Meet our outstanding faculty.
Violin & Viola Teacher
Ariel Patkin is an enthusiastic teacher and performer who enjoys sharing her lifelong love of music with others. Beginning as a Suzuki violin student at age three, she later discovered the charm of the viola and went on to perform on both instruments throughout the United States, Canada, and Italy.
During her time in The Civic Orchestra of Chicago, she had the great privilege of collaborating with, and learning from world-class musicians such as Yo-Yo Ma and the musicians of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra.
Based in Chicago, Ariel plays with several regional orchestras. In addition to her love of orchestral playing, Ms. Patkin is passionate about chamber music, and especially enjoys performing with quartets and in baroque ensembles. She has also performed and premiered numerous contemporary works as a soloist and a member of several new music ensembles, including the Hartt School’s Foot In The Door ensemble.
Ms. Patkin holds an M.M. in Viola Performance from the University of Colorado Boulder and an B.M. from The Hartt School and is a registered Suzuki teacher.
Contact Ariel at Ariel@mattixmusic.com.
Music Together® & Rhythm Kids® Teacher
Originally from the Chicago area, Brenna received her Bachelor of Music in Vocal Performance from the University of Mississippi and her Master of Music in Vocal Performance from the New England Conservatory of Music. She is also compleated Certification I through Music Together. Brenna has enjoyed a successful career as a voice teacher, performer, and nanny over the last several years. New to Mattix Music Studio this summer, Brenna is thrilled at the prospect of bringing her love and knowledge of music to children and families through teaching Music Together.
Contact Brenna at Brenna@mattixmusic.com.
Grace is a native of Seoul, South Korea, and has been in the U.S. since high school. She is an avid performer, educator, and conference lecturer across the country. Grace previously had faculty positions at several universities and academies, and has been an active adjudicator for junior and senior piano competitions of music organizations. She is passionate about inspiring young children to thrive in music lessons at Mattix Music Studio.
Grace holds a Doctor of Musical Arts in Piano Performance and Post-Master’s Certificate in Music Theory Pedagogy from the University of North Carolina-Greensboro, Master of Music in Piano Performance from the University of Missouri-Kansas City Conservatory of Music, and Bachelor of Music in Piano and Piano Pedagogy and Artist Diploma from the University of Tennessee-Knoxville. She is a Suzuki-certified piano teacher for all books (Book 1-7). In addition to her love for teaching and performing, she enjoys reading, exercising, and exploring the many cultural events the Chicagoland has to offer.
Contact Grace at Grace@mattixmusic.com.
Katie Mattix, director
Piano & Violin Teacher
Music Together® Teacher & Director
Contact Katie at Katie@mattixmusic.com
Matt Richert graduated from Illinois State University with a Bachelor of Science in Music Business with an emphasis on piano. He has experience teaching students of all ages and has been teaching private piano lessons for over ten years in Chicago and the surrounding suburbs. He has a strong passion for music and loves sharing that zeal with his students. He truly values the science behind music and how crucial it is in the development of the brain starting at a young age. He is also a songwriter/producer who has had songs placed with: Nickelodeon, Fox, MTV, multiple commercials, and recently had a song featured on the major motion picture “My Little Pony Movie” soundtrack. Matt loves to challenge his students with a strong focus of utilizing proper technique, music theory, and the importance of composition. Matt has also had the pleasure of performing at the House of Blues in Chicago, Pritzker Music Pavilion in Chicago’s Millennium Park, SXSW music festival in Austin TX, and the main stage at Summerfest in Milwaukee. Matt is proficient in using the Digital Audio Workstations (DAWs) Ableton Live and Pro Tools and is always encouraging his students to compose and create.
Contact Matt at Matt@mattixmusic.com.
Mike Holland graduated from Columbia College Chicago with a Bachelor of Arts in Music, where he worked under Chicago pianist/composer/vocalist Philip Seward and majored in Instrumental Performance-Keyboard. Mike is also trained in Modern, Pop, and Film Score, Classical and Baroque Performance, and music theory. Since graduation, Michael has maintained a steady practice of private piano lessons. Working with students aged three to adult, he enjoys seeing new students improve over an extended period of time. Mike finds the Suzuki pedagogy fascinating and is available to teach its syllabus for any new students. He also enjoys playing as a lounge pianist at several Mariano’s stores.
Aside from piano, Mike enjoys digital music production using the Ableton Live DAW (digital audio workstation).
Contact Mike at Mike@mattixmusic.com.
Violin & Viola Teacher
Nissa Anderson has loved music for as long as she can remember. She started playing the violin at age nine and participated in orchestra from fourth grade until she graduated from Lake Forest College in 2016, having studied the violin intensively under Rolando Freitag and Dr. Kate Carter. Interested in both musical performance and education, Ms. Anderson received her music education degree to become not only a diverse performer, but a capable educator.
Since college, Ms. Anderson has focused on honing her skills as an educator, having taught in both public school and private lesson settings. Always looking to improve her teaching skills, she has also begun her training in the renowned Suzuki method, studying under Dr. Tanya Carey and Ed Kreitman. She continues to develop her skills as a violinist, having recently performed with the Chicagoland Educator Orchestra, and remains an active performer in the Chicagoland area.
Contact Nissa at Nissa@mattixmusic.com.
Octavio Montiel has a B.A. in Music from North Park University and a Masters Degree in Applied Piano Pedagogy at Northeastern Illinois University, where he studied with Susan Tang. He has earned the Leadership and Talent Scholarship from Morton College, and the Honors Music Scholarship from North Park University. Octavio implements healthy piano technique at an early age to develop good practice habits. His passion for teaching stems from his role at the Boys Club of Cicero. In 2006 he received the Youth of the Year Award from the Boys Club of Cicero for his service to the community and excellence in character. Octavio encourages the growth of our youth by staying involved with the Boys and Girls Club Organization. He continues to inspire people through his piano teaching and service to the community.
Contact Octavio at Octavio@mattixmusic.com.
Valerie Schierl studied Music, Art History and Psychology at Macalester College in St Paul, MN and at The University of Minnesota. Valerie has studied and played the cello for 43 years. She began studying the cello at age 4 with the Suzuki Method at MacPhail Center for the Arts in Minneapolis, MN. Her studies have included instruction from distinguished musicians and teachers such as Diane Tremaine, Claudette Laureano and Janet Horvath. Valerie has many years experience playing in various ensemble groups; from symphonies and chamber ensembles, to duets and quartets, to gigs with Mpls rock bands. Her first career led her into the field of behavioral psychology, working with young children who have communication and interaction disorders. Valerie has also explored studies linking the arts and psychology, such as Art and Music Therapy. Valerie is mom to 5 teenage kids (string players all!) and lives in La Grange Park with her husband, Michael. Valerie is now thrilled to be able to teach cello full time to all ages, from 4 years old to adult. Pursuing her true passion for music education, Valerie seeks to support the arts and partners with like-minded individuals to create resources and opportunities for youth and adults to experience the many joys of music and the visual arts.
Contact Valerie at Valerie@mattixmusic.com.
Want to become a Mattix Music Studio instructor?
We’re always glad to meet new friends who want to teach at our studio. If you’re interested in joining our faculty, please send your resume and any additional information to Katie@mattixmusic.com.