The MIW Team
Our staff is no orginary group of office workers. Everyone on this team from the receptionist to the directors are deeply involved in the music scene from musicians and DJ's, to producers and engineers.
One of the coolest things about MIW is that when you take a class you also get to work with special guests like Grammy Award winning artist Rhymefest or critically accliamed bands Train Wreck Symphony.
Award Winning Instructors
MIW has over 40 expert instructors. This amazing team of industry experts and professional educators includes some of the top artists, producers, DJs, engineers, and business executives in the industry.
Instructors also include Grammy Award winners, entertainment lawyers, record label and artist development specialists, college professors, bestselling authors, and other gurus.
MIW instructors offer students real world experience along with a sincere passion for teaching and sharing their knowledge with others. Students also gain valuable connections with our instructors that will benefit them throughout their career.
+ Chuck Kawal - Voted Chicago's Top Recording and Mixing Instructor
Quite simply one of the best recording and production teachers on the planet. Chuck has been teaching at Columbia College for 25 years. He's been with MIW since the beginning (15 years), and he's been engineering and making music for nearly 30 years. Chuck has forgotten more about recording and production than most people will ever learn in their lifetime. He's consistently voted on the top instructors in the region and we're proud to have him on the team.
+ Che "Rhymfest" Smith - Grammy Award Winner
Grammy Award-winner Che "Rhymefest" Smith is a revolutionary artist, writer, and activist. Rhymefest has been a vocal advocate for Hip Hop artists worldwide. As an emcee, Rhymefest defeated the lyrical wizard Eminem and was a two time winner of Scribble Jam (1997 and 2003). Rhymefest came into the national spotlight after co-writing “Jesus Walks” with his childhood comrade Kanye West. Fest contributed significantly to the works by Queen Latifah and Lil Jon to name a few. As an educator, Fest is about as 'real' as it gets. His wisdom runs deep.
+ Brian Boncher - Amazing DJ, Producer, Remix Artist
Brian is one of the most talented and passionate instructors you will ever meet. He's been in the DJ and music production field for over 15 years. To say Brian is beloved by his students is an understatement. He has mentored some of the top DJ's and producers in Chicago (former MIW students!) and his skills as a producer, remix artist, and musician are renowned. Brian often works with other artists, DJs and producers, including B96’s Alex Peace, San Diego’s Charles Feelgood and Chicago’s Twitchin Skratch, to produce tracks for various projects. His mixes and remixes have been heard throughout the U.S. and Europe. He has released numerous tracks on _FADEDMUZIK, B Down Records, Distorted Muzik.
+ DJ Flipside - One of the Best DJ's on the Planet
DJ Flipside is a world famous mix-show DJ, club DJ, producer/remixer and turntablist. His work ethic has put him on the map in the Chicago music scene by playing five nights a week, submitting mixes for the radio and producing songs for artists. Flipside can be heard on Chicago’s B96 radio station, where he deejays Monday through Friday. Through his work with B96, he has spun at festivals, clubs, and other venues in front of thousands of fans. As a producer and remixer, Flipside works on hip-hop and house projects with major labels and local artists including Kevin Rudolph and P. Diddy to name a few. Flipside also served as a music consultant for EA Games’ sports video game, Fight Night Round 2, and contributed to many other games. Anyone interested in learning how to DJ will be glad they got schooled by Flipside.
+ Ricco Lumpkins - Grammy Award Winner
Grammy Award winner Ricco Lumpkins is one of the hottest producers and engineers in Chicago. When he's not working in Atlanta, LA, NY, Miami, he rolls up his sleeves and shows students how its done for real. Ricco knows how to get that pro sound like know one else. He's definitely one of the instructors that you need to know.
+ Andy Bosnak - One of Chicago's Best Engineer-Producer-Musicians
Andy Bosnak’s lifelong love of music and years of studio work make him a perfect match for anyone looking to learn about recording and production. Andy has built a strong reputation as an artist, engineer, producer working comfortably in just about any genre including shoegazer, punk, indie rock, emo-pop, jazz, lounge music, blues, folk, classical and beyond. Andy'sclients include CanKyRee, Bob Ezrin, Bound Sterns, Califone, Manishevitz, Matthew, The Lavellas, Nick Moss and The Verve Pipe. His commercial clients include Disney, McDonald’s, and Allstate to name a few. Andy is also a musician, currently playing guitar in post-metal band Beak. Andy is a key member of the MIW faculty and a favorite among students.
