Scott Higgins General Manager
Scott Higgins’s love for music started early in his life. He started playing guitar when he was seven and performing with bands at 13. He is primarily a guitar player, but also plays bass and sings. Scott honed his management skills while attending the University of Cincinnati and managing local restaurants. Before joining School of Rock Northern Kentucky as our General Manager, Scott was a very active performer and loved recording music with his friends.
Scott started with School of Rock in 2012 as the Assistant General Manager at School of Rock Mason. In 2016, he was promoted to the role of General Manager. Scott’s passion for music and desire to share it are evident when you talk to him. He is committed to bringing the gift of music and performance to the local community.
Ryan Hickey Guitar Teacher
Ryan grew up in Cincinnati within the city’s West side. The development of proficiency, knowledge, performance, and recording has been his focus over the course of years playing in bands and ensembles around the tri-state area. His accomplishments as a musician and artist are accompanied by a B.S. in Biological Sciences, an influence in his teaching style that prioritizes critical thinking and problem solving with respect to logical, physiological, and mechanical perspectives. However, Ryan is not convinced that there’s a gene for blazing guitar solos, and would be happy to challenge the idea of natural talent with an effective teaching plan.
Lindsay Travis Singing Teacher
After 13 years in the Big Apple, Lindsay is returning to her midwestern roots! Cincinnati born-and-raised, she studied voice, musical theatre, and viola at the School for Creative and Performing Arts and earned B.A. from Northern Kentucky University's Theatre and Dance Department.
In NYC, she went on thousands (literally thousands) of auditions for Broadway, tours, and regional productions, attained membership in Actor's Equity Association (the professional union for performing arts). Favorite rolls include, Val in A Chorus Line, Laurey in Oklahoma, and under-studying (and going on for!) Sandy in Greece. Lindsay's classical training and musical theatre experience gives her a unique passion for vocal health and proper technique. Singing should be fun and never forced!
On her days off you'll find Lindsay chasing after her three young boys and teaching them the lyrics to "Bohemian Rhapsody" (both the original and the muppet version). Favorite jams include CCR, Earth,Wind & Fire, and Sam Smith.
David Parks Drum Teacher
A career-musician for over 25 years, David’s professional career began at the age of 18 touring with The Van – Dells. This experience would catapult him onto the country and rock music scene in Nashville, Tennessee, playing 3 to 4 gigs each day in the city’s legendary venues. Soon he joined ranks with touring artists and his professional experience grew to consist of live and nationally televised appearances (including New Year’s Eve in Times Square and The Grand Ole Opry), recording sessions and touring of the U.S., Canada, Mexico and Europe.
Working with Casey James (of American Idol), David has also performed live and in-studio with artists: Jason Michael Carroll, Derek St. Holmes (Ted Nugent), Tommy Skeoch (formerly of Tesla), Henry Lee Summer, LoCash, Craig Wayne Boyd, Steel Magnolia, Ty Herndon, The Beat Daddys and Little Milton.
David is the Co-founder of The Nashville Drummers Jam (an annual event held in Nashville, Tennessee to honor legendary drummers and raise funds for charities), David’s reputation and hard-work have grown the event to garner notable alumni, such as: members of the band Chicago, The Doobie Brothers, Ray Luzier (Korn), Troy Luccketta (Tesla) and Pat Torpey and Billy Sheehan (Mr. Big). Participants who have contributed to the event are Eddie Van Halen, Alex Van Halen, Phil Collins , Neil Peart, Stewart Copeland and many others.
David is also the co-founder of the band Resist & Bite, an original rock group that has gained international recognition with the 2020 release of their debut single and video: The Myth I’m Livin’. Working with renowned producer Michael Rosen, Resist & Bite recorded their first album early this year. The album is set to release in 2021.
Seen in Modern Drummer, Drumhead, and DRUM! magazines, David is also sought after as a guest on numerous podcasts for his in-depth knowledge of the craft and music industry. His extensive background ranges from performing in the marching band drumline as a teen, to playing local shows, arenas, stadiums and studio sessions all over the world.
An instructor for over 20 years, David has taught beginner, intermediate, advanced, adult and professional students. Requested by elementary music teachers, high-school band directors and professional artists alike, he tailors each lesson to the student’s level to help propel them to the level they wish to reach. Students enjoy a fresh and down-to-earth approach, one that encourages them to ask questions and creates an environment where they feel empowered to achieve their goals.
Sarah Davis Singing Teacher
Growing up with 3 part harmonies in the kitchen certainly has its advantages. From an early age Sarah was surrounded by extremely eclectic music in almost every aspect of life. She learned to appreciate the musical experience at an early age and has drawn from this environment.
