Rockville Centre
School of Rock

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Rockville Centre

Our Experienced Music Instructors

School of Rock has experienced music instructors

Our Experienced Music Instructors

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

Dylan Gross General Manager, Music Director

Dylan's training is classical and jazz but his heart is all rock n' roll. Coming to School of Rock as a multi-instrumentalist, he took the school by storm and quickly became the Assistant General Manager. With a Music Education degree from Five Towns College and now a Master's Degree in Music Education from Hofstra University, Dylan has had the incredible opportuniy to perform in chamber orchestra, jazz orchestra and theatre orchestra on multiple instruments including the upright and electric bass. Of course when not a part of the orchestra he toured with local rock bands playing drums, keys and the bass! A lesson with Dylan means a lesson in theory, ear training, performance and exposure to multiple genres of music. His students are often hit with a lightening round of, "Quick, name as many bass players as you can!"

Sam Coughlin Singing Teacher, Bass Guitar Teacher

Sam "Stellar" Coughlin is a NY music scene veteran and classically trained vocalist from Long Island, NY. With a hefty musical theater background, she made the transition to front woman for several prominent Long Island acts at the tender age of 14. As a child, her father, a self-taught guitarist, would play all kinds of rock songs for her until she eventually begged for lessons herself. She's been playing guitar for over 10 years and bass for around nine. Being rooted in traditional vocal and speech training, Sam has been able to span her songwriting over a vast collection of genres including pop, indie, punk and hip-hop. Along the way, she's toured the country fronting various musical acts with stops at festivals such as SXSW and Warped Tour. If you ever feel like striking up a conversation with her, open with a Bruce Campbell one-liner.

Brian Sweeney Guitar Teacher, Singing Teacher, Piano Teacher

Brian Sweeney is a pianist, composer and musical director based in East Meadow, NY. He holds degrees from the University of Miami (Music Business) and the Crane School of Music (Performance). He is trained in both classical and contemporary music, and has several years of performing experience on guitar, bass, keyboard, drums and voice. Brian’s most recent work includes directing various community theatre productions with musicians of all ages, as well as premiering an original musical as part of the NY Winterfest. When he is not at School of Rock, Brian works as a staff pianist for the American Musical and Dramatic Academy (AMDA) in Manhattan. In addition, he is co-frontman and guitarist for pop/rock group Go the Distance, which hopes to release their sophomore album within the year, following their debut album "All or Nothing."

Michael Rubin Guitar Teacher, Drum Teacher, Bass Guitar Teacher

Michael is a really old soul. His main instruments are a cream 1969 Fender Telecaster and his homemade sunburst Stratocaster. Michael started his first band, The Inoculated Canaries, at the age of 13. The Canaries have toured multiple times and released their latest EP, “Trying Times,” in January 2018. Michael spent nine years as a School of Rock student himself. He spent seven of those years as a House Band member, and toured with the AllStars for three years. During his time as a School of Rock student, Michael became fluent in the bass guitar, as well as the drums. Michael’s musical influences are varied, but are rooted mainly in classic rock. His all-time favorite band is Pink Floyd, with guitarist David Gilmour playing a hugely influential role in his playing style and technique. Other musical influences include Steely Dan, Nirvana, Tame Impala, Led Zeppelin and Frank Zappa.

David Nieves Drum Teacher, Piano Teacher

David is a 20-year musician specializing in drums, percussion, woodwinds and piano. He got his start at the age of 10 when a chance meeting with a music teacher prompted him to start clarinet. He attended Laguardia High School of Music and Art and Mannes School of Music, performing with the Laguardia orchestra, the Mannes concert orchestra and the ISO orchestra. After graduating high school, David attended Queens College where he performed with the senior orchestra for three years. He's taken lessons with some of the most famous clarinetists in New York City including Bonnie Sholl, David Glazer, David Weber and Stanley Drucker. After years of clarinet lessons, David felt he needed a change. Percussion was always a love of his so after transferring to Lehman College in the Bronx, he decided to take drum lessons. After four years of percussion lessons with Howard Hirsch, he began performing in various marching band groups and symphonic bands around New York City, trading the woodwind section for the percussion section. Currently, David gives private music instruction in all of his instruments, performs with various rock bands and cover band groups around the city, and writes original compositions in his spare time.

John Tocabens Guitar Teacher, Drum Teacher, Bass Guitar Teacher, Piano Teacher

John is a multi-instrumentalist and songwriter from Oceanside, NY. With a background deeply rooted in punk and progressive rock, his philosophy is focused on developing the musical acuity and passion of his students. A drum student since age six and a self-taught guitarist, John has spent his life studying both the method of music theory as well as the art of songwriting. He received his Bachelors degree in music from the City College of NY. By focusing on aural development and comprehension, his curriculum is designed to prepare students for the unique challenges that accompany group performance. John currently plays guitar in It Came From Space, a Long Island-based post/math rock band.

Tom Diognardi Guitar Teacher, Drum Teacher, Singing Teacher, Bass Guitar Teacher, Piano Teacher

Thomas Diognardi is a multi-instrumentalist, producer and songwriter from Bethpage, NY. He's spent the better part of his life performing with various bands, and graduated from the Music Conservatory at SUNY Purchase with his Bachelors Degree in Studio Production. Being both a self-taught musician and well-versed in music theory allows Thomas to approach lessons and teaching with a laid-back, yet critical and corrective mindset. He currently records/produces local bands out of his home studio while touring and pursuing a career with his band In Loving Memory.

James Terranova Guitar Teacher, Drum Teacher, Bass Guitar Teacher

James Terranova began playing music before he learned to speak. James teaches drums, bass, guitar and sax, and will soon be heading a recording program at School of Rock Rockville Centre. James received his degree in Audio Engineering from I.A.R. James is now touring with his band, The Inoculated Canaries, as they prepare for the release of their newest EP, "Trying Times."

John Barber Guitar Teacher, Bass Guitar Teacher, Piano Teacher

John graduated from Boston’s famed Berklee College of Music, majoring in Performance. John has toured and performed as the co-lead vocalist and guitarist of Ellis Ashbrook, a contemporary psychedelic rock group from Brooklyn, NY. A multi-instrumentalist, John specializes in guitar and piano. John loves teaching and tailors his lessons to the individual by working through the fundamentals and teaching new techniques. John also focuses on songwriting, soloing/improvising, sight reading, recording and how to work with other musicians. John's favorite artists include The Beatles, Led Zeppelin, Pink Floyd, Genesis, Grateful Dead, Phish, King Crimson and David Bowie.

Danny Lamagna Drum Teacher, Piano Teacher

Years ago when Dan decided to start sharing his musical knowledge with children he quickly realized how rewarding it would be. Now, looking back, he sees the accomplished musicians he has helped develop. Dan studied music at Nassau Community College, Drummers Collective and continues his education with the well-known instructors Joe Morello, Jojo Mayer and Frank Bellucci. Dan has played with several national acts touring globally. Dan's focus is drumset, snare drum and mallets along with preparation of his students for NYSMMA.

Jimmy Gerovac Guitar Teacher, Singing Teacher

Jimmy Gerovac is a singer/songwriter/guitarist out of Amityville, NY. Self-teaching himself guitar at age 15 and joining his first band a year later in Indiana started Jimmy on the path of music discovery. After five years of touring and recording as a guitarist he began to find his voice as a singer, moving to New York and fronting popular bands in both NYC and Long Island. He has studied under and received lessons from renowned vocal instructor Bret Manning who works with Hayley Williams of Paramore and Robert J. Lunte who has worked with Chris Cornell and Steven Tyler, just to name a few. Currently, Jimmy is the singer and guitarist for the rock band Craving Strange who have released two albums, toured the country, and licensed music to movies and television.

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