Our Experienced Music Teachers
All of School of Rock Libertyville’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.
Marissa Barnette Singing Teacher, Keyboard Teacher
Marissa Barnette can not recall any part of her life when she wasn’t a singer. The daughter of a songwriter, she grew up around music that included his original compositions that inspired her to further exploration into creating music. Mainly a vocalist, Marissa’s talents cover such instruments as keys, and guitar, as well as ukulele, sax and trombone. In the early years, she taught herself to sing beautifully just to meet the expectations of those who performed with her in various musical ensembles and repertory programs.
Later, she trained formally under the expert instruction of professors and mentors at the College of Lake County and Lake Forest College. (Along the way she won awards for her jazz performances.) She has sung as a regular of Timeless Entertainment and that has given her great exposure throughout the area. She inspires by drawing out the best in her students. She listens closely to them to help them and leads them to express their own music abilities in their performances and songwriting.
Walker Wilson Drum Teacher, Guitar Teacher, Bass Teacher, Singing Teacher
Walker Wilson was at the tender age of three when he was first introduced to music of the legendary band Rush. He recalls how his dad would play those prog rock gods constantly and how the family would join together in song and dance — often finishing on the furniture. Inspired by the band’s musicianship, Walker pursued music that keeps driving him to improve as a player.
Walker plays a broad range of instruments, including drums, vocals, guitar, and bass, and to a lesser extent keyboards. Walker practices constantly whenever he is not giving lessons or rehearsing for his next show in one of his bands. For the band Vivid Vision, he’s the lead singer from behind the kit, and in Fun Monkey he drives the drums on their jams. Walker engages his students in stories of his band practices and performances, and he’ll show them videos of drum solos he’s played at their many gigs. He encourages them with assurances that they too can become drumming rock gods with some practice and commitment.
Michael Salgado Bass Teacher, Guitar Teacher, Keyboard Teacher and Singing Teacher
Michael Salgado’s friends drew him into becoming a musician. His best friend was a guitar player and he wanted Michael to join a band. Then came the need for a bassist and he had found his instrument. Today, Michael performs and teaches bass, keyboards, guitar and vocals using skills he’s build over years of playing in bands from here to New Orleans. He’s played with such legends as Marquis Hill, Isaiah Collier, Ramsey Lewis, and Sugar Blue.
Michael inspires his student through his great talent and his way of connecting to his students’ music visions. He ties them together with analogies that create imagery his students use to understand music concepts and to energize their efforts.
Jonathan Dawson Music Director, House Band Director, Guitar Teacher, Bass Guitar Teacher
Jonathan Dawson was naturally attracted to the guitar. His cousin had one and she would play it when the family came around. He immediately loved the sound and found it magical for musical expression. He moved started with The Beatles and took flight when he found Jimi Hendrix and Led Zeppelin hitting the late 60s airwaves.
Over his 39 years of playing, he took lessons from a folk guitar lady, a jazz master, a series of teachers at his Pittsburgh arts high school, and then from professors in the music department at the University of Miami in Coral Gables. He’s mastered the guitar, bass, and ukulele, and helps his students develop with those, as well as players in our Performance Groups and House Band. His band is the JD Trio, and he’s played as a sessions artist and in the pit orchestra for such musicals as Rent. Now he inspires his students by showing them the possibilities they have as players in the exciting and ever-changing world of music.
Romario Avila Guitar Teacher, Bass Guitar Teacher, Keyboard Teacher
Romario grew up surrounded by music due to his family's appreciation of Norteño and Rock & Roll music. The appreciation of music eventually turned into becoming the multi-instrumentalist. Romario's first plunge into music was during high school, when his current audio engineer started to write music with Romario and covered songs they both loved to play. Since then, Romario has always been found with an instrument nearby. Romario's been playing the guitar, drums, bass, piano, and ukulele for 8 years now, but he's primarily a guitar player and guitar instructor. Romario graduated from the College of Lake County with an associates of arts and is currently studying at Lake Forest College for his BA in music with a minor in music education. At Lake Forest College, Romario is currently in the LFC Jazz Ensemble as a guitarist and the Chair of the Music Student Advisory Committee. He always want the best for his students and will always be there to support their endeavors with their music career/hobby. No matter what the difficulty the students' aspirations are with music, Romario's goal as an instructor is to guide and facilitate them towards their dreams.
Andy Jasinski Guitar Teacher, Bass Guitar Teacher, Keyboard Teacher
Besides teaching music, Andy is a composer, songwriter, and multi-instrumentalist based in the Northwest Chicago suburbs. Andy started playing in bands in the mid-90s in his native Virginia. Finding inspiration in styles like math rock, shoegaze, and free jazz, Andy pursued a formal education in composition, and earned a PhD from The University of Chicago, where his principal teacher was Shulamit Ran. As a teacher he believes in helping every student find their own voice as a musician, whether it be in performing, creating, or both. Andy is currently finishing an album of original material with his wife Jackie.
Daniel Jackson Singing Teacher, Guitar Teacher, Keyboard Teacher
Daniel Jackson is a multi-instrumentalist who hails from Birmingham, AL. He spent the first 7 years of his career traveling in musicals like: Green Day’s American Idiot, Rock of Ages and the Buddy Holly story in the titular role. As a songwriter, Daniel has worked with artists like: Blondie Chaplin, Jason Robert Brown, Tom Kitt, Scott Weiland & more. Daniel feels honored to get to teach the next generation about the ups and downs of the performing industry.