Music Lessons at Classic Violins


We are pleased to offer violin, viola and cello lessons, right here in our shop. Lessons can be scheduled for 30, 45, or 60 minutes. Students of all ages and level of experience are welcome. For more information or to schedule lessons, please call the shop at 847-970-3797, or send an email to [email protected]

Teaching Faculty at Classic Violins

Dana Zapata


Dana started studying violin at age 4, when she saw a violin recital and fell in love with the sound of the instrument. Dana went on to earn an undergraduate degree in Music Performance from Illinois Wesleyan University.  After graduating, she began teaching violin and viola privately.   Her teaching method emphasizes proper playing technique and comfort with the instrument.  She takes an individualized approach with each and every student and focuses on making lessons fun as well as informative.  She teaches students as young as 6 through adult. Dana is an active performer and plays violin as a member of the Lake County Symphony Orchestra.  She also takes an interest in alternative playing styles such as rock and fiddle music.  



Daria Horodyskyj

Daria Daria completed her musical studies at Lviv Conservatory in Ukraine, graduating in 1976 with Master’s Degree in performance and pedagogy. For seventeen years she was a violinist in the Lviv Opera orchestra rising to the rank of assistant concert master. When Daria moved to Chicago, she joined the Northwest Chicago Symphony and the NCSO String Quartet. In addition, she has been string instructor at the Chicago School of Violin Making since 1994. Daria is an active performing violinist in the Northern Illinois/Indiana area and a teacher of developing young string players. She works with student ages 7 through adult. 


Iordanka Kissiova

Iordanka Iordanka Kissiova is a Grammy nominated violinist and active orchestral, chamber and solo musician. A native from Bulgaria, she studied at the National Academy of Music - Sofia with Prof. G. Bliznev and George Monov (performing artist who comes from the finest Russian tradition in violin playing). Before moving to the United States in 1993, Iordanka was a member of Bulgaria’s National Music Theater Orchestra and performed in Italy, Spain, France and Germany with the Lady's Chamber Orchestra, Sofia. She was also a string instructor and co-founder of New Youth Philharmonic and was teaching violin and viola at Little Music School in Sofia, Bulgaria. In the United States, Iordanka has played regularly in regional orchestras throughout the Midwest. Among them are Ars Viva Symphony Orchestra of Lake Forest, Illinois Symphony Orchestra, Chicago Classical Symphony Orchestra, Northwest Symphony Orchestra, Chicago Master Singers, St. John Cantius Orchestra, Lincolnwood Chamber Orchestra, Elmhurst Symphony Orchestra, Chicago Folks Operetta, and New Budapest Orpheum Society, are among the few.

Iordanka appeared as soloist with NSO, Chicago Businessmen Orchestra and Chicago Virtuosi Orchestra.

Iordanka has been an active private string teacher in the Chicago area since 1996 and has been teaching students from all levels and ages 5 to adult. 


Martin Lopez

MartinMartin Lopez began his violin career at the age of three, under the guidance of world-renowned violinist Betty Haag. At age 5, Martin made his first concert tour in Europe with Mrs. Haag’s performing group. At age of 6 he performed solo with the Chicago Symphony at their Petite Promenade Concert Series where he was referred to as a “child prodigy”. Martin subsequently toured Europe with the group, performing in France, Germany, Italy, and at the Vatican for Pope John Paul II. In 2002 Martin Lopez started working with the Chicago Public School’s inner city program. He directed a program for two-year-old children with 100 students from 20 different schools. A year later Martin was offered a teaching position for Roosevelt University, Chicago College of Performing Arts. In 2004, Mr. Lopez formed his own school in McHenry County, Illinois: The Martin Lopez Academy. Martin is dedicated to teaching children starting at age 3 as well as teens and adults. In 2008, he established a non-for profit 4 Strings Attached, which made their first tour to Guadalajara, Mexico, where the group appeared on national television, followed by Disney World and Universal Studios in Florida, Bulgaria, Springfield, IL, Dollywood in Tennessee and toured throughout Italy.

With over fifteen years teaching experience, Mr. Lopez developed his own teaching style that introduces the violin to the young child from the first lesson. A rigorous teaching method and an emphasis on the joy of playing are combined with Mr. Lopez’ own energy to produce a great experience for his students.

“My teaching philosophy is to provide inspiration and motivation to learn about music in a friendly and positive classroom. I would like my students to see me as their teacher and also their friend. During the process of learning the violin, I help my students to reach their best potential in any aspects. It is important for me to develop not only their brain, but also their personality as individuals. I do not want my students to just play the violin in tune with a good position; I want them to perform the instrument with confidence and to have expression and character in their playing. My standards are high and I believe that is a key for my students’ successful performance not only in the musical world, but in their personal and social world.”

Besides teaching, Martin Lopez also composes and performs his own music. For more information, please visit Martin Lopez's Official Web Page.


Susan Russell

Susan Susan studied Suzuki violin from the age of 4 and played at Carnegie Hall with a group of children representing American students. She was accepted into Music and Art High School in New York and elected to attend Mannes Conservatory prep division. Graduating from School of The Art Institute in Performance with credits from New York University, she received her Masters in Interdisciplinary Arts from Columbia. Having played in chamber ensembles, Susan has performed at weddings, events and country clubs. Additionally, Susan enjoys playing electric violin with an alternate rock band at venues around Chicago. Susan is a College Professor in the Arts and Humanities and currently teaching courses in Performing Arts at the College of Lake County. This experience has provided her with a broad understanding of music and the arts in many cultures. Susan has been enjoying teaching violin to children as young as 4 through adult since 2003. She is available to teach both Suzuki and traditional methods.