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School of Rock

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Our Experienced Music Instructors

School of Rock has experienced music instructors

Our Experienced Music Instructors

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

Music Director

Teddi Tarnoff General Manager

At the original School of Rock in Philadelphia, Teddi was one of the first-ever students and All Stars. She has taught voice and directed countless shows, as well as ran the All Stars program for a time and developed some of the curriculum at the core of the School of Rock program. Outside of that, Teddi has studied music both in the states and abroad. She has had the pleasure of working with such famed opera teachers as Enza Ferrari and Bruno Rigacci, and attended Temple University for Jazz Vocal Performance. At the tender age of 11, Teddi began studying classical violin at The Curtis Institute. Teddi was in two all-female tribute bands, Misstallica and Queen Diamond, and performs original music with her band Mother Mercury. She has performed all over the world with some serious musicians including Jon Anderson (Yes), Alice Cooper, Marky Ramone (The Ramones), Miriam Linna (The Cramps), Ike Willis (Frank Zappa), Napolean Murphy Brock (Frank Zappa, George Duke Band), Eddie Vedder (Pearl Jam), Mike Keneally (Frank Zappa, Steve Vai, Dethklok), Richard Christy (Death, Iced Earth) and Stuart Copeland (The Police).
Guitar teacher

Erik Carlsson Music Director

Erik Carlsson has been playing the guitar for the past 20 years. During that time, he has played in countless bands and been involved in many rewarding musical endeavors. Erik attended San Francisco State University where he received his B.M. in Theory and Composition. While in college, he focused heavily on performing jazz and metal on the guitar, while also teaching music at a local K-8 private school in Northern California. After moving back down to Southern California, Erik joined a heavy rap metal band named 3rd Strike and was signed by Hollywood Records in 2001. While in 3rd Strike, he was fortunate enough to be on the Vans Warped Tour in 2001-02, and also played Ozzfest. Other credits include heavy video play on MTV 2, a tour of the USA and Europe, music in "Ultimate X: The Movie," and a song on the "Tomb Raider 2" soundtrack. After leaving 3rd Strike, Erik was involved in several other projects in Los Angeles and has worked with producers such as Toby Wright (Alice in Chains, Korn), Mudrock (Godsmack), Bob Marlette (Seether) and Chris Lord-Alge.
Guitar teacher

Jim McKenzie Guitar Teacher

Jim has been involved in the music industry from a very young age and has toured internationally with various shows and bands. As well as being well-versed in rock, blues and country idioms, Jim has a Bachelor of Music degree from Brandon University in Classical Guitar Performance. A recipient of one of the university's performance scholarships, he also taught at the conservatory. Currently, Jim can be seen performing within the Las Vegas lounge scene or enjoying teaching students at School of Rock.
Guitar teacher

Mario Ortiz Guitar Teacher

Hailing from Los Angeles County, Mario Vittorio Ortiz comes to School of Rock with over 10 years of experience as an educated, versatile and passionate guitar instructor with a comprehensive background in performance and teaching. Mario excels in offering a solid knowledge of music theory, technique and a wide variety of musical genres including rock, blues, punk, funk, heavy metal, soul and pop. Armed with a diverse sound/style and several years of charismatic live performances on many noted Las Vegas stages, Mario was also the lead guitarist, lead singer and main songwriter of the power trio At It Again. Focusing on music curriculum for beginner, intermediate and advanced guitarists, Mario helps students by teaching them to use their individual strengths and styles to develop unique practice rituals that incorporate theory, history, and the love and inspiration of music itself.
Drum Teacher

Adam Fisher Drum Teacher

Adam Fisher was born and raised in Las Vegas. With his father being a drummer, he has been around music his entire life, which helped to fuel his love and passion for it. At the age of two he picked up a pair of sticks and played on his first drum kit. After years of playing off and on, he began to take it seriously at the age of 15, playing with other musicians as much as possible. He then began performing with local artists with big followings such as punk/rock band Absent Minded, rap/rock band Cornerstone and various funk artists. After being in the local scene for a few years, Adam decided that he wanted, and was determined, to attend Musicians Institute located in the heart of Hollywood, CA. There he studied jazz, latin, funk, contemporary music and digital drumming/computer programming. After receiving his Associates Degree in Music/Performing Arts, Adam began his professional career as a musician/drummer/teacher. Shortly after graduating, he landed a gig with rap/rock artist RapScallions. His biggest success has been having one of their songs featured on the video game "Rocksmith" by Ubisoft for PS3 and Xbox. Adam then moved back to Las Vegas to continue teaching, gigging and doing studio work. Specializing in rock, he is now teaching at School of Rock and helping to share his knowledge and musical experiences.

