We all have a little extra time on our hands these days, pick up an instrument and gain a skill that will boost college resumes and last a life time!
RENT ONLINE & RECEIVE FREE INSTRUMENT DELIVERY
In addition to our in-person sessions VIRTUAL LESSONS are now available
With utmost sincerity, we are so grateful to all of our customers who are helping to keep our small family business afloat during this difficult time.
We have been open for 20 years and could not keep the music alive without you!
Infinite thanks for your business from our family,
Roumen, Dani, Peter, & Iliana
A Community of Passionate Educators and Learners
WELCOME TO SOLO CLASSIC'S MUSIC SCHOOL
At Solo Classic, we encourage spirited learning, growth, development and fun. Our highly skilled and trained educators aim to empower students through music encouraging insightful questions, broadening skill sets and exploring disciplinary boundaries along the way. Our curriculum encourages the engagement with healthy challenges and confronts conventional ways of thinking that go beyond music. We invite you to learn more about Solo Classic and discover an education designed for you.
In-Person & Virtual
SOLO CLASSIC IS OPEN AND MOVING FORWARD WITH IN-PERSON, SOCIALLY DISTANT LESSONS
VIRTUAL LESSONS STILL AVAILABLE
While virtual lessons have been a great way to continue training and an excellent distraction from current events, they have also come with plenty of unique challenges and cannot replace in person education. After all, this is an art form that has to be meticulously taught...not online chess!
Virtual lessons, while still available for those who wish to stay home, are a temporary solution during quarantine, but finally, students may resume their musical education in person--with added safety measures in place to ensure the health of our community. Please read more about our new rules and regulations for in-person store visits below.
Your commitment to ongoing musical education during this time ensures that you continue making progress with your instrument and that your teacher is able to make a living during this difficult time.
Thank you for all of your support!
(10 LESSON PACKAGE)
VIRTUAL LESSON FACT SHEET
About Our School
GAINING SKILLS THAT LAST A LIFETIME
Opening its doors in 2001, Solo Classic has been a neighborhood staple dedicated to providing students with a rich musical education as well as encouraging the foundation of music programs in surrounding schools. Our school provides unparalleled teaching methods centered on a diverse learning environment.
We firmly believe in a customized curriculum based on the needs of the student. Solo Classic is located in Buffalo Grove and has over 400 students and a renowned, diverse staff ready to create a personalized musical curriculum for every student so that they may achieve their musical aspirations quickly and more efficiently.
Our distinguished faculty includes graduates from Northwestern University’s School of Music, Manhattan School of Music, DePaul University, members of the Civic Orchestra, Northbrook Symphony Orchestra, and Highland Park Strings. At Solo Classic, we pride ourselves on building a diverse team of people that not only study their craft, but also work as professional musicians across the country.
If you or your child is enrolled in a school orchestra, our educators work directly with Chicago school programs and follow their curriculum in order to prepare students for improved performance, competitions, and auditions. Many of our teachers have working and personal relationships with educators in local school districts and often collaborate on teaching in order to maximize learning and set up a customized music schedule for enhanced performance.
Competitions are a great way to boost any kind of resume and win scholarships, but with so many applicants, it can be difficult to stand out and achieve your goals. With years of experience preparing students for the IGSMA Contest, IMEA, Walgreens National Concerto Competition and many others, our educators are ready to share necessary tools to get ahead and win.
PRIORITIZING DIVERSITY AND ORIGINALITY
Solo Classic Music School honors the individual needs of our students. We believe that with the correct guidance, ALL students can achieve their musical potential.
Solo Classic instructors encourage original thinking and test the boundaries of conventional approaches, because music is art after all! We also strive to provide students with a diverse array of educators from all backgrounds so as to broaden the scope of understanding concerning music performance and beyond.
FROM HIGH SCHOOL TEACHER TO STRING INSTRUMENT MAKER
Roumen Raykovski (owner) was a teacher at Simon Bolivar High School in Bulgaria when he first heard about the Chicago School of Violin Making--one of the few schools in the world that offers courses in the traditional methods of string instrument making. The Bulgarian native made a decision that would change the course of his and his family's destiny: to pursue his dream of string instrument making and immigrate to America. Alongside his studies, Roumen honed his skills and began working for Karnes Music Co. in Chicago where he repaired, set up, and made adjustments to string instruments. A few years later, Roumen moved to William Hariss Lee where he restored priceless instruments as well as instruments of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra.
