Chicago West
School of Rock

Explore School of Rock

Chicago West

School of Rock Chicago West
1913 W Chicago Ave
Chicago, IL 60622
(312) 526-3978

Location Specifics

East of Damen Ave. and across the street from West Town Bakery.

Get Directions
  • Monday: 2 PM - 8 PM
  • Tuesday: 2 PM - 8 PM
  • Wednesday: 2 PM - 8 PM
  • Thursday: 2 PM - 8 PM
  • Friday: 4:30 PM - 6:30 PM
  • Saturday: 9 AM - 5 PM
  • Sunday: Closed

Music programs at School of Rock Chicago West combine one-on-one lessons with group band practices

Programs we offer

Remote student playing guitar
All Ages

At School of Rock Chicago West, our students can take online, one-on-one music instruction from the comfort of their homes. We call this program School of Rock Remote. This online music program contains weekly one-on-one instruction conducted by our expert School of Rock instructors in a safe virtual lesson room.
Students will receive their training using our proprietary education program, The School of Rock Method™, which couples live video lessons with our proprietary Method App™, SongFirst Approach™ and Method Books™. 

What To Expect


All of our music programs for kids, teens, and adults are designed to help students gain amazing musical proficiency. School of Rock’s online music lesson program is no exception. Online guitar lessons, online piano lessons, online drum lessons, online singing lessons and online bass guitar lessons are all offered through the School of Rock Remote online program.

Little Wing music program for toddlers and preschoolers
Little Wing
Ages 3-5

At School of Rock Chicago West our Little Wing music program for preschoolers and toddlers teaches students foundational music skills by playing games and participating in other interactive musical activities. Little Wing students have one weekly group music lesson in which they use classic rock songs to learn about rhythm, song structure, melody and dynamics through play.

What To Expect
  • Introduction to instruments and rhythms

Energy, Fun, and Music Fundamentals

The Little Wing music program is the first step in a young musician's journey. At School of Rock Chicago West, toddlers and preschoolers who show an interest in music should start with Little Wing. As they get older, they will progress into the Rookies program, followed by Rock 101 and the Performance Program.

Rookies music program for children
Ages 6-8

At School of Rock Chicago West, our music program for children with no previous musical experience (typically first and second graders) is called Rookies. Rookies students have one weekly group music lesson where they learn fundamentals like chords, rhythm and song structure. Kids get to learn and experiment with multiple instruments so they can later decide which one they ultimately want to continue pursuing in Rock 101. Additionally, School of Rock Chicago West's music program for young kids provides an age-appropriate immersion into music that allows students in downtown Chicago to explore guitar, bass guitar, drums, keyboard and vocals to provide a gateway to understanding music.

What To Expect
  • 1 Weekly 60-Minute Group Class
  • Use of instruments to get kids playing music together

The Path to Take the Stage

All of our music programs are designed to inspire students to learn and develop a strong musical proficiency. At School of Rock Chicago West, younger students who are not ready for a more comprehensive program like Rock 101 can start in Rookies. Additionally, students who have completed the Little Wing program will progress into the Rookies music program. No prior musical experience is needed for Rookies. Once your child is ready for private music lessons (typically older than first or second graders), they will graduate into our Rock 101 program.

Rock 101 music program for kids and beginners
Rock 101
Ages 8-18

Rock 101 is one of School of Rock Chicago West's top programs for kids and beginners. Students have one weekly group rehearsal where they learn to play classic rock songs that have been simplified for beginner musicians. Additionally, Rock 101 students in Chicago West have a weekly private music lesson with an instructor who helps them learn the concepts and skills behind their performance songs.

What To Expect
  • 1 Weekly 45-Minute Private Lesson
  • 1 Weekly 90-Minute Group Rehearsal

The Path to Take the Stage

Our music programs for kids in Chicago are designed to get students on stage performing, with the goal of building strong musical proficiency. Younger students at School of Rock Chicago West o have participated in the Rookies program can move to our Rock 101 music program once they’re ready. Additionally, students (typically ages 8 to 18-years-old) can begin Rock 101 without any prior experience. The goal of this rock program is to quickly develop a basic competence on students’ chosen instruments before moving on to our famous Performance Program.