David Vincola Drum Teacher

Las Vegas-based drummer/percussionist and multi-­instrumentalist David Vincola continues to provide a rock-solid groove and a sound as wide as they come for a variety of musical genres and performing situations across the globe. At various high points in his career, he has found himself performing onstage with artists such as Stevie Wonder, Diana Krall, Quincy Jones and John Williams. Whether performing alongside some of the finest artists in the business or providing the rhythmic foundation for a few of the biggest hit Broadway musicals, he continues to adapt and evolve as a musician and share his passion for music with anyone he meets along the way. David has been teaching in private, group and classroom settings since his time at The University of Miami School of Music where he earned a bachelor’s degree in Music Performance. He continued his performance studies at The Boston Conservatory and soon after relocated to New York City, where he taught privately out of his studio in Brooklyn for more than a decade. Calling Las Vegas home since 2014, David has appeared in some of the most popular shows on and off the Strip, such as "Rock of Ages," "Million Dollar Quartet," "MJ Live" and "The Rat Pack is Back," as well as many other live music venues, theaters and lounges.

Brittany McKay Singing Teacher

Brittany McKay has been performing for over 10 years and has been introduced as a "raw soulstress with a jazzy tone and a hip edge." She is known as a singer, songwriter, producer, and vocal coach that has recently worked in Los Angeles with various artists and producers in the entertainment industry. She attended Las Vegas Academy for vocal performance, then moved on to Berklee College of Music in Boston to study Vocal Performance, Education and Songwriting. Since then, Brittany has been in Las Vegas teaching, recording and performing alongside her seven-piece band. They have performed at various venues in Las Vegas and won the Brooklyn Bowl Battle of the Bands to play Life is Beautiful Festival in 2016. She is now approaching her fourth year teaching at School of Rock and recording her third EP.

Andrew Caballero Guitar Teacher

Andrew Caballero is a Hall of Fame graduate of School of Rock Las Vegas West, as well as a graduate of Las Vegas Academy, having majored in Electric and Classical Guitar. Having played guitar for 10+ years, he's had many opportunities to play shows all across Las Vegas and go on tour throughout the Midwest and Southwest with the School of Rock Continental Tour. Along the way, he formed his own band with fellow School of Rock students called FSTR SPRNT. Andrew enjoys giving back to School of Rock in his role as an instructor, helping to inspire younger musicians and share the knowledge he has gained from both School of Rock and Las Vegas Academy.

Maria Wynants Studio Coordinator

Born and raised locally in Las Vegas, Maria Wynants represents the core ideals and charm School of Rock has become known for. Working as Studio Coordinator since 2016, she manages the flow of lessons between the teachers and students, offers full information to the program's details and benefits, and shares her musical knowledge with any who seek it. While she's outside the teaching program itself, Maria has practiced in a repertoire of instruments since very early in her life, including piano, guitar and flute. Singing being a vital passion in her life, Maria has studied and trained her vocal talents extensively over a variety of styles, such as classical and modern genres, and can also be found featured on a few independent singles online. Maria is essential to the school and its successes by keeping the environment fun, open, intuitive and welcoming to all who come through the door.

Justin Prescott Guitar Teacher

As a singer/songwriter and a blues man, Justin has been playing the guitar for 20 years. Classic rock and metal found him at a young age and inspired him to start his own bands when he was in high school. Guitar players like Joe Satriani, Jason Becker and Paul Gilbert were all big influences for him. Upon discovering that Paul Gilbert went to school at Musicians Institute in Hollywood, Justin decided to attend MI as well, where he studied advanced guitar, music theory, ear training, sight reading and multiple genres including rock, jazz, blues, metal and classical. After receiving his degree, Justin went on to begin his teaching career at Canoga School of Music in Southern California. Justin has continued to teach, learn and perform since then. He is currently living in Las Vegas and playing in three bands: Baroque and Blues, The Wexford Blues Band and The Prescott Blues Band.

Kelsey Vansuch Singing Teacher

Kelsey VanSuch is an Ohio raised and trained singer/songwriter native to the Las Vegas area for the past six years. She attended the Las Vegas Academy for vocal performance and graduated in 2016 with her Music Education B.M. from the UNLV School of Music. As a voice instructor, Kelsey incorporates healthy singing technique with popular performance elements into her lessons to help develop her students for the contemporary stage. Kelsey also regularly performs on the downtown scene, with appearances at the Smith Center and Brooklyn Bowl Las Vegas.

