Aurora
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Our Experienced Music Instructors

School of Rock has experienced music instructors

Our Experienced Music Instructors

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

Singing Teacher, piano Teacher

Meghan DawsonSinging Teacher, piano Teacher

Meghan Dawson is a dedicated voice teacher and professional singer with years of experience both performing and teaching vocal technique in several different styles, namely opera, broadway, pop and rock. She is a strong believer in the potential of every voice to grow and improve with healthy technique based on modern research in vocal physiology. As a professional mezzo-soprano, Meghan has appeared in leading roles on the international operatic stage, won the Maria Callas award for lyric singers and recorded a studio album with Sony Music in Brazil. Her students have sung professionally in various musical theater productions in Brazil. She has also helped students prepare for both college and professional auditions, and has coached several students in the recording studio. Her students have been accepted into such prestigious programs as the Curtis Conservatory Summer Music Festival and the Manhattan School of Music. She has experience working with students of all ages and backgrounds, with a particular passion for working with young singers who are driven by a true love of music and are striving to reach new heights.
Drum Teacher

Carl Holzapfel Drum Teacher

Carl attended Berklee College of Music in Boston, MA. There he studied with the legendary teacher Alan Dawson. From the mid 70s to the mid 80s he played in the Washington, DC area with a number of original bands. Among the venues he's played are Kennedy Center Concert Hall, Merriweather Post Pavillion and Cellar Door in DC, The Other End and Folk City in New York City, Pine Knob Music Pavillion in Detroit, MI, and Tippitina's in New Orleans. Among the people Carl has opened for are Joan Armatrading, Steve Martin, Andy Kaufman, Bob Seger, Buffy St. Marie, Elvin Bishop, Rick Danko (The Band), Sea Level and George Thorogood. From the mid 80s to early 90s, he performed on a harbor cruise ship doing a mini Broadway revue, backing featured entertainers and playing a large variety of styles. Carl moved to Colorado in '92 and played with Lona Melton, who he toured Japan with; Wildcard, who he recorded two CDs with in CA and also did a month-long east coast tour with; and The Bill Wright Band, who he was on three local CDs with. Currently Carl plays with The Suitcase Kings and has also been teaching for several years.
piano Teacher, Trumpet Teacher

Donald Youngpiano Teacher, Trumpet Teacher

Donald Young is a graduate of Ft Lewis College (BA Music) and has over 30 years of experience as a professional keyboardist and multi-instrumentalist. He has played with some of Denver’s best groups, including Hot Lunch and The Freddie-Henchie Band, and has toured extensively in the western US as well as the Pacific Rim. He has opened for national recording artists such as KC & the Sunshine Band, The Temptations, Sir Mix-a-Lot and saxophonist Eric Darius. He is also a composer, arranger and session musician.

Terra SalazarPiano Teacher, Singing Teacher

Terra has an arts endorsed diploma from Denver School of the Arts, where she graduated with honors. After a brief stint at the University of Northern Colorado as a double major in Vocal Performance and Musical Theatre, she transferred to the University of Denver in 2013. Terra is a professional actor in Denver and the surrounding areas. She has performed in over 50 musical theater production ns the past 16 years. She has had the pleasure of performing in some of the best venues in the Denver area, such as The Bug Theatre, Mercury Café and Dazzle Night Club in addition to Stanford University, Harvard University, Boston Conservatory and The Ellie Caulkins Opera House. She has also opened for McPhly, Los Lonely Boys and WAR. Terra has been trained in classical voice, jazz, musical theatre and barbershop singing. She has been recognized with several awards from Downbeat, National Youth Theatre and 9 News Kids Who Care.