Performance music program for teens
Ages 8-18

The Performance Program at School of Rock Chicago West is our hallmark music program, where tens of thousands of students enroll each year. It consists of a weekly group rehearsal where kids and teens learn by playing rock music's most iconic songs with a band composed of their peers. Students are assigned songs and parts that are tailored to them based on their age, experience and ability to learn new skills and concepts. Students then work through their parts in weekly private music lessons, refining the skills and concepts that those songs introduce. The goal of this curriculum is to prepare kids and teens for live performances. Every few months, School of Rock Chicago West Performance Program students take the stage and play at local Chicago music venues in front of a live audience.

What To Expect
  • Weekly 45-Minute Private Lesson
  • Weekly 3-hour Group Rehearsal

The Path to Take the Stage

School of Rock Chicago West's music programs for kids and teens are designed to inspire by getting students on stage and performing. All of our other music education programs focus on readying students for our famous Performance Program. This is where students develop incredible musical skills. Performance Program students have often gone through our Rock 101 program first or have some previous basic music experience. These young musicians will have custom development plans outlined by their instructors with key concepts reinforced during private lessons and group rehearsals, all with the goal of performing live at a Chicago music venue.

Age 12 and over

Our Songwriting program for kids and teens teaches the fundamentals of songwriting, arrangement and music theory, and helps students compose original works.  At School of Rock Chicago West, songwriting students receive one weekly private lesson where they learn concepts, technique and theory on an instrument of their choice. These principles are then applied in a weekly group lesson where students work together on songwriting exercises and lyrical workshops.  Every few months, Songwriting students take the stage to perform or band together to record their original songs.

What to Expect
  • 1 weekly private lesson
  • 1 weekly group lesson

The Path to Take the Stage

Our Songwriting program for kids and teens in Chicago is designed to create musical proficiency through the creation of original music. Students at School of Rock Chicago West who have completed our Rock 101 program can move to our Songwriting program once they’re ready. Additionally, new students who have prior experience with and basic knowledge of an instrument can also begin Songwriting. The program culminates with a live showcase where students perform their original compositions in bands at a local music venue. Students taking the Songwriting Program online will remotely record their original songs to produce a demo of the class's music.

Adult music program for students over 18
Adult Program
Ages 18+

School of Rock Chicago West's Adult Program is for students over 18 years old who are looking to either improve their musical proficiency or pick up an instrument with no prior musical experience. As with most School of Rock music programs, the Adult Program uses a performance-based music education approach. This means the curriculum focuses on learning music concepts and applying them in a live performance setting. Our Adult Music Program includes one weekly private music lesson and a weekly group rehearsal. Every student at School of Rock Chicago West is placed in a band of fellow adults and then assigned specific songs as a way of learning key music concepts and skills. Adult students then take the stage to play at a live show in Chicago.

What To Expect

The Path to Take the Stage

All of our music programs are designed to inspire by getting students on stage and performing, with the goal of building strong musical proficiency along the way. The School of Rock Chicago West Adult Program is open to all experience levels and each student will follow a customized learning plan developed by their instructor. Adult students will work together during rehearsal to prepare for a live performance at a real rock venue in Chicago.

House Band program for gigging at local venues around town
House Band
Ages 11-18

The School of Rock Chicago West House Band music program gives students under 18 the opportunity to join a gigging band composed of fellow musicians from their school. These students perform additional live shows throughout the year. All students in the Performance Program have the opportunity to audition for a spot in School of Rock Chicago West's House Band. Once selected, House Band members become leaders in their School of Rock community and perform live shows at IL rock venues throughout the year.

