Alyssa Smith Keyboard Teacher
Alyssa is a musician and composer from Madison, Wisconsin. She is currently pursuing her Master’s degree in Jazz and Contemporary Improvisation from the University of Michigan, and has her bachelor’s degree in Piano Performance from the University of Wisconsin - Madison. Alyssa specializes in free, solo improvisation, and has performed numerous solo performances at Madison’s local jazz club, Cafe Coda. She has also worked in many collaborative settings with singer/songwriter and Madison Area Music Award winner Anthony Lamarr, as well as many other Madison-based music groups. Alyssa is a versatile performer and plays genres including classical, jazz, and rock.
Charlie Bonkowski Bass Guitar Teacher, Guitar Teacher, Piano Teacher, Drum Teacher
Charlie Bonkowski is a drum, bass, guitar, and piano teacher from Royal Oak, Michigan. He has been making music for over 12 years starting with trombone in elementary school then quickly progressing to drums and bass. He is pursuing a degree in Music Therapy from Eastern Michigan University. He specializes in music theory and fundamentals, as well as integrating classical ideas with modern rock and pop. Charlie is well versed in all styles of music from pop to metal to jazz and likes to spend his time jamming with other musicians in the community and recording and mixing his own music as well as others.
Eric Lauder Guitar Teacher, Bass Guitar Teacher, Drum Teacher
Eric Lauder is a signed artist on Entertainment One with his metal band, Plague Years, alongside other acts like Ace Frehley, Zakk Wylde, High on Fire and many more. He has been touring for 6 years and writing music for 16. Aside from metal, Eric has been to school for jazz performance and been in various bands playing blues, R&B, and funk. Eric is currently working on writing a new EP following his latest LP release.
Gayelynn McKinney Drum Teacher
Gayelynn McKinney began playing the drums at the age of two. Although she received much of her musical training in the Detroit Jazz scene, she also
obtained her Bachelor of Music degree from Oakland University. Gayelynn has recorded projects with the group Straight Ahead, (of which she is a cofounder) Ralph Armstrong and Marcus Belgrave just to name a few. She has recently recorded solo projects called “It's About Time,” “McKinFolk The New Beginning,”and “Zoot Suit Funk.” Gayelynn McKinney's many awards include: 2014 Kresge Artist Fellows recipient, with the Group Straight Ahead and McKinFolk, a Grammy Nomination, Detroit Black Music Award recipient, and Detroit Music Awards for best jazz composer. Gayelynn McKinney has had the opportunity to travel extensively and play at many famous jazz festivals including Montreux-Jazz Fest, Lionel Hampton Jazz Fest, New Orleans Jazz Fest, Essence Festival, Olympics, and the Kennedy Center. She has also performed as a side musician with such notables as Benny Golson, Dee Dee Bridgewater, Diane Shure, Jason Marsalis, Freda Payne, Roy Ayers, Geri Allen, Marcus Belgrave, Chaka Khan, Roy Hargrove, Randy Brecker, Rick Margitza, Larry Coryell, Ralphe Armstrong, Steve Turre, Kevin Mahogany, James Carter, Tim Ries, (The Rolling Stones Music director) and “Speech” of “Arrested Development.” Gayelynn is also the last drummer to tour with Aretha Franklin. While performing with Aretha Franklin, Gayelynn had the distinct honor to play for presidential hopeful, Hilary Clinton. She also performed at Tribeca Film Fest featuring a tribute to Clive Davis.
Jerry Heiss Guitar Teacher, Bass Guitar Teacher, Drum Teacher
Jerry Heiss is a musician and songwriter from Ypsilanti, MI. A player of the guitar and drums since 2007, Jerry has over a decade of experience performing throughout the Southeast Michigan area. Jerry has experience playing a variety of different styles, including rock, metal and jazz. He received a certificate in Music Production from Washtenaw Community College. Jerry is currently performing as the vocalist/guitarist for his own band, as well as the drummer for another group. He is a guitar teacher, bass guitar teacher and drum teacher at School of Rock Canton.
