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Our Experienced Music Instructors

School of Rock has experienced music instructors

Our Experienced Music Instructors

School of Rock Atlanta’s music teachers are experienced musicians devoted to helping students attain musical proficiency. From singing to drums to guitar, our Atlanta music instructors inspire and teach students to perform live.

Wheat Williams Vocal Instructor, Piano Teacher, Guitar Teacher, Bass Guitar Teacher

Atlanta native Wheat Williams teaches voice, guitar, bass guitar and keyboard at School of Rock Atlanta. He studied operatic singing and earned a Bachelor of Music degree from Georgia State University, with previous studies at Belmont University School of Music in Nashville, Tennessee. Wheat is a professional church choral singer, with a lifetime of experience in traditional worship and classical music. He can also be found prowling Atlanta club stages singing rock and jazz with the BadAsh Allstar Team and at open mic jam sessions. He draws on formal technique and music theory in the service of teaching kids to play from a solid foundation.

His background in the music business extends to years as a freelance music journalist for national magazines, interviewing renowned rock, country, jazz and classical artists, and a period as a publicist for country music record labels in Nashville. For three years he was the part-time business manager for the Atlanta Baroque Orchestra, a leading early music chamber group. Before that he was a volunteer and consultant to the Bob Moog Memorial Foundation, which applies electronic music to music education.

With years of experience tutoring elementary school children, Wheat always strives to understand each student from their own perspective, encouraging as well as challenging, and helping each one to find their own voice.

Linda Levine Guitar Teacher

Linda Levine was born into a musical family, and started playing the piano by ear at age three. As a child, she took piano lessons for three years and drum lessons for four years, and then, at age 14, discovered the guitar. She taught herself to play the guitar in order to join a school guitar club, and has considered it her main instrument ever since. In the 12th grade, she started studying jazz guitar and theory at a small music school in Johnston, R.I. In college, Linda studied jazz guitar, theory, composition and ear-training at the Mannes Conservatory of Music in New York City, where she also learned to play the bass guitar.

After leaving college, Linda took a luthiery (guitar building) course at the Roberto-Venn School of Luthiery in Phoenix, AZ and earned a Certificate of Luthiery. She then moved to Jerusalem, Israel, where she lived for 10 years, teaching guitar and performing with a variety of other musicians and bands. While living in Israel, she also played bass and banjo on the all-women's band Tofa'ah's first album, and recorded an album of original folk-style songs.

Since moving back to the U.S., Linda has taught private guitar, bass, banjo, ukulele and keyboard lessons, as well as music classes for preschoolers, and has performed with various musicians and bands. She currently plays guitar, bass and keys with the BadAsh Allstars. As a guitar teacher at School of Rock Atlanta, Linda tries to find out how each student learns best, and tailors lessons to meet the needs, interests and learning styles of each student.

Dan Coddaire Guitar Teacher

Dan Coddaire began playing guitar at the age of 14. Coming from a family with a mother who is a gospel singer and a father who had a deep love for music, his transition into a musician was a fluid and seamless one. After some initial teaching and schooling, he became largely self-taught as his musical journey continued. Dan did some touring with bands he started in the underground punk and hardcore scene in Northern California before joining the band he currently plays with, Set Your Goals. Dan has toured for many years with Set Your Goals, playing festivals and shows all over the world, from the US, Mexico and Canada to Europe, Asia and Australia. Dan hopes to teach students how to channel their passion for music into their performance and inspire them with knowledge and wisdom he has gained from his extensive touring experience as a guitar teacher and Music Director at School of Rock Atlanta.

