“Teaching is not my main purpose. I want to make good citizens.” Shinichi Suzuki

Marija Bubanj, M.M, Viola Performance; Suzuki-trained violin and viola instructor
A native of Belgrade, Yugoslavia, Ms. Bubanj began studying violin at the age of 7. At the age of 16, she discovered that viola was her instrument of passion and she decided to pursue a career in viola performance. She received Bachelor of Music degree in Viola Performance from the Music Academy in Novi Sad in 1993. During these studies, she played in a chamber ensemble Artisti Dell Arco, Belgrade, where she performed on numerous European stages and Radio and TV broadcasts. The ensemble performed pieces of Bach, Mozart, Vivaldi, Corelli, Torelli and Respighi. She also performed with the Symphony Orchestra of Music Academy of Novi Sad where she played a standard orchestra repertoire of classical and contemporary composers.

Ms. Bubanj earned her Master of Music in Viola Performance from Chicago Musical College of Roosevelt University in 1997. Her principal viola teachers include Richard Ferrin (Chicago Symphony Orchestra), Laslo Horvat, Uros Pesic and Mihajlo Mihajlovic. Ms. Bubanj is a certified Suzuki violin teacher by the Suzuki Association of Americas. She has studied the Suzuki Method with Edward Kreitman, Pat D'Ercole and James Maurer.

Ms. Bubanj resides in Chicago as a freelance violist with various chamber ensembles. She is a faculty member at Sherwood Conservatory of Music in Chicago and devotes her artistic talent in teaching the Suzuki Method to children 3 and up on the violin and viola.

Phyllis Calderon, B.A., Violin Performance; Founder, early childhood music teacher; Suzuki-trained violin instructor
Mrs. Phyllis Calderon is a teacher-performer of violin, and owner of A Touch of Classical Plus (ATCP), a privately-owned provider of instrument instruction and production, and booking agent that specializes in music education through performance.  

As a teacher and business owner, Mrs. Phyllis coordinates events, instructs classes, and manages three teachers in her home-based studio. Located in the South Shore neighborhood of Chicago, ATCP offers Suzuki violin, viola, piano lessons, early childhood music classes (toddler to 5 years), and chamber ensemble for the intermediate-advanced students. As a teacher, she has coached beginning group violin at Apostolic Church of God Youth Music Program and the Hyde Park Suzuki Institute, and conducted the Intermediate Orchestra with the Hyde Park Youth Symphony, all in Chicago. She has also implemented programming in several schools including St. Philip Neri, Masters Academy, and Daystar School, as well as home school groups, and a partnership with the Chicago Public Schools at Jackie Robinson Elementary, for Grades PK-3. 

As a performer, she has played with the Whiting Festival Orchestra, and for recording artists Barry White, Nancy Wilson, Jerry Butler, Jerome Collins, Tina J. Crawley, and contributed her talents to the recording projects of Kym Franklin (Let the Beauty Be) and Grammy-nominated Angel Melendez & the 911 Mambo Orchestra. She also appeared on the Oprah Winfrey Show and alongside tap dancer sensation Bril Barrett of M.A.D.D. Rhythms for their 5th production of M.A.D.D. Rhythms: Unplugged, in a tap dance and violin duet of classical and hip-hop music. She also is part of the music ministry at the Chicago Church of Christ.

Outside of teaching in her home studio, Mrs. Phyllis teaches at Wirt-Emerson Visual & Performing Arts High School and Instructor with Chicago West Community Music Center.