Scott Higgins General Manager
Scott Higgins’s love for music started early in his life. He started playing guitar when he was seven and performing with bands at 13. He is primarily a guitar player, but also plays bass and sings. Scott honed his management skills while attending the University of Cincinnati and managing local restaurants. Before joining School of Rock Cincinnati as our General Manager, Scott was a very active performer and loved recording music with his friends.
Scott started with School of Rock in 2012 as the Assistant General Manager at School of Rock Mason. In 2016, he was promoted to the role of General Manager. Scott’s passion for music and desire to share it are evident when you talk to him. He is committed to bringing the gift of music and performance to the local community.
Ryan Hickey Guitar Teacher
Ryan Hickey grew up in Cincinnati within the city’s west side. The development of proficiency, knowledge, performance and recording has been his focus over the course of years playing in bands and ensembles around the tri-state area. His accomplishments as a musician and artist are accompanied by a B.S. in Biological Sciences, an influence in his teaching style that prioritizes critical thinking and problem solving with respect to logical, physiological and mechanical perspectives. However, Ryan is not convinced that there’s a gene for blazing guitar solos, and would be happy to challenge the idea of natural talent with an effective teaching plan. He is a guitar teacher at School of Rock Cincinnati.
Kristen Kreft Vocal Instructor
Kristen Kreft is a singer/songwriter and front woman of her original band The Perfect Children, winner of the 2010 Cincinnati Entertainment Awards for Best Blues Band, and seasoned backing vocalist both in the studio and with several local and regional bands. She combines her musical theater roots with folk, blues and rock n’ roll rawness, adding in the soul and nuances of jazz and R & B to round out her unique and powerful vocals.
While not on the mic, Kristen is a teaching artist using the power of music and creative expression to enrich the lives of children and adults of all abilities. Kristen is honored to be a private vocal instructor, teacher for the Little Wing and Rookies music programs, as well as general music teacher at Holy Trinity School in Bellevue Kentucky through School of Rock. She absolutely loves her job as a Performance Band Director at School of Rock Cincinnati. Kristen also teaches general music for pre-K through third grade at The New School Montessori, in addition to being a teaching artist with Skoolaid focusing on music and movement, creative expression and songwriting. She has previously worked with Dramakinetics and the Cincinnati Family Enrichment Center as a drama and music and movement instructor. Kristen has designed curriculum for Skoolaid and the Cincinnati Arts Association, as well as Artists on Tour, with her creative expressions and songwriting and recording programs. A graduate of the American and Musical Dramatic Academy in New York City, Kristen values music appreciation and music as an alternative expressive language, not only sonically, but as a full body and visual experience. She is also a vocal instructor and show director at School of Rock Cincinnati.
Nic Powers Bass Guitar Teacher
Nic Powers has been involved in the Cincinnati music scene for over 20 years. Nic began writing songs at 14 years old, played in punk rock bands as a teenager, and in his 20s moved on to playing in some indie rock bands. Nic has played with local bands pictureshow, Kasparov, The Sweep and New Strange. Nic currently is the singer/songwriter and front man of the band Static Falls. He also currently plays bass guitar in The Perfect Children. Nic is also writing songs for a recording project with Joe Klug of the band Wussy. Music has always been the main focus of Nic's life and he loves being a bass guitar teacher and Rock 101 teacher at School of Rock Cincinnati.
Mark Becknell Drum Teacher, Music Director
Mark Becknell is a true musical renaissance man. He is music educator, a studio musician and a veteran of the Cincinnati and national music scenes. Mark keeps very busy as a singer, songwriter, drummer, guitarist and more. His current main project is singing lead vocals and playing steel pan with his original Caribbean/world music group, The Queen City Silver Stars, who have been nominated four times for the Cincinnati Entertainment Awards in the Reggae/World Music category. Mark is also very active in the polka music community nationwide as a part of The Klaberheads, a Cincinnati-based touring German Oktoberfest band. During his long career as a musician, he has played with such great bands as Frontier Folk Nebraska, Josh Eagle and The Harvest City, Freewill and The Swarthy Band. In addition to performing live, Mark also maintains a busy studio schedule playing both drums and percussion for numerous recording sessions of all types on a regular basis. As a Music Education major at Miami University, Mark honed a wide variety of musical skills, including marching band percussion, indoor drum line, wind ensemble, percussion ensemble, African drum and dance, and steel drum band. He uses his education background to assist at Walnut Hills and Mariemont Schools with their marching band drum line, indoor drumline and rock band programs. Mark has been a part of School of Rock Cincinnati since its opening, teaching private drum lessons and leading several summer rock camps and the current White Stripes vs. Black Keys show. With his 30+ years of experience with percussion performance and instruction, Mark is able to offer training that helps beginner, intermediate and advanced players. Mark has the knowledge to teach the proper foundations of the drums. Being a professional musician, he can also offer his students real world experience in preparation for their next concert, show and live performance. He is a drum teacher at School of Rock Cincinnati.
Julianne Webb Vocal Instructor
After studying voice and piano privately since age 10, Julianne Webb attended the University of Georgia, transferring to the Cleveland Institute of Music in Cleveland, Ohio, where she graduated in 1994 with a Bachelor’s degree in Vocal Performance. She has held positions throughout the country with various opera and musical theatre companies, including at the Kentucky Opera, Music Theatre Louisville and Cincinnati Music Theatre (CMT), as well as in professional choirs, such as the Vocal Arts Ensemble here in Cincinnati. She has also performed as a solo and concert artist throughout the US. For the past 18+ years she has enjoyed seasonal work with a professional quartet (Dickens Carolers) in private clubs and hotels around town.