What To Expect
  • A Working Musician's Experience
  • Live Performances Throughout Chicago

The Path to Take the Stage

Performance is the core of School of Rock's educational approach. Therefore, we create additional opportunities for students to perform on stages throughout Chicago and the rest of IL. The House Band music program allows each school's most talented students the opportunity to join a band and play routinely in front of live audiences. Once a member, students will gain real music experience associated with gigging musicians and will become leaders and mentors inside the School of Rock community.

The AllStars national tour features the best child and teen musicians
Age 17 and Under

The School of Rock AllStars Tour takes the very best students from around the world and sends them on a nationwide summer tour across the United States. Less than 1% of School of Rock students are selected each year to represent School of Rock as an AllStar. All Performance Program students are eligible to audition for this prestigious program. The intensive audition process starts off with video submissions followed by live auditions. Once selected, AllStar students will have an authentic touring experience including traveling on a tour bus, doing tour publicity and starring in nightly performances at famous venues and festivals during a two-week tour.

What To Expect

The Path to Take the Stage

Becoming an AllStar is the highest level of achievement for a School of Rock student. They play on legendary stages large and small, including The Knitting Factory, Red Rocks Amphitheatre, The Rock & Roll Hall of Fame, The Troubadour and Lollapalooza. AllStar students often go on to have accomplished careers in the music industry. Former AllStars have gone on to become touring artists, star in Broadway musicals, get signed to record deals, become finalists on talent competitions like "The Voice" and "American Idol" and have other notable roles in the music industry.

Music Lessons in Chicago West

Kid learns to play guitar at School of Rock

Guitar Lessons for All Skill Levels

Beginner Guitar Lessons for Kids

At School of Rock Chicago West, we offer beginner guitar lessons for kids. Our expert guitar instructors guide your child from start to finish with private instruction and weekly group band rehearsals. Every instructor at School of Rock Chicago West is an experienced musician, and they emphasize foundational music theory and technique when teaching guitar lessons to kids. Unlike other Chicago guitar lessons and programs, School of Rock is designed to get students performing in a band.

Beginner Guitar Lessons for Adults

It’s never too late to learn to play the guitar. Similar to our kids guitar lessons, School of Rock Chicago West's beginner guitar lessons for adults utilizes a performance-based curriculum. Our experienced instructors teach adult students through popular rock songs, and teach students to play guitar in a way that’s challenging and fun. We believe the best way to learn is by doing, which is why we combine weekly private guitar lessons with group band rehearsals. At School of Rock Chicago West, we teach beginner guitar lessons for adults in our Adult Program. This program gets students performing onstage at a local Chicago venue.

Key Concepts
  • Technique
  • Solos
  • Chords
  • Theory

Intermediate to Advanced Guitar Lessons

As students gain skills and experience, we move them along to more challenging programs at higher skill levels. Intermediate and advanced students take the skills they learned in beginner guitar lessons, and layer on more difficult techniques and concepts. School of Rock Chicago West offers advanced guitar lessons for kids and adults that teach by playing challenging classic rock songs and emphasize playing the guitar in a real music venue. Our Chicago guitar teachers will work with each student to develop a custom learning plan.

Kids learn to drum at School of Rock

Drum Lessons for All Skill Levels

Beginner Drum Lessons for Kids

School of Rock Chicago West is the best option for anyone looking to learn the drums. Our beginner drum lessons get kids behind the drum kit and on their way to taking the stage. That’s why at School of Rock Chicago West we combine private drum lessons for beginners with weekly band rehearsals—it prepares students to perform live. With years of experience teaching drums in Chicago, our drum instructors teach beginner drum students core techniques, including how to groove, play rudiments and more.

Beginner Drum Lessons for Adults

Our drum lessons for adults are designed to accommodate all skill levels. At School of Rock Chicago West, our beginner drum lessons for adults are built for musicians with little to no experience. We teach adults using the same core performance-based education philosophy as our drum lessons for kids—performing with a band accelerates the learning process. Adult students will perform live at a venue in Chicago. Unlike other Chicago drum lessons for beginners, School of Rock combines private drum lessons with weekly band rehearsals so students are ready to play in front of real, live audiences.