Roumen's hard work and dedication, not only towards making string instruments from scratch, but also assimilating to his new country of residence, paid off when he opened Solo Classic, a small family business located in Buffalo Grove. With the help of his wife, Dani, daughter Iliana, and son Peter, Roumen's dream came to fruition and expanded into a music school.
From Bulgarian educator to American luthier, Roumen is living proof of the American dream and continues to share his passion for music with his community.
Meet Some of Our Solo Staff
TALENT IS JUST THE BEGINNING
Sonia is a master violinist and instructor who received her training from the renowned Tel Aviv University and was a student of the proclaimed Shlomo Bohr and Oedoe Partos.
Sonia is a first prize winner of the Gina Bachauer competition; principal, co-principal and 1st violinist in Haifa Symphony Orchestra (Israel), Israeli Opera and Radio of Israel Light Music Orchestra, Tel Aviv, soloist and ensemble player in chamber groups, Ramat Gan (Israel) and Musicanti of the Cape Town Symphony. Currently Sonia teaches at the Music Institute in Highland Park as well as Solo Classic Music School.
Sonia's students, of all ages, have earned countless awards and garnered insurmountable success in the music world. Her experience speaks for itself and Solo Classic is most lucky to have her.
VIOLIN & VIOLA
Assistant concert master of the Northbrook Symphony Orchestra, Highland Park Strings, former member of Galveston Symphony Orchestra, Houston Civic Symphony, La Orquesta Sinfonica de la U.AN.L., Filharmonica “George Dima”, and “Virtuoziidin Transilvania.” During his eight year tenure at Solo Classic, Fabian has enjoyed teaching a range of ages and experience levels using traditional methods and the Suzuki method. He often encourages his students to participate in local activities, school orchestras or local competitions in the hope of preserving music in communities and celebrating art. In the last IGSMA, several of Fabian's students have taken gold medals. A highly driven teacher, Fabian's dedication to his students is showcased through their focus and talent.
Dr. Hagel began her studies at the University of Michigan as a Rogel Scholar before transferring to the University of Wisconsin to study with Uri Vardi. She completed her MM at Boston University where she served as Assistant to the String Department under Michael Reynolds.
Originally from Connecticut, Dr. Hagel most recently hails from Kentucky where she completed her DMA with Benjamin Karp at the University of Kentucky as a recipient of a Kentucky Opportunity Fellowship.
An avid teacher, as well as performer, Dr. Hagel has taught at the University of Kentucky, Centre College, and at Grand Valley State University where she has been a guest lecturer. Additionally, while maintaining a large private studio in Kentucky, she served on the faculty of the Central Music Academy, the Kentucky Governor's School for the Arts, and as Director of the Central Kentucky Youth Orchestras' "Friends in Music", an after-school string mentoring opportunity reaching students in underrepresented populations.
Dr. Hagel also worked with CKYO's Preparatory String Orchestra as the Assistant Conductor. She has coached chamber music at the University of Wisconsin, for the Greater Boston Youth Symphony Orchestras, for CKYO, and for the Elgin Youth Symphony Orchestras. In 2014, Dr. Hagel was named KY ASTA's "Studio Teacher of the Year."
Since arriving in Illinois, Dr. Hagel has enjoyed playing in many of the great local orchestras while welcoming her son and daughter to the world. In addition to her home studio, she teaches in the D200 and U-46 school districts. She is also on faculty of the Continuing Education Division at Harper College.
Dr. Hagel hopes to transfer a world of knowledge that she has acquired from her extensive experience and travel as well as fostering a deep appreciation for music in all of her students.
VIOLIN & VIOLA
Loved by students and faculty alike, Desi holds both the BM and MM from the State Academy of Music in Sofia, Bulgaria. Prior to moving to the U.S. In 1996, Desi has been performing with leading orchestras in Europe. She served as principal violist for the Whiting Park Festival Orchestra for 8 years, performed regularly with the Illinois Philharmonic, Illinois Symphony Orchestras and is currently a member of the Northbrook Symphony Orchestra and Highland Park Strings. Teaching both Traditional and Suzuki methods, Desi has been on the faculty of the MCMC in Crystal Lake since 2002, NSMI in Northfield, Starland and Wilmette Park District. She has taught at Glenbrook North and Glenbrook South H.S. for several years.
VIOLIN & VIOLA
Grace is an enthusiastic teacher and an active violinist who frequently performs as an orchestral and chamber musician in the Chicago-land area.
Receiving her Master
of Music (MM) and Bachelor of Music (BM) degrees in Violin Performance from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign under the tutelage of Megan Freivogel and Stefan Milenkovich, Grace hopes to share her extensive knowledge of music to her students and incorporate smarter techniques that provide greater results in musical ability.
