Tim and Bobbi founded Piano Trends in 1990. The Crystal Lake couple have been local residents since the early 80s. Bobbi is a National acclaimed adjudicator and private music instructor in addition to running Piano Trends with Tim. Both have extensive musical backgrounds as performers and business. Tim is also President of the Board at Raue Center for the Arts. Bobbi is  Artistic Director for the National Piano Conference at Raue Center which also features special NPC concert events throughout the year. Bobbi's Students have gone on to pursue music careers in many fields including perfomance, teaching and music therapy.  She has continued to work as a music consultant for several university and college music programs throughout the country. 


Tim also is a Speaker/Presenter for NAMM, the National Association of Music Merchants. In 2019 Tim participated at the NAMMSHOW in Anaheim working a Retail Summit with Internationally acclaimed presenter Bob Phibbs AKA "The Retail Doctor" as well as industry icon and Music Trades writer Bob Popyk. Tim also presented his own Training session

"5 Events to Create Lifelong Customers". 


NAMM interviewed Tim in 2018 for its Oral History Series you can see here.  The Pauls have grown the buisness within the community and believe in giving back to our  community. 

Our son Jason literally grew up at Piano Trends working and helping out at the family business since he was around 11. Jason still works behind the scenes and accompanies "Dad" to the NAMM Trade shows where he is an active buyer and networker for Piano Trends Music. Most of our industry friends knew Jason from when he was attending the shows as a teenager. Jason is pictured  at recent NAMMSHOW Convention checking out pianos it looks like!

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Barb Schotanus

office manager- woodwind instructor - in studio or online

Barb has been at Piano Trends since March of 2004 giving her an extensive knowledge of most departments at Piano Trends.  She holds a Bachelor of Music degree in Music Education from DePaul University and has over 30 years of experience in classroom and individual music instruction, clarinet and saxophone performance, and ensemble conducting.


Amy Nelson

staff-trumpet instructor - in studio or online

Amy has been a member of the Piano Trends Staff for many Years and is our expert Trumpet instructor helps greet you when working behind the counter.. Amy graduated with her music degree at Northern Illinois University in Dekalb. Amy still tours with groups and orchestras regionally and nationally.  Amy was a  part of Adele's backup orchestra when Adele performed at the United Center in Chicago. . Amy also has toured with several Broadway shows including Fiddler on the Roof.  You will recognize her smile behind the counter....

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Adam Huckeby

staff-trombone-low brass instructor - in studio or online

Adam Huckeby works both as an excellent instructor at Piano Trends but you will findAdam working the floor as well.  He is a trombonist, pianist, and vocalist who performs, directs, and teaches professionally throughout the area. He is well-versed in a wide variety of musical styles—everything from classical to jazz to music theatre—and has worked with students and performers of every age. In the recent past, Adam has performed in multiple pit orchestras, music directed numerous community youth musicals, led several summer music camps, and played as a part of various local ensembles.


Aldren Briones

staff - piano-voice instructor - in studio or online

Aldren is a vital member of the Piano Trends staff and a talented musician playing a variety of instruments. he studied vocal performance at Northern Illinois University in Dekalb. Aldren has worked as a Children's music director with Children's theatre of Elgin, Arts Center of St. Charles and also works as accompanist and worsip leader for FIL-AM Baptist Church. Aldren is proficient in teaching both voice and piano in the Piano Trends Studios. Aldren is a founding member of Concept Mix with Adam Huckeby 

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John Benedeck

Staff - Piano - Voice - Ballpark Organ!!

John Benedeck has been a part of Piano Trends Music and Band Company since high school in one form or another. John is an excellent piano, organ and voice instructor.  In his "Spare" time John can be seen at the controls of the Wrigley Field Organ for the Chicago Cubs.  

"John grew up in the northwest suburbs of Chicago, and has been a pianist since he was six. Since then, he has implemented music in everything he does. Whether he is leading a worship team for his church, accompanying the seventh inning stretch at Wrigley Field, or creating original music for podcasts and short films, John seeks the joy in music without compromise.

He urges aspiring pianists to not only reflect on the pioneers of modern piano, but to also invent and develop their own theories and compositions. It is important for musicians to contribute individuality to music because that is how music evolves over time."

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Tom Vos

violin-viola-cello-percussion instructor - in studio or online

A graduate of the music school at DePaul University in Chicago, Illinois and has worked as a freelance professional musician for more than 20 years. Tom began his musical journey at the age of three, studying the Suzuki violin method with Betty Haag-Kuhnke. Tom then studied violin with Dr. Eugene Gratovich for a few years, and in 1984, he was introduced to the viola by his third violin teacher, Dr. Milton Goldberg. While a student at DePaul University, Tom studied violin with Mark Zinger and also successfully completed Suzuki violin teaching training for books 1-3 with Judy Yamada and Margery Aber at the Chicago Suzuki Institute. After receiving his Bachelor of Music with a double major of violin performance and jazz studies, Tom attended the University of Southern California from 1993 to 1994, enrolled in the prestigious "Scoring for Motion Pictures and Television" program. While participating in the program, he was awarded the Harry Warren Memorial Scholarship (first prize) for film music composition. Over the course of his professional career, Tom has recorded on every major scoring stage in Hollywood and has participated in both Grammy and Academy Award winning projects. He has extensive experience both performing and recording, including commercial music, film and television scores, live concerts, appearances in films and television shows, and several national and international tours. He is also a member of ASCAP (American Society of Composers and Publishers) and has received the ASCAP Popular Music Award (or “ASCAPlus”) numerous times since first receiving the award 1998. As a composer, Tom’s original compositions have been published by The Pilgrim Press (United Church of Christ) and soon a catalog of his works will be available through his own publishing company, Celestial Breath Publishing (www.celestialbreathpublishing.com). 

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Adela Kim

voice-piano instructor - in studio or online

Adela has benn working with us for 20 years now at Piano Trends Music & Band.

Adela is a Graduate of Roosevelt University with a Masters Degree in Vocal Performance and Pedagogy. She currently also works with many High School choirs and students preparing them for college and play auditions. From classic to broadway Adela is experienced and well qualified from beginners to advanced. Adela Has been teaching at Piano Trends Music since 2000. Many of the Schools Adela works with teaching at include: Jacob High School, Wauconda High School, Dundee Crown High School, Woodstock High School, Carmel High School and Morton West High School. Adela is also the choir conductor at Zion Methodist Church and has been in that capacity since 1996. Having Earned numerous Music Scholoarships in undergraduate and graduate school, Adela has performed at many different venues including Richard Miller Master Class, Concordia University Guest Faculty Recital, Cuneo Museum, Daley Plaza, and many joint recitals. We are proud to have Adela as part of our Piano Trends Family. 


Mike Knauf

Woodwind - beginning piano - in studio or online

Mike received a Bachelor of Science Degree in Music Education from the University of Illinois, Champaign-Urbana. He has taught instrumental music  and private lessons at the Elementary, Junior High, High School, and College levels in the Chicago area for the past 25 years. 

Mike's Website

Mike’s performance credentials include performances with Billy Eckstine, Jimmy Dorsey, Tom Scott, The Temptations, Milton Berle, Bob Hope, The Las Vegas Rat Pack Show, Frank Mantooth, The Ringling Brothers Circus and many others. In the Chicago areas he has also performed with the John Burnett Orchestra, Bill O’ Connell Big Band, Chicago Jazz Orchestra, and the Chicago Metropolitan Jazz Orchestra.  Mike has also performed in many musicals and shows in Europe, the Caribbean, and a USO tour to Cuba.  Mike has also been a featured guest artist with many Chicago area school groups and a featured soloist with the world renowned, St. Charles Singers.

Mike is currently a freelance woodwind artist in the Chicago area and leading his own jazz quartet. He is also a member of the Park Avenue Orchestra, which performs for many private and corporate events in the Chicago area and the Midwest. 

In addition, Mike is a woodwind instructor and directs the jazz program at St. Giles School in Oak Park, IL.  Mike had been teaching at the Player’s Bench since 1989 through the summer of 2020. Piano Trends Music & Band is proud to have Mike among our staff today. We have worked on musical projects in the past and are extremely glad to be able to offer Mike's teaching talents to our students.  He maintains a very busy teaching schedule and accepts students of all levels, beginner through advanced. 


Ryan Klopfenstein

Drums - Guitar - Bass- Ukulele Instructor - in studio or online

Ryan is one of the area's more respected drum and guitar instructors. 

Ryan has been a part of the local music community since the 1990s. He has previously taught at both The Player's Bench and Consolidated Music of Barrington. Ryan teaches drums, guitar, bass, ukulele, percussion, and rock school. He teaches a wide variety of styles, including rock, jazz, funk, folk, punk, latin, worldbeat, and more. Over the years, Ryan has played guitar, drums, and bass in numerous bands in the Crystal Lake area. When not teaching or performing, he enjoys spending time with his family or working on his other passion, painting.

Check out his Facebook page for both his music and art on Ryan's Facebook page.

We are glad to Ryan as a member of our teaching staff at Piano Trends Music. Call or  email  for Ryan's availability.  

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Ashley Beleny

Piano instructor - in studio or online

Ashley has a passion for teaching piano and also currently is learning to play cello with another member of our Piano Trends Music staff  Tom Vos. 

She studied international trade policy at Monterey Institute of International Studies and graduated in 2008.

Ashley has been playing piano since the age of 5 and grew up singing in professional children's choirs and stared playing guitar when she went to college since it was easier to transport than her piano. However she would sneak into the music school and play in the practice rooms whenever she could. Ashley plays mostly classical on piano. She has taught a wide range of subjects in one on one and small group settings for students aged pre-school through adult. call the Piano Trends Music front desk 815.477.4266 for Ashley's availability. 


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Collin Berg

guitar-ukulele instructor - online only

Collin Berg has been part of the Piano Trends Staff for several years  Collin teaches all styles of guitar and also instructs ukulele as well. He currently has his own band The Phonographs and runs his own recording studio. He plays in Beatles and Rolling Stones.


Bruce Waters


instructor - in studio or online

Bruce is a lifelong resident of the area and a big part of the music scene locally. He has worked with major artists like Ricky Skaggs at the Grand Ole Opry in Nashville, He is or been a member of Pirates on 40, Sweetwater among other bands. He organized Rock School Classes in the past and will again in the future with Piano Trends Music & Band.  Bruce teaches and works with children and adults alike on both acoustic and electric guitars, bass guitar, ukulele and percussion. Call or email us for Bruce's availability. Both in studio and online lessons available. 

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Christine Rehayem

piano-flute instructor - in studio only 

Christine Has been with Piano Trends Music for  more than 12 years.  Chris has a music degree from DePaul University in Chicago.

She  works with both Children and adults and she takes her music and dedication to her students seriously. Chris is also an accomplished Flutist.  Call to check Christine's schedule availability.


April Milbratz

voice-piano-theater instructor coach - in studio or online 

April has previous ties to Piano Trends Music as she worked for us in the early 2000s both behind the counter and in the teachings studios. We are happy to have April back in our music teaching studios.  April has numerous credits in local and regional theater and in addition to providing voice and piano instruction is glad to work with aspiring young actors in our studio as well. Need to prepare for an audtion then April will help you prepare. 


Corrin Littlefield

staff-piano, flute instructor - online only

Corrin is our Main Virtual Online Instructor for both Piano and flute. Corrin specializes in online lessons for Piano Trends Music Studio. Check out her FREE Online Lesson. She earned her Bachelor’s degree in Music Education from Millikin University, where she played in the Wind Ensemble. Corrin has played flute for thirteen years and piano for approximately eleven years where she started right here at Piano Trends Music as a child.  She played flute throughout college and piano through her junior year.  Corrin teaches music at Crstal Lake Montessori School during the day. Teaching is her passion and she hopes to instill a love for music into all of her students. 

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Adam Brown

trombone-all band instruments in studio or online

Adam Brown also holds a position as a music teacher instructing strings and band students in District 300 Lake in the Hills.Adam has his bachelor of music degree from Northern Illinois University in Dekalb where he majored in music education instrumental/band. Adam teaches private students in the Piano Trends Studio in piano, trombone, clarinet, alto sax, bari sax, tuba.

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Brittany Chally

Clarinet - Bass Clarinet - Saxophone

Brittany Chally has worked with our band camps at Piano Trends Music in the past and currently  is a senior music education major with an instrumental focus at Benedictine
University. As an undergraduate, Miss Chally is actively engaged on campus as both a
University and Arthur J. Schmitt Scholar. She serves as the current President of the
Benedictine Collegiate Chapter of the National Association for Music Education. As an
academic, Brittany published a co-authored chapter titled “Ecomusicology Examining
Environmental Music within Modern Music” in February of 2020 and presented a peerreviewed
poster at the 2020 Illinois Music Educators Conference in Peoria, IL. Most recently,
she was named a 2020 Student Laureate of The Lincoln Academy of Illinois.
Miss Chally is a founding member of the Benedictine University Wind Ensemble and
performs regularly in the Benedictine University Concert Band and Jazz Ensemble on
Baritone Saxophone. She enjoys performing in both the Crystal Lake Community Band and
Des Plaines Park District Community Concert Band.
Beyond the classroom, Brittany is actively engaged in her community and is always looking
for new ways to bring music to others. Most recently, she organized a project titled “Alive
Inside: Music and Memory,” where students from Benedictine provided musical playlists for
residents with dementia at Villa St. Benedict in Lisle, IL. Additionally, she has coordinated
community performances at local nursing homes during the holiday season and a virtual
performance video to share with residents during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Miss Chally is passionate about helping students foster meaningful experiences and making
music accessible for all.

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Lisa Perfors

violin instructor - in studio only

Lisa received her Bachelor of Music in 2014 from Eastern Illinois University. She will be teaching Violin, Viola and Cello and has performing experience with both the Eastern Symphony Orchestra and Lake Geneva Symphony Orchestra. 


Acacia Steenberg

Violin - horn instructor - online only

Acacia will be an incoming Music Major at U of I this Fall and will also be one of our Online Violin and French Horn instructors for beginners. Acacia studied Horn with our very Own Kathleen Mitchell and is a member of the Elgin Youth Symphony Orchestra. Acacia also studies and has been a longtime piano student of Bobbi Paul.

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