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Our Experienced Music Instructors

School of Rock has experienced music instructors

Our Experienced Music Instructors

School of Rock Franklin’s music teachers are experienced musicians devoted to helping students attain musical proficiency. From singing to drums to guitar, our Franklin music instructors inspire and teach students to perform live.

Guitar Teacher, Bass Guitar Teacher, piano Teacher

Steve Rossi Guitar Teacher, Bass Guitar Teacher, piano Teacher

Steve Rossi brings many years of experience to the Franklin School of Rock as a seasoned performer. Steve has performed on stage with Rock legend and guitar virtuoso, Peter Frampton on his North American tours, as well as other well-known artists such as vocalist extraordinaire, Taylor Dayne; eighties rock legends, Cinderella (North American tours); 60s rock n' roll pioneer, Gary U.S. Bonds, and many other high profile bands and artists across several continents. He has appeared on the The Tonight Show with Jay Leno, The Arsenio Hall Show and NBC's "A 70s Celebration" with Taylor Dayne. Steve has also appeared with headliners The Bee Gees and other notable 70s artists. Other appearances include Solid Gold with Gary U.S. Bonds and on MTV's "The Grind." Steve's album credits include Stevie Wonder, John Kay Steppenwolf and various other artists. He is an independent composer/producer of music for television multimedia. Clients include ABC/Disney, AE, Discovery Channel, Nickelodeon Networks and The Travel Channel, as well as various other corporate and independent clients. Steve scored two seasons of "Surprise by Design," hit home improvement series on Discovery Channel and is currently composing and producing original, in-program music for "Good Morning America."
Guitar Teacher, piano Teacher

EJ Ford Guitar Teacher, piano Teacher

Erskine Ford, Jr., or E.J. as he is known, hails from Bessemer, Alabama. He displayed musical talents early in life, beginning piano lessons at the age of 5. For the next several years he earned his stripes playing piano in numerous churches in his hometown, in Birmingham, and other neighboring cities. He honed his abilities in school learning to play other instruments including bass guitar and percussion. In 1997 he moved to Nashville to attend college at Tennessee State University, continuing his musical education by marching as a snare drummer with the Aristocrat of Bands and playing bass guitar with the TSU Gospel Choir. In the years following college, he has worked with some of Nashville’s who’s who of soul, blues, and R & B including Herschel Bailey, Clarence Dobbins, Scat Springs, and Johnny Jones to name a few. E.J.’s persistent drive to grow musically landed him further work with Southern Soul singer Charles Wilson, Damian Horne from the Muzik Mafia, country music writer and singer Erin Ashleigh, and Maria Howell from the movie “The Color Purple.” He began recording in 2005, coproducing the “Your Reflection” album for R & B singer Justice. The album landed in the top 40 of independent albums in the United States, and in the top 10 in Japan. It was also nominated for Best R & B Album of 2008 by the Southern Entertainment Awards. Today he continues his pursuit of musical excellence with the same formula that has brought him to this level. He instructs private piano and guitar lessons at Oak Hill School in Nashville, serves his church as minister of music, performs regularly with blues, soul, R & B and funk bands, and is the band leader for the up and coming alt-country band Koriander. Most recently he’s been a part of the cast of the new television series “Nashville Unleashed” which airs in the United States, Europe and New Zealand.
Singing Teacher

Katie Basden Singing Teacher

With deep roots in Durham, North Carolina, Katie Basden grew up in a home full of musical influences. She started her solo career at just 15, and migrated to Nashville, TN after high school in 2010 and has been traveling to play ever since. Katie most recently placed as a top 20 finalist on NBC’s show "The Voice" with her coach Blake Shelton, after working with Adam Levine. Prior to the show, she released her sophomore project, "Release the Sound," featuring Gypsy Prophet, which was chosen Best Country Video Performance by talented singer-songwriters Chris Stapleton and Charlie Worsham for "American Songwriter Magazine"’s 30th Anniversary Song Contest. "Release the Sound" is not only full of original, genre-bending songs written by a travelled female artist, but Katie's powerful voice is honest and effortless. Katie plans to release new music this year and looks forward to traveling to play for her newfound fans from her time on television.

Alaina Blair Vocal Instructor

Currently residing in Nashville, TN, Alaina Blair has performed all over the world. The country singer/songwriter has supported many national acts, including Jana Kramer, Jamie-Lynn Spears, Lauren Alaina, Jackie Lee, Jonny Lang, Macy Gray, 3 Doors Down, Aaron Lewis, Anna Nalick, Montgomery Gentry, Marc Cohn, Jason Michael Carroll, Lukas Nelson and Promise of the Real, Lee Rocker, Martha Davis and The Motels, and Casey Abrams of "American Idol." She was also part of the "American Idol" farewell season, making it into the Top 75 out of 75,000 people who auditioned.

Alaina has been fortunate to work with amazing producers and songwriters in both LA and Nashville. She has been a nominee for the LA Music Awards, LA Music Critic Awards and The San Diego Music Awards for her album "Love It or Leave It," produced by Warren Huart (Aerosmith, The Fray, James Blunt). She was also honored to be named an Artist To Watch in a recent CBS Los Angeles article.

