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Our Experienced Music Instructors

School of Rock has experienced music instructors

Our Experienced Music Instructors

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

Marcel Salas Guitar Teacher, Bass Guitar Teacher, Drum Teacher

Marcel Salas has been a professional musician since age 18, proficient in keyboard, guitar, bass, drums and vocals. He has played with major label acts such as Pitbull and Shakira. He has played in underground metal bands from south Florida such as Cyst, Solstice and Faethom, and has played in local south Florida groove bands Suenalo, Xperimento, Big Brooklyn Red, Juke, Lanzallamas, Chantil Dukart and the Dukes of Art, and House Savage. He was involved for several years in the Miami Dade College Jazz Performance Group. He performed at the Umbria Jazz Festival in Perugia, Italy, and played three USO Tours in Guantanamo Bay, Bahrain and Djibouti. He has played in a multitude of festivals throughout Florida and the United States such as Spirit of the Suwanee, Orange Blossoms Jamboree, Grassroots Music Festival NY and Grassroots Music Festival North Carolina. He has taught privately for over 15 years and ran several show bands at School of Rock South Miami from 2013-2016.

Lourdes "Sofi" Romero Singing Teacher, Piano Teacher

Lourdes “Sofi” Romero was born on July 27, 1978 in Tegucigalpa, Honduras. Romero is a Grammy-nominated vocal performer/songwriter and a dedicated music educator who currently lives in Miami, Florida. Romero goes by the stage name of Sofy Encanto and is the creative voice and co-founding member of recording artist Elastic Bond. Her group is signed to Nacional Records. Sofy performs and teaches vocal and piano performance around the world, delivering musical performances as well as educational workshops and classes at places like festivals, educational facilities and charities such as the County Public Schools program Roots in the Schools, Planeta Feliz, Kids in Distress and Miami Science Museum's Big Bang program. Her work has been recognized by "The LA Times," "The Miami Herald," "The Miami New Times," "The Japan Yomiuri Shimbun," "Latina Magazine" and "Billboard Magazine." Her work has also been broadcasted by NPR, The BBC, PBS, ESPN, CNN, Discovery Channel, Nickelodeon, MTV, Concert Channel, The CW Network and ABC. Romero’s passion is sharing the benefits of music with the community.

Dennis Fuller Drum Teacher

Dennis Fuller was born and raised in Miami. He has been playing in rock bands since he was in sixth grade. Throughout high school he was a part of many groups and ensembles, including the Greater Miami Youth Symphony and the Miami Children's Theater, and has performed and recorded with several rock bands with his friends. He went on to receive a full scholarship based on his audition to the DePauw School of Music. After a few years there, he decided to go for a more contemporary approach and finished his bachelor's degree at Berklee College of Music. His gig resume includes recording at The Hit Factory, two European tours, a residency at Pianos (NYC) and countless shows up and down the East Coast. Currently his latest project, Donzii, has just come home from tour and released their debut EP on the LA-based label Grey Market.

Nicolle "Nikki" Guerra de la Portilla Singing Teacher, Piano Teacher

Nicolle "Nikki" Guerra de la Portilla is a singer, songwriter, dancer and teaching artist who recently moved back to Miami after 10 years in NYC. She holds a BFA in Musical Theatre with a concentration in Creative Arts Therapies, and regularly performs with her band Guerra, in addition to touring with the band Holler Jake throughout the Southwest Appalachian region and teaching a variety of workshops wherever her travels take her.

Edward "Teddy" Sullivan Guitar Teacher

Edward “Teddy” Sullivan knew he wanted to play music and inspire others to play ever since he heard "Master of Puppets" by Metallica. Edward has been teaching private lessons for the past eight years and playing in local and garage bands for the past 15 years. He graduated from Miami Dade College in Music/Music Business and completed his bachelor’s degree at FIU. Teddy is part of the Barely Tuesday Band and plays with Trish and Ryan Swanson, along with Michael Stefanik and Phil Green. Ed loves the mission statement of School of Rock. When he was younger he wanted to have other people to play with and not just take private music lessons, so he finds the performance aspect of School of Rock to be the perfect vehicle for helping students reach their musical goals faster.

