Des Plaines Park District

Des Plaines Music Academy Instructors

Mick Archer

Classically trained (American Conservatory, University of Illinois, B. A., Masters Program in Music Liturgy/St. Joseph College)), Archer has established a career that encompasses Blues, Jazz, Rock, Celtic, Liturgical, Country and Folk/Americana music as pianist, singer, guitarist, songwriter and band leader. He has performed in many styles and genres throughout metropolitan Chicago, across the US, in Japan, Holland, Germany, Ireland, England, Denmark, Sweden, Estonia, Finland and Norway. Currently Mick has recorded 4 albums and leads THE BLUES 88’s. As an opening act, he’s worked with Ray Charles, Jay Leno, The Tommy Dorsey Orchestra, Styx, Ted Nugent and The Dells, and as a sideman with The Drifters, The Platters, Tito Puente, Sugar Blue, Bill Acosta, Milt Trenier and Red Holt. On top of that Mick has also had a distinguished career as a teacher at The Old Town School of Folk Music, The City Colleges Of Chicago, Park Ridge Park District, Family Piano/Waukegan, and for many years in his own studio in The Fine Arts Building in Chicago’s South Loop.

John Ley

John Ley holds a degree in music education from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and a Master’s degree from VanderCook College of Music in Chicago. He has been teaching private music lessons for over ten years to a variety of ages from Kindergarten through adults. He has played and sang with a number of ensembles from rock bands and traditional Irish music to concert choirs and jazz ensembles. John’s goals for his students are to develop a long-lasting love for music and to improve their musical abilities to best express themselves as individuals.

Janet Thompson

Janet Thompson is a musician and artist with a lifelong passion for piano and the Fine Arts. She began taking piano lessons at age 7 and continued into college. Janet grew up in Des Plaines and attended Cumberland and Chippewa schools, and Maine West High School. In eighth grade she had her first experience as a piano accompanist for the Chippewa Glee Club, and continued accompanying small children’s and adult choirs throughout the years. Janet graduated from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, with a BFA degree, and began a career in Art, design, and photography. She later became an Art Teacher, and for many years taught children and adults the joy of Art. Janet is married to Mark Thompson and they have three children, and now they enjoy their three grandchildren. With her passion for the Arts, Janet enjoys teaching piano to children and adults with the hope of instilling in them the same love of music.

Administrative & Leisure Center2222 Birch Street • 847-391-5700

Golf Center Des Plaines353 N. River Road • 847-803-GOLF

Lake Park Golf Course & Marina1015 Howard Avenue • 847-391-5730

Mountain View Adventure Center510 E. Algonquin Road • 847-391-5733

Mystic Waters2025 Miner Street • 847-391-5740

Prairie Lakes Aquatic Center515 E. Thacker Street • 847-390-4949

Prairie Lakes Community Center515 E. Thacker Street • 847-391-5711