Ryan Schiff District Manager
Born and raised in Long Island, NY, Ryan began playing guitar at age 13 after seeing the movie "La Bamba" about rock legend Ritchie Valens. He studied with Grammy-nominated guitarist Steve Briody for several years before starting his own projects and soon became an instructor himself. While still in New York, his band Code Anchor independently released several EPs and one full-length album, "Rosada," while touring extensively nationwide from 2005-2009. A co-writer in the band, Ryan also played lead and rhythm guitar while singing lead and backup vocals. Memorable stages include the Vans Warped Tour at Nassau Coliseum and headlining bills at some of New York City's greatest venues like CBGB's and The Knitting Factory. It was during this time that Ryan began teaching at School of Rock in NY. Hungry to pursue new musical ventures, Ryan departed from Code Anchor and moved to Los Angeles in 2009. Since then, he's been busy writing, producing and performing with his newest project, Lou Pine. As a Sony/ATV artist, Lou Pine’s music has been featured on television shows like “Chicago Fire,” “Gordon Ramsay’s The F Word” and “Food Paradise." Ryan enjoys playing every genre, including jazz, funk, country and folk, but credits the blues and rock n' roll as his main influences. He is the district manager at School of Rock Burbank.
Selena Manzo General Manager
Raised in Los Angeles, Selena Manzo has always been passionate about music, from photographing concerts to working as health and safety at music festivals. She is currently back in school, pursuing degrees in Business, Graphic Design and Photography. You can catch her custom-made show posters around the school.
When she's not behind the front desk, she enjoys learning new things, gardening and being outdoors. Selena loves helping build an amazing community, creating rad artwork and running around with her camera at School of Rock shows. She is our General Manager at School of Rock Burbank.
Pierre Karlsson Music Director, Guitar Teacher, Bass Guitar Teacher
Before moving to Los Angeles to study music at the world renowned Musicians Institute (GIT), Pierre performed and recorded with various rock bands from his homeland, Sweden. Since graduating, Pierre Karlsson has established himself as a sought after guitarist, composer/arranger and music collaborator whose stylistic flexibility and enthusiasm speaks for itself.
He has been teaching at School of Rock since 2007, sharing his passion and love of music by being a guitar teacher and bass guitar teacher, and directing seasonal shows. Pierre is a multi-faceted musician with credits like the film "Night School" (starring Kevin Hart and Tiffany Haddish), "Green Eggs and Ham" (Warner Bros) and Hollywood Reel Film Festival winner "The Truth About Marriage," as well as many commercial and indie projects. He has recorded with artists ranging from Benny Mardones (Into the Night) to Dona Oxford and producer/engineer Rob Brill (Paul McCartney), as well as Billy Sullivan (Trekkies) and Daniel Mendez (Motley Crue). His playing has been featured on television broadcasts around the world, including recent credits "Sing Like a Star," "Daily Blast," "Evidence of Innocence" and "Xploration Awesome Planet."
Chad Wolfinbarger Assistant Music Director
Chad Wolfinbarger’s musical aspirations started innocently enough. Growing up in Charleston, South Carolina, he was introduced to New Wave through his sister. By the time he got to junior high, Chad had graduated to Iggy Pop, but the Euro-centric sounds of Depeche Mode, The Cure and even Falco had also made a permanent mark on his psyche. At 20, Chad grabbed his guitar, boarded a plane for the very first time and moved to Los Angeles. To make ends meet, he held a string of odd jobs — working as an extra on a Celine Dion video, cleaning toilets in exchange for studio time — and eventually landed an internship with renowned songwriter Diane Warren. The affable Chad eventually networked his way to a job at a small label, and through new relationships in the industry found himself house-sitting for a friend of famed Swedish producer Max Martin. Chad labored on and continued to refine his songwriting skills. The day came when he decided that it was now or never and as fate would have it, a phone call that very night would mean things were going to happen a lot faster than he ever imagined. His band's first record went platinum with the single "Show Me What I’m Looking for." The second record paved the way for the band to play arenas with Kelly Clarkson, Gavin DeGraw The Fray, One Republic, Rob Thomas and Lindsey Sterling. His newest band, Federal Empire, is currently charting at alternative radio across the U.S. He is the Assistant Music Director at School of Rock Burbank.