While at the University of Illinois in Urbana-Champaign, she had invaluable
chamber music experience working with the wonderful members of Jupiter String Quartet which has shaped her musicality and musicianship immensely as a chamber musician and as
a violinist. Her major teachers included Megan Freivogel, Jupiter String Quartet, Stefan Milenkovich and Cornelius Chiu.
Grace enjoys sharing her lifelong love of music with others, especially with her students. She feels grateful to have gained so much from learning music
from her master teachers and making music with aspiring musicians.
She believes the process of learning an instrument helps one to grow in many positive ways in life and hopes
to pass on as much wisdom and love of music to her own students in the years to come. Grace's favorite part about being a musician is the freedom of expression. Being musically endowed can open the door to opportunity, but more importantly, yourself. She hopes that through proper technique, her students can open the door to their soul and let it speak through their instruments.
Grace's method of teaching not only centers on proper form and preparation, but through a customized work plan that yields greater retainability of musical knowledge so that her students can be proficient and successful with their music with or without guidance.
VIOLIN & VIOLA
Farid started his music education at the age of 6. Before he immigrated to the United States, he studied at the Academic Music College, Moscow State Conservatory with Professor Elena Demidenko. He received his BA in Music Performance (2016) at the Manhattan School of Music where he studied with Isaac Malkin. He is currently pursuing his Master’s Degree at DePaul University where he is studying with Olga Kaler.
As an added bonus, he performed with the world renowned Russian violinist Dmitry Kogan with the Ulyanovsk Symphonic Orchestra. He also got the President Award for his cultural achievements in Russia (2008).
Farid has performed as an orchestral musician with the the Manhattan Symphonic Orchestra (2012-2016), the Bergen Philharmonic orchestra (2013), Philadelphia Chamber Virtousi Orchestra (2015). He has also had the privilege of playing for famous musicians including Mikhail Kopelman and Emanuel Borok. Highly skilled, Farid is extremely knowledgeable of music and technique which he imparts to all of his students.
Patrycja earned her Master of Music in cello performance from the Academy of Music, Poland under the tutelage of Andrzej Orkisz. She received an Artist Diploma in cello performance at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign in the studio of Brandon Vamos. Between 2012-2014, Patrycja was a member of Civic Orchestra in Chicago.
Patrycja has performed as a soloist in many cello master classes led by such outstanding cellists as G. Gnocchi, A. Bauer, M. Flaksman, J. Pegis, J. Reuling and P. Uyterlinde. As a chamber musician, she took part in chamber music master classes in the United States and Italy with I. Golan, I. Gitlis, Pacifica Quartet, Parker Quartet, Arianna Quartet and Jupiter Quartet.
Patrycja has participated in cello competitions in the United States and abroad. In 2011, she won the first prize in the Krannert Center Debut Artist Competition at Urbana-Champaign. Patrycja earned the third prize at the International Cello Competition in Kosice, Slovak Republic, and the first prize at the Chamber Music Competition in Stalowa Wola, Poland. Currently Patrycja Likos is a co-founder and teacher of the Likos String Academy located in downtown Chicago. She is also a cello instructor at the Lycée Français de Chicago. In addition to teaching, she is an assistant principal cellist of the Northbrook Symphony Orchestra and a member of Heartland Symphony Orchestra. Patrycja has consistently brings passion and dedication to her private lessons which explains her students' enthusiasm for music.
VIOLIN & VIOLA
Agniezka completed her Master’s Degree in violin performance at the Chicago College of Performing Arts at Roosevelt University in the studio of S. Hersh. She received her Bachelor’s Degree from the University of Illinois at Urbana – Champaign, where she studied with S. Bernhardsson and was awarded the Smith Scholarship for artistic work and academic achievements. During her pre-college studies, Agnieszka was a student of M. Dreher at the Music Institute of Chicago. She began violin in Poland under the direction of D. Pelczar at I. J. Paderewski School of Music in Krosno, and continued with I. Wojciechowska at H. Wieniawski School of Music. Agnieszka realizes her musical interests in the field of chamber music, performing at multiple chamber music festivals in Santu Lussurgiu (Sardinia), Bowdoin (ME), Madeline Island (WI), Hot Springs (AR) and Urbana-Champaign (IL). She took part in multiple master classes led by outstanding chamber musicians such as Itamar Golan, Gordan Nikolic, the Guarneri Quartet, Pacifica Quartet, Hugo Wolf Quartet, Arianna Quartet, Parker Quartet and Shanghai Quartet. From 2004 to 2006, she was a member of Chicago Youth Symphony Orchestra and Chamber Music Program. As a member of a piano trio from Chicago Youth Symphony Orchestra Chamber Music Program, Agnieszka won the first prize in the O.P.U.S. Chamber Music Competition in Chicago. In addition to teaching, Agnieszka is a member of Heartland Symphony Orchestra and Northbrook Symphony Orchestra. She is a co-founder and a violin teacher at the Likos String Academy in downtown Chicago and also a violin instructor at Elgin College.
