Freddy Epstein General Manager
Born in London and raised in Philadelphia, Freddy found his calling in music at a young age studying under Assistant Principal Bassist of the Philadelphia Orchestra, Neil Courtney. Jazz soon became his focus and he began performing professionally at the age of 14. After graduating from Manhattan School of Music for Jazz Performance, Freddy’s love of music grew beyond any single genre. From singing at Showtime at the Apollo, to performing on Warped Tour for 3 years with his band IONIA, to traveling through Europe with Brooklyn-based Americana band, The Defibulators - the art is in the adventure! Freddy has spent the last 20 years in New York City as a musician, producer (Blood + Sand, ANML) and theater artist in NYC’s downtown experimental scene where he performed in numerous critically acclaimed productions including FUTURITY (Ars Nova/Soho Rep), The Infinite Hotel (Prototype Festival) and Animal Wisdom (Bushwick Starr). He believes music is medicine for the soul and is grateful to be at School of Rock Watertown as General Manager (and occasional show director)!
Paz Docmanov Music Director
For as long as he can remember, music has been an integral part of Paz's life. By age 7 he was playing piano and studying classical voice and by age 14 he was performing all across Romania as a bassist in rock bands and classical ensembles. Music wasn't just a hobby for him, it was a refuge. At 18, he was awarded a scholarship to study at Berklee College of Music where he graduated with a Bachelor’s in Music Composition, under the tutelage of bassist and Grammy nominated artist Victor Bailey. Paz has toured both nationally and internationally and is actively involved in the Boston local music scene. He also collaborates with multidisciplinary artists across the country as a session musician, multi-instrumentalist and Music Director. Paz specializes in bass, as well as guitar, keyboards, music theory and composition.
Chris Narainen Drum Teacher
Chris Narainen was born and raised in the Republic of Mauritius in East Africa. A self-taught drummer, Chris started playing drums at the age of 11 and has never looked back. After moving to the US in 2004, he attended UMass Boston for Finance before becoming a drum instructor and performance director at the School of Rock Watertown for the last 6 years. Chris plays with multiple bands, touring both nationally and internationally. Current groups he performs with include JazzFirst, Proplydz (EDM), JD-MadMartian (Hip Hop), Lord Almighty (Metal), Vinal (Jam Band). Chris is a true music love who’s passionate about the drums and is currently pursuing a Master’s in Music Business at Berklee School of Music.
Matt Sullivan Guitar Teacher
Matt Sullivan started playing guitar at the age of 12 and quickly made a name for himself by receiving the Louis Armstrong Award for Jazz Improvisation. After high school he attended Musicians Institute, a private college of contemporary music in Los Angeles. He's had the pleasure of studying with instructors like Danny Gill, Scott Henderson and Joe Diorio, and has attended seminars with Joe Diorio, Al DiMeola, Paul Gilbert and Steve Vai. Since graduating, he's taught music in Massachusetts for 25 years. He's done session work, international touring and plenty of local gigs, including the Ultrasonic Rock Orchestra. Matt has taught at School of Rock Watertown for the last 5 years and specializes in Rock, Blues, Funk and Jazz.
Liam Compton Guitar Teacher
Liam Compton graduated Magna Cum Laude from the Berklee College of Music with a Bachelor’s of Music in Guitar Performance. During his time at Berklee, Liam studied with David Tronzo, Ned Rothenberg, Jeffrey Lockhart (and more), honing his playing across a myriad of styles. He currently performs and records with the Boston-based band, Tipling Rock. Liam has taught guitar for over 5 years and teaches bass and advanced guitar at School of Rock Watertown and specializes in Rock and Jazz.
Gaby Cotter Singing Teacher
Gaby Cotter is a Panamanian singer, songwriter, and music educator. Her music portrays the greatness of Latin-American sounds with a touch of jazz, pop, and R&B. Fusing powerful messages with her unique attitude, Gaby is currently working on her first studio album "Volver A Empezar", as well as recording with her band The Timba Messengers, a Cuban Salsa band. As an educator, her teaching specialties include voice, early childhood development, and piano, and guitar for beginners. Her approach is based on the maxim "every student can learn if they have a passionate teacher,” with fun, personalized lessons taught in a non-competitive and nurturing environment.
Bruno Cabrera Drum Teacher
Dr. Bruno Cabrera was an Adjunct Professor of Music at Taylor University and drummer and percussionist for The Ball State Department of Theater and Dance and Muncie Civic Theater, performing an average of 6 musical theater productions per year. As a Master’s student, Dr. Cabrera worked at Indiana University’s Latin American Music Center as a performer, arranger, lecturer and coach for the Latin American Popular Music Ensemble where he shared the stage and wrote arrangements for Grammy award winners Gonzalo Grau (Venezuela), Adam Del Monte (Spain), Grammy award nominees Pablo Aslan (Argentina), Jovino Santos Neto (Brazil), and Michael Spiro (USA). Bruno has also recorded as a guest artist on "Latin Love Songs" by Grammy award winner Sylvia Mcnair.
Dr. Cabrera started playing drums when he was 3 years old. Dr. Cabrera loves performing, teaching and is always seeking new ways to teach the art of drumming. During his doctorate he researched music psychology, music cognition, and motor skill development, which provided him with tools to develop a methodology to optimize the skill development and musical knowledge of young students.
Jordyn Elliott Singing Teacher
Jordyn is what happens when you mix a passion for music and child-like curiosity. Coming from a musical household and family, she started singing at the tender age of 2 in churches. She began performing when she was 6 years old with vocal training from her mother who is also a singer. She started receiving music lessons at age 8 with the flute and the clarinet at age 11. She would then move to receive formal vocal training from age 13-19. During that time, she started developing her music teaching chops by working with the younger vocal students in high school Appomattox Regional Governors’ School for Arts and Tech. Jordyn then started coming up with techniques to bring formal training from the classical music world into the contemporary world.