Nick Mason Drum Teacher
Nick Mason, is an international touring/studio drummer and music educator. Over his 30-year career in the music industry he has appeared on countless albums, movie soundtracks, music videos, TV shows and feature films. As an educator he helped build and manage the Buffalo Music School in Western New York. He conducts clinics, music seminars and artist consultations. Nick has one of the busiest private teaching practices in Southern California, and can regularly be seen in the pages of industry trade magazines. His performance credits include some of the industry's top acts, such as Street Drum Corps, V2A, The Rhythm Coffin, Beasto Blanco, Orianthi, TUFF, Daisy DeLaHoya, Shania Twain, Corey Feldman, Nik West, Rudy Mancuso, and many more. Nick officially endorses Yamaha Drums, Paiste Cymbals, Aquarian Drumheads, Regal Tip Drumsticks, Coffin Case, Cympad, Cool Claws and Zombie Killer Clothing. He is a drum teacher at School of Rock Burbank.
Paxton McMurray Guitar Teacher, Bass Guitar Teacher, piano Teacher
Paxton grew up around jazz and blues music in New Orleans, Louisiana. He began on the piano at four years old, and continued his training on drums, bass, guitar and harmonica. In addition to his jazz training, Paxton attended NOCCA and The Colburn School for classical music, and later studied recording and mixing at the Musicians’ Institute.
He plays in several bands around LA as a multi-instrumentalist, and continues to write/record his own material. He is also a former School of Rock student. Paxton started on keyboards at School of Rock Burbank and began playing around town with the school at 10 years old. The school helped him discover his passion for drums and guitar as well, which he studied with School of Rock for several years.
Paxton is excited to continue to be a part of School of Rock, and hopes to share his experiences with this growing community of young musicians.
Jeremy Cohen Bass Guitar Teacher
Jeremy Cohen began learning piano at the age of four in his hometown of Beverly, MA. Through public school programs, he also picked up the trombone. He played in and led the trombone section under the leadership of Ray Novack, a Beverly music veteran. Jeremy’s dreams of becoming an atomic scientist were forever changed when he picked up the bass guitar. He has since played in countless high school bands, local rock schools and also while getting his degree in Music Therapy and Bass Performance at Berklee College of Music. Jeremy’s stylistic flexibility and interest in different genres has led him to international touring, most recently as bassist/songwriter of indie rock band The Rare Occasions and as Music Director for pop singer Patrick Martin. Jeremy is the recipient of many awards, including the John Lennon Songwriting Contest Song of the Year Award for “Dysphoric,” which he co-wrote with The Rare Occasions. He is a bass guitar teacher at School of Rock Burbank.
Kapali Long Guitar Teacher, Bass Guitar Teacher, Singing Teacher
Born and raised in Honolulu, Hawaii, Kapali Long has been performing music all his life since the age of three by learning piano, then ukulele and so forth. His main instruments are his voice and guitar, but he plays close to 20 instruments. He's proficient in all styles including acoustic, electric and lapsteel guitar. He can play guitar, piano, ukulele, mandolin, harmonica, bass, percussion, banjo and a bunch of "band" instruments. Music is in his blood. Being from Hawaii and a native Hawaiian, Kapali's mother plays bass and sings, his grandfather and grandmother toured in the 60s he's also the nephew of Hawaiian music greats Buddy Fo and Mikilani Fo.
Long has played and writes all genres from rock to reggae, metal to folk and country to urban.
Scott Warren Piano Teacher
Scott Warren was the latest keyboardist for heavy metal bands Dio, and Heaven and Hell. Scott is a self-taught keyboardist. He began playing at age six. Later he trained professionally at Dick Grove School of Music. Scott Warren was a member of the groups Warrant, Keel and Berlin.
Today Scott Warren is part of Dio Disciples, which includes surviving members of the final line-up of Dio, along with former Lynch Mob vocalist Oni Logan. He also plays in the band Hellion alongside fellow Dio Disciples member Simon Wright. His most notable work with the band would have to include his keyboard solo on the recent "Killing the Dragon" album on a track titled "Before the Fall." He is a piano teacher at School of Rock Burbank.
