Kindermusik® Faculty

Contact us at / 847-467-4739.

Amy Shinohara (Kindermusik® Coordinator)

amyAmy Shinohara has been an educator for the past 20 years.  A graduate of Cornell University with a degree in Communication, she is also an accomplished classical pianist.  Amy began teaching Kindermusik classes in Connecticut as a way to combine her passions for education and music.  Her studio grew rapidly and was quickly recognized as a Kindermusik Maestro studio. She moved with her family to the Chicago area 4 years ago, where she received her Master’s degree from Erikson Institute in Early Childhood Education, specializing in children with special needs. She continues to teach preschool to children with special needs and is thrilled to resume teaching Kindermusik at Northwestern University.

Pat Heineman-Vernon

PatPatricia Heineman-Vernon has been teaching music to young children for over 30 years. She has a B.A. degree in music education from Mundelein College. She has been a licensed Kindermusik® educator since 1992 and was named a Kindermusik® Maestro in 2002 and 2003 for her success in sharing the Kindermusik® experience with large numbers of families. She is director of the Center for Musical Development in Skokie. She is an active member of the Suzuki Association of the Americas and the National Guild of Piano Teachers and has formerly served on the faculties of the Wheaton College Suzuki Program, Mundelein College, the Suzuki Music Academy of Chicago and the Jack Benny Center for the Performing Arts. Ms. Heineman-Vernon is a guest clinician at the Blue Lake Fine Arts Camp in Michigan every summer. She is continually attending workshops and conferences to learn as much as possible about early childhood music. She is the mother of two children, a cellist, and a trombonist.

Jennifer Merry

JenniferJennifer Merry has been on the faculty of the Music Academy since 1989. She holds two Masters Degrees from Northwestern; one in piano performance and pedagogy, and one in music education. She also received an undergraduate degree from Eastern Washington University in piano performance. Ms. Merry has been involved with early childhood music for many years. From 1992 to 2006, she coordinated the pre-piano program in the Music Academy and taught a number of classes for 5 and 6 year old beginners. She was also the founder and director for six years of Music Together of Glenview, a family music program for children ages 0 to 4 and their parents or caregivers. Most recently, she taught general music and chorus for five years at Our Lady of Perpetual Help School in Glenview. In addition to her teaching, Ms. Merry sings alto in the Apollo Chorus of Chicago, and also enjoys playing the recorder and ukulele!

Jia-Yee Tang

jia-yeeJia-Yee Tang received her Master of Music degree in Piano Performance from Northwestern University and her Bachelor of Arts in Music with an emphasis in Piano Performance from the University of California, San Diego. Her previous teachers include Virginia Weckstrom, Marcia Bosits, Elizabeth Buccheri and Stefani Walens. She is the recipient of the Dr. Milton H Saier, Sr. Memorial Award from UCSD and the MTNA Student Achievement Recognition Award from NU. Past musical activities include attending the Aspen Music Festival and giving a recital featuring the works of contemporary composer George Crumb. She is a member of MTNA and will serve as a board member for 2008-2009. She has been on faculty at the Academy since 2006 and also teaches at the Highland Park campus of the Music Institute of Chicago. In addition to teaching, she remains an active accompanist in the Chicago area, primarily working in collaboration with musicians from Northwestern University.

Contact us at / 847-467-4739.