Jonathon Meyer Singing Teacher, Keyboard Teacher, Guitar Teacher, Bass Guitar Teacher
Jonathon Meyer is a guitarist, bassist, synthesizer/keyboard player, and songwriter from Canton, Michigan. He got started playing music while attending Salem High School through forming bands by playing guitar and bass with peers and by playing bass for the schools jazz band. In 2018 he graduated from Salem and in the same year, formed a band called Read the Sun. The band has currently completed two projects with Jonathon playing guitar and synthesizer titled "Music for Birds" and "Living Thru" as well as one tour in summer 2019 at the time of Living Thru's release. Jonathon is versed in playing the styles of Classic Rock, Grunge, alternative rock, Punk/Pop-Punk, Blues, Jazz, as well as psychedelic, progressive, and experimental rock.
Jordan Khalaf Guitar Teacher, Keyboard Teacher, Singing Teacher
Jordan Khalaf is a singer, songwriter, actor, and all-around performer based in Canton, Michigan. He attended the University of Michigan where he graduated in 2019, receiving a B.A in Drama and a Minor in Music. Jordan is a songwriter and recording artist, releasing an EP in 2020 (https://ffm.to/blankpagesep/), and he is constantly writing and recording original work. As an actor, he has performed in a multitude of settings in the local theatre scene. Jordan teaches all instruments at School of Rock, with specialties in vocals and guitar.
Jordan Smith TEACHER
As a multi-instrumentalist, Jordan Smith has spent the majority of his teen-years and adult life refining his skills as a live performer, composer, self-promoter and arranger for his groups. Specializing in Rock, Funk, Blues, Soul and Electronic music, he is well versed in many of the genres present in western popular music. Picking up the bass at age 10 and quickly adding guitar to the list of instruments that now includes piano, drums, synthesizer and vocals, he teaches all the instruments that School of Rock offers lessons in.
Lorelei Gabriel Singing Teacher, Bass Guitar Teacher, Guitar Teacher
Alexa Gabriel is a musician from Northville, MI. She has an Associate of Science degree in Sound Recording Technology from Schoolcraft Community College and is currently attending Eastern Michigan University. Alexa is currently the lead singer and guitarist in her band, as well as the guitarist for another. She taught dance to kids from 2011 to 2017 and has been teaching guitar for two years. Alexa is a guitar teacher at School of Rock Canton.
Riley Bean Keyboard Teacher, Singing Teacher, Drum Teacher
Riley has been playing drums since a young age, both in more formal school settings and with bands around the area. He began producing solo electronic music under the name Beanstalk in 2013, and has played drums set for Michigan funk group Liquid Thickness since 2017. His other main passion is growing organic/natural food, as he is the co-owner of Vibrant Acres farm in South Lyon. At school of rock and privately, he teaches drums, keys, and vocals and loves working with kids of all ages.
Scott Burek General Manager
Scott Burek has spent his life working with kids and helping them develop their full potential. Over the years, Scott has worked as a coach, summer camp instructor, high school teacher, and middle school principal. After more than 25 years working in public education, he decided it was time for a change and has come to School of Rock Canton as the General Manager. A music fan since he was a kid, Scott has always had a large music collection. He enjoys traveling, attending concerts and listening to all types of music.
Chris Marek Owner
Chris Marek is a former principal for both Plymouth-Canton and Wayne-Westland schools, but always dreamed of being in the music business. After more than 26 years in education, Chris retired and built School of Rock Canton in 2019 and bought School of Rock Farmington in 2021. A guitar player from Muskegon, MI, he has played since age 11. Chris quit guitar lessons early on after being forced to sight read "Hot Crossed Buns" when he wanted to play Led Zeppelin songs. He loves the School of Rock Song First approach, where students play songs they love and learn reading and theory along the way. Chris is the owner of School of Rock Canton and Farmington.