VIOLIN & VIOLA
Joanna began playing violin at the age of seven in her native Tarnow, Poland.
She studied at Academy of Music in Krakow, Poland and received her Bachelor of Music in Violin Performance from DePaul University (Chicago, Illinois) where she studied with violin professors Joseph Genualdi and Ilya Kaler.
Joanna has performed with chamber orchestras in Poland, Switzerland, Germany and even Spanish Court, playing for the Queen of Spain.
She has also played in the Chicago area with the Lira Ensemble, Advent Chamber Orchestra, New Millennium Orchestra of Chicago, and a variety of other chamber groups. She has also been playing with Rockford Symphony Orchestra since 2003. She draws from her vast array of live performance experience to provide individually suited instruction for each student.
Joanna's teaching style uses a traditional approach in which she incorporates the Suzuki method as well as other technical books. She is comfortable working with all levels of repertoire and different genres of music, always ready to customize musical education to the student's specific needs.
Ekaterina graduated with honors from Temple University, PA majoring in Piano Performance. She has been studying and performing piano since the age of five, participating at local competitions and graduated from Nizhny Novgorod Musical College, Russia with honors. Ekaterina continued her education in the Glinka Conservatory of Nizhny Novgorod, Russia. During her studies, she worked as an accompanist for the Department of Conducting at the conservatory and at the Nizhny Novgorod Ballet School. Before joining Solo Classic, Ekaterina taught at the International School of Music, Bethesda, MD, Mozart Music Academy and Go Musicians School in Philadelphia, PA.
Ekaterina's approach: "The focus of my teaching strategy is to provide an effective and joyful learning through different tactics and techniques that unlock students' potential. My philosophy is to find the unique approach for each student and infuse the knowledge and skills to work independently. My students are encouraged to discover their power as musicians through the wide range of suggestions and tools that facilitate the creative process. The lesson plan is designed to integrate interconnections between music and other art related disciplines to nurture a versatile personality as well as to make music a passion of life."
GUITAR & UKULELE
Picking up the guitar at the age of thirteen, Ron hasn't put it down since! Over the years, Ron embarked on an intensive musical education and performance journey receiving his professional training and a degree of arts from William Rainey Harper College under the tutelage of Steve Vazquez and a Bachelor’s Degree in Music with Dr. Brian Torosian from Northeastern Illinois University, majoring in classical guitar performance. Not only did Ron study classical guitar through these schools, but also took lessons in jazz guitar and piano and studying and preforming classical piano.
Along with his degree studies, Ron has participated in several highly accredited master classes at university as well as widely renowned international classical guitar conventions: Denis Azabagic, Lily Afshar, Anne Waller, Mark Maxwell, Eduardo Fernandez, Raphaella Smits, Quaternaglia Quartet (Brazil), Rene Izquierdo, Xuefei Yang, and Oscar Ghiglia.
Since graduating, Ron has been expanding his range of music with studies of baroque and renaissance music on the mandolin and lessons in flamenco guitar with Nico Angel, a former student of Juan Serrano, and Denis Azabagic.
From the inquisitive thirteen year old to today's guitar maestro, Ron has far surpassed a simple interest in guitar and turned it into a lifelong passion which he hopes to impart onto his students!
Ron's extensive skill set allows him to explore any and all genres of music which, alongside his student's interests, can create a customized performance plan for their individual interest and skill set.
Gabe started his musical journey at the age of 8, taking classical piano lessons.
A multi-instrumentalist, over the years Gabe has tried his hand at most anything he can get his hands on! He graduated from the University of Nebraska-Omaha with a Bachelors in Jazz Performance where he studied piano under Kristin Jonina Taylor (Classical) and Christopher Leach (Jazz). In addition, he studied double bass with Jeremy Baguyos (Classical) and Andy Hall (Jazz).