Brendan Bird Drums Teacher

Brendan Bird has been playing drums for as long as he can remember. Growing up on the music of Led Zeppelin, Pink Floyd and Black Sabbath, Brendan fell in love with rock music at a very young age, joining School of Rock Main Line as a student and playing with their House Band. After graduating from School of Rock, Brendan attended Berklee College of Music, where he studied with teachers Terri Lyne Carrington, Kim Plainfield and Dave DiCenso. In 2016 he graduated with a B.M. in Professional Music with a focus on performance and education. After graduation, Brendan moved to Nashville and now plays and tours with the band From Earth, as well as local artists Aaron John and Mel Bryant.

Matt Drummey Guitar Teacher, Bass Guitar Teacher

Matt Drummey is a musician from Kingston, MA. A versatile player, Matt is equally comfortable as a bassist or guitarist. Years of performing and teaching make him an excellent resource for any aspiring musician. His playing style is an exciting blend of a wide range of influences. Over the course of his time playing Matt has studied blues, classic rock, jazz, neo-soul, bluegrass, funk and many more.

Matt received a degree in Professional Music from Berklee College of Music in 2011. During his time at Berklee he studied under master guitarist Tim Miller. His time at Berklee also led to him being one of the co-founders of Boston jam band Skyfoot. During his time with Skyfoot Matt performed over 200 shows, spanning over 20 states. Skyfoot released their debut album "Eternal Bend" in 2011. This album features Matt on both electric guitar and bass. His deep understanding of both instruments gives him a unique perspective on playing and teaching. In the spring of 2016 Matt relocated to Nashville to continue to pursue a career in music.

As an instructor Matt’s goal is to make lessons a fun and engaging environment for students. His sense of humor and approachability make him a great fit for all levels of students. Matt puts a strong emphasis on helping students learn their favorite songs and discover improvisation. Matt can teach music theory, reading, ear training, improvisation concepts, electric guitar, acoustic guitar, electric bass, fretless bass techniques, various musical genres, songwriting and more.

Ben Reiff Drums Teacher

Ben Reiff is a professional drummer and aspiring songwriter living in Nashville, TN who has experience teaching a wide variety of students, including children to adults and complete beginners to advanced musicians. Students can expect to see weekly progress in their drumming in many areas, such as coordination, technique, timing, phrasing and overall musicianship. Ben also likes to play in many different styles, including, pop, rock, jazz, funk, hip-hop and many different styles of world music.

As a songwriter, Ben’s teachings often keep a focus on playing drums to best support the song. Students will learn about different song forms and how they relate to creating appropriate drum parts and how to develop strategies for accelerated learning. Ben has 10-plus years of drum experience, playing, touring and recording with bands/artists including Plevyak, Christian Lopez and Blake Ruby, and studying at The Berklee College of Music on scholarship.

Sean McCreight Guitar Teacher

Born and raised in the Nashville, TN area, Sean McCreight first picked up the guitar at age six but didn't become serious about playing the guitar until he was in sixth grade, when he started taking private lessons and learned about the band KISS. Sean's first guitar influence was Ace Frehley, which led to his first live performance in a KISS tribute band and other performances, including the Halloween KISS House right off of the square in Franklin, TN. To this day, Sean can still play every Ace Frehley solo. Eventually Sean became a student at School of Rock and quickly began to learn about more genres of music and develop a love of the blues, progressive rock, Motown, classic rock, jam bands and many more. As time went on Sean's influences grew to include Pink Floyd, The Allman Brothers, Derek Trucks, Gov't Mule, The Grateful Dead, The Aquarium Rescue Unit and his all time favorite, Widespread Panic. During his time at School of Rock, Sean was a member of the House Band for five years and was a three-time national AllStar. After graduating high school and School of Rock, Sean attended Belmont University and majored in Commercial Music - Guitar and quickly formed his band Sonic Voodoo, a seven-piece fusion rock band based in Nashville, TN. Sean's band has played many high-profile gigs, including playing at the Nashville Predators games and Plaza Parties, as well as opening for Echosmith. The band released their first EP on Spotify and iTunes in March of 2017. Sean is continuing his music education in the Segue 61 program in Nashville, TN and continues to record and perform live with Sonic Voodoo and other artists around town.

Bryan Royals Vocal Instructor, Piano Teacher

Bryan Royals is a voice instructor who has been passionate about music, performing and the arts from an early age. This Alabama native holds a Bachelor’s of Music degree from the University of Mobile, where he studied Voice, Musical Theater and Church Worship Ministry. He attended the International Performing Arts Institute in Germany before moving to Orlando, Florida, where he had the opportunity to do session recording and performing in various places such as Walt Disney World and professional theater. He also worked in church ministry for over seven years, working with children, students and adults as a worship leader, children’s worship director and student minister. Bryan has had the opportunity to perform in the Orlando area, around the country and abroad, but he is continuing his career in Nashville while working with artists young and old, helping them develop their talents and gifts in music.

Justin Powless Drums Teacher

Originally from Canton, Michigan, Justin Powless got his musical upbringing in the church, absorbing live music at an early age. At eight years old, he began drum lessons, forever setting him on an endless pursuit of knowledge. In 2014, he began attending Berklee College of Music, becoming immersed in an ocean of music. After graduation, Justin had the privilege of traveling to Ghana to study West African drumming and dancing with a former professor. Since moving to Nashville in 2017, Justin has been working with artist Erin Jarvis, Nashville Broadway artists and local Franklin churches.

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