Since realizing music was her passion, she has written and performed tracks for movies and short films, been nominated for several Cincinnati Entertainment Awards across multiple genres (with a win for Best Hip Hop in 2010), has been an in demand studio vocalist, and has experienced regional and national touring.
She currently works at a music therapy studio and loves to help children find their own way to enjoy the musical experience.
Aaron Mahoney Keyboard Teacher
Aaron has been involved in the Tristate Music Scene since 1991 starting out on keys and eventually applying the same passion for guitar. Eventually this would also lead to live and studio production. He has played with several prominent local and national musicians. He’s looking forward to meeting this next wave of musicians here at School of Rock Northern Kentucky.
Mason Daugherty Bass Guitar Teacher
Mason Daugherty is a bass teacher who's been playing professionally in a myriad of genres since 14. He holds a degree in Jazz Bass from Morehead State University and is currently pursuing his Masters at CCM. His expertise includes both electric and upright. He is very excited to be joining the team at School of Rock.
Dixie Karas Singing Teacher
Dixie Karas is a Cincinnati native, working full-time in the music industry as one of the Queen City's most powerful singers. Well known for her uniquely passionate and dynamic voice, she brings energy to any live or studio setting. Dixie gives every audience an amazing experience, effortlessly leaping from soothing melodies to fierce soulful deliveries. Her commanding presence connects with listeners in a way that makes them a part of the magic.
She has performed on albums and commercial projects for these production companies and studios:
Counterpart Creative Studio
Jean Ann Ryan
Group Effort Studio
Madison Park Productions
Ligosa Sound Systems
Dream Stand Video & Print
Jay Gilbert Productions
Steve Hoskins Music
Austin Bartle Guitar Teacher
Austin Bartle has been playing music for 11 years. He became interested in playing music at 15 years old when he borrowed his older sister's ukulele out of boredom. By his 16th birthday, one of Austin's friends offered him an electric guitar and amp in exchange for his birthday money - a deal that he happily accepted. A friend of his taught him the intro riff to Enter Sandman and from there he began a self-taught musical journey. Eventually he tackled music from bands that he enjoyed and he quickly moved on to writing his own music as a method to learn.
At age 24, Austin auditioned for the Atlanta Institute of Music and Media and was accepted into their guitar performance and music production program. For 1 year, he spent every day in classrooms learning from professional musicians about scales, chords, theory, and sight reading. In performance class, he learned how to play and cooperate with a band in a variety of styles like rock, funk, jazz, soul, progressive rock, and pop. Austin completed the guitar performance program and spent the next year in school learning how to record, engineer, produce, mix, and master music at a professional level from professionals that worked with huge stars like Whitney Houston, Beyonce, Ludacris, NSYNC, Usher, Jennifer Lopez, and Shakira.
During Austin's two years of school, he studied extensively with three private teachers who truly took his guitar playing and musicianship to the next level. He created the artist name Bartalien and released an album, Historical Successor. Austin is looking forward to spending time practicing and developing everything he was taught and to continue writing his own music, go gigging, teach others, and continue learning from every musician that he can!
Justin Van Wagenen Drum Teacher
Justin is currently studying Music Education with a specialization in jazz drumming at the Cincinnati Conservatory of Music (CCM). He also gigs with several original bands with genres spanning from reggae to pop.
Stephen Schwarz Drum Teacher
Stephen (pronounced Stef-en) Schwarz has been a drummer for what seems like his his entire life. He started playing drums at the age of 10, when his sister and her band would leave their equipment he would sneak in and play their drums. Stephen’s parents finally got him his own drum set when he was 17 and he never looked back. He has been playing professionally since that time and still currently plays with three local bands. Stephen has played with some of Cincinnati’s largest touring bands including Prizoner, Relics & Bad Habit. He also owned and operated the best drum shop in the area. Stephen’s teaching style is a bit unorthodox as he is self-taught, but his technique and style are both well developed.
Justin Martin Guitar Teacher
Justin has been trying to pick out a melody on any instrument you put in front of him since grade school, eventually settling on guitar and bass in his early teens. A series of fun if ill-fated garage bands developed throughout his college years and beyond, accompanied by further study of all the guitar’s possibilities across different styles. As time wore on, collaborative musical endeavors unfortunately had to be placed on the back burner, but Justin still spent his free time exploring jazz, expanding his keyboard playing, and mining the depths of music history through internet and record bin alike.
Guitar of course remained a constant through it all, and through a strange confluence of life events that is best recounted in person he eventually began focusing primarily on solo acoustic finger-style playing. Over the past several years this had led to him learning dozens of popular songs across nearly every genre imaginable, developing a repertoire he is hoping to bring to performance in the very near future. In the meantime, he is also excited to get back to his electric guitar roots with School of Rock, exploring the myriad possibilities of the instrument along with the students he is teaching.