Key Concepts

Intermediate to Advanced Drum Lessons

More experienced to advanced drum students need a drum lesson curriculum that builds upon foundational skills and continues to grow musical proficiency. That’s why at School of Rock Chicago West, our drum lessons are customized for each student and his or her goals. Our Chicago drum instructors integrate more complex techniques and concepts—intermediary grooves, shifts, meters and more—into a student's individual lessons and group band rehearsal, and will also select more difficult songs for his or her live performances.


Kid learns to sing at School of Rock

Singing Lessons for All Skill Levels

Beginner Singing Lessons for Kids

School of Rock Chicago West offers beginner singing lessons for kids. Our unique, performance-based approach develops students' musical proficiency by preparing them to perform live. At School of Rock Chicago West, our vocal coaches are practicing musicians who integrate key music fundamentals—breathing, posture and more—into a curriculum based on performing with a band. Each week, beginner singing students participate in a private singing lesson and a band rehearsal.

Beginner Singing Lessons for Adults

School of Rock Chicago West teaches adults how to sing in our innovative Adult Program. Students develop vocal skills at a challenging pace designed to help you see results with every singing lesson. Adult vocalists learn how to keep tempo, stay on-key and master advanced vocal techniques for a powerful and healthy voice. Our curriculum teaches students how to sing by using popular rock songs that emphasize key concepts. Each week, Adult Program students have a private singing lesson for beginners and group band rehearsal.

Key Concepts

Intermediate to Advanced Singing Lessons

At School of Rock Chicago West, our singing lessons for kids and adults are designed to help our students reach a high degree of musical proficiency. Intermediate and advanced singers take skills learned from previous singing lessons and layer on more difficult techniques and concepts. Our advanced singing lessons teach students to sing by performing popular rock songs that illustrate a specific vocal concept or technique. We pair weekly private singing lessons with weekly band rehearsals with the goal of getting musicians to perform live in Chicago.

Kid learns to play bass at School of Rock

Bass Lessons for All Skill Levels

Beginner Bass Lessons for Kids

School of Rock Chicago West offers beginner bass guitar lessons for kids that blend weekly private instruction with weekly band rehearsals. This performance-based approach results in a high level of musical proficiency because it engages and inspires students. Every School of Rock bass instructor is a practicing musician in Chicago and teaches bass lessons for kids that get great results. Beginners learn to play bass guitar by using popular rock songs that illustrate key concepts and techniques.

Beginner Bass Lessons for Adults

Adults looking to learn bass guitar can enroll in School of Rock’s Adult Program. No experience is necessary in our beginner bass guitar lessons for adults. At School of Rock Chicago West, our experienced, local bass guitar instructors have the patience and skills to help adult students gain musical proficiency. As with all School of Rock music programs, our bass guitar lessons for adults ciriculum is performance-based, and include both weekly private instruction and weekly band rehearsals.

Key Concepts
  • TONE

Intermediate to Advanced Bass Lessons

Our intermediate to advanced bass guitar lessons teach Chicago students the skills they need to become the backbone of a band. Students take skills from previous bass lessons and layer on more difficult techniques and concepts. At School of Rock Chicago West, our bass instructors use popular rock songs as a way of teaching students advanced concepts and techniques. We pair weekly private bass lessons with weekly band rehearsals to inspire and engage students throughout the learning process.

Kid learns to play piano at School of Rock

Keyboard Lessons for All Skill Levels

Beginner Keyboard Lessons for Kids

At School of Rock we teach differently than other music schools in Chicago. Our curriculum is performance-based, meaning that we prepare students to perform. Our piano lessons for beginners combine weekly private instruction with weekly band rehearsals. At School of Rock Chicago West, our beginner keyboard lessons for kids take key concepts and music fundamentals—finger placement, scales, key differentiation and more—and teach them through popular rock songs. This approach inspires and engages students, which results in attaining a high level of musical proficiency. Our piano teachers have years of experience teaching music in the Chicago area, and know how to coach and motivate students of any skill level to play the keyboard.

