Fun Music Lessons Exclusively for Residents of Lake Forest, Lake Bluff, & Knollwood -INSPIRING YOUTH SINCE 2001

Activator Academy Staff Bios, & Availability

We are pleased to present the bios of our Activator music instructors.  At Activator Academy, in partnership with CROYA, we specialize in empowering  young people to learn and to bring out the best in themselves.  Our qualified Music Instructors build a positive relationship with students - allowing them to feel encouraged, respected and valued...This in turn, helps students to become more creative and more capable. We see GREAT potential in every young person that enters our doors every day!


or call #847-477-7967 to make a reservation or to discuss placement questions. 


Tony Porter is our string instructor at Activator Academy.  Tony has performed all over the world and has mingled with the greats, including Yo-Yo Ma.  He has decades of teaching experience and is a perfect choice for beginning or advanced students. 

Violin, Viola, Cello and String Ensemble. 

Available: Online Lessons: Monday, Thursdays, Friday's & Saturdays


Sam Subar, a native of the Chicagoland area, began playing drums at age 11. With a natural sensibility behind the kit and the ability to learn by ear early on, Sam’s relationship with rhythm and music bloomed quickly. It didn’t take long for him to realize music would be a passion he’d want to pursue for the rest of his life. Sam’s adolescent years revolved around continually improving behind the drum set through: practicing at home and taking private lessons, participating in his high school music program, and playing professionally with a variety of groups in various musical contexts both locally and internationally. After graduating high school, Sam had the great fortune of attending Berkeley College of Music on scholarship where he took his drumming to new heights and graduated with honors in 2019. Once completing his degree, Sam moved back to Chicago where he currently spends his time pursuing a freelance career in teaching, performing, producing, and djing. Sam is passionate about spreading his love for rhythm and music with others. He mentors individuals of all ages through sharing everything he’s learned and teaches the necessary techniques to open one’s heart, mind, and four-way coordination to the endless musical possibilities that exist behind the drum set. 

Drummer / Percussionist / Piano

Available: 2pm- 6pm Monday & Thursdays


Michael friends drew him into becoming a musician. His best friend was a guitar player and he wanted Michael to join a band. Then came the need for a bassist and he had found his instrument. Today, Michael performs and teaches bass, keyboards, guitar and vocals using skills he’s build over years of playing in bands from here to New Orleans. He’s played with such legends as Marquis Hill, Isaiah Collier, Ramsey Lewis, and Sugar Blue.

Michael inspires his student through his great talent and his way of connecting to his students’ music visions. He ties them together with analogies that create imagery his students use to understand music concepts and to energize their efforts.

Guitar, Bass, Voice & Piano

Jazz to Rock!

Available Thursday's


“With a growing passion for music since I first heard it I've always strived to learn, grow and educate myself and now others on a wide range of topics and techniques that flow throughout many kinds of music. With years of hands on guitar playing, piano and bass playing I'm committed to grow as a musician and teacher of these wonderful instruments.” 

Guitar, Bass & Piano

Available Mondays & Thursdays.


Little Dreamers has been directing "Little Dreamers" and teaching Voice, Piano, Uke and Guitar at Activator Academy since the opening of the new CROYA Student Union. She is very thankful for the opportunity to work in such an exciting environment. She is a 2008 graduate of Lake Forest College with a double major in Music and Communication.  She works at the First Presbyterian Preschool in Lake Forest, IL as a Music Teacher.  While she enjoys working with children of all ages, teaching the fundamentals of music to beginners is her specialty. Ami loves spending time with her husband Andrew and two children, Jimmy and Emi! 

Ami is currently teaching Little Dreamers on Saturday mornings!