School of Rock

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Our Experienced Music Instructors

School of Rock has experienced music instructors

Our Experienced Music Instructors

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

singing onstage, singing, school of rock, music teacher, music school

Megan Baskerville General Manager, Vocal Instructor

Megan brings a good balance of rock n’ roll and business experience to the table. She worked for Starbucks for over eight years, five of which she was the Store Manager of a high-volume location. She also spent time opening new stores in new markets in the panhandle of Florida. But music has been a constant in Megan’s life from the time she could walk. Megan has been the front lady of bands of many genres: country, rockabilly, ska and punk. She’s had the opportunity to open for national acts as well as share the stage with some country greats. Currently she is the lead vocalist in the soul-inspired band Aunt B. Megan got her start at the Minnesota School of Rocks and moved to AZ with her husband Shane to open up the Arizona schools in 2012.

Michelle Worley Studio Coordinator

Michelle Worley spends her free time making music with her friends. Michelle loves singing and playing with her band, Aunt B. In fact, music has been a part of Michelle's life since childhood when she picked up the violin and eventually became a bassist. Before working at School of Rock, Michelle came to us from a typical junior high school environment as a paraprofessional. Working with kids was the transition she needed after a career in the hospitality business. With a degree in Culinary Arts, she started her career as a chef and catering manager, working in top-notch dining facilities and event centers. Her ability to manage events, book bands and ensure everybody has a good time is helpful in working with families at School of Rock.

Zana Sonoqui Studio Coordinator

Zana has always been the loudest one in any room. When softball was no longer cutting it, she decided to take up theatre her sophomore year and never looked back. She finally found a place where being loud was a positive thing! After high school, she moved to LA and went to AMDA: The College and Conservatory of the Performing Arts. She graduated with her certification in Acting. She has now found her way back to the desert and here at the front desk of School of Rock. Although she doesn't play any instruments (other than the kazoo) she has always LOVED music and it is a big part of her life. When Zana isn't at the front desk, you can find her thrift shopping and eating a bean and cheese burrito (sometimes simultaneously) on any given day.

Shane Baskerville Music Director

Shane has been working at School of Rock for over a decade. He’s been a touring musician since his teens and cut his teeth in the MN/WI punk rock ska music scene of the 90s. He’s toured with Chevelle, Social Distortion, Papa Roach, Slightly Stoopid and many more! He also beat out hundreds of guitarists to play with 80s hair metal icons Poison for a VH1 special. Eventually, Shane went to music college at McNally Smith College of Music in MN. Shane started working for School of Rock in MN in the spring of 2006. He moved down to Arizona in 2012 to open the three AZ locations with his wife Megan.

Danielle Durack Singing Teacher, Piano Teacher

Danielle Durack began formally singing and taking lessons at age 10, funded by her father who was shocked by her singing one night at a karaoke party. She continued to take private voice lessons until her freshman year of high school. Danielle was extremely involved in choir at Saguaro High School where she participated in both the 80-member Varsity Choir and the small Jazz Choir, where she won the National Choral Award. Danielle was also accepted as a vocal performance student at Berklee School of Music, but after a bit of sticker shock ended up at Arizona State University. She has not yet declared a major, but is currently dabbling in music theory and performance classes. While Danielle considers herself a singer/songwriter, she loves and appreciates virtually all genres of music. She admires and draws inspiration from strong female vocalists like Lauryn Hill, Sara Bareilles, Ingrid Michaelson, Norah Jones and Diane Birch.

Christian Rich Drum Teacher

Christian began playing music at age nine when his father introduced him to guitar. For years he focused on the stringed instrument until he discovered his love for drums at 13 years of age. He played drums for his middle school house band, covering songs by Blink-182 and Jimmy Eat World. In high school, he was the main drummer for the choir's many performances and other showcases. Through this choir he met fellow musicians that have allowed him to play punk shows all around Arizona and California before he even turned 18. His current band Clementine played a local stage at Warped Tour last year and is currently playing shows around the valley.

Although Christian is a drum instructor, he loves to play any instrument he can get his hands on. His favorite genre is punk. He is inspired by bands Including Led Zeppelin, Rage Against the Machine, Rx Bandits, Streetlight Manifesto, Pink Floyd, Snarky Puppy and The Smashing Pumpkins.

Alexis Hernandez Guitar Teacher, Bass Guitar Teacher

Alexis began studying music at the age of 13 as part of a high school guitar group. Since then, the guitar has become his life. At age 17, Alexis Hernandez started his professional training with Maestro Dario Sosa. At 18 he founded Pig Farm on the Moon and became a recording artist with Musical Mind Record Company. In 2002, he released his first album "Orbital," which was very well-received in progressive rock circles. A few months later he traveled to Mexico to perform in Baja Prog International Festival along with bands like Focus (Holand), Ange (France) and Mars Nova (Japan) among others. Afterwards Alexis became a private guitar instructor and session musician, working with local bands in Virginia and Texas. Currently living in Phoenix, Alexis has just released his new production, "Sons of Polaris: Evil Vol. 1." Alexis has also received formal vocal training from Maestro Thomas Collette in Phoenix. He is furthering his passion for teaching by working at School of Rock in Scottsdale, AZ and is currently working on his third album.

Brandon Biallas Guitar Teacher

Brandon has over 15 years of experience playing a variety of musical instruments, including the guitar, bass, ukulele and mandolin. After receiving formal instruction from veteran teacher Norris Lewis at Milano's Music in Mesa, he formed his own instrumental jazz funk/fusion band called Something Went Awry, which led to an opportunity for his band to open for legendary jazz guitarist Stanley Jordan at the Elephant Room during the South by Southwest Music Festival in Austin, Texas back in 2014. These days, he plays guitar in a folk rock band called The Banter and plays bass for punk/funk band Hostile Work Environment, both of which feature ex-members of Something Went Awry. Brandon has also occasionally filled in on guitar and bass for local bands like Paper Foxes and Fayuca. He prides himself on loving and listening to all kinds of music, which means he’s happy to teach anything, no matter the genre. He lives for sharing his love of music with students and exposing each other to wide varieties of new music in the process.

Zach Kasmer Guitar Teacher

Zach started playing music at the age of 13. He has been playing for 10 years and is a former student of School of Rock Scottsdale. He had small projects with friends from school in his first couple years of playing but didn't get serious about playing until he found School of Rock. There is where he learned a plethora of playing knowledge in a structured environment. He's taken some minor college classes (Theory and Aural Perception) at Mesa Community College, but his primary knowledge has been taught to him from the wonderful teachers he had at School of Rock Scottsdale. He currently plays for local metal act Sicmonic and has played numerous shows opening for acts such as Sevendust, Hed PE and guitar virtuoso Yngwie Malmsteen. The band's sound is influenced by many genres and styles of music, ranging from rock to jazz, bosa nova to flamenco and from country to instrumentalists. It was only natural for him to come back and start teaching alongside his former teachers at School of Rock.

Rachel Murray Singing Teacher

Rachel Murray was lead singer for the all-girl band The Rebel Pebbles who were signed to EMI/IRS Records, where they released their LP "Girls Talk." Rachel has 30+ years of experience in the music industry and she continues to work as a recording artist and performer, composing songs and/or vocals for various television shows, projects and movies. Rachel is a diverse performer and a consummate professional and she brings incomparable talent and infectious high energy to any project she is a part of. Rachel is professionally trained in the Elizabeth Howard vocal method. She plays guitar, has a general knowledge of music theory and songwriting composition and is a member of BMI. She has stage training and has also worked as an actress and model. Before joining School of Rock, she gave personal vocal and performance lessons for 15 years and most recently was the vocal coach for a middle school rock band in Lake Arrowhead, CA. Rachel loves working with the kids at School of Rock where she has discovered her passion for teaching vocal theory, stage performance and helping her students to discover their own hidden talents. She also recently hosted the very successful vocal workshops at our Ahwatukee and Gilbert locations. Rachel brings enthusiasm, fun, creativity, a love for music and a lifetime of experience to share with all of our students.

Robert Grenert Guitar Teacher, Bass Guitar Teacher

The guitar he got for his 13th birthday sat unused for two years. By age 15 Robert decided he would teach himself how to play, and for the next year that guitar was constantly slung around his shoulder. Being homeschooled, there was plenty of time for music every day. By 16, he had learned enough to start writing instrumental songs and would need a better amp to go with his new skills. Robert then began going to open mic nights at local blues bars in Scottsdale to get used to playing live with other musicians and in front of a crowd. Inspired by artists like Jeff Beck, and bands like blink-182, Robert found a bassist and drummer on Craigslist and formed his band No Longer Together, which played their first show in May 2007, and included several original songs. Robert’s sister Katie joined the band on bass in 2008, and the siblings are now known for their vocal harmonies and energetic live shows.

Katie Grenert Singing Teacher, Piano Teacher

Katie started with piano lessons at age five as part of her home school curriculum. She was a natural at the keyboard and performed solo at recitals for a couple of years beginning at age six. Then Katie lost interest in playing music for a time. A few years later, when her brother decided to teach himself guitar, Katie got interested again in music and her parents bought a digital piano for her at age 11. Katie’s brother Robert formed his Scottsdale, AZ-based band No Longer Together in 2007 with Robert singing lead vocal. The band’s original bassist was a girl, and seeing her play inspired Katie to teach herself how to play the bass. Katie joined her brother’s band on bass in 2008 and quickly showed her voice demanded attention. She became lead singer, and the siblings are now known for their vocal harmonies and energetic live shows. At any given show Katie plays bass, electric or acoustic guitar, and piano.

TJ Friga Guitar Teacher, Drum Teacher, Bass Guitar Teacher, Singing Teacher

TJ Friga has been performing and studying guitar, bass and singing around the valley for nearly a decade. Set to graduate ASU in December 2015, you can currently find him playing in the Tempe bands Playboy Manbaby and Instructions. As members of these groups, TJ has been featured in national and local media ranging from "Modern Guitar Magazine," CMJ Music Blog and a string of regular appearances in "The Phoenix New Times." In teaching, TJ emphasizes songwriting skills, fundamental theory and proper technique as the means to become a great and creative player. Outside of music, TJ is a die hard Phoenix Suns fanatic and pursuer of fine sushi and ramen.

Salah Moharram Guitar Teacher

Born in Mesa, Arizona, but raised in Cairo, Egypt, Salah picked up the guitar at 10 years old after listening to the greats such as Black Sabbath and Judas Priest, and hasn't put it down since. Growing up in the east gave him an ear for exotic melodies and dissonant chords that add a certain flavor to both lead and rhythm guitar sections. Since then he has played guitar and bass in a variety of bands with styles ranging from thrash and heavy metal to pop and jazz fusion. His personal heroes are Marty Friedman, Jake E. Lee, Chet Atkins and Robby Krieger.

Al Pahanish Jr Guitar Teacher, Bass Guitar Teacher, Drum Teacher

Al Pahanish, Jr. is widely known as cofounder and drummer for DreamWorks SKG platinum recording artist Powerman 5000 (1990-01). His beats are the original foundation of the PM5K style and are deeply rooted in the long history of the art of drumming. Al is currently the drummer for Boston hardcore legends DYS.

Early in Al’s career he worked with acclaimed concert pianist and master bassoonist Maxine Shimer, studying piano, voice, traditional harmony and composition. She taught externally in the U.S. centre for Trinity College of Music, London, and he studied under her for the next five years. Eventually he ended up at Boston's Berklee College of Music for further studies in drumming, arrangement and music production. While there Al studied drum set, mallets and timpani with Tommy Campbell (Fusion), John Ramsey (Jazz), Ed Uribe (Latin), Joe Hunt (abstract concepts), Ed Saindon (mallets/timpani) and Victor Mendoza (mallets/vibes). He went on to receive his BA in Percussion Performance. While in Boston, Al was also an active member of The Screaming Headless Torsos, Lunch Factor, Sweet Lizard Illtet and The Matin Sexton Band.

Al taught at School of Rock Hollywood beginning in 2007, where he was a drum instructor and Show Director.

James Cabeke Bass Guitar Teacher

James has been involved with music since he was seven years old, first taking lessons in piano and a few years later falling in love with the trumpet. Throughout his formative years he played trumpet in various school programs and in band class. In the fifth grade he began to dabble in learning bass guitar. After a few years, bass guitar became his primary focus after performing original music with his first band live in front of his middle school. It was at this point he knew music would be his sole pursuit, and over the next few years he would aim to sharpen his craft, performing with several metal bands throughout the Dallas/Fort Worth area and most notably in Southlake-based metalcore band Prophecy Untold. He also attended School of Rock as a bass student in Southlake, Texas at this time.

James is currently involved with several musical endeavors since relocating to the valley four years ago. Sons of Polaris is a hard rock/metal studio project formed by fellow School pf Rock instructor Alexis Hernandez. They are currently completing their fourth record, “Hero X,” due to be released this fall. Sons of Polaris draws influence from a wide range of styles and combines the best of modern and classic metal. James is also a member of local punk rock outfit Audrey Heartburn. Taking influence from the wide range of genres/influences each member brings to the music, Audrey Heartburn has been compared to the B- 52s, surf rock and old school American punk rock.

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