Beginner Keyboard Lessons for Adults

The School of Rock Chicago West Adult Program puts beginner keyboard students in a band. Adult Program students in the Chicago area learn to play piano through a combination of weekly private beginner piano lessons and weekly band rehearsals. At School of Rock, our piano lessons give adult students the chance to perform in a band at local Chicago music venues, taking them out of the classroom and onto the stage.

Key Concepts
  • TONE

Intermediate to Advanced Keyboard Lessons

At School of Rock Chicago West, our keyboard lessons for kids and adults are designed to help students get results. Intermediate and advanced students take skills learned from beginner keyboard lessons and layer on more advanced piano techniques with concepts. Our local keyboard instructors are all practicing musicians in Chicago, and use popular rock songs as a way of teaching complex skills. We pair weekly private piano lessons with weekly band rehearsals to inspire and engage students throughout the learning process.

Our Experienced Music Teachers

All of School of Rock Chicago West’s music teachers are experienced musicians devoted to helping students attain musical proficiency. Our instructors guide students one-on-one to personalize learning, inspire confidence and build social skills.

Singing Teacher, piano Teacher

Miranda Sprague Singing Teacher, piano Teacher

Miranda has eight years of experience working with children and teens to help them reach their goals! She is currently involved in Chicago's vibrant music scene and was awarded Outstanding Soloist at the Notre Dame Collegiate Jazz Festival in 2015. Most recently, she was named the Luminarts Jazz Fellow for 2017. She has been featured in "Down Beat Magazine" as well as on WBEZ radio. She has also featured as a background vocalist for local Chicago bands including Zoo, Elle Casazza, Dashtone and songwriter Zoie Moser. She possesses a tremendous amount of musical insight, knowledge and passion to share with her students to help them sing and play their best!
Singing Teacher, piano Teacher

Maxx McGathey Singing Teacher, piano Teacher

Maxx started piano lessons at the age of four (thanks to his mom), studying classical music until his teen years when he discovered rock n' roll. Rock led to blues, blues led to jazz, jazz led to funk and so on, giving Maxx a fascination with a wide array of musical traditions. As the leader, main composer and keyboardist for the band Gramps The Vamp, Maxx brings his eclectic interests together into a project which has headlined Chicago venues like Lincoln Hall and Metro, has toured the country from coast to coast, and has gained Best New Band recognitions from "The Chicago Reader" and "Deli-Mag Chicago." Maxx has also performed or recorded with the Chicago groups Secret Colours, Divino Niño and Maxx’s own Pip Pip. His festival appearances include SXSW, Austin Psych Fest and Ruido Fest, and his film composer credits include Demonoid (1971), a short horror film released in 2016. Maxx believes music is an adventure and wants to pass that excitement along to his students!
Bass Guitar Teacher

Jeff Smith Bass Guitar Teacher

As a third generation musician, Jeff Smith began his love for music at a very young age, starting drums in fourth grade. As a teenager he picked up the bass and spent all of his free time in his room learning to play songs from his favorite bands. Since then he has played in countless rock bands. He has since studied formally at Northeastern Illinois University and under Greg Sarchet of the Chicago Lyric Opera, deepening his musical understanding theoretically and practically. Although always a primal rocker at heart, as a bass player Jeff is fluent in many styles of music including rock, metal, funk, soul/r&b, jazz, classical and the sub-genres related to these styles. Jeff loves to teach students not only fundamental theories and concepts, but also how to really have fun playing! Jeff continues to perform all over Chicago in settings ranging from live rock performances, musical theatre, or his college jazz band and orchestra.

