Northwestern Student Instructors
Maddi Krych has been playing the violin for 12 years. She was actively involved throughout high school in numerous orchestral ensembles, musicals, quartets, and honor orchestras. She was a three year member of the Iowa All-State Orchestra. Maddi is currently a junior and involved in the Northwestern Orchestra, as well as a small string ensemble. She started teaching private lessons in high school and enjoys working with students of all levels and ages. Her goal is to see her students develop not only their musical abilities but also their appreciation for music.
Ben Osterhouse – cello
Ben Osterhouse is a senior cello performance major at Northwestern College where he studies with Sachiya Isomura. He began piano lessons at age 7, cello lessons at age 8, and when he was 16 he developed a passion for composing music. When he was 17 he began taking organ, voice, and composition lessons at Concordia University in addition to his private piano and cello lessons. Throughout high school Ben played cello in the Minnesota Youth Symphonies and in various chamber groups, and in his first year at Northwestern he studied piano with Dr. Barbara Rogers. Currently he is a collaborative pianist at Northwestern, where he enjoys working with vocalists. Ben knows from experience how profoundly music can affect a person's life and aspires to share his love of music through teaching. He is dedicated to giving students a solid foundation in technique as well as a passion for music.
Abby Evans* – violin / viola
Abby Evans began her music venture at the age of six with the piano. She took up the violin at age 11 as she continued her musical study. In 2009 she graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in Music from Northwestern College. While attending, she played both violin and viola in the college orchestra, as well as studying cello in her educational string methods class. With experience in solo repertoire, orchestral, and small string ensembles, Abby hopes to prepare her students for what ever musical ventures they may pursue in the future. Abby has been teaching lessons for nearly 8 years and greatly enjoys sharing her love of music with pupils of all ages. Abby’s current students consists of pre-elementary beginners, high school musicians, as well as adults new to taking music lessons.
One thing that Abby greatly encourages all of her students to do, regardless of age, level, or musical experience, is to set attainable goals for themselves...both long-term and short-term. When a student is able to achieve something they set out to do, their own ability encourages them to continue learning. "My goal is to teach my students to be confident instrumentalists as well as accomplished and capable musicians - people who know and love music."
Tony Hernandez received his Bachelor's degree in music from the University of Oshkosh, Wisconsin. He studied composition, theory, and classical guitar. A great deal of time was also spent in the Recording Technology program, where he learned valuable skills in the art of music production. Tony teaches proper technique and basic musicianship to all his beginning students, and music theory to his more advanced students. While being in the music business for over 20 years as a performer, session musician and producer, he has a great understanding of many different genres of music. He currently owns and operates a recording studio in the Twin Cities where he produces artists, bands, songwriters, and composes music for radio, television, and film. Tony has been teaching music for over 7 years and enjoys all the elements of his profession.
Janelle Lanz* – violin
Janelle Lanz earned her B.A. in General Music from Northwestern College in 2007. While at Northwestern, Janelle was an active member of the college orchestra and various small ensembles. For 2 years she held leadership roles with the orchestra.
Janelle began studying violin with Dawne Englemayer at the Rymer-Hadley Center for the Arts. She continued her studies with David Kozamchak at Northwestern College, and is currently studying with Peter McGuire of the Minnesota Orchestra.
Janelle has been teaching privately since 2003. She has also taught small group violin, small group keyboard, and small group general music classes. In her lessons, Janelle does her best to make playing the violin fun for each student. Her goal as an instructor is to help and guide each student to reach his or her full potential. Janelle has a great passion for the violin and she loves sharing that with others.
Elizabeth Larson* – cello
Elizabeth is a 1999 graduate of Northwestern College. While a student at Northwestern she was active in the orchestra and several chamber ensembles, as well as leading worship. Her teaching career began in 1997 and has grown considerably since then. After graduating from college Elizabeth taught at Heritage Christian Academy in Maple Grove, MN. She later started her own orchestra program at Northside Christian School in Blaine, MN. Elizabeth is also currently a worship leader at Bethany Baptist Church in Roseville. In her teaching Elizabeth uses some Suzuki methods, but strives to incorporate the best of all methods and strongly believes in adapting her teaching to fit each individual student’s personality and learning style. Elizabeth strongly emphasizes playing with proper technique from the very beginning. She includes a strong music theory and music history element in her curriculum. Elizabeth provides regular recitals and other performance opportunities to teach her students proper performance etiquette and to help them share their God-given gifts with others. She wants each of her students to discover for themselves and be curious learners, and have a drive to develop their gifts to the best of their ability.
