Private Music Lessons

Is your student ready to take their music-making to the next level?  Private music lessons give students and families a special one-on-one relationship with mentors who look at each student individually and then tailor a musical approach specifically to match their musical abilities.  Did you know that some of the best professional musicians still take private lessons?  That’s because music is a lifelong art; there’s always something new to explore.  And, a well-matched private mentor/student relationship can leave a lasting impression on a child’s musical life!

Private lesson times and days are scheduled through the private teachers according to their availability and location.  You can find out more about private teacher options by contacting them directly (information is listed below).  Each private teacher coordinates their own studio and can tell you about their philosophy, expectations, schedules, teaching locations, and fees.  We encourage students to take outside lessons to further enrich their music learning experiences!

Click below for a detailed profile:

VIOLIN & PIANO (Instructor: Kim Jensen)

Contact Information –  262.456.0179 / [email protected]

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Kim Jensen is a former Prairie alumna and graduate of Calvin College in Grand Rapids, Michigan. After graduating, Kim worked at Lakeview Neuro-Rehabilitation Center in Waterford, Wisconsin, where she initiated a music therapy program for adults with brain injuries. Kim’s mission or musical philosophy is largely influenced by the violin and piano instruction she received as a child: Foremost, to foster the love of music; furthermore, to provide students with the skills needed to create and compose music (even in the most basic sense) and to appreciate and recognize the possibilities the study of music possesses, ultimately, enriching the lives of each student.

For the past eight years, Kim has been giving private piano instruction to children and adults at the beginner to early-intermediate level. She serves as the accompanist for Racine Christian Reformed Church’s Children’s Choir and church services.



Contact information- [email protected]
Jill grew up in a very musical household as the daughter of concert pianist Jeffery Hollander and cellist/cello teacher Jane Hollander. Jill has been singing since the age of 10 when she first began performing at some of her father’s piano concerts. 

Graduating from both Lawrence University and Alverno College, she studied vocal performance, music education, and French. 

Her favorite vocal genres include Broadway, Classical, Pop, Light Opera, and Jazz. She has performed in numerous theatres in the Milwaukee area such as the Florentine Opera, Shorewood Players, Off the Wall Broadway Theatre, Sunset Playhouse, Charles Allis Art Museum, and the Betty Brinn Children’s Museum. She also enjoys teaching songs in several languages including Italian, French, and German. 

Jill has been teaching privately for over 8 years and taught in a school setting before as well. Currently, Jill maintains a private vocal and piano studio in the Milwaukee area. She teaches all le vels of voice and beginning and intermediate piano. One of her special musical interests is the singing of jingles.

For more info about Jill, please visit her studio webpage.

BEGINNING PIANO AND FLUTE (Instructor: Paula Braun)

Contact Information –  [email protected], 262.886.3402

Paula Brown

Paula Braun is a Graduate of the University of Wisconsin-Parkside, with a BA in Music Education. Paula studied flute under Connie Meisner and Piano under Steve Swedish. She also studied music composition under August Wegner.  After graduation she went on to study with the principal flutist of the Verona Symphony in Verona, Italy.  Paula is currently the principal flutist with the Kenosha Pops Concert Band.  She is a former member of the Kenosha Symphony and has played with the Racine Symphony and Racine Municipal Band.

For 35 years, Paula was the Early School, Kindergarten and First Grade general music teacher at The Prairie School, as well as Beginning and Intermediate Band Director. Throughout her years at Prairie, Paula has taught private flute and piano lessons, and it is an enduring passion for her to introduce new students to the joys of music.

PIANO (Instructor: Terri Seitz) Waitlist Only

(Contact Information – Email: [email protected] , Phone: 262-554-7978)

Terri Seitz teaches private piano lessons to Primary, Middle, and Upper School students.   A native of Racine and student of her mentor Heinz Lutz, Prairie’s long-time piano teacher,  Terri earned a Bachelor of Music degree summa cum laude in piano performance from Northwestern University and her Master of Music from the University of Michigan.  Her mentor credentials also include a Rotary Scholarship for postgraduate study in Munich.  Professionally, Terri has served as Director of Piano Studies and Chamber Music at Luzerne Music Center in New York, Instrumental Music Director at Friends’ Central School in Philadelphia, and Piano Instructor at music schools in the Philadelphia and Chicago areas.  In addition having her own Racine piano studio, Terri enriches our community as the Music Director of St. Lucy’s Catholic Church and as an active soloist, accompanist, and chamber musician.

