ABOUT US

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The staff is encouraging and flexible enough to work with all ages. My kids are all smiles when they walk into Piano Tunes Music Academy for their lessons. They are excited to learn more and show their instructors that they’ve been working on their music. I love the staff at Piano Tunes and all the opportunities that are provided.
— Jon H.

We get our humble beginnings from piano lessons being taught in Susan Gorman’s home in 1997. She was able to grow her home studio to also offer voice and guitar lessons. Piano Tuning was added as a service in July 2003, while Susan was finishing her Piano Tuning degree from American School of Piano Tuning. She also interned for a local tuning technician.

The studio continued to grow and in 2007, we launched our first store front. We had four music theory computers, four electronic pianos, one clavinova and a baby grand piano. Little did we know that we would expand three times within the next six years!

By 2009, our piano, violin and voice lesson programs were full. Four more pianos were added to our piano studio to accommodate our growth. Group ensembles were added to our offerings and quickly became a popular way for students to continue to push and grow their musical abilities. In 2012, we launched our first summer music camp.

It wasn’t long before we outgrew our small studio location and moved into a larger space. We were able to add vocal ensembles, violin ensembles, drum and guitar lessons, a larger computer lab, book and music supply store, tot classes and regular summer music camps.

In 2013, we made our biggest move yet! Susan Gorman, her husband Steven Gorman, as well as friends and family members, completely gutted and renovated a 5,000 square foot building. We have five private teaching rooms, a piano studio, drum studio, ensemble area as well as our own stage area for hosting recitals and open mic nights! We also have a lobby waiting area for family members that have couches, chairs, tables, and a play area for younger children. Our upstairs has a multipurpose area that is used for our ensemble practices, yoga, tot classes, art classes, camps and more!

To date, we have had several students receive music scholarships to different universities. As we continue to grow, we appreciate each and every one of our students and their families for making PTMA into what it is today.

 

OUR TEAM

Our instructors are talented and have experience teaching students from a variety of musical backgrounds and learning styles. Hand-picked and trained by Susan Gorman, the owner, each of our staff team members have the knowledge and teaching abilities to rotate throughout our students interchangeably. This ensures that we can offer a flexible schedule in an enriching, positive environment for our students. 

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SUSAN GORMAN

Owner and Master Instructor

Susan Gorman is a trained vocalist and performer and plays sixteen different instruments - most of which are taught at PTMA.

She has her Tuning Degree from the American School of Piano Tuning and her Certified Masters in Music Theory, Harmony and Ear Training through Berklee College of Music in Boston, Massachusetts.

As a child, she performed as part of an orchestra for Macomb Western Illinois University, who then turned it into a record for public consumption. As a young adult, she was blessed with the experience to be able to travel with Loretta Lynn, the "Queen of Country," and her band and learned the logistical ropes of set up, tear down and sound control.

She has received orchestra training through Pensacola Christian College and was a Worship Director in churches in the stateline area for over 20 years - 10 years of which she was also a teen and youth counselor.

"Miss Suzie" - as her students call her - is a well-loved figure and favorite teacher who genuinely gets to know each and every one of her students. She has a smile for everyone and the passion that she has for music is evident in the programs that she has developed.

She loves children and ran her own daycare for 10 years before she started teaching music. With the child psychology coursework that she completed through Rock Valley College in mind, she has shaped Piano Tunes Music Academy into a service that is unique to our community.

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DANiel NOWATARSKI

Lead Piano Instructor, Alto/Tenor Saxophone

Mr. Dan has been with PTMA since 2013. His patience and enthusiasm has made him a much-requested instructor for our students. His passion for music is evident during his lessons and in his time outside of work - he plays in a jazz band and on his church's worship team every Sunday.

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REILLY ANDERSON

Piano, Guitar, Ukulele, Pop Rock Band Ensembles, Summer Camp, After School Care, Office Assistant

Ms. Reilly adores kids and enjoys making them smile. She has performed with bands at Culture Shock, the Mendelssohn Performing Arts Center and Anderson Japanese Gardens. "Music is something that is so special to me. Being able to share knowledge with my students is amazing." She lived in Mexico for 3 years and has over 1,000 songs on her playlist!

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PAiGE GRIFFITH

Piano, Alto Saxophone, Pop Rock Band Ensembles, Jr. String Ensemble, Summer Camp, Office Assistant

Ms. Paige has been taking piano lessons since she was 7 years old. She plays alto saxophone in her high school band. "I love kids and enjoy the music so it's great being able to do both things!" Her fun teaching style makes her lessons personable and her students love her. When you see her, ask about that extra bone in her elbow!