Julianne has also taught privately since March of 1997, first at the Musical Arts Center in O’Bryonville for 13 years, then at her home studio (Webb Studio of Music). She joined the School of Rock team in 2015 and now is a vocal instructor at School of Rock Cincinnati. Her teaching style for both vocal and piano/keyboard lessons incorporates her classical training and applies this technique to all styles, from rock to pop, jazz to musical theatre, and everything in between. Julianne tailors her teaching to each student’s individual needs and levels while incorporating music theory, all within the School of Rock mindset and curriculum. Julianne lives in Landen with her husband, two children and rescue dog Stella. Her favorite artists include Incubus, Barenaked Ladies, A.F.I., Cowboy Mouth and Maroon 5.
Mike Troyer Guitar Teacher
Mike Troyer started playing guitar and taking lessons when he was nine years old in southern Indiana. He then went on to play with friends and bands in basements, garages and small venues all the way through college. The music ranged from polka to punk, but he has always favored blues, rock n' roll and alternative music. Family and profession (in his case, scientific research and teaching) took him in many different directions, but Cincinnati has now become his home base to connect with other local musicians. Mike’s children first enrolled at School of Rock, and then later he joined too. Mike is now co-director of our Adult Performance Program and helps Adult Band members quickly prepare for live, onstage shows at local area venues. He is a guitar teacher at School of Rock Cincinnati.
Christian Collins Guitar Teacher
In a family of military and athletes, everyone knew something was different when, at the age of four, Christian was dancing like a pro to Shania Twain's “I Feel Like a Woman." However, it wasn’t until he was 11 that he decided, due to his Irish heritage, that he would learn the fiddle. During the training videos that came with the violin, he found that holding the violin like a guitar and plucking it like one was much easier than using a bow. He then decided to get a guitar. As soon as he could play four chords he joined a band called Fret 23. Everyone was surprised when three 12-year-old kids would hop on stage at a bar for shows, during breaks for other bands, but they held their own. Over time the band grew and eventually all parted ways. At age 16 he was insistent on learning more instruments than just guitar. Through Stephen T. Badin’s music program he was able to do so very quickly, while at the same time learning how to utilize a digital audio workshop in a small studio. Throughout his last three years of high school he played with an acoustic trio called West November. They played every weekend at bars, festivals, marathons, parties and more. Christian went to Belmont University in Nashville, TN for Audio Engineering and Music Business. Whether he was learning in class or not, the city of Nashville taught him so much about the music industry and himself. While there he played in a skate punk band called Cloud Queens. While playing with them he learned a lot from peers. He left Belmont to return to Cincinnati. Upon his return, long time family friend Scotty Higgins showed him the power and beauty of School of Rock. Once he had seen the program and how it differs from other companies and private instructors, he knew he had to be a part of it. If there is one thing Christian has learned throughout all his experiences, it's that playing in a group and having deadlines for shows is easily the best way to motivate an individual to practice and get better. Now that he is a part of the experience it has changed the way that he sees music, teaching and youth. He is a guitar teacher at School of Rock Cincinnati.
Matt Holt bass guitar teacher
Matt has been teaching bass lessons for over 15 years, and playing bass professionally for close to 25 years. Originally from Chicago, Matt moved to Cincinnati to attend the University of Cincinnati’s College-Conservatory of Music (CCM), where he received a Bachelor’s of Music in Jazz Studies, where, in addition to bass, he studied composition, arranging, and piano. Beyond his formal studies, his education also included gigs with many of the elders of the Cincinnati jazz scene, including John Von Ohlen, Steve Schmidt, Bill Gemmer, and Steve Baronie.
Matt has taught both electric and upright bass and directed bands for numerous schools around Cincinnati, including the Cincinnati Music Academy and the CCM Preparatory Department. Believing that each student has a unique way of learning, Matt works with students to fit their individual needs and learning styles. Over the course of his teaching experience, he has developed a unique set of teaching tools and materials to help students learn and gain a strong footing in musical fundamentals.
As an active member of the Cincinnati music scene, Matt has played in a wide variety of music, including everything from rock, to classical, to folk and Americana. His performance and recording resume includes Cincinnati bands The Grove, Hickory Robot, the Sloes, and Emmy-award winning songwriter Rick Lisak. Matt is currently a member of the jazz trio led by Cincinnati drumming legend Philip Paul, and performs regularly with the Erwin Stuckey Trio.
Danny Manning keyboard teacher
Danny Manning is a professional musician who has toured extensively and worked with artists from the bands Journey, Toto, The Romantics, Santana, Tommy Tutone, Kansas, Los Lobos, Ben Folds, Boston and many more. He holds a BA in sax with secondary emphasis on piano from Alderson Broaddus University and an MM in Conducting from the University of North Carolina Greensboro. Locally he performs on keys, sax, and vocals with The Tuna Project, Sunburners, Leroy Ellington and Just Strange Brothers and tours nationally and internationally with The Philip Myers Band. His professional musical directing credits include RAGTIME, AIDA, CHILDREN OF EDEN, TOMMY, WONDERFUL TOWN, FUNNY GIRL and more. He is the past director of the Xavier University Singers and former Assistant Band Director at Walnut Hills High School.