SUZUKI VIOLIN and CELLO (Instructor: Charlene Melzer)

Contact Information – [email protected], 262.880.2116

Charlene Melzer teaches Suzuki violin and cello lessons to Second Graders and violin to Middle School students.  She runs a well-respected Suzuki Program in the Racine Unified Schools.  Holding a Bachelor’s Degree from the University of Colorado and a Master’s Degree from National Louis University, Charlene is an active professional musician, teaching and performing in symphonies and chamber groups in Southeastern Wisconsin and Northern Illinois for over three decades.Believing deeply that “music nurtures the whole child in each of us,” Charlene counts as a special privilege her opportunity to serve the Suzuki string families at the Prairie School.


BRASS (Instructor: Dr. Patricia Backhaus)

Contact Information – [email protected], 262.993.1834

Dr. Patricia Backhaus teaches private trumpet lessons to Middle and Upper School students. Pat earned her DMA in trumpet performance from the University of Minnesota where she studied with her mentor, David Baldwin.   In addition to running her Milwaukee trumpet studio, Pat has performed as a trumpet and cornet soloist in both the US and Europe.  Currently she is the Music Director of the Studio Orchestra in Madison and the Shorewood Concert Band.  Pat’s former students perform in world class orchestras, earn Downbeat magazine awards as outstanding soloists, are successful music educators, and perform for the sheer joy of making music in countless community groups.

PERCUSSION/DRUMMING (Instructor: Randy Maio)

Contact Information – 262.498.9599

Randy Maio is a percussionist who loves to play all kinds of music, and his list of accomplishments certainly speaks to this! He has had a career as a full-time and part-time musician for over the past 40 years. This includes playing at all of the Milwaukee festivals with Mayor Meyers folk band, playing symphony music in Germany, Hawaiian music in Hawaii, jazz, big band, top 40, country, opera and Latin. Additionally, Randy has been the staff percussionist at Ch10/36, he has played in around 120 professional & amateur musicals, he has played at Festa Italiana & State Fair, and he has recorded with “Opus” playing with a variety of artists like Jack Grassel, Nick Contorno.

GUITAR (Instructor: Andrew Trim)

Contact: [email protected]

Andrew Trim is a guitarist and composer.

Based in the midwest, Trim resides in Milwaukee and splits his time between his home and Chicago performing and collaborating with many of the talented and unique musicians in the region. He has released five records as a leader and has recorded and performed as a sideman with many others.

Hanami, his primary musical project, has released two albums to critical acclaim. The music from their second album “The Only Way to Float Free” on ears&eyes Records was premiered at the Chicago Jazz Festival and the release of the album was partially funded by an artist grant from the City of Chicago’s Department of Cultural Affairs. The group has been praised for their “personable sound with all kinds of distinguishing marks” (Dave Sumner, Bird is the Worm), their “graceful and musical poise” (Paul Acquaro, Free Jazz Collective) and their “innate, organically-generated aesthetic” (Doug Simpson, Audiophile Audition).

Trim has performed with musicians such as Charles Rumback, Jason Stein, Mai Sugimoto, Devin Drobka, Kurt Schweitz, Jeremy Cunningham, Dave Miller, Greg Ward, Matt Ulery, Quin Kirchner, Matt Gold, Nate Lepine, Russ Johnson, Jamie Breiwick, Jonathan Greenstein, John Christensen, Chris Madsen, Matt Carroll, James Davis, Dan Thatcher, Danny Meyer, John Tate, Matt Fuller, Aakash Mittal, and many more. He has also performed as a sideman in ensembles such as The Aluminum Group, Rock Falls, Lady Cannon, Ted Sirota’s Heavyweight Dub feat. The Scientist, Meatbute: Chicago’s Premier Meatloaf Tribute Band and many more.

When not performing, Trim is an active educator teaching guitar, jazz & improvisation, music theory, and composition lessons. He is currently available for lessons privately and through Maestro Makers, a Milwaukee based lesson organization. Starting in the fall of 2019, he will be joining the excellent music program at the Prairie School in Racine, WI as staff guitar instructor. Trim holds his M.M. in Jazz Performance and Pedagogy from the University of Colorado, a B.A. in Music from Colorado Christian University, and a Certificate from New York University’s Summer Jazz Guitar Intensive.

If you would like additional private lesson instructor recommendations, please contact:

Ally Smalley ([email protected])


The effectiveness of private lessons comes down to what a student does between lessons, and this is when students develop the skills  that enable them to practice becoming self-directed and self-empowered.  Thus, they learn both about artistic creativity and life skills in their lessons.