Susan Marlett CEO, Owner
Susan Marlett started on Flute in the 4th grade and by the 7th grade she was using a special woodwind pick-up and guitar pedals for her flute. She was hooked. She has a degree in Fine Art, Art History and Archaeological Anthropology from Parsons School of Design and the New School. So of course she does music. After running a successful nonprofit gallery in NYC; she launched a small Internet start up. Susan never forgot her roots in Rock and Roll. Returning to teach music with the School of Rock Waldwick in 2010 as a voice and keys instructor. She was hooked on their innovative approach to teaching with her first show in Sept of 2010. Susan became General Manager in 2017 and owner in 2020.
Kurt Haller COO, Owner
Kurt took on the roll of owner and COO for the School of Rock Waldwick after leaving a position as Manager of Strategy & Business Transformation Practice at The Hackett Group. Previously, he was in procurement and logistics for Mercedes Bens in Montvale. Kurt is from Switzerland, where he earned several business degree. He spent many years working for the Lucern Blues Festival, (Europe’s largest blues festival.) Kurt also has a passion for cars.
Mike Klopp Drum Teacher
Originally from Bergen County, Michael Klopp is a 1994 graduate of Ramapo High School, where he excelled in all things music and was even voted Most Musical by his fellow classmates. In 1998 he received his BA in Performance from the University of the Arts in Philadelphia with an emphasis on jazz studies and music history. Upon graduation Michael set sail for the open water and spent the following 6 years seeing the world as an orchestra drummer for different cruise lines, performing big band music, production shows and variety acts of all kinds.
In 2004 he was given the (extremely rare) opportunity to become a Guest Entertainer for Royal Caribbean as Drummer/Musical Director for multi talented performer Domenick Allen (Foreigner, Buddy Rich Band, Liberace, Broadway, London's West End) and continues to enjoy the MD chair to this day.
2004 was also the year Michael started working with Telarc/Concord Recording artist Tony Desare. With Tony, Michael has been able to travel all over the country performing jazz and cabaret music in various settings, including 2 Midwest tours as a trio and multiple Pops performances with various orchestras, including the Houston, Atlanta, Pittsburgh and Vancouver Symphonies. He has also performed at the 2015 San Javier Jazz Fest in Alicante, Spain, as well as the 2015 and 2016 Cape Cod Jazz Festivals.
Michael started with School of Rock in 2015 and has enjoyed every moment. When not in a lesson you will find him practicing often. His favorite method books are Stick Control (G.L.Stone), The Art of Bop Drumming (J.Riley), The Shuffle Drumming Workbook (C.Doboe) and Syncopation (T.Reed).
Richard Haddad Bass Guitar Teacher, Guitar Teacher
With over twenty-five years of experience in the music industry, Rich has developed a wide range of skills that allow him to manipulate variations in air pressure with both substance and style. He has shared stages with such artists as Cyndi Lauper, Kansas and Dada, and performs regularly in the tri-state area with multiple groups, including Friday’s Child and kidie artist/musical yogini Kira Willey.
A consummate multi-instrumentalist/vocalist/audio engineer with perfect pitch, his insights on music and sound reveal details that are often overlooked. This uncanny ability to solve problems has led to work in all forms of media – from records, radio and advertising, to film, network television and cable. As Director of Audio Production for Digital Café Tour, his recording, mixing and mastering work earned him a Telly Award for Sound/Sound Design.
Michael Kozma Guitar Teacher, Drum Teacher
The Astronaut consists solely of one Musician at the helm. Michael Scott Kozma holds a B.S. Degree in Music Industry & Technology for Audio Engineering and Music (from where?.). He is a multi-instrumentalist and has been playing music since he was 13 years old. He was a band member with Jeremian Fraites of the Lumineers.
A descendant of the great Evelyn Danzig Levine, who wrote the classic 1949 song “Scarlet Ribbons,” and renowned New York Times sports writer Allison Danzig who coined the phrase “The Grand Slam” in tennis. Michael Scott was bestowed with the gift of songwriting passed down through generations. At 15, he attended the National Guitar Academy for one summer and returned as one of the foremost exceptional and dedicated players at such a young age. He later went on to be an acclaimed self-taught musician in other instruments, including drums.
Michael used the name “The Astronaut” as something more introspective. Not only just a songwriter, Kozma’s ability to play each instrument into a formula within his songs is something which sets him apart from most songwriters. Everything you hear is created by his hands and mind. Along with music, Michael also directs and shoots all his own music videos. The Astronaut will be constantly writing, recording, and playing his music to as many listeners as possible. Come along with him on this journey….