Mike MorrisBass Guitar Teacher, Drum Teacher

Mike Morris is a Colorado native, United States 101st Army Band veteran and a Fort Lewis College of Music graduate. Mike has performed in professional music ensembles since 2003, and has been teaching music professionally since 2012. Many musicians in the Denver and Boulder music scenes call Mike a chameleon musician, with the ability to play and teach many instruments and styles of music. His specialties range all the way from symphonic orchestral settings, to jazz, rock, funk and beyond. Some of the instruments he teaches exclusively include drum set and percussion, mallet percussion, bass guitar, piano and saxophone, but he can also demonstrate intermediate concepts on dozens of other instruments, including guitar, and woodwind and brass instruments. In his free time outside of music, Mike loves visiting family, going on hikes, playing tennis, working on real estate investing endeavors and cooking.

Jeevee BalanganSinging Teacher, Piano Teacher

Jeevee began playing the piano at three years old and started studying voice at the age of 14. He holds a Bachelor Degree with a dual emphasis in Music Business and Commercial Vocal Performance from The College of Arts and Media (CAM) at the University of Colorado Denver and an Associates of Music degree from the Community College of Denver. He graduated Magna Cum Laude at both institutions. Jeevee is a first place competition winner for the Donna Bogard Scholarship for Voice, a recipient of the Mike Barney Scholarship for Gifted Music Students, a consecutive College of Arts and Media Dean’s List scholar for all years attended at CU, an Honorary Mention for the National Association Teachers of Singing Competition, and an inductee of Phi Theta Kappa and Golden Key International Honor Societies. Originally from the Bay Area, Jeevee has had the pleasure of working with many artists from different backgrounds of musical styles including pop, R&B, jazz, classical, musical theater, hip-hop and gospel. Jeevee believes in the philosophy that “behind every great artist is a great teacher.” It is with this mentality that he has ignited his passion to teach music.

Greg FosterGuitar Teacher, Bass Guitar Teacher

Greg has become a staple in the Colorado music scene by playing and recording throughout the Midwest in a variety of cover and original bands ranging in styles from hard rock to country, to R&B/funk and blues. He is also a musical composer and producer that can be heard on albums from Millionaire Freaks and 2 Dog Tuesday among others. Bands of note include Nasty’s Nightmare (with KBPI's prime time DJ Uncle Nasty), Sheryl Renee, The Broken Everlys, Kelly J, Buckner FunkenJazz, Voodoo Kings and Carolina Reign. National artists that Greg has worked with or been an opening act for include Mr. Big, Savatage, Styx, Steve Morse Band, Chris Duarte, Jason Ricci, John Lee Hooker Jr., Joe Bonner and Hamilton Loomis. As an instructor he believes that learning the ‘why’ as well as the ‘how’ results in improved comprehension and performance.

Mitch MichaudGuitar Teacher, Bass Guitar Teacher

With music being a universal language, Mitch believes that everyone has inherent abilities musically, yourself included. Though he once had visions of being an ESPN star, music became the main focus (though he still plays a mean game of ping pong). Starting on violin at age 10, Mitch gravitated and graduated to guitar shortly before becoming a teenager. Since then he has far surpassed the 10,000 hour mark in studying, practicing, teaching, recording, writing and making live music. Drawing upon the influence of his time spent in Africa and India, Mitch aims to be able share his music and the ability for any and everyone to make marvelous music the world over.

Brendan SchusterSinging Teacher, Piano Teacher

Brendan has been doing music for over 17 years, and has played and sung professionally for much of it. He attended the University of Denver's Lamont School of Music, and received a degree in Vocal Performance, Jazz Studies and Commercial Music. He loves to play a wide variety of genres, from folk to jazz to rock, and is always eager to learn something new. Brendan is a native Coloradan and like many of them enjoys skiing, hiking and generally taking advantage of the nearby mountains.