+ Alex Peace - World Renowned DJ-Producer
World Renowned Artist Alex Peace is considered by some to be the 'voice' of House Music. Alex has worked with some of Electronic Music's heaviest of hitters with countless releases available at Beatport.com. He is currently performing all over the world with Bad Boy Bill on the Behind The Decks LIVE Tour while maintaining residencies in Chicago, IL and San Antonio, TX. The CEO of his own production company, aptly entitled _FADEDMUZIK; Alex has become a fixture on the airwaves producing commercial jingles and voiceovers for multiple types of clientele ranging from the Electronic Underground to Fortune 500 Companies. This, combined with his reputation for delivering some of the best Mix Compilations and live performances, are just a few reasons why this Multi-Dimensional Entertainer is a House Music Icon.
+ Orville Kline - Electronic Music-Production-Remix-DJ Guru
As Orville Kline continues to gain national acclaim as one of the top DJ's, remix artists, and electronic music programmers in the country, we delight in the fact that he is also a former MIW student (class of 2002). As a certified Ableton trainer, Orville has the academic skills to deliver a potent learning experience. As an electronic music guru, Orville can deliver a perspective that few can match.
+ Thomas Faulds - The King of Ableton and Native Instruments
Thomas IS Ableton (and Native Instruments). He is the top Ableton and Native Instruments instructor in the Midwest, he is one of only (3) Ableton super specialists in the country, he is also one of (3) Native Instruments product specialists in the country, and he teaches exclusively at MIW! Thomas is also a talented musician and remix artist. We're proud to have Thomas on the team. If you're into music production, this is the guy you want to learn from.
+ Randy Chertkow - Author of the Indie Band Survival Guide
Author, artist, entrepreneur, and educator. When it comes to the world of independant music, few people can match Randy's expertise. Randyand his co-author Jason Feehan literally wrote the book on how independant artists, producers, DJ's, and labels can effectively navigate this ever changing music industry. Randy and Jason have written several books on the subject including the Indie Band Survival Guide, the DIY Music Manual, Planning Your Album from Beginning to End, and countless other articles, blogs, and podcasts for industry magazines including Remix Magazine. If you want to get filled up with rediculous amounts of knowledge, Randy is the guy and you can only find him at MIW.
+ Louis Svitek - Legendary Musician, Producer, Label Executive
Louis Svitek is a legendary musician and former guitarist for a number of bands including M.O.D., Ministry, Pigface, Mind Funk, The Hollow steps and Project .44. His work can also be found in many movie soundtracks such as The Matrix and Blue Hill Avenue. Louis and partner Ryan McGuire founded their own recording studio and independent record label, "WuLi Records", in Chicago, IL. WuLi Records is responsible for discovering Chicago's acts such as The Redd, 2 Unique, Young Inno, The Waking, and American Idol 2010 winner Lee DeWyze. As an instructor, Louis brings real world insight that helps aspiring artists, producers, and promoters understand what the music industry is really like.
+ Stefan Benteler - Studio and Live Sound Engineer for the Stars
Stefan Benteler is one of Chicago’s hit men when it comes to sound engineering. Aside from being personal sound engineer to Grammy Award-winner Rhymefest, Stefan has also made a name for himself as President of Chicago Pro Sound. He does double duty as both a studio engineer and live sound engineer. In addition, Stefan works as a technical director, audio director, and chief engineer for a number of venues and productions throughout the Midwest. Few people can match his technical qualifications or his passion for music.
+ James Teitelbaum - 20 Year Veteran Studio and Live Sound Engineer
James Teitelbaum one of those rare individuals with a knack for combining technical and creative environments. James has been engineering and producing for more than 20 years. James enjoys an international clientele of major label artists, corporate clients, and festivals. James is also one of the pioneering electronic music technicians in Chicago. His knowledge of synthesis and MIDI production is unequaled. James has been teaching for 15 years and his warm but intense demeanor makes him a class favorite. Especially among the 'geeks'.
+ Janie Jennings - Chicago's Top Artist Developer
Janie is one of the top Hip Hop artist developers in the country right now. Her recent clients include Twista and Scareface. Janie has worked for countless artists and labels over the years, Her primary focus is developing programs for distribution, marketing and promotion of record releases. If you want to learn how to drop a track – Janie will teach you everything you need to know, and then some.
+ Kenyon Scott - One of Chicago's Top Audio and Video Instructors
Kenyon is one of Chicago's top technical experts in both audio and video. Kenyon is a major league engineer, producer, director, technician, artist, and editor. His clients include Madonna, Kanye, Chantay Savage, Vertical Hold, Malik Yusef, Biggie Smalls, Chaka Khan, Luther Vandrose, Kinky Knotti, and countless others. Kenyon is a versatile instructor who can help you build a remix and show you how to shoot the video for the song. He's the epitome of the term multi faceted.
+ Agatha Kubalski - Business, Marketing, and Social Media Guru
Agatha Kubalski is a public relations professional with experience in Hispanic market communications, social media, word of mouth marketing and media relations. She also teaches classes on public relations and social media, and consults local businesses on these topics. Agatha enjoys examining small businesses in Chicago that are owned by and serve the diverse communities found throughout the city. If you're an artist, DJ, or music entrepreneur, this is one of the most important instructors you could ever meet. Agatha's teaching could change your life in one day.