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BAILEY VINCER

Piano, Guitar, Summer Camp

"I enjoy teaching music because I love watching kids grow and advance at playing the piano." Ms. Bailey has been in 2 ensemble groups, performed in multiple recitals and has performed on stage, representing PTMA at community events many times. When she was little, her siblings and cousins would put together a Christmas concert for their family.

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DAVID OKIC

Piano Instructor

Mr. David has been with PTMA since 2009. He has been a member of several ensemble groups, performed in multiple recitals and has performed on stage, representing PTMA at community events many times. He performs as a solo pianist on the weekends at an upscale restaurant in Rockford. A member of the National Guard, he is attending Rock Valley College for an Associates of Science with plans to become an Engineering major at a larger university. He keeps lessons active and fun, even for the littlest pianists.

anja arvesen

Piano Instructor

Coming soon!

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jack haas

Lead Guitar Instructor, Bass Guitar, Ukulele, Pop Rock Band Ensemble

Mr. Jack has been with PTMA since 2015 and has quickly become a student favorite! He has been in several ensemble groups and now leads them, performed in multiple recitals and has performed on stage, representing PTMA at community events many times. He's been playing the guitar for almost 10 years and his favorite music to play is rock/metal.

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becca terry

Guitar, Ukulele, Summer Camp, After School Care, Parent-Tot

Ms. Becca has played baritone, been in two ensembles and has been teaching at PTMA since 2016. She really enjoys teaching and her patient, calm demeanor has been encouraging for her students. Another of her skills - her fingers are all double jointed!

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MADDIE MINNICK

Guitar, Ukulele, Voice, Summer Camp, Pop Rock Band Ensemble

Miss Maddie has been playing the guitar for over 10 years. She has performed in several ensemble groups and now leads them, been in multiple recitals and has performed on stage, representing PTMA at community events many times. She loves seeing kids becoming engaged and passionate about music from an early age. She enjoys seeing their skills improve and the pride that they feel when they understand a new skill or concept. She has a twin sister who also has taken music lessons with PTMA. Now a college student, Miss Maddie returns to help out at Piano Tunes during her school breaks.

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megan mcdonald

Voice, Piano, Summer Camp, After School Care

"Music is fum. Chum is fum (Patrick Star) but music is better than chum. #spongebobforever." As evident in her staff bio, Ms. Megan M. enjoys life and has a lot of fun with her students. She always has a smile on her face and can brighten anyone's day. She has been in several choirs, two musicals and a pentatonic ensemble.

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max dreher

Lead Drums Instructor

"Watching kids grow to love music at Piano Tunes is very fulfilling and feels like an experience come full circle for me. I also love playing the drums and teaching allows me to pass that passion on." Born in Nashville, TN, Mr. Max has been a part of PTMA since 2012. He has been a member of several ensemble groups, performed in multiple recitals and has performed on stage, representing PTMA at community events many times. He plays with his high school jazz band and in a Christian Rock band called Grace Rain. He also plays the piano and ukulele and regularly studies and writes his own music.

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QUINN FORBES

Drums Instructor

Mr. Quinn enjoys teaching music and sees it as a fun way for a musician's self expression. He has played in several ensemble groups and enjoys metal, punk and pop punk music. He owns his own skate company and spends his free time filming.

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KAILYNN CATALANI

Violin, Piano, Viola, Voice, Jr. String Ensemble, Pop Rock Band Ensemble, Summer Camp

Ms. Kailynn has many musical talents. She has experience playing in an orchestra and has been with PTMA since 2014. She likes helping students learn pieces that she has learned before and has 4 dogs at home, plus a hairless cat.

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KRISTiN KRIEGER

Summer Camp Director, After School Care Director

Ms. Kristin enjoys being with kids - especially when she gets to allow them to be creative! She was in choir from 1st grade all throughout high school. With a background in child care and a cheerful, creative personality, she is perfect for being our Summer Camp and After School Care Director. She once won a karaoke contest in Denver while she was training to be a flight attendant. She has also auditioned to be a Disney Princess, but was turned down due to being too short for the costumes.

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SHANTE GORMAN

Marketing Director

From scheduling and billing to marketing and social media, Ms. Shante helps keep PTMA running smoothly. She has her Bachelors degree in Advertising from the Illinois Institute of Art - Schaumburg. As one of Ms. Suzie's daughters, she has an inherited passion and enthusiasm for music education and has enrolled both of her children in lessons at an early age. Previously, she has worked as summer camp director and a piano instructor.

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shaina gorman

Office Assistant, Piano, Summer Camp, After School Care

Ms. Shaina has always loved to sing and play piano. She has been in two ensemble groups as well. "It's great to be able to teach other people and see their passion for what they're playing." She has a cheerful personality and is great with kids - which could be from having 7 siblings!