Anthony Rubino Guitar Teacher, Music Director

Anthony is a life-long musician. At the age of eight, he picked up a guitar and found his calling. In the last 13 years, he has also become an in-demand bassist, with a feature story in "Bass Guitar Magazine." He has been an active member of the Chicago music community for the last 25 years, playing with bands like Thirty Days, U.S., Drag, The High Grass Dogs, The Keith Scott Blues Band, The Last Vegas, Kevin Thista’s Red Terror, Dorian Taj and Rivals of the Peacemaker. He has toured 17 countries, played thousands of gigs, recorded over 10 albums, played major festivals (Lollapalooza 2013, Eagle Rock Music Festival, Wing Ding) and even has a song on "Guitar Hero II." For the last 10 years he has been an instructor and show director at School of Rock Chicago West, loving every minute.

Andrew Baranowski Drums Teacher

Andrew Baranowski’s life-long love affair with the big beat began over 30 years ago when his Uncle Tommy asked the magical question, “You wanna see my drums?” After that, everything else became secondary. His formative years followed the traditional path of the school music program while taking private drum lessons with local pros. This naturally grew to greater ambitions. For over 20 years, Andrew has applied that early training to perform and record non-stop with Chicago’s stalwarts of rock, I Love Rich. He also managed to find time to periodically gig with the London-based act Das Haus, and has recently been recruited by Hozac recording artist MAMA. Despite years of 2 am load-outs and carrying gear up endless flights of stairs, his passion for drumming only continues to grow. He finds great joy in helping the next generation realize their musical goals. His teaching philosophy encompasses three main points: building a strong technical foundation in which to draw from, playing a song versus playing the drums and understanding the drummer’s role in the greater context of any ensemble.

Joe Suikhonen Guitar Teacher

Joe is a graduate of Oberlin College's Conservatory of Music and has taught private lessons in bass, guitar, drums and piano for students ages 9-25 for over three years. Joe has been writing, playing and performing his original rock music (and now jazz) for over two decades. He has played with Junior Ranger and more recently with Sarsaparilla on the east coast.

Tyler Kinser Bass Guitar Teacher

Tyler's musical obsession began when he was three years old atop his father’s shoulders in the second row of a Garth Brooks concert when the country star handed him a drum stick. Fast forward seven years to the Island County Fair, where Foghat was headlining the Saturday night festivities. Somewhere between "Fool for the City" and "Slow Ride," Tyler's dad asked him which instrument he wanted to play. He chose the bass on looks alone, and the following summer Tyler's father presented him with a bass guitar and amp for his 11th birthday. Tyler soon joined the middle school jazz band and throughout high school competed in festivals around the country. After graduating, he moved to Boston to attend Berklee College of Music. There, Tyler focused on jazz theory, arranging techniques and world music studies. For the past decade he has played with a number of musical groups in Boston, playing in clubs and festivals around New England and more recently Chicago. Tyler's biggest rock influences are The Velvet Underground, The Grateful Dead and The Jimi Hendrix Experience.

Ashleigh Gocong General Manager

Ashleigh Gocong has been the General Manager of School of Rock Chicago West since our opening. She handles all aspects of daily operations, safety policy and community outreach. Ashleigh also teaches our Little Wing and Rookies classes regularly. Prior to her General Manager work here, Ashleigh had over two years of experience as a Studio Director at School of Rock Chicago.

Tommy Veronesi Drum Teacher

Tommy Veronesi is a drummer, producer and educator from Chicago. He moved back to Chicago to pursue his music and teaching career in the summer of 2018. He has been playing music and taking lessons since he was five years old and picked up the drums (his true passion) when he was 10. Tommy has been producing, songwriting and session drumming since his early teens, where he recorded and collaborated with dozens of artists. He has an extensive performance and touring background in various concert settings, such as theaters, weddings, music festivals, dive bars, private events, jam hosting, etc. In addition to being a drum teacher at School of Rock Chicago West, Tommy plays in a number of Chicago bands, regularly sessions as a studio drummer at Fort Knox Studios and leads his own rock n' roll inspired solo project. Tommy specializes in performing and improvising in a variety of styles, including rock, jazz, blues, country, hard rock, R&B, hip-hop, funk, jam-band, bluegrass, singer/songwriter, Cajun, zydeco, New Orleans-based music and several Latin styles.

