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Our Experienced Music Instructors

School of Rock has experienced music instructors

Our Experienced Music Instructors

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

Billy McNicolDrum Teacher

Billy McNicol is carrying on his family’s musical legacy in the Louisville scene. Billy recently returned from Los Angeles, where he worked as a solo artist, studio musician and private music instructor for 13 years. While in Los Angeles, Billy shared the stage with some of the biggest names in the business, including Tool, Wu-Tang Clan and 2013 Rock and Roll Hall of Famer Chuck D. from Public Enemy and Immortal Technique. He has played at renowned music venues such as The Whisky A Go Go, The Viper Room and The Belasco Theater in Los Angeles, Amway Center in Orlando and The Hearned Center in Columbia, MO. If Billy looks familiar, it might be because he is the official featured drummer of the University of Louisville men’s basketball team, playing at Freedom Hall during the 2004 and 2005 seasons and returning annually since then to deliver a featured performance at the KFC Yum! Center.
Billy’s uncle, Steve McNicol, fronted and played lead guitar for Louisville legend The Rugbys, best known for their Top 40 hit “You, I.” His father Robert McNicol was also a drummer and vocalist who joined forces with The Rugbys and extended versions of the band, including Sundown Red and The McNicol Bros. Throughout his career, Billy has taught drums and percussion privately and with music stores. He believes that music is a universal language, regardless of age, gender or physical condition. Billy’s philosophy is to offer a safe and welcoming environment where progress and knowledge of the percussion craft is paramount.

Patrick DenneyMusic Director

Patrick Denney is our fearless leader for all things musical. If you see live music around Louisville, then you're sure to see Patrick performing with such bands as Funkasaurus, Dr. Dundiff, The Sexy Tones, Wilder Stallions and others. He's a local musician in demand. A talented multi-instrumentalist, Patrick plays bass, guitar, keyboard and sings. When he's not performing, he can often be found recording in his home studio. Patrick holds a degree in Jazz Studies and Music Technology from Bellarmine University. He has several years of teaching experience, and he also worked in JCFS public schools directing an after-school program on digital mastering and recording, taking the kids to second place in a statewide original music competition. We are excited to introduce Patrick, and thankful for all the playing and performance skills he will be passing on to our students at School of Rock.

Lauren HunterSinging Teacher

Lauren Hunter, a vocal instructor and Little Wing Director, holds a BA in Vocal Performance from Blue Mountain College in Mississippi, where she was classically trained and received the distinguished Music Award awarded to only one senior each year. Lauren has applied her classic techniques to many genres of music, including rock/pop, jazz, musical theater, gospel and contemporary Christian. Lauren is an experienced vocal, Little Wing and Rookies instructor, having previously taught at School of Rock in Germantown, TN. Lauren’s musical roots are strong. She started singing and performing when she was only 10 years old. Her mother was a vocalist in a Memphis soul band, C.O.D. She also plays piano and flute. While in high school, she sang in the West Tennessee Honor Choir and Jazz Choir. To Lauren, music is a way to connect to people in a beautiful and lasting way, and she loves demonstrating to students how music can enrich their lives.

Cade HowardGuitar Teacher

Cade Howard has been playing the guitar for over a decade, with a background in traditional classical music, as well as performance experience with numerous regional bands, including White Knight, Ted Tyro, Jack Holiday and the Westerners, and Hounds and Horns. Cade also has extensive recording experience, having recorded four full-length albums and four EPs, plus two instrumental solo albums in 2016 and 2017. Cade has a deep knowledge of music theory and guitar technique in a variety of musical styles, from classic rock to jazz and classical guitar. He began playing the viola in high school orchestra and guitar in jazz band at age 10. In 2011, he attended Three of a Perfect Pair music camp with members of the band King Crimson.

Toni CarrollSinging Teacher

Toni Carroll holds a BA in Music Business from Indiana State University and has a background in musical theater and opera. Toni is an experienced performer, recording artist and singer/songwriter, and has worked with multiple artists from the Midwest all the way to Florence, Italy. She has garnered years of experience as a working teacher, performer, composer and director.

Toni brings four years of previous teaching experience as a vocal instructor with School of Rock Fishers in Indianapolis. At The Cabaret Performance Venue in Indianapolis, Toni had the opportunity to work and study with many Broadway artists, including Betty Buckley, Megan Hilty, Chester Gregory and Jane Lynch. Toni was a finalist in the 2016 Indi Songwriter’s Competition and is currently composing and recording for her first debut album.

Toni began singing at age nine, and in her youth performed with Young Arts and placed as a gold medalist at Indiana State School Music Association competitions. While in college, she toured in Italy with the Sycamore Singers. Toni loves taking each student to the next level and emphasizing healthy singing in many styles. Toni's training and knowledge of vocal anatomy provides students with the necessary skills for a free and functional voice.

Melanie ScofieldOwner, General Manager

Melanie Scofield has been involved in the arts from an early age, starting with piano lessons, school band, high school and college theater and, later in life, as an arts advocate. Her professional career has been in marketing and public relations, which she combined with her love of creative arts by providing public relations consulting to several arts and culture clients, including Arts Alliance Illinois, and regional Chicago theaters and museums. She also specialized in event management. A lifelong advocate of the arts and arts education, Melanie served as a long-time board member of the Arts Alliance of Illinois and the Pleasant Home Historic House Museum.

Melanie and her husband Doug have two sons, one an actor in Chicago, and Carter Scofield, who grew up with School of Rock and has been a three-time School of Rock AllStar. As a long-time School of Rock parent, Melanie is a strong believer in the transformative power of the program and the impact it has on youth, parents and the broader community. She loves to talk with parents about their children’s potential and how School of Rock can help them realize their goals musically, academically and personally.

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