Ryan Swanson Bass Guitar Teacher

Ryan Swanson started his musical journey playing the trumpet in elementary school. He played the trumpet through middle school but when he got to high school he needed a change and switched to playing guitar and singing in the chorus. Some of his fondest memories were playing in different garage bands in high school.
He expanded his sonic repertoire by making bass his main instrument for the past 18 years. He has been lucky enough to play bass in a band, Barely Tuesday, for the last 10 years with his wife on drums and two of their closest friends.

Sabina Arakcheyeva Little Wing Teacher, Receptionist

Sabina Arakcheyeva has been a private teacher for preschool and elementary school children, focusing in early child education through music and art, since 1998. Sabina has a BA degree in International Journalism and Communications. She is married and has two homeschooled children of her own. Sabina leads a book club for kids at a local church and organizes educational field trips.

Kiril Angelov Drum Teacher, Piano Teacher

Kiril Angelov started playing percussion at the age of six in the National School of Art in Pleven. In the period between 2000 and 2011 Kiril was performing in a solo and chamber music capacity, as well as participating and winning national and international percussion competitions in Germany and France. He participated in masterclasses and summer academies with great artists such as Katarzyna Myćka, Eric Sammut, Nebojša Jovan Živković and Svetoslav Stoyanov.
In 2015, Kiril obtained his Bachelor’s Degree from the Conservatory of Amsterdam, studying under professors Peter Prommel, Nick Woud, Mark Brafhaart, Ramon Lormans, Victor Oskam and Arnold Marinissen. His education was mainly focused on orchestral playing, which brought him significant orchestral experience, most prominent of which was performing with the world renowned Concertgebouw. Kiril is currently in his final year of his Master’s degree at the Frost School of Music, studying with professors Svetoslav Stoyanov and Matthew Strauss. Having won the Frost Symphony Concerto Competition, Kiril Angelov performed Avner Dorman’s double percussion concerto “Spices, Perfumes, Toxins!“ with his colleague, Dmitrii Nilov, and the Frost Symphony Orchestra in February 2016.

Tato Vega Guitar Teacher, Bass Guitar Teacher, Piano Teacher, Singing Teacher, Drum Teacher

Leonardo "Tato" Vega has been a musician since his childhood. At the age 15 he was the lead singer of a rock and band. His natural music talent led him to become an amazing percussionist and a powerful singer. During his music career he has played in many bands, including Manu Chao (France), Shocklenders (Argentina, Spain), Kayakman and Pokoloco (Miami). Tato has been sharing his passion for music with his students for more than a decade now. He is a natural teacher and he loves to guide kids and adults to discover their own musical talents.

Mike Montero Guitar Teacher, Bass Guitar Teacher, Drum Teacher

Mike Montero is a well-rounded music instructor who has worked independently and at Miami area schools since the late 90s. As an independent instructor, Mike employs a natural drive for teaching the art and theory of music as applied to guitar and bass, as well as applying it in his own performance repertoire as a musician. Mike’s educational background in music includes the art of performance, as well as the business and creative production side of music-making. Most of Mike’s formal education took place at Douglas Anderson School of the Arts in Jacksonville, Florida, at San Diego Mesa College and at Miami Dade College. In high school Mike learned to play jazz, orchestral music, piano, guitar, electric and upright bass, and it was there that he was introduced to modern recording techniques, which spurred his interest in sound recording and live audio engineering. Mike has been teaching private lessons in the Miami area for over a decade and has also served (and continues to serve) as a mentor to former students in both music and the arts. He is also an experienced live audio engineer at local venues when he’s not performing. He consults with the bands of his students and helps them find gigs and performance opportunities in the Miami area. He has performed with and formed various local bands including Oso, Sinema, Macrocosm Research, Symbiotic Simians, Westchester Sauce, Eclipser and Subrosa to name a few. Mike has also independently produced and released an album of original music with his band Oso titled “You Know." Over the last few decades Mike has developed a unique musical style, which he applies to all his side projects, and aims to include the work of numerous other artists in an effort to create a symbiotic relationship between all art forms.