Charles Stevenson Owner

Charles Stevenson first became obsessed with School of Rock when he was the parent of a guitar and vocals student at his local school. In his previous life he enjoyed many careers, from academics to digital design and advertising. He has been living in Chicago with his wife, Peggy, and their two (now grown) children since 1993. Today, he owns and operates School of Rock Chicago West with his long-time business partner, Ted Billups, plays rhythm guitar and vocals in the Adult Program, and keeps the Gig Rig running.

Steven Gilpin Guitar Teacher, Vocal Instructor

Steven Gilpin is thrilled to be part of the School of Rock Chicago West team and specializes in teaching guitar, ukulele and vocals. He has been playing and performing from a young age and today performs around Chicago and the Midwest regularly. He also recently released two albums, "Syndrom" and "Torso - Hair of the Dog." Steven in a native of Chicago and a graduate of Bard College. In his spare time, he enjoys walking dogs and is an avid music lover and movie buff. He is a guitar teacher and vocal instructor at School of Rock Chicago West.

Collin Nordine Drum Teacher

Collin Nordine has been studying drums and percussion for over 14 years. Having performed with many different groups across several genres over the past 10 years, he has extensive experience in front of live audiences of all sizes. Collin has been teaching drum students at every skill level for over three years with a strong emphasis on building the correct foundation and technique to develop skill sets that don't allow a student to plateau. He is a drum teacher at School of Rock Chicago West.

Nick Gordon Drum Teacher

Nick Gordon is a School of Rock alumnus himself. He has been playing bass and drums since 2012. He is from Chicago and graduated from University of Illinois at Chicago with a B.S. in Integrated Health Science. He is also a member of the School of Rock adult band here, and was part of the adult band at School of Rock Chicago for four years previously. Nick enjoys relating to students not only on a musical training level but also on an informal level where he can interact with and learn from their musical and pop culture tastes. He is a drum teacher at School of Rock Chicago West.

Sunshine Tea Little Wing Teacher, Rookies Teacher, singing teacher

Sunshine Tea has been playing and singing classical music since she was 10, and has been performing with bands and choirs since she was 12. She learned to play the tenor saxophone and added bassoon in high school. Most recently she has been performing songs from pre-1940 American jazz and blues, and is also mastering the ukulele. Her style includes smooth multi-range vocals with blues embellishments and jazzy sass. She is in love with vinyl and listens to ragtime, alternative, hip-hop and punk rock. She is a Little Wing teacher and Rookies teacher at School of Rock Chicago West.

Sheldon Kessel Guitar, Bass Guitar, Keyboard and Drum Teacher

Sheldon began his musical life growing up in North Dakota with two piano-playing sisters who gave him his first lessons. He entered his school ‘s music program playing trombone, percussion, and singing in the choir. Later in high school he joined his first rock bands playing drums and singing. In college he majored in music where he studied classical and jazz guitar and piano while playing in far-too-many bands to count. After college he moved with his funk-rock band to Minneapolis where he began teaching at McNallySmith College of Music. He taught audio engineering, production, and composition there from 2004 until 2012 when he began teaching at Art Institutes –Chicago. He taught at Art Institutes - Chicago until the school closed in 2018. He has a Bachelor’s in Music Composition and a Master’s in Arts Research. He plays guitar, bass, drums, keyboards, electronics/computers, and blues harmonica. He was also a professional DJ for 20 years and owned a mobile DJ company. Outside of music, he is a personal trainer, health coach, and yoga instructor. He lives in Chicago with his wife and son.
Guitar Teacher, Keyboard Teacher, Drum Teacher Brian Urquhart