Katie Cole Drum Teacher
Katie Cole has always had a passion for music and has been playing all kinds of instruments for the past 15 years. She specializes in drums and has played in multiple touring bands. She’s been in jazz bands throughout high school and college and has played anything from pop to heavy metal. Katie is currently writing with her band Dangerkids. She is a drum teacher at School of Rock Burbank.
Stephanie Howie Singing Teacher, Keyboard Teacher, Studio Coordinator
Stephanie grew up around a family of musicians and began her music career by singing in church and kids choirs. She began taking classical vocal and piano lessons at the age of 8 and found herself gravitating more towards contemporary music as she got older. At 15 she formed and performed with an all-girl rock band through high school and later joined her university A Cappella group where she toured India performing. She has won awards competing against some of the top teams in the country. At 17 she was signed as an in-house musician for the Taj Group of Hotels in India while pursuing a degree in Psychology. She later completed her classical music training at Trinity College of Music, London.
Upon graduating, she decided to move to LA where she attended Musicians Institute (Independent Artist Program) and now spends her time writing and working on her music, and teaching herself to produce when she’s not teaching at School of Rock.
Bruno Vega Singing Teacher, Guitar Teacher, Bass Guitar Teacher
Born and raised in Mexico City, Bruno started playing guitar at age 7. Coming from a family of actors, he used to spend a lot of time with the musicians from the musicals his mother was a part of. By age 9, after meeting Spanish pop legend Nacho Cano (who was the main producer of the musical at the time), Bruno knew he wanted to live his life making music just like him. By age 11, he got into the National Conservatory of Music in Mexico City where he studied both music theory and piano as the main instrument for four years. In his senior year, wanting to record his original music, he attended SAE Institute, where he learned recording techniques and use of synthesizers. At age 18, Bruno was part of several bands as a bass and guitar player, performing at venues all around Mexico City and Monterrey like the “Irish Beer Festival”.
In 2019, Bruno moved to Los Angeles to attend Musicians’ Institute, where he graduated “Cum Laude” from the Music Performance/Independent Artist Studies degree.
He is currently working on his own original music and as a guitar player/producer in other productions.
Michael Ijac Guitar Teacher, Bass Guitar Teacher, Drum Teacher
Mike Ijac has been playing music all his life, from jamming with friends to joining folk band Low Ceilings in Boston and exploring the DIY scene of the Northeast. After spending some time in LA, Mike returned to his home state of Florida where he first started working for School of Rock. Since moving back to LA he decided to continue being part of the School of Rock family as a guitar teacher, bass guitar teacher and drum teacher at School of Rock Burbank. Mike currently releases music as Mykeadelic and released an album last year called "Magic Hour."
Derek Abrams Drum Teacher
Derek Abrams has been playing drums since the age of seven when he received his first drum kit, and he began playing professionally at the age of 15. In high school, he focused on jazz history, theory and composition. After high school, he embarked on an extensive study in world percussion and ethnic drumming. Throughout it all, he stuck by his musical first love - metal. There's no musical style he holds in greater esteem. Derek's goal is to be the most versatile and technically proficient drummer he can be, and, to that end, he holds himself to the highest possible standards. Over the past two years, Derek has toured the US and Canada four times, spent the last two summers in EU and UK, and played a historic stadium tour supporting Slayer on their final tour in November 2019. He is a drum teacher at School of Rock Burbank.
Alejandro Mercado Drum Teacher
Alejandro Mercado is a drummer born and raised in Chicago, Illinois and now resides in Los Angeles, California.
He attended and graduated from Musicians Institute in Hollywood where he received his Associate of Arts Degree before fully immersing himself in the local music scene. Besides studying with the MI faculty, he studied privately with Paul Wertico (Pat Metheny), Glen Sobel (Alice Cooper), Jeremy Colson (Steve Vai), and Erik Eldenius (Billy Idol).
Since moving to Los Angeles, Alejandro has played for a variety of artists ranging from all sorts of genres such as EDM, Metal, Rock, and Jazz. A few artists he has worked with include: The World Over, Rhythm Monks, Street Drums Corps., Street Beat The Show, Philm, Tommy C. & The Black Widows, Idol X, and Rocky Kramer.