JEANIE MARRI Singing Teacher, Keyboard Teacher
Vocal Extraordinaire, She has been delighting for audiences for many years. She sings with Soul Finger who's members include Eric Blue (Drums & Vox) Marty Dimaria (Git Vox) with Mel Taylor, & Peter Scance. Lots of New/Old songs. And Special Quests. She has many years of teaching vocals and keys. She has created some of the best voices in our school.
Eric Cohen Guitar Teacher
Eric is a fantastic example of what School of Rock can do for a budding musician. He started with School of Rock in South Hackensack. He played may shows there. He became a valuable part of their House Band and made it into All Stars in 2006. Some of the memorable places he played include: BB Kings, World Cafe Live and Royal Oak Theatre. He plays out regularly and is a great addition to our staff. He truly understands the School of Rock method.
Kathy Sheppard Keyboard Teacher
Kathy is an accomplished musician and who performs regularly. She worked for the first School of Rock with Paul Green. She is also involved with City Canyons Records. Kathy studied piano performance at Berklee College of Music, graduating in 1981. She has helped to develop many talented musicians. We are happy to have her on our staff.
FRANKY HERNANDEZ Bass Guitar Teacher
Franky Hernandez received his first round of music education from Berklee College of Music from 1978 to 1980. While there, he studied with John Neves, Bruce Gertz and Rich Appleman. He then went onto William Patterson University to study with Rufus Reid, Harold Mabern, Steve Bagby and Ron Naspo. Franky has performed with some notable acts such as Chet Atkins, The Mamas and the Papas, and Lou Christie. He has also played with tons of oldies groups including Fabian, The Angels, Little Peggy March, The Coasters, etc.
Michael D’Agostino Drum Teacher, Keyboard Teacher
Michael moves seamlessly between drummer, songwriter, vocalist, keyboard player and recording engineer. Michael endorses Sabian Cymbals and Vic Firth Drumsticks. Some of his numerous musical projects include the following.
Michael Formed the free-improvisational quartet INNERrOUTe. Credited with drumming, engineering, mixing and mastering the band’s albums on Rainchant Records. He was the drummer for NYC based “Ballets With A Twist” featuring a group of top NYC musicians, including Steve Gaboury, Lincoln Goines, Deni Bonet, Mark Shulman, Peter Zummo. Michael was the drummer for Ambient Overdrive group King Chubby with former Pat Metheny bassist Mark Egan.
Michael was the drummer for Trey Gunn (King Crimson, John Paul Jones) and NYC based rock trio "Desperate Measures," with Curt Golden on guitar and Victor McSurely on Chapman stick, both members of Robert Fripp’s (King Crimson) “League of Crafty Guitarists.”
He was the primary songwriter, lead vocalist and drummer on “Blue Halo Effect,” in collaboration with David Biglin (Art Garfunkel, Steve Howe.) His original songs "Scorched" and "Baghdad" received honorable mention from the 2009 Billboard World Song Contest.
Michael was a drum Instructor at The Drummer’s Collective NYC (e-drums), The Sam Ash Music Institute, School of Rock, The Music Den, The Monroe School of Dance, Music and Theatre and privately.
Michael has worked with (partial list) Vernon Reid, Carlos Alomar, Trey Gunn, William Gallison, Stanley Jordan, Wendy Starland, The Winter Olympic Orchestra, George Clinton, Jimmy Norman, Gabrielle Roth, Debashish Bhattacharya, Subhasis Bhattacharya, Sean Harkness, Coleman Barks, Robert Dick, The Dance Companies of David Dorfman and Ralph Lemon amongst others.
Michael has a solo release “Future Reflections” available on iTunes, CD Baby, and Rhapsody.
He was the drummer and engineer for the Indie feature film “Sweet Lorraine” starring Academy Award
winning actress Tatum O’Neal, and Steven Bauer (Scarface.)
His compositions can be heard on The Lifetime Channel, BET, BET on Jazz, CNN, 20th Century Fox’s The X-Files, Fox Sports, The Outdoor Channel and in Film and TV in the US, Europe, Africa, Canada and Australia.
He has been the engineer for Liberty DeVitto (Billy Joel,) Devon Allman, John Ginty, Jimmy Norman, Miki Howard and many more.
He also programmed drum sounds for Herbie Hancock, Yoko Ono, Kiss, Third World, Ronald Shannon Jackson, and Kenwood Dennard.
Christopher Popp Bass Guitar Teacher, Guitar Teacher, Singing Teacher
Christopher Popp is a multi-instrumentalist, educated in jazz music at NJCU. He grew up in Bergen County, and has a deep interest in a large spectrum of American music including rock, folk, blues, hip hop, jazz, and neo soul.
Professionally, Chris has played in rock bands and jazz groups on well known stages from New York City to Philadelphia. He's a young educator and band leader with a passion for sharing is passion, and helping students realize their potential.