Ryan Schiff District Manager
Born and raised in Long Island, NY, Ryan began playing guitar at age 13 after seeing the movie "La Bamba" about rock legend Ritchie Valens. He studied with Grammy-nominated guitarist Steve Briody for several years before starting his own projects and soon became an instructor himself. While still in New York, his band Code Anchor independently released several EPs and one full-length album, "Rosada," while touring extensively nationwide from 2005-2009. A co-writer in the band, Ryan also played lead and rhythm guitar while singing lead and backup vocals. Memorable stages include the Vans Warped Tour at Nassau Coliseum and headlining bills at some of New York City's greatest venues like CBGBs and The Knitting Factory. It was during this time that Ryan began teaching at School of Rock in Melville, NY. Hungry to pursue new musical ventures, Ryan departed from Code Anchor and moved to Los Angeles in 2009. Since then, he's been busy writing, producing and performing with his newest project, Lou Pine. As a Sony/ATV artist, Lou Pine’s music has been featured on television shows like “Chicago Fire,” “Gordon Ramsay’s The F Word,” and “Food Paradise." Ryan enjoys playing every genre including jazz, funk, country and folk, but credits the blues and rock n' roll as his main influences.
Evan Kolesar Assistant General Manager
Evan Kolesar is a multi-instrumentalist, producer and engineer from Torrance, CA who has worked at School of Rock West LA and School of Rock Venice since August 2016 as a beloved instructor, show director and administrator. Picking up the guitar at age seven and touring by age 15, he quickly learned music was his true passion in life. After graduating at the top of his class at the Musicians Institute, where he earned his degree in Guitar Performance and was awarded Outstanding Player of the Year, Evan has become a true player in the industry. Evan is currently playing lead guitar for LA indie folk artist Sam Valdez, and can’t wait to share his love of music with the next generation of musicians at School of Rock South Bay as our Assistant General Manager.
Travis Simpson Guitar Teacher, Bass Guitar Teacher
Travis Simpson started playing the guitar when he was 12 years old and never looked back. What started out as an interest in music quickly grew into an obsession for all things sound. After graduating high school, he studied Audio Engineering at the Musicians Institute. Starting out doing stage and audio work for venues around LA like The Saban and Canyon Club, he then found himself working in audio post-production. However, it didn’t take long to find himself returning to his first love, music, when he started as a guitar teacher and bass guitar teacher at School of Rock South Bay. Now Travis, whose life has been shaped so much by music, is focused on giving back by helping develop the next wave of young musicians.
George Patmas Guitar Teacher, Bass Guitar Teacher
Starting guitar at five years old, George Patmas’s passion for music and guitar has always been in his life. George was a School of Rock student in a suburb of Boise, Idaho, where he was also in their House Band and performed multiple shows a year to thousands of people. After graduating high school in 2014, George was accepted to the Guitar Institute of Technology (GIT) at Musicians Institute in Hollywood with a scholarship, and was even accepted to their Associates Honors Ensemble later the next year. Studying with multiple instructors, George grew a passion for the technical aspects of guitar. Later on he became the guitar technique instructor he is today. After graduating twice from Musicians Institute in 2016, George’s career in music began right after the graduation ceremony, where he became a session musician for multiple bands in Los Angeles, as well as a guitar teacher at School of Rock. George has had the opportunity to tour, record and perform with many bands in Los Angeles. George is the lead guitarist for heavy metal band Worldwide Panic and hard rock band Angels For Sale. George also plans on starting a gypsy jazz band in Los Angeles, as well as recording an instrumental solo album. George enjoys teaching what he calls 'The Ways of the Fretboard,' as well as extended range guitars, including the seven-string and the eight-string guitar. He is a guitar teacher and bass guitar teacher at School of Rock South Bay LA.
Carley Lusk Guitar Teacher, Vocal Instructor, Piano Teacher
Carley Lusk is a songwriter and vocalist originally from Detroit, Michigan. With Motown and blues in her veins, she discovered love for music at a young age. Always first to learn the newest Christina Aguilera tune and dance steps, her passion grew undiscovered by parents or friends. Once she was about 15 years old her dad introduce her to Amy Winehouse. After hearing the soul in her lyrics and voice she was moved and knew music was her life calling. Her college years were spent studying music at The Detroit Institute of Music Education, where she was introduced to proper vocal techniques and learned how to deal with performance anxiety. Carley seeks to move her students the same way she was moved through encouraging teachers and mentors. She is a guitar teacher, vocal instructor and piano teacher at School of Rock South Bay LA.