+ Mark Yoshizumi - Sound Engineer, Musician, and Technical Genius
Mark is well recognized as one of the top sound engineers in Chicago. Few people understand the synergy between music and sound like Mark. His expertice as both a musician, composer, and engineer make him a rare breed. Mark's clients range from local artists to national acts like Lupe Fiasco. Mark also teaches at DePaul University.
+ Daniel Hetzel - One of Chicago's Top Entertainment Lawyers
Dan Hetzel is one of the most passionate and dedicated entertainment lawyers working in Chicago. Dan has worked tirelessly over the years to help local artists get their contracts and legal matters in order. Many of his clients refer to him as their guardian angel because he goes to such great lengths to ensure that local artists do not get expoited or taken advantage of. MIW is proud to have someone on the team that is so dedicated to helping the local music community. He also makes the legal stuff easy to understand for the rest of us.
+ Ramsey Dean - "The Label Maker"
Ramsey Dean may be the most connected industry contact you will ever meet. His experience dates back to the war rooms of Manhattan working with bands like Guns n’ Roses, Poison, Metallica, Pantera, Pearl Jam, Nine Inch Nails, Ministry, XTC, Snoop Dogg, Pit Bull, Ja Rule, Lil’ John, Hawthorne Heights, Atreyu, and hundreds of others. Recently relocated to Chicago, Ramsey is one of a handful of true label development and marketing specialists living in the Midwest. Ramsey’s connections are deep, and his passion for education is just as intense. This is one the people you NEED to know.
+ Jay B Ross - The Godfather of all Entertainment Lawyers
Jay B. Ross iswidely considered the 'Godfather' of entertainment lawyers. He's been practicing law since 1968! jay has negotiated recording, licensing and publishing agreements with every major record company and with most of the prominent television and film corporations. As the music industry continues to evolve, Jay is also working with record companies and artists who are looking to receive digital royalties that were not necessarily included in older contracts. Jay has been recognized by New City Magazine as one of the 45 most influential people in the Chicago music scene. He's been teaching at Columbia College and MIW for many years and his ability to make the music business understandable is uncanny.
+ Coleen Spapperi - Hardest Working Woman in Music
Coleen Spapperi is President of Starsounds, one of the top artist management and development groups in Chicago. Coleen has more than 20 years experience working in just about every facet of music from DJ’ing (she was one of the first female DJ’s in Chicago), to working for labels (Universal Music Group, MCA, Geffen, DGC, Motown, GRP records), to working directly with artists such as Ministry, Rev. Horton Heat, Anthrax, Marz, and many others. Currently Coleen manages several of Chicago’s top Hip Hop, Electronic, and Latin artists including Outbreak, NorthRock 360, Orville Kline, Villaran, and Train Wreck Symphony. Coleen is one of the most passionate instructors we’ve ever seen so get ready.
+ Carter Russell - 35 Year Veteran Music Marketer
With over 35 years of experience in the music industry, Carter Russell is recognized as one of the top music promoters in the country. His company, Carter Russell Music, has developed many hundreds of clients over the years. Carter has worked for a number of major labels including Universal Music Group, Elektra Entertainment Group and Buddha Records. Carter has been successful in promoting artists such as: Birdman, Chamillionaire, Lil’ Wayne, Lloyd and Kem, Anita Baker, Peabo Bryson, Phyllis Hyman, Teddy Pendergrass Grover Washington, and countless others. He has received numerous gold and platinum sales awards, from Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA), for his achievements. Few people have enjoyed such an illustrious career, and even fewer are willing to give back as much as Carter. He is one of the most experienced instructors at MIW and a treasure to learn from.
+ David "DT" Taylor - Amazing Songwriter, Composer, Musician
David is one of the most well respected artists in Chicago. David has an immense talent for capturing, creating, combining musical elements. His expertice includes singer, songwriter, composer, producer, music director, and artist developer. His clients range from local artists to fortune 500 corporations. There are some people who just have such a grasp of music that it comes natural. David is a fantastic instructor who really dedicates himself to making sure that every student gets the attention they need.
+ Martin Stebbing - Multiple Gold and Platinum Records
Martin Stebbing has been working as a professional engineer, producer, and musician for more than 30 years. Martin has worked with a large number of Gold and Platinim selling artists including Poi Dog Pondering, Wilco, R.Kelly, Will Smith, Krash Man, Public Announcement, Billy Ocean, KMFDM, Primal Scream, George Clinton, Naked Raygun, and thousands more. Martin is considered one of the premier engineer producers to come out of Chicago.
