School of Rock Cleveland West’s music teachers are experienced musicians devoted to helping students attain musical proficiency. From singing to drums to guitar, our music instructors inspire and teach students to perform live.
Louie NovotnyGeneral Manager
Louie is a working Cleveland musician as well as School of Rock Rocky River’s General Manager, and School of Rock Cleveland’s Sales Manager. Louie has been with the school since 2009. Louie is the bass player for local rock act Hot Ham & Cheese, which has also toured regionally and nationally. Louie also holds down bass duties for the acoustic/cover act Duo-Ish.
Joe StefanoDrum Teacher
Playing drums since the age of eight, and playing in rock bands steady since the age of 11, Joe has been a part of the music scene for 20 years. Dabbling in all genres, he is well-versed in funk, jazz, reggae, afro-cuban, drum corps and is deeply rooted in rock. In high school, he was the recipient of the Louis Armstrong Jazz Award in 2001, and was the percussion section leader in marching band. He has played in various groups such as Detagoh, The Recent Vintage, Drop Notion, Switchblade Scarlett, The Stereo Riot and many more. One of the original staff members at both the East and West Side School of Rock, Joe loves teaching music and gives students every bit of knowledge that he can.
Scott HeiselSinging Teacher
After a few years of dabbling with each discipline, Scott Heisel began seriously studying both voice and percussion at age 12. In high school, he was forming bands and playing gigs while also touring North America and Europe every summer with the professional boychoir Kantorei and being active in his high school's choral, band and jazz programs. Accepted to Augustana College on a vocal performance scholarship, Scott continued to study voice under Dr. Angela Hand as well as perform in the world-renowned Augustana Choir and Opera@Augustana, in addition to playing in multiple jazz ensembles and combos. (Also, he once won his college's version of "American Idol" and still has the oversized check for $1,000 in his basement to prove it.) In addition to pursuing music performance, Scott is an accomplished music journalist, previously serving as an editor of national music magazine "Alternative Press" for 10 years and currently contributing to a number of arts and entertainment publications. Locally, Scott can be found hosting and DJing various parties all around Cleveland.
Griffin PerekstaGuitar Teacher
What do you get when you mix elements of classic rock, funk and Weird Al Yankovic? You get Griffin Pereksta. He decided he wanted to play guitar after hearing Angus Young from AC/DC play on the “Live at Donnington” recordings. His affinity for classic rock grew when he heard Pink Floyd, Jimi Hendrix and Led Zeppelin. With time he branched out to funk with influences like James Brown, George Clinton and a different kind of P-Funk with The Red Hot Chili Peppers and their punk-funk. Naturally after hearing the funk you just want to get groovy, so Griffin picked up the bass and drums. After high school, he graduated Cuyahoga Community College with a degree in applied sciences from the Recording Arts and Technology program. Griffin currently is playing with The Whiskey Hallow and The Tim Moon Band.