Brian Urquhart Guitar Teacher, Keyboard Teacher, Drum Teacher

Brian has been playing multiple instruments (including vocals and stage performance) since before high school. He holds a Bachelor's Degree in Music Education and a minor in Jazz Performance from Illinois State University. He joins us in 2020. During the summer he tours with Nashville recording artist, Eric Chesser. Apart from his faculty work at Chicago West, he currently is a middle school choir director and general music teacher for grades 1-8 in Round Lake. Additionally he is an assistant marching and jazz band instructor at Antioch Community High School. Throughout his education thus far he has been able to work with students from every walk of life, especially with at-risk and gifted students in urban, suburban, and small community schools, providing a creative, diverse, and healthy learning environment.
Guitar Teacher, Keyboard Teacher and Singing Teacher Nick Temte

Nick Temte Guitar Teacher, Keyboard Teacher and Singing Teacher

Nick is a multi-instrumentalist specializing in voice, and earned a Bachelor degree in Vocal Performance from Viterbo University in 2018. While studying classical voice technique, he learned ways to uncover his true timbre and sing in a healthy, sustainable way. He has performed voice in many genres including rock, metal, R&B, hip hop and classical. Nick has written and arranged music in all of these genres, and recently released an EP as a solo artist. He has years of experience as a recording engineer, and even owned and operated a recording studio in his hometown La Crosse, WI. Since moving to Chicago in 2019, he found a passion for teaching at School of Rock. He is thrilled to share his knowledge of music and voice with the next generation of rockers!
 Guitar Teacher, Bass Guitar Teacher, Drum Teacher Jonny Polonsky

Jonny Polonsky Guitar Teacher, Bass Guitar Teacher, Drum Teacher

A native of Chicago, Jonny is an experienced, multi-instrumental recording artist, songwriter, and touring performer. As a Berklee School of Music graduate in 1996, Jonny burst onto the music scene with his debut album, Hi My Name is Jonny, earning features on MTV and Rolling Stone. Since then, he has performed and recorded with many of music’s biggest legends including Red Hot Chili Peppers, Slash, Perry Farrell, Sammy Hagar, Joe Satriani, Steve Earle, Lisa Loeb, Pete Yorn, Tom Morello, Johnny Cash and Neil Diamond. Jonny also is an experienced teacher, having taught students of all ages for several years. “the knowledge I've acquired, and my passion for music…(I hope) will enhance and enrich the musical lives of my students, and help me become an indispensable member of the faculty.”

School of Rock is where music and learning come together

For over twenty years, our amazing instructors have transformed hundreds of thousands of students across the world into skilled musicians. Become a musician at School of Rock.


Kids learn safely here.

They are open, informative and action-oriented. We were able to get my son in and rolling right away. The email reminders are fantastic. It's a clean, well-organized space.


We love School of Rock!

The instructors are fantastic and the staff are one of a kind. I HIGHLY recommend your rock star kids join. Mine are in a summer camp and they're well-run and there is a show at the end of the week!


Where kids become skilled.

We love the range of instrument skills our children are learning. We also love the experience they gain playing with other musicians!


The staff are professional, fun, and genuinely great with the kids.

I love the staff and owner at Chicago West. They are professional, fun, and genuinely great with the kids. The teachers are knowledgeable. My daughter's self esteem and confidence around music has boosted through the peer band model and being around talented young people.


School of Rock has managed to create a beautiful community.

School of Rock Chicago West is a wonderfully creative, fun and safe place to send your teen. The staff is incredibly professional and kind. Not only do they know how to teach kids music but it’s apparent that they really like kids. They've managed to create a beautiful community.


Everyone feels at home here - free to be themselves and comfortable.

I love how warm and welcoming they are. Everyone feels at home, free to be themselves and comfortable. Programs are tailored for each person and everybody is happy to be there, invested in learning and teaching. If you have a child interested in music, rush there and get started!