Sam Savage Piano Teacher

Sam Savage has been performing music professionally since 1998. Sam attended Virginia Commonwealth University in Richmond, VA, where he studied Jazz Performance. While in Richmond, Sam performed regularly with bands like Oregon Hill Funk All Stars and NoBS Brass Band, and he also led many jazz and funk bands under his own name. In 2010 Sam moved to Miami to continue his jazz studies at Florida International University. Since moving to Miami, Sam has performed regularly with Grammy-nominated Locos Por Juana, Suenalo, Elastic Bond, Xperimento, jazz band The French Horn and many jazz artists. Sam has his own original project called House Savage, which is in the process of recording their first album. Sam has taught trombone and piano in Miami at Palmetto High School, School of Rock South Miami and to private students. Sam also has two albums under his own name.

Dan Barker Guitar Teacher, Bass Guitar Teacher, Piano Teacher

Dan Barker is a multi-instrumentalist musician and artist originally from Easton, Pennsylvania who devotes his life to many forms of creative endeavors. He has loved the arts since a young age and has worked in theatre, photography, film making and animation as well as music. Before beginning high school, Dan gained proficiency at piano, saxophone, bass and guitar and learned to compose original music through a combination of classical training and autodidactic exploration. He would further develop his style and sensibilities at Ithaca College in central New York, where he studied guitar with seasoned musician Steve Brown. He also founded the instrumental dance band Big Mean Sound Machine, with whom he toured the country and played his own compositions to live crowds for over eight years. In 2017 he moved to Miami to discover new mediums of creativity and launched his production platform ADVTR BEAT ARTS, creating animations and music videos.

Natalie "Nay" Richard Guitar Teacher, Singing Teacher

Natalie Richard (aka Nay Rozé) is a 25-year-old violinist and vocalist from Winter Haven, FL. She began studying classical violin at the age of 10 through scholastic courses and private instruction. During this time, she also attended prestigious music camps, clinics and programs throughout the state. While her main focus of study began as primarily classical, she is extremely passionate about teaching, creating and inspiring. After many years of working in symphonies, ensembles and theater pit orchestra, her main focus in music includes songwriting for various projects, collaborating musically with local artists and performing for various Miami based events with her band Tamboka. She believes that the arts have the power to change the world, and just wants to help others to find their voice through music.

Yolanda Harrold Singing Teacher, Piano Teacher

Yolanda “Omega B” Harrold is a captivating South Florida vocal sensation, with roots that run professionally in the South Florida music scene since age 15. She is classically trained with a natural four-octave singing range and stylized performance dynamics. Professionally, her career has spanned over 25 years, and involves singing, writing, recording, stage performances and working behind the scenes nationally and international with artists like Celine Dion. A master level coach that has over 20 years of experience grooming talent for recording and stage performances, she strives to share both her knowledge and resources through talent and career coaching.

Trish Stout-Swanson Drum Teacher

Trish Stout-Swanson wanted to play music ever since she saw Chevy Chase and Paul Simon dancing around in the "You Can Call Me Al" music video. From that day on she wanted to play the saxophone but never had the chance until she went to high school. She joined the high school band and learned to play the saxophone. Her musical curiosity began to grow, and she desperately wanted to play the drums. Her band teacher showed her a few things to get her started and then she became dedicated to practicing and teaching herself the drums. After that she picked up a few more instruments but drums are her passion. She has been playing the drums for about 20 years and she is always trying find ways to improve her playing. She has been fortunate enough to be in a band (Barely Tuesday) with her best friends and husband for over 10 years. She is so excited to be teaching drums at School of Rock, especially to students who have never played before.

Lai-Si Lasalle Singing Teacher, Piano Teacher

Lai-Si Lassalle is a singer, songwriter, actor, artist, designer, content creator and production assistant. This jack of all trades is originally from Miami. Her unique mixture of cultures has shaped her as a performer and professional. Always on the move, Lai-Si has toured Europe, Colombia, Cuba and both coasts of the U.S. She also trained at AMDA in NYC and lived and worked in LA and London for three years each. Each destination has provided a new set of skills and experiences that have expanded her knowledge in the film, theatre, music and tech industries. She is currently recording a new album with her jazz/funk band Soul Recital in Miami. She recently performed in the play "Gloria" as one of the leads at Gables Stage. Her goal is human connection at a soul level through music and art.

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