+ Mike Stern - One of the Top Experts in the Country
Considered one of the top radio and marketing experts in the country, Mike Stern has done it all. His experience in radio includes program director for one of the biggest radio stations in the country (Q-101). Mike has expanded his reach to a national level. He now operates a coaching service for radio personalities and directors. Radio has always played an important role in music and Mike is one of the few people who can explain how things work from the inside out.
+ Lee Barrie - Music Publicity and Media Guru
Lee brings more than twenty-five years experience in marketing, media management and corporate communications. He manages a broad array of marketing, business development, account service and communications functions. He is a partner at Kurman Communications, one of the leading media communications and publicity firms in Chicago. Lee is recognized as a pioneer in the world of PR and media. As a musician, Lee is able to apply his extensive skill set to create relevent strategies for success in today's music industry. Lee is definitely one of the most important instructors at MIW. You don't want to miss his class.
+ Cindy Kurman Barrie - One of Chicago's Media Power Players
Cindy Kurman Barrie is undoubtedly one of Chicago's power players when it comes to PR and media. Cindy is founder and president of Kurman Communications (est. 1983). Her clients include a mixture of Fortune 500 companies and small businesses. In 2003, Kurman was named as one of the founding members of Today’s Chicago Woman Hall of Fame. She also received the Women in Communications Entrepreneur Award in 1983 and is listed in Who’s Who in Women, Who’s Who in the Midwest, Who’s Who in Business Leaders, IBC Advisory Council and Outstanding Young Women in America. Cindy understands the music industry very well and the perspective she is able to share with students is invaluable.
+ Jason Feehan - Author of the Indie Band Survival Guide
Jason is co-author (with fellow MIW instructor Randy Chertkow) of several books including the Indie Band Survival Guide, the DIY Music Manual, Planning Your Album from Beginning to End, and countless other articles, blogs, and podcasts for industry magazines including Remix Magazine. Much like Randy, Jason is beyond expert on the subject of independant music, he is a true qualified guru. Together Jason and Randy provide a perspective that few instructors can match.
+ Maurice White - 35 Year Music Industry Icon and Educator
Maurice is truly an icon in the music scene with more than 30 years in the music industry working for every major label. Maurice White is widely recognized as a specialist in the field of music marketing and promotions. He is currently the Singles National Director at Koch Entertainment, the leading and fastest-growing independent music company in the U.S. He is also the owner of Urban Marketing of America, which promotes records for every major record label. His expertice in the field of music marketing and artist development is unequaled. In addition to serving as an instructor at Music Industry Workshop, Maurice also teaches graduate students studying for a Masters in Music Business at Columbia College.
+ Julie Hewitt - Financial Expert to Chicago's Music Industry
Julie is the accountant and financial expert for Chicago's music and arts community. She specializes in supporting local musicians, bands, labels, producers, as well as all other forms of arts and entertainment. Julie is well recognized for her work in these fields. Her lessons focus on how local artists and entertainers can better manage their finances. Julie is an extremely vaulable addition to the MIW team.
+ Bill McCormick - One of the Most Experienced Executives in Music
Bill McCormick has been in the music industry for more than 30 years as a DJ, musician, license agent and label executive. He has had 15 Billboard charting hits, 10 major film soundtracks, multiple TV show contracts and numerous video game licenses. Bill's projects have included Confessions of a Shopoholic, Fast and the Furious 4 and Terminator: Salvation, Blues Brothers 2000, The Tuxedo (DreamWorks), and countless others. Bill served as a license agent for numerous artists including James Brown, Ray Charles, The Dells, and The Chi Lites. As a DJ, Bill was the first to play house music on commercial radio and the first to play industrial music on commercial radio in the Midwest. Bill is a walking encyclopedia.
+ Ella Bramwell - Leading Expert on Music Distribution
Ella Bramwell is one of the area’s leading experts in marketing and distribution. She is currently the CEO of Untamed Marketing, a music marketing company that offers market development and local and national independent music distribution for independent artists from all genres. She also teaches music marketing at Columbia College and Music Industry Workshop. Ella has worked for labels like Arista, Columbia, Epic, Jive, LaFace, RCA, and others. She brings a wealth of experience to the classroom.
+ Frank Chaplin - 40+ Years Developing and Promoting Artists
Frank Chaplin has more than 40 years of marketing and promotions experience in the music industry. Having worked for some of the industry’s biggest record labels, he is an expert in promoting various projects, including tours and album releases. Known as “Uncle Frank,” he continues to be considered one of the major players in the Chicago and national music scene. frank has worked closely with artists like 50 cent, Eminem, P. Daddy, Lil Wayne, Dr. Dre, LL Cool J, Beastie Boys, Carlos Santana, Prince, Earth Wind & Fire, Usher and Busta Rhymes. One of the most exciting teachers you will ever meet.