Elizabeth also provides a cello choir that meets twice a year. Students perform a variety of music and have rehearsals leading up to the recitals. The ensemble is made up exclusively of cello students, split into parts like a choir (four or five depending on the piece). Rehearsals and fees are in addition to students' lessons.
Elizabeth Points* – violin
Liz Points, a 2007 graduate from Northwestern College, has been playing the violin for 19 years. During her time at Northwestern she participated in orchestra, chamber ensembles, pit orchestra, and private lessons. Previous to Northwestern she was involved in the Prometheus Chamber Orchestra, GYTCY’s, and private lessons since five years of age. Having a passion for music and a love for working with students of all ages and musical abilities, Liz teaches in an encouraging, comfortable, yet challenging environment. She gives her students a wide spectrum of scales, exercises and repertoire, and also puts forth her best effort to make sure and find music that they enjoy. Her goal for students is that they develop a love for their music, and that they are encouraged to keep striving for growth in their abilities.
Matt Sheppard* – acoustic/electric guitar
Though he was the son of a musician, Matt Sheppard didn’t start his music career until college, where he was able to work with Anthony Titus, who in turn was trained by Pepe Romero, and who awakened in him a passion and love for the Classical Guitar. After studying with Titus for two years, he went to study under Joe Hagedorn, a member and co-founder of the Minneapolis Guitar Quartet. Matthew has served musically both in Church and at the college ministries he was involved with (InterVarsity and Campus Crusade) and is currently working at the Marie Sandvik Center, a gospel mission in the Philips community, where he works with the Kids’ Club ministry.
Matthew graduated in 2005 from Anoka-Ramsey Community College with an Associate of Fine Arts (A.F.A.) degree and in 2008 from the University of Wisconsin-River Falls with a Bachelor of Music Education (B.M.E.) degree.
Matthew has a passion for music, but above that he has a passion to know Christ and make Him known and is excited about teaching students ultimately how to glorify God through their music. Matthew is currently attending Bethlehem College and Seminary and has completed his second year.
Jason Stegenga – acoustic/electric guitar
Jason has been teaching acoustic, electric, and bass guitar for 6 years. Jason's passions lie in folk, blues, rock, and singer/songwriter music, and he loves to share that passion with his students in an encouraging and patient environment. Communication is key in a learning environment to ensure that students are working and progressing toward their goals. He has given lessons to students from ages 9 through 75, and understands that each student has a unique interest and skill set to be developed. Music would be pretty dull if everyone was the same, wouldn't it?
Jason has been a singer/songwriter out of the Twin Cities for the past 6 years and has played in venues all over the world. These include coffee shops and events in Minnesota and go as far as various establishments in Guatemala. His debut album was released in 2007 and he has been a part of numerous projects since that time. Jason has also had the privilege of taking intensive blues and folk lessons with Christopher Becknell and vocal lessons with Helen Lapakko.
"Music comes from our souls and is an incredibly passionate form of expression. When individuals perform for people, including a teacher, they put their confidence, abilities, and imperfections out to be seen. That's why it is important for students to feel safe and confident in their instructor, something you will find in our teacher-student relationship." -Jason S.
Laura is a 2004 graduate in Engineering from the University of Michigan. During her time there she studied harp performance under Lynne Aspnes. She is originally from Minnesota and studied under Frances Miller and has been involved in a number of musicals, operas, orchestras, ensembles and recitals. She believes in a strong musical foundation incorporating classical and sacred music, technique, theory and rhythm on which a harpist can then specialize if they choose. She also believes music is a gift and strives to meet each student at his or her own level, adapting to individual needs and personalities.
Jon Visser* – acoustic/electric guitar
Jon Visser earned his Bachelor of Music degree from Northwestern College under the tutelage of Glen Larson. He has also studied guitar and pedagogy at the University of Minnesota with Dr. James Flegel and Jeffery Van and received private lessons from Alan Johnston and Roger Frisch (the associate concertmaster of the Minnesota Orchestra). He is currently pursuing his Masters in Music Education with an emphasis in guitar pedagogy at Saint Thomas University under Christopher Kachian.
