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.
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.
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.
Connor Rogers Guitar Teacher
Connor has played guitar since 2007. He was born and raised in the LA South Bay before getting his Bachelor’s degree in Film Scoring from Berklee College of Music in Boston, MA. There, he played in countless Rock and Metal bands, performing in shows all over the area, ranging from Plymouth to The Back Bay. While attaining his degree, he formerly tutored other students in music theory, composition, and ear training. Connor can play and teach all genres and skill levels, with a strong emphasis in technical Rock and Metal. He believes extensive training and discipline on your instrument are what make you great, while not forgetting to have fun and stay passionate and musical. Some of his favorite artists are Dream Theatre, Led Zeppelin, Dragonforce, Guns N’ Roses, and Tchaikovsky.
Aaron Lindenberg Bass Guitar Teacher, Guitar Teacher, Keyboard Teacher, Singing Teacher, Drum Teacher
Growing up in Massachusetts, Aaron knew he wanted to be a musician from age 11, when he asked his parents for piano and voice lessons. Soon after, he taught himself to play guitar and began writing songs at age 13. Inspired by both Top 40 and Indie Rock alike, Aaron found every opportunity to make music, whether performing at open mics or directing a cappella groups. After graduating from the music program at Sarah Lawrence College, Aaron moved to New York City where he began writing, producing and performing as Aaron Is Your Friend, all while working as a session musician and teacher. Aaron has performed at venues such as The Bowery Electric, Pete's Candy Store, and Rockwood Music Hall.
As a new LA resident, Aaron lends his skills to a variety of projects, while continually crafting pop songs in his home studio. Aaron's teaching expertise includes Pop, R&B, Funk and Rock, celebrating artists from Prince to Lady Gaga and everything in between.
Chad Leaf Guitar Teacher, Bass Guitar Teacher
For Chad, music has been a lifelong journey. Since Chad was 12 years old, he has been playing in bands and writing music that runs the gamut from hardcore punk to progressive rock. In 2016, Chad completed his Bachelor of Arts in Music Composition and Performance at The Evergreen State College. Upon returning home to Southern California, he joined the alternative rock band, Modern Color. Over the past four years Modern Color has released 2 LPs via Other People Records and completed numerous tours in North America, Europe and Japan. Alongside his music career, Chad has pursued his passion for teaching by conducting virtual guitar lessons and tutoring high school and middle school students in various disciplines including math and science. Chad's goal as a teacher is to nurture creativity and inspire young musicians to play the type of music that they want to hear
Tim Schmalz Guitar Teacher, Bass Guitar Teacher, Keyboard Teacher, Drum Teacher, Singing Teacher
Tim Schmalz is a multi instrumentalist and music educator with specialties in guitar, piano, composition, music theory, and production. He attended Berklee College of Music and UCLA, and has been working as primarily a composer in Los Angeles since 2014. With work spanning from major film scoring projects, music production, and writing and touring in bands in his own right, Tim utilizes these skills and experiences to enhance his abilities as a teacher. Tim is a fervent believer that music improves a student’s ability to focus, form a sense of discipline through routine, spatial reasoning, attention to detail, social skills, community engagement, and many other pivotal life skills. When not working on music, Tim loves to hang with his family at home with a fiancé and two rescue dogs.
Darvin Aguilar Guitar Teacher, Bass Guitar Teacher, Keyboard Teacher
Darvin Aguilar was born and raised in Hollywood, CA. He began playing bass guitar at sixteen. After graduating high school, he played in a variety of bands ranging from Death Metal to Progressive Metal. He played dozens of shows throughout that time including stints at The Whisky A Go-Go, and The Cobalt Café. He then decided to pursue a music degree at El Camino College in Torrance, CA. There, he began his musical journey into the jazz and classical world picking up the double bass as his main instrument. This led him to expand his horizons, playing in Jazz combos, Jazz Big Bands, Latin and Salsa groups, String Quartets, and even performing as a Principal Bassist in an Orchestra. He has performed at many other venues in Los Angeles including, The Lighthouse Café, The Study, The World Stage, The Grand Annex, Lido’s and many more. He is now completing his Bachelor's Degree in Music Performance with an emphasis on Jazz Bass at CSUN.
Margo Messenger Singing Teacher, Keyboard Teacher
Margo Messenger is a singer and songwriter hailing from the Baltic region of Kaliningrad, Russia. She has a diverse background including touring with vocal ensembles, musical theater, vocal competitions, and vocal coaching. She was even the fearless lead singer of a power-metal band “Ghosthill”. Her musical exploration brought her to jazz as she worked onboard cruise ships with her quartet “Colibri”. Having affinity for yoga, mindfulness and body-mind connection, Margo incorporates these concepts into her teaching style.