Gary Hirschman Piano Teacher

Gary Hirschman has been playing piano/keyboards and singing since the age of eight. He played in several rock bands in high school, then received extensive classical training at the California Institute of the Arts, earning a BFA in Music in 1976. For the next 10 years he gigged professionally, first in Baltimore, MD playing Top 40 rock, then in New York City as part of the downtown music scene (punk rock, new wave and art-rock). After a short stint in the business world Gary entered the public school system in 1989, teaching general music, chorus and band in elementary schools for 26 years, first in the Bronx and later in Westchester County, and earning a Master's Degree in Music Education along the way. He specialized in musical theater, putting on productions of full-length Broadway shows and incorporating dramatics, solo/choral singing and choreography. He has also been teaching private piano lessons for over 10 years. After retiring from teaching in 2016 he relocated to Atlanta with his wife Michelle and is now working with her on a club act (she is also a singer). Gary’s goals as a piano teacher at School of Rock Atlanta are to instill a love of music in his students, as well as provide comprehensive instruction which incorporates music notation, playing by ear and music theory.

Paul Nance General Manager

Paul Nance has played drums since the age of nine. The moment he held a pair of drumsticks, he knew it would be a life-long pursuit. His love of drumming has led to many opportunities for him within the music industry, including live performance, live sound engineering, private instruction, and radio and TV. He received a B.S. in Music Recording Technology. Most recently he was the drummer for Philadelphia-based band The Loud Company. He currently works as a freelance drummer/percussionist in Atlanta, GA. Being both self-taught and studied, Paul understands that students learn in different ways. As a (former) instructor, it is his hope that through being able to read basic music notation and implement active listening skills new drummers will be able to grasp the fundamentals of how playing the drums can become their own lifelong pursuit. As General Manager for School of Rock Atlanta, it is his hope that all students become proficient in playing their chosen instrument, experience the same joy of playing music with others as he has, and, most importantly, that all School of Rock Atlanta students have FUN playing music.

John Barrett Bass Guitar Teacher

John Barrett began his musical career taking drum lessons, but soon switched to piano and, starting in high school, bass guitar. He has been playing bass for almost 17 years and has been singing for almost 15. Though he didn't major in music, in high school and college he took several music theory and music performance-related courses that greatly expanded and solidified his knowledge of music theory. Primarily versed in playing rock and pop music styles, John also has a strong understanding of and appreciation for jazz and jam-oriented music. He was the lead vocalist and bassist of his own original rock band, Vincent the Dog, from 2010 to 2017 and currently plays around town in a Phish tribute band called Skyballs. John emphasizes a balance of formal conceptualization and gut instinct in playing. He stresses the importance of having a solid grasp on music theory in order to understand complex musical concepts and build on them, but also knowing how to simultaneously let go of that knowledge and harness the rawer, more instinctual elements of groove in a song. Above all he encourages students to develop their ears. His goal is to build his students' confidence on their instrument so they can have fun and deliver musically accurate, engaging performances when on stage and when playing with others. He is a bass guitar teacher at School of Rock Atlanta.

Asaf Frias Drum Teacher

Asaf Frias has been drumming for over a decade and is passionate about sharing his knowledge with his students. At the age of seven he fell in love with drumming one day when he ran into a drum circle. He'd never witnessed such an uplifting experience, and it caused him to seek more of that incomparable energy. After a few years of being self-taught he joined percussion in school, where he participated in symphonic band, marching band, pep band, jazz band and percussion ensemble. For his great dedication, hard work and musicianship he was awarded the Louis Armstrong Award. He is enrolled at Atlanta Institute of Music for Audio Engineering and is an alumni of their drum program. Asaf is currently the drummer for the band Coletta. He is a drum teacher at School of Rock Atlanta.

Jake Handley Guitar Teacher

Hailing from the island of Oahu, Jake Handley is an instructor who is equally knowledgable and passionate. After viewing the cinematic masterpiece "School of Rock," Jake embarked upon a lifelong journey to master the guitar. In his early years, he studied under Coy Bowles of the Zac Brown Band and subsequently continued his training with Johnny McGowan through his late teens. Jake has a strong foundation in blues, punk and surf rock. Some primary influences include Stevie Ray Vaughn, The Clash and The B-52s. With over 10 years of professional experience and collaboration in the industry, Jake is certified to inspire the minds of aspiring musicians. He is a guitar teacher at School of Rock Atlanta.

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