Liz Ofte Singing Teacher

Liz has been singing since she was a little girl. Music and expressing herself have always been in her blood, from playing trumpet and piano to singing in musicals, jazz choir, show choir, concert choir, barbershop quartets and state solo competitions in high school and college. She’s toured the whole state of Wisconsin two summers in a row in a traveling troupe called Kids from Wisconsin, performing 73 shows a summer. She went to college for Trumpet Performance at the University of La Crosse Wisconsin with a minor in Theater. Now she sings in the Las Vegas pop/synth/rock band Pet Tigers that she has fronted for six years, playing keyboards, trumpet and singing. She has also been in cover bands in her home state of Wisconsin, as well as in Las Vegas for years. She’s toured the west coast and the Midwest and played in the world’s largest music festival, Summerfest in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, as well as in music festivals in Las Vegas.

Niko Gemini Bass Guitar Teacher

Niko Gemini is a Russian-born musician and songwriter. He moved to the US in 2011 after graduating from Moscow State Tchaikovsky Conservatory College to start his career as a professional musician. After joining Davey Suicide for their The Reckoning Tour, Niko became a permanent member of the band. In 2016 Niko started his new band, Cry Venom, together with Jacky Vincent (ex-Falling In Reverse). Their first full-length album, "Vanquish The Demon," was released via King Records (Japan). The band went on its first Vanquish The West Tour, following it up with a performance in Japan at Loud Park'17 music festival alongside Slayer, Devin Townsend Project, Meshuggah, Alice Cooper and others. In March 2017 Davey Suicide's new album, "Made From Fire," charted on Billboard. After performing at a few summer festivals, the band started the Made From Fire World Tour that so far includes North America, the UK, Netherlands, Germany, Switzerland and Russia. Niko is Vegas-based now, on and off the road, and brings a lot of industry expertise, along with his exceptional musicianship, to the School of Rock family.

Ron Rollwitz Show Director

Ron Rollwitz plays bass guitar and vocals for American Voodoo and The Siana King Band. Ron has played all over the world, traveling extensively through Southeast Asia, the Pacific islands and Australia with the USO and DOD overseas shows. Highlights for him include being the opening act for The Beach Boys at Sullivan Arena in Anchorage, Alaska. In addition, he loved playing the world famous Sunday Jam in Harujuku, Tokyo, Japan and doing support tours for the U.S. Armed Forces.

Spencer King Piano Teacher

Spencer King grew up in Las Vegas and began classical training on the piano when he was six years old. In high school he played with a rock band until he graduated. Shortly after he moved to Boston, where he attended the Berklee School of Music, as well as gigged and toured with multiple bands. After two years, Spencer moved to back to Las Vegas, where he has since been gigging with multiple bands ranging from jazz to metal styles.

Rhaina Yasmin Rock 101 Instructor

Rhaina began studying music at a young age in lessons, as well as participating in musical productions and camps. She grew up in New York and moved to Las Vegas her sophomore year of high school. After three years of attending, Rhaina graduated from School of Rock Las Vegas West and was inducted into the Hall of Fame. During her time with School of Rock, she participated in two School of Rock affiliated tours, including a School of Rock AllStars national tour, playing at numerous well-known venues up and down the west coast. Rhaina is now studying Jazz Vocal Performance at University of Nevada Las Vegas.

Terry Peake Piano Teacher

Terry Peake is a composer, producer and multi-instrumentalist specializing in guitar and piano. As an instructor, Terry has been working with students of all ages and ability levels since 2005, at first in Michigan and then relocating to Las Vegas in 2014. While focusing on teaching keyboard and guitar over those years, he has also helped students on a variety of other instruments and has been very active in performance programs as well. While in Michigan, Terry would perform alongside his students at some of Detroit's more notable venues, including An Evening with Chad Smith at the Berman Center for Performing Arts, where he and his students played with the legend himself. Terry was only a teenager when he started making an impact on the rock scene in Detroit. His growing fascination with classical music started influencing how he wrote for the band he established at age 16, and local musicians and fans alike were starting to take notice that he was doing something fresh and original. His fascination would soon lead him to pursue a degree in Music Composition from Wayne State University, where he would learn the secrets of the masters and graduate with honors. For years he worked on combining modern classical composition techniques with progressive rock and metal, and in 2012 he was awarded the Kresge Artist Fellowship for the music he had developed. In addition to performing with a variety of his own original bands over the years, Terry has also kept a foot in classical performance and has performed as a choral tenor, with notable performances such as High Mass in the Vatican in 2003, and a recent concert with Andrea Bocceli at the MGM Garden Arena.

Zach Wright Drum Teacher

Zach has been playing drums for five years. He started drums at School of Rock Las Vegas West and has developed his skills under the program's experienced and talented teachers. He's had the opportunity to play countless shows with School of Rock at places like downtown Fremont Street, Container Park, Brooklyn Bowl and so on. He's also participated in many bands outside of School of Rock, allowing him the opportunity to perform at venues like The House of Blues. Zach is a student of music and will continue his own studies as well. He is very glad to be part of the School of Rock staff and to give back to the community that gave him so much.

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