Daniel CawleyDrum Teacher

Daniel Cawley was born in Somerville, NJ, where he began his academic life as a percussionist at the age of seven. For this seventh birthday he received a Remo practice pad and the drummer's bible, "Stick Control" by George Stone. Before that, his taste was strictly avant garde, refusing to play on anything but pots and pans. Daniel began taking lessons for the drum set at the age of eight and continued to take lessons until age 18. At 10, his family moved from New Jersey to North Carolina, where he would continue his love for music and expand from lessons to playing in various bands. In high school, Daniel would take private lessons from Robert Shi, Berkley Grad and the author of "Drummer's First Aid Kit." After high school, Daniel attended North Carolina State University for Business Management but was never able to shake his love for playing the drums, so after leaving business school he decided he would dedicate himself to finding, preparing for and getting accepted to a competitive music program. With the help of his capable wife, whom he met during this search, he was accepted to the Lamont School of Music at University of Denver. He is currently enrolled there, pursuing a degree in Jazz Studies for drum set under the studio of Mike Marlier. Teaching for Daniel embodies a passion to encourage and inform the artists of the future.

Katie WillardSinging Teacher, Piano Teacher

Katie Willard is a creative and fun instructor at School of Rock. When she’s not playing with the Little Wing classes or coaching her vocal and piano students, she’s teaching at Altitude Elementary School in CCSD as their music teacher. This right-brained artist also teaches yoga and designs jewelry when she has a spare moment. Being a world traveler has given Katie a unique and well-rounded perspective when it comes to music, teaching and living life to the fullest.

Adrian GarayGuitar Teacher, Bass Guitar Teacher

Adrian began playing music at age 11. He started playing guitar at age 11, amazed and inspired by Eddie Van Halen, Randy Rhodes, Jimmy Page and classic rock guitar heroes alike. Adrian is a recent graduate of The University Colorado Denver’s music program. There he studied under several jazz masters and movers and shakers in the music business. He has a dual degree in Jazz Guitar and Music Business. In college, he gained experience playing in singer-songwriter, jazz and pop-rock ensembles. Intrigued by jazz’s complexity and rock’s sound, he quickly gained interest and experience playing progressive rock and fusion. Adrian believes in a balanced approach to giving lessons, which makes your interest in the instrument a priority. Expect to learn through playing, talking and several examples. He lives and breathes music and is excited to share his discoveries with students.

Colin HotzMusic Director

Colin began playing guitar when he was 12 years old, which coincided with the explosion of grunge and alternative rock. He started his first garage band when he was 15, and steadily built up a life in music that led to his eventual decision to study music in college and graduate school. He received his first teaching position at 20 years old, working with students of all ages. After completing his graduate degree from the Manhattan School of Music, Colin held a teaching position at Creighton University before moving to Telluride to teach at the Telluride Music Company. Colin is a recording artist, recording and producing his own records, as well as doing session work for other artists. In addition to studio work Colin is still an active performer and has done concerts in several styles such as rock, classical, bluegrass, musical theater, choral and Americana singer-songwriter. He has performed across the United States and Australia. He has also done instrument competitions in Europe and the United States, including the National Flat-Picking Championships.

Carl SorensenDrum Teacher

Carl Sorensen started playing drums in his elementary school band. He continued learning music through middle school and high school by taking lessons and playing in jazz band, concert band and marching band. This led him to take his education to the next level at Berklee College of Music, where he studied with Jamey Haddad (Paul Simon), Terri Lynne Carrington (Herbie Hancock), and Kenwood Dennard (Jaco Pastorius) among many other world-class professionals. Carl has since built a reputation in Denver for being 'Denver's Hardest Working Musician' ("Westword," 2014), having played with 100+ different bands in the Denver metro area. Carl currently performs with Dragondeer, Chimney Choir and Extra Gold among others, as well as hosts multiple jam sessions.

Guy FrydenlundGuitar Teacher

Guy is a graduate of University Colorado Denver with a BA in Music Performance. He has played guitar for 10 years and has honed his skills as a performing artist throughout Colorado. He is a singer/songwriter that performs solo as well as with a full band. He loves all types of music and wants to help inspire young players by showing them the awesome potential of music. When he is not playing music he can be found hiking, biking, rock climbing or geeking out about cool guitar gear.

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