She is trained and has performed certain genres such as: Gospel, Blues, Soul, Rock and Alt- Rock. She started teaching students of all ages in a variety of settings and holding vocal workshops focusing on vocal health and techniques effective across genres. Jordyn's motto is “Since music can be infinite, as musicians, so should we”. School of Rock is grateful to have her teaching vocals, composition and our Little Wing program.
Alex Pickert Drum Teacher
Alex Pickert has been behind a drum set since he was 10 years old. What started as a hobby in his parents garage in Pleasanton California turned into a fully fledged career and passion, taking him across the country numerous times to stages such as the House of Blues, Bottom of The Hill, and Paradise Rock Club. His rock band, Animal Flag, has shared the stage with the likes of Thursday, Sorority Noise, Basement, Dispatch and Touche Amore.
Alex received two degrees at Berklee College of Music in Drum Set Performance and Music Business Management. While at Berklee he has studied under Rod Morgenstein(Winger), Dave DiCenso (Josh Groban, Duran Duran, Cro-Mags), and Sergio Belotti (The Platters and owner of Massachusetts company 247 Drums).
While drumming is his passion, Alex has always had a knack for the art of booking shows, starting his own booking company “Coach and Sons Olde Time Family Booking” in 2011 booking hundreds of DIY shows and festivals throughout Boston. After his touring and DIY days, Alex worked as a Talent Buyer for the Middle East in Cambridge and Crossroads Presents / Live Nation, booking acts such as Orville Peck, Cindy Wilson (The B-52s), Jojo Mayer, Knuckle Puck, and countless other local and national acts. You can hear Alex drum on recordings from Animal Flag, Leaner, Yeehaw!, A Guy Named Guy and more. Alex loves drumming and believes there is nothing quite as therapeutic as channeling your energy behind a drum kit, he’s excited to pass on his passion and skill to the next generation of drummers.
Trevor McSweeney Drum Teacher
Trevor McSweeney is a drummer, audio engineer, and music producer from Boston, MA. He is currently earning his Bachelor's Degree with a focus in music production and engineering at Berklee College of Music. In his time at Berklee, Trevor has studied the drum set with Dave DiCenso, James Murphy, John Ramsay, Sergio Belotti, Tony "Thunder" Smith, and more. Along with his affinity for drums, he's also passionate about drum machines, synthesizers, samplers and sequencers.
Trevor first picked up drumsticks at the age of 13 and signed up for drum lessons with Berklee graduate Libor Hadrava. After learning the basics, he played gigs up and down the East Coast supporting various bands. After years of gigging and working at venues around Boston, Trevor decided to focus on his own musicianship again, and began studying with John Ramsay (Berklee Percussion Department Chair and author of The Drummer's Complete Vocabulary). In his time studying privately with John, Trevor was exposed to The Alan Dawson Method, which includes the memorization of Rudimental Ritual. Whether you want to learn drums, theory, production or all three, Trevor is here to talk shop!
Tanya Orlova Guitar Teacher, Bass Guitar Teacher, Singing Teacher
As a multi-instrumentalist, songwriter, and music manager, Tanya has been a musically invested person since childhood. They started by learning jazz piano and saxophone at an age of 6, and graduated the music after-school program in their country by 14. In 2017, Tanya was awarded a scholarship to study at Berklee College of Music. They pursued music management as their major, as well as explored guitar and bass at the college, and graduated in May 2021.
Tanya's musical influences vary from Alternative Rock, Shoegaze, Metal & Hardcore, to Folk and Country. They are also closely involved with the local scene in Boston as a performer and show-booker. Tanya's hope is to show their students the extraordinary ability that bass has to change the context & vibe of any song, as well as teach them how to emotionally share through music.
Sunny Lai Drum Teacher
Born in Australia and raised in Hong Kong, Sunny is a Boston-based session drummer and music producer. A Hip-Hop and R&B musician at his core, he is always in search of new sounds to bring into today's musical landscape. Since graduating from Berklee College of Music for Performance in 2019, he has begun developing his own studio, working on his own music, as well as taking on other musician's projects. As a teacher, he strongly believes in catering to each student individually, understanding that there is no true "one size fits all" approach when it comes to teaching. It is his philosophy that his student's curiosity and interest is paramount, and to develop and protect a student's passion is half of the teacher's battle. Currently, Sunny performs for Korean singer-songwriter Heesu Yu, directs his own band Astral Mura and produces under the name destracshn.
Justin Schaeffers Guitar Teacher
After watching A Hard Days Night at age ten, Justin Schaefers began his lifelong passion for music. Soon after starting guitar lessons, Justin began writing songs and fronting bands in California’s Bay Area. This is where he learned the value of communication and musicianship through an ensemble setting. This interest in composition and guitar eventually led him to Berklee College of Music where he graduated with a BA in songwriting and emphasis on guitar. Throughout college, he worked as a music director of the Beatles Ensemble while leading his current band, Winkler. Teaching guitar, bass, and songwriting, Justin has developed his musicianship in multiple genres and has guided aspiring musicians as well as directed bands for the past seven years.
Alex Massey Guitar Teacher
Born and raised in New England, Alex Massey (they/them/theirs) picked up the guitar at the age of 10 with the encouragement of their parents who were massive fans of Classic Rock and 90s Alternative music. They attended a School of Rock program in early high school that inspired them to start bands with other local musicians. After high school, they attended Berklee