Jon also plays electric bass, double bass, drums, mandolin and the charango – a native South American instrument. In his spare time, he manages his professional recording studio, through which he has been blessed to record award-winning jazz and classical musicians in venues such as Orchestra Hall. He composes music, plays in jazz combos, and mentors. He is an avid consumer of iTunes U classes and encourages lifelong education. Jon has performed recitals throughout the United States, plays Masses and concerts at the Saint Paul Cathedral as an Artist in Residence with Ensemble Emporté, is a featured artist for House of Hope Presbyterian Church, and as an accompanist at Northwestern. His international debut was in Paris 2011.
Jon has been teaching since 1996. His desire for excellence in pedagogy has motivated him to write his own series of guitar method books to maximize his students' potentials. He emphasizes correct technique, theory, musicality, improvisation, composition, song writing and transcribing. He is the co-founder of the Academy of Music Guitar Ensemble, for which he arranges music, and also teaches jazz ensembles in high schools. His arrangements have been performed throughout the world, including France, Canada and Mexico.
Jon's YouTube page: youtube.com/classicalteacher
Heidi Amundson* – violin
Heidi Amundson has been playing piano for twenty years and violin and flute for 15. She has her Bachelors degree in violin performance from the University of Denver in Colorado (studying with CSO concertmaster, Yumi Hwang-Williams), and her Master's degree from Rice University in Houston (studying with Cho Liang Lin). Currently she is a DMA candidate at the University of Minnesota with Sally O'Reilly. Heidi has taken both traditional and suzuki lessons and enjoys combining the two methods to make a perfect match for each student. She has most recently served as faculty at Rice University's Preparatory Music School and loves teaching all levels and styles.
A native Minnesotan, Paul has been playing piano and cello since elementary school. He holds a Bachelor's degree from Cedarville University and a Master's degree from Houghton College, both in music composition. Paul is particularly interested in chamber music for strings and sacred music. He has extensive experience performing in orchestras, string quartets, and worship settings. Paul has been teaching since 2003 and enjoys working with students of all ages and proficiency levels.
Bacco Liu – violin / viola
Te-Chiang (Bacco) Liu, native of Taiwan, started violin at age six and was awarded the top prize at the Taiwan National Violin Competition in the Youth Division in 1996. He received his Bachelor of Music in Violin Performance with honors from Shih-Chien University and was offered a full scholarship to attend the Boston Conservatory where he received his Master’s Degree in Violin Performance in 2009, studying under Lynn Chang. Mr. Liu came to the University of Minnesota for the Doctoral of Music Arts degree with a full scholarship to study with Professor Young-Nam Kim. He has been a soloist with various orchestras in Taiwan and Australia. He is currently the Concertmaster of Kenwood Symphony Orchestra and Southwest Minnesota Symphony and is also a substitute musician in the Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra and Minnesota Orchestra. In addition, Bacco is an enthusiastic teacher and has been teaching privately and at various schools for over 15 years. Mr. Liu is currently the Violin Instructor of Chaska Music Studio and Violin/Viola Adjunct Faculty at Southwest Minnesota State University.
Cathy Victorsen* – harp
Catherine S. Victorsen holds 2 degrees in Harp Performance, BM from Boston University, School of Fine Arts and MM from the University of MN Graduate School of Music. She was the Solo Principal Harpist in the Regensburg Philharmonic Orchestra in Regensburg, Germany from 1984–1991. She has attended both the Aspen and Tanglewood Music Festivals. She is currently on the faculties of Northwestern College, Bethel University and Hamline University. She has a Christmas CD, "Christmas Blessings", with Cellist Sachiya Isomura and flutist Barbara Leibundguth, from the Minnesota Orchestra. She is a dynamic freelance performer on both Celtic and concert harps and maintains an active teaching studio in the Twin Cities.
It is my goal to help each student become the best harpist they can be. I welcome teaching beginners through professional level, children, and adults. We will try to learn proper technique to produce a beautiful sound, correct rhythms, and musical phrases. I am versed in all styles of music and I encourage my students to learn repertoire of many genres including classical, folk (Celtic), sacred, popular, chamber music, solo, and ensembles (orchestral, band, choral). I have extensive experience performing solo concerts, weddings, sacred events, orchestral, and with various ensembles. My lessons include technique, etudes, as well as solo and/or ensemble studies. I would love the opportunity to help my students develop every aspect of their playing.