While at University of Nebraska-Omaha, Gabe had the opportunity to perform with and participate in masterclasses with several notable jazz artists including Chris Potter, Stefon Harris, and Benny Golson. He also performed with the University’s top combo and had the chance to tour Europe and Asia with performances at the Shangai Conservatory Jazz Festival in China and Saulkrasti Jazz Festival in Latvia.
Gabe is currently pursuing his Masters in Music in Jazz Studies at Northern Illinois University, studying jazz piano with Director of Jazz Studies, Reggie Thomas.
Gabe looks forward to sharing his world of knowledge and experience with his students. Like his jazz interests and studies, learning styles, especially concerning music, don't always stay on the melody! Gabe understands the diversity of approaches in music education and is excited to make necessary adjustments based on the individual needs of his students.
Christian is a performing musician, arranger, composer, pianist and keyboardist, educator, producer, and music director.
Taking classical piano lessons at the age of 5, he eventually ventured into the musical realms of jazz, pop, church, rock, and soul music working extensively with a variety of phenomenal educators throughout his musical career.
Christian has had the wonderful opportunity to play at the Boutell Memorial Concert Hall (Northern Illinois University), Pick-Staiger Concert Hall (Northwestern University), The Jazz Showcase (Chicago, IL), the Chicago Symphony Center (Chicago, IL), the House Cafe (DeKalb, IL), Heritage Church (Lake Zurich, IL), the various campuses of Willow Creek Community Church (South Barrington, IL), and the United Center (Chicago, IL).
Currently, Christian is pursuing a Bachelor's in Jazz Studies at Northern Illinois University. He has the amazing opportunity to study jazz piano with Professor and Northern Illinois Director of Jazz Studies, Reggie Thomas. He also studies with Tom Garling, professor of jazz trombone, in jazz arranging and composition.
Christian desires to bring his comprehensive experience and education to foster a unique and meaningful teaching environment for his students. He seeks to provide a fluent understanding of music, technical and artistic, and a skill that will serve them for the rest of their lives. Christian provides a customized curriculum for all of his students and adjusts his teaching according to his student’s needs in order to optimize learning in a shorter amount of time.
Denys started teaching flute in 2003 while studying at the conservatory of music in Lviv, Ukraine. His first teaching job was at a Children's Music School and later, in 2006, at Lviv College of Music. While studying and teaching, he was also working at the Lviv Philharmonic Orchestra as a principal flutist and later at the Lviv Opera and Ballet Theater as a second flute/piccolo.
Denys also did musical tours to Western Europe and South Korea with the Lviv Philharmonic Orchestra.
In 2008, Denys moved to the United States and immediately began teaching private students and performing in recitals serving the community including retirement homes, hospitals, and the Ukrainian Institute of Modern Art.
Students can expect Denys to use his 10 year plus experience as a professional musician towards forming a comprehensive and efficient musical plan
that will produce great musical results in a shorter period of time. Within just a few lessons, the student will be able to create a good quality sound (and technique later) without straining or putting in an excessive amount of effort.
DenysI structures his lessons so students can learn what they want to learn, while also maintaining correct posture and proper technique--and most importantly, having fun while doing it!
Playing since the age of five, Anthony is currently a fourth year piano major at DePaul University studying under George Vatchnadze and pursuing a Bachelor of Music Degree.
Other teaching experiences include taking several piano pedagogy courses at DePaul under Dr. Susanne Baker, shadowing other piano teachers, as well as attending the National Conference of Keyboard Pedagogy 2021.
Anthony spent the years joining solo/ensemble events, summer festivals, and playing at competitions. His interest in music didn’t stop at the piano, but was a gateway towards becoming an active member in his high school music program, playing the clarinet in band, orchestra, musicals, and serving as a teacher’s assistant for a group piano class.
Towards the end of high school, Anthony’s passion for teaching started to grow and he followed his passion towards becoming the pianist/music director for the Fil-Am Choir of St. Peter’s. This opportunity led him to teaching piano students at Solo Classic Music School in Buffalo Grove, Illinois, Des Plaines School of Music, and interning at Sato Music Studios in La Grange, Illinois.
Some of Anthony’s favorite pieces to play include works by Chopin and Beethoven, and also contemporary music from movies, video games, musicals, etc. Anthony hopes to explore his students' individual interests through the medium of piano in order to celebrate music in all of its various genres.
Outside of music, Anthony likes to spend his time playing table tennis competitively, as well as coaching students and a high school team. Though far from the piano keys, his musical rhythm often comes in handy in playing the game!
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476 W Half Day Rd, Buffalo Grove, IL 60089, USA