Melissa Jane Dichiera Vocal Instructor
Born in Melbourne, Australia, Melissa Dichiera made her first TV appearance at the age of seven and hasn't stopped performing since. A skilled triple threat, she has performed in numerous bands and shows throughout Australia. Her most recognized international success is fronting the pop R&B group Les BiJioux in Japan, hosting the TV show "X-Beyond Surf" on ESPN International and starring on VH1's "Rock N' Roll Fantasy Camp" during the second season. Trained in opera, contemporary, blues, gospel, pop and rock, Melissa combines her powerful voice with a captivating stage presence to create a unique front-woman unlike anyone else on the scene today. She is currently the lead singer of the bands Lady Zep, an all-female Led Zeppelin tribute band, Final Gravity, an original progressive rock band, and SYNN, an original metal band. She is a vocal instructor at School of Rock South Bay LA.
Martin Chapman Guitar Teacher, Bass Guitar Teacher, Drum Teacher
Martin Chapman has played guitar and bass since 2012, drums since 2014 and produced electronic music since 2018, playing styles such as rock, jazz, R&B, folk and more. He studied Music at UC San Diego, and has extensive experience with improvisation, songwriting, recording and performing through various projects such as UCSD's jazz ensemble, music classes, solo projects and bands/other group projects. Martin is also an audio engineer with recording and mixing experience at UCSD's college radio station, KSDT. Some of his favorite artists are Joy Division, John Coltrane, Jimi Hendrix, Cream, Don Caballero, Lightning Bolt and Can. He is a guitar teacher, bass guitar teacher and drum teacher at School of Rock South Bay LA.
Patrick Salmon Drum Teacher
Patrick Salmon is originally from Brick, New Jersey, where he started playing the drums at age 12 and by 15 was playing at music venues and nightclubs on the Jersey shore. Shortly after, he moved to Hollywood, California to attend Musicians Institute. During his time at MI he studied under multiple world-class drummers and many other musicians. During his time with Tomorrow's Bad Seeds he completed many national and international tours, sharing the stage with multiple bands such as The Wailers, 311, Pepper, Slightly Stoopid, Pennywise, Rise Against, The Smashing Pumpkins and The Dirty Heads just to name a few. When the band was not touring they also achieved some notable feats, like making their national television debut on the late night show “The Craig Ferguson Show.” On the studio end of things, while with Bads Seeds, Patrick worked with Grammy award-winning producer Damon Elliot (Pink) and engineer/producer Josh “Igloo” Montgomery, who is known for making all of Ludacris’s tracks.
During a short hiatus from Bad Seeds he got the chance to perform and record with the band Four Minutes Till Midnight. After recording with world-renowned producer Hiroto Kobayashi (Earth, Wind and Fire) and legendary percussionist Lenny Castro, he completed a four-week full national tour of Japan. Patrick manages a busy schedule teaching as a drum teacher at School of Rock South Bay LA, and performing and recording still with Tomorrow's Bad Seeds. He also works with Bret Bollinger, the front man of Pepper, which has given him a great network of studio musician to work with.
Matt Hill Guitar Teacher, Bass Guitar Teacher, Piano Teacher, Drum Teacher, Vocal Instructor
Matt Hill has been teaching and performing music since he first heard guitars being strummed in his family home growing up. Since he studied Music Education at California State University Long Beach as well as Audio Production at Long Beach City College, Matt brings a diverse breadth of knowledge to his students. While at college Matt played in jazz ensembles, chamber orchestras, and later rock bands and singer-songwriter features. After completing his studies, Matt went on to play with various local psychedelic and hard rock acts while teaching and show directing with School of Rock. Matt is adept at guitar, bass, drums, vocals and keyboards, bringing his multi-instrument talents to the School of Rock South Bay LA family. Matt has collaborated and/or been associated with the likes of Isaiah “Ikey” Owens (Jack White/Mars Volta), Neal Casal (Ryan Adams, Chris Robinson Brotherhood) and Americana icon Billy Joe Shaver. Matt currently leads the Americana outfit Janie, and provides vocals and lead guitars for the touring group Gospelbeach. He is a guitar teacher, bass guitar teacher, drum teacher, piano teacher and vocal instructor at School of Rock South Bay LA.