School of Rock Rockwall’s music teachers are experienced musicians devoted to helping students attain musical proficiency. From singing to drums to guitar, our Rockwall music instructors inspire and teach students to perform live.
John Paul Thomas Drum Teacher
John Paul Thomas became enamored with the live music scene when he was 10 years old. Being in the quaint area of deep east Texas, the only opportunities to see live music were at Rodeo's, where he befriended an artist by the name of Neal McCoy. After a year of friendship Neal showed up to John Paul's 11th birthday party and gifted him his first guitar. Grateful and eager, John Paul threw himself into classical guitar lessons for three years. At 14 years old, his parents relocated the family to Rockwall, Texas. John Paul put down the guitar for a year to readjust and adapt to his new surroundings. During that time he discovered the music scene in Deep Ellum and would go to shows every single weekend. On drives, while listening to his favorite records, he would catch himself drumming on whatever he could. The floor was the kick, the side panel of the car was the hi-hat/snare and the dashboard served as his two toms. His parents noticed his passion and natural rhythm and made a deal with him. If he kept his grades up, they would look into getting him his first kit. He obliged and did everything he could to expedite that process. Too young to have a job, he would constantly find things to do around the house or at neighbors’ homes to earn extra money for his first set. On Christmas Eve in 2005 he opened a box that had two pairs of drum sticks inside of it. His heart nearly burst out of his chest, because he knew that he finally would be able to play on an actual set. After some time practicing he began sending videos to local bands much older than him that were touring. He also started multiple bands of his own throughout high school. He lived for the weekend to either go to a show or play a show. In 2010, right after high school, he found the band that he knew was the one for him. They began touring relentlessly. The first was a Texas run, the next was the West Coast, after that the East Coast and then the Midwest. His band, Dead Words, would leave for three weeks, be home for one and then head right back out on tour. In 2012 the band embarked on their longest journey yet- a full U.S. and Canada tour. There was little pay and hard times, but nevertheless he was the happiest he'd ever been. He was living the dream he'd been obsessing over since he was 10 years old. He continues to tour today, and loves coming home and sharing his passion for drums with the students of School of Rock.
Mason Steeger Bass Guitar Teacher, Drum Teacher
Mason began his musical journey with rock music by picking up his dad’s old guitar in middle school and teaching himself how to play different riffs and chords. Once in high school, Mason began playing percussion in the concert band program and fell in love with the drums. This led him to apply for SMU’s Meadows School of the Arts in order to pursue a degree in Music Education. While at college he met up with Sterling Gavinski, a singer/songwriter who played in the band The Happy Alright. Sterling asked Mason to join his band as a bassist and the rest is history. With several tours and studio experience behind him, Mason continues to play, write and tour with The Happy Alright while teaching at School of Rock in hopes that he can inspire kids and teens to start a band and make music of their own.
Eddie Betancourt Music Director
Eddie Betancourt is a piano/keyboard instructor originally from Los Angeles, California. Formerly a professional boxer and boxing coach, Eddie has always incorporated music in all his trainings. He started with a small keyboard at the age of eight and later became obsessed with the piano and movie music. At age 12 he joined his middle school orchestra, playing the violin. Learning to be part of an orchestra helped him with his beginnings in his pursuit of film scoring. Later he graduated from UCLA with a Film Scoring Degree. Recently a School of Rock instructor, Eddie has found a new love in teaching music. Eddie continues to pursue his film scoring career while experiencing the Texas culture.
Chanel Lynch General Manager
Chanel, born and raised in Dallas, Texas, discovered her love of the stage early. By age five, her parents knew that was where she belonged. Chanel was drawn toward the musical stylings of Michael Jackson, Whitney Houston, Bruno Mars and Yuna. A love of music led her to use her vocal talents by singing on the praise team at church, as well as the school choir from sixth through 12th grade. Her talent was instantly recognized as she was crowned winner of the inaugural talent show at Horn High School in Mesquite.
She continued to study and develop her passion after being the first vocalist to be accepted into the Music program at the University of Texas at Arlington. Although life circumstances prevented Chanel from completing her music education degree, she continues to gravitate towards any and all areas of life that allow her to continue to keep her fire for music alive. Her passion for all things music led her to join the School of Rock family here in Rockwall. Her experiences here are allowing her to share her love of music and the stage with the students at School of Rock. Not only does she get to live and breathe music every day, but she is able to guide and influence the children of the school as well as her own. Chanel’s two beautiful little girls love music just as much as their mother and have already been able to experience how much School of Rock has to offer. Chanel couldn’t be more excited to be a part of School of Rock Rockwall. She is super excited to see where this journey leads her, and, more importantly, how brightly the young musicians at School of Rock will shine.