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Private Lessons

We proudly offer private instruction on most band & orchestra instruments, as well as voice, percussion, and piano.  Our experienced teaching staff and modern lesson studios make lessons at Kidder Music a great addition to any school music program and the ideal way to begin learning an instrument at any age. Our teachers welcome students at all levels of musical experience. Lesson availability depends on individual instructor’s schedules.

Our Private Instructors

Audrey Alltop - Voice - bio [+]
Photo of  Audrey  Alltop

Audrey has been singing all her life, and started training her voice in choirs at the age of 8. This led to her obtaining her Music Education degree from Knox College in Galesburg, IL, where she studied voice under Dr. Lynn Maxfield and Ms. Alison Meuth. She was also a part of the Knox College Choir under the direction of Dr. Laura Lane during her four years at Knox. She completed her student teaching in the Stark County school system in Toulon and Wyoming, Illinois, and has co-directed the high school musical and substituted in the same district.

Audrey is currently accepting students ages 10 and up on Saturdays.

Tim Brickner - Guitar, Electric Bass, String Bass - bio [+]
Photo of  Tim  Brickner

Tim started teaching with Kidder Music Service in 1997. He is a full time musician and is currently playing with many well know groups in the area such as: Scotty And The Ligonaires, Speechless, and Preston Jackson and Friends. Tim is a former member of the Central Illinois Jazz Society House Band. He has many album credits which include Kevin Hart Latin Jazz Quintet “Corazen”, David Hoffman “Grooven”, The Heatersons “The Heartsons”, Scotty And The Ligonaires “Live…and In Person”.

Tim is currently accepting students ages 8 and up in the afternoon and evenings on Monday through Thursday.

Connie Brockmeyer - Guitar, Bass & Uke - bio [+]
Photo of  Connie  Brockmeyer

Connie has been in the Peoria area  all of her life and has taught music for over 30 years. She strives to help students meet their personal goals. She teaches all styles of guitar from beginner to professional.  She studied music in college many years ago, but her most recent education comes from interacting with her students with their unique musical needs. She finds it very gratifying to watch and listen to their progress.

Connie is currently accepting students ages 5 and up on Mondays, and Wednesdays through Saturdays.

Ellen Brush - Piano - bio [+]
Photo of  Ellen  Brush

Ellen began playing the piano at age 8.  She played and took lessons through high school and then stopped during college. After meeting Myrna Bietz at an event in Peoria, she considered returning to piano and was encouraged to do so by her friends. Mryna introduced Ellen to Liz Dusenberry, who helped her get back into pianoplaying again at the age of 28.  She is a graduate of Mryna Bietz’ Piano Pedagogy class at ICC, and has ran a studio in my home previously.  She is currently a student of Ben Rudolph learning blues and jazz.

Ellen is currently accepting piano students ages 5 and up on Thursday evenings.

Jeremy Clark - Drums, Percussion, Piano - bio [+]
Photo of  Jeremy  Clark

Jeremy Clark is a professional percussionist native to Peoria, IL where he attended Bradley University and studied percussion under Ms. Peggy Bonner. He has toured throughout the United States with various groups including Jack Morgan and the Russ Morgan Orchestra and the world famous Dallas Brass. Early career ventures led him to Europe to play at the Montreux and Brienz Jazz Festivals in Switzerland, the Umbria Jazz Festival in Italy, and the Vienne Jazz Festival in France.

While residing in St. Louis, Missouri, Clark performed with the St. Louis Brass Band, the St. Charles Municipal Band, the St. Charles Big (Jazz) Band, the Gateway City Big Band, the Blue Knights of Swing, and the Meremac Jazz Lab Band.

Clark currently resides in Central Illinois where he continues to perform with Carl Anderson and His New Orleans Jazz Band, Central Illinois Jazz Orchestra (CIJO), Illinois Central Jazz Train, Prairie Wind Ensemble, Larry Harms Trio, Jim Markum Swing Band, Peoria Area Civic Chorale, Cornstalk Theater and the Peoria Players Theater. He currently teaches private lessons at Kidder Music. Besides playing regularly, Clark also has several arrangements published with Alfred Music. To learn more about Jeremy Clark, please visit

Jeremy teaches in the afternoon and evening on Monday through Friday.

Ruth Clark - Clarinet & Saxophone - bio [+]
Photo of  Ruth  Clark

Ruth Clark obtained her Music Education degree from Bradley University in Peoria, IL where she studied clarinet under Dr. Stephen Heinemann. She taught in St. Louis for three years and performed with the St. Louis Wind Symphony, St. Louis Chamber Chorus, and Webster University Choral Society.

Ruth currently resides in Central Illinois where she teaches private lessons at Kidder Music. She performs with the Peoria Bach Festival Choir, Prairie Wind Ensemble, Bradley University Community Choir, and various community theaters.

Ruth teaches on Mondays, Wednesday and Thursday afternoons/evenings. Please call 309-692-4040 for specific availability.

Chuck Cunningham - Trumpet & Beginning Brass - bio [+]
Photo of  Chuck  Cunningham

Chuck has been with Kidder Music since 1995. Chuck has a Masters Degree in Music Education and has been teaching around the area for over 44 years. Chuck can be seen playing for weddings, various churches, and many other groups which include; The Jonny Kaye Orchestra and Jim Park and The Starlighters.

Chuck teaches on Monday afternoons & evenings.

John Dean - Violin, Piano, Beginning Strings - bio [+]
Photo of  John  Dean

John Dean, a central Illinois resident his entire life, began playing the piano at age 6 and the violin at age 10. He then went on to complete a music education degree at Illinois Central College and Eureka College under Dr. Prince Dorough at ICC and Dr. Henry at Eureka. Currently he is playing in a worship band at a local church and is looking to expand his performance base into Peoria.

Performances include: An Italian concert tour, performing for Mr. Mikhail Gorbachev on a visit to Eureka College, and performing with the Eureka College Chorale and the Peoria Symphony orchestra on Beethoven’s 9th symphony.

John teaches Monday through Friday in the afternoon and evening and Saturday throughout the day. Please call 309-692-4040 for specific availability.

Jenna Ferdon - Violin and Viola - bio [+]
Photo of  Jenna  Ferdon

Jenna received her undergraduate degree in Violin Performance from Bradley University, studying under Marcia Henry-Liebenow. She is a substitute violinist with the Peoria Symphony Orchestra, a section player in the Knox-Galesburg Symphony Orchestra, and performs with a wide variety of ensembles in the Peoria and Galesburg communities. She began teaching lessons in 2009, joining Kidder Music as an instructor of violin and viola in 2013.

Jenna teaches violin and viola students on Wednesday and Friday afternoons, and on Saturday throughout the day.

Cody Fiedler - Trumpet - bio [+]
Photo of  Cody  Fiedler

Cody started with Kidder Music in 2012. He is responsible for shipping and receiving sheet music orders for all three locations. In addition, he also teaches private trumpet lessons. Cody is an accomplished player with a music business degree from Bradley University, and spent time as a paid performer on a cruise line.

Cody teaches on Friday afternoons. Please call 309-692-4040 for specific availability.

Wayne Heinemann - Clarinet & Beginning Band - bio [+]
Photo of  Wayne  Heinemann

Wayne began in the music department at Kidder Music in Peoria in May of 2009, but began teaching private lessons in 2007. Wayne has over 25 years teaching and conducting experience in both instrumental and choral music, and is currently the director of Grace Symphonic Winds at Grace Presbyterian Church in Peoria.

Wayne is a clarinetist, and is a sub with the Peoria Municipal Band. He can teach a variety of instruments at the beginning level; however, he can teach advanced clarinet. He lives in Peoria with his wife and two daughters.

Wayne teaches on Tuesday evenings. Please call 309-692-4040 for specific availability.

Valorie Mills - Flute & Beginning Woodwinds - bio [+]
Photo of  Valorie  Mills

Valorie Mills graduated from Western Illinois University with a bachelor degree in Music Education. She taught in the Illinois public school system for five years teaching a mixture of band (concert, marching, jazz, pep), choir, orchestra, and general music to students in grades K-12. Valorie further continued her education in conducting and music education at American Band College affiliated with Southern Oregon University. There she played in ensembles directed by fantastic composers, conductors, and educators from all over the world such as David Holsinger, Frank Ticheli, Lowell Graham, Johan de Meij, Tim Lautzenheiser, Kanat Akhmetov, Philippe Langlet, and more!

Valorie teaches on Tuesdays and Saturdays. Please call 309-692-4040 for specific availability.

Phil Reardon - Trumpet - bio [+]
Photo of  Phil  Reardon

Phil has been with Kidder Music since 2011. He plays trumpet and received his Bachelors in Music Business from Southern Illinois University. While at SIUC, he was a member of the Wind Ensemble, the Studio Jazz Orchestra, and the Marching Salukis. He is an alumni member of Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia Fraternity, and served as the SIUC School of Music’s Recital Hall Manager. He and his wife, Katlin, were recently married in April of 2012.

Phil teaches trumpet students on Monday and Thursday evenings.

Carma Slaymaker - Piano - bio [+]
Photo of  Carma  Slaymaker

Carma Lee Slaymaker has been playing the piano since age 5 and the organ since age 14; she’s taught piano privately for 5 years. She’s played and taken private lessons through high school and college. Carma is currently the church organist/pianist for services, weddings and funerals at Bethel Lutheran Church in Morton, Illinois, United Methodist Church in Bartonville, and the Trinity Presbyterian Church in Bartonville. She has been an accompanist for Peoria Public Schools and the German American Society Choir in Peoria, Illinois.

Carma teaches students from ages 5 and up on Tuesday and Wednesday evenings.

Prices and Policies

Monthly Tuition: $80
First Time Registration Fee: $20

Tuition covers four weekly half-hour lessons per month. Students will be choose a lesson time at sign up.  Missed lessons can not be rescheduled, however, when there are five lesson days in a month, students will receive the fifth lesson at no extra charge. This free lesson is to compensate for any missed lessons throughout the year.

If you anticipate missing several lessons for an upcoming month, you may discontinue for that month and rejoin at a later time.

Students are not charged when the teacher is absent or the store is closed due to holidays or inclement weather. A credit will be issued for any lessons cancelled by Kidder Music or its teachers.

Tuition payment is due at the first lesson of every month. Automatic credit/debit card processing is available. Students can begin or cancel lessons at any time. Lesson fees will not be pro-rated if a student quits mid month, but can be pro-rated to accommodate students starting mid month.

In addition to quality musical instruction, our lesson students also enjoy a 10% discount on any music and accessories purchased in our store.

Enroll today!

To enroll in private lessons please call 309-692-4040 or visit our store:

7728 N. Crestline Dr.
Peoria, Illinois 61615

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