii Shtandryk

Guitar - Ukranian, English

Andrii was born in Ukraine where he began as self taught guitarist at the age
of 14. From the young age he has been listening to a wide variety of styles
from pop music, house, EDM to soul, blues, jazz. With such an influence
Andrii built his unique guitar style based on such a legends as Jimmy
Hendrix, Luiz Bonfa, Jimmi Page, Joe Pass and many more.

Nina Kogan

Piano, Voice - Russian, English

Nina Kogan studied in Russia and holds a B.A. in piano teaching and accompanying. After graduating from music college, she continued her education with private piano and voice teachers in Moscow. Currently she works as a ballet accompanist, teaches privately, performs extensively as an accompanist and a solo pianist.

Our family has been with Irina and iPlayMusic School for almost 10 years since my oldest son who is now 14 started lessons at age 5.5. Irina has also been involved with teaching my younger son for the last 4 years as well. She has taught both piano and violin for us.

Sunita M.

Parent, Piano Students

Excellent and wonderful teachers, recommend to anyone... Melody, our piano teacher at iPlayMusic School is wonderful. She teaches Iris in a very friendly manner which is very important, as not only that Iris progressed but she is now eager to continue with the piano lessons.

Monica A.

Parent, Piano Student

Rebecca is absolutely amazing. I feel no judgment, even though I’m quite shy, and she is fully supportive. I enjoy all of her singing exercises and how she uses specific exercises that can expand your range for a specific genre. She has a lot of patience and is very reassuring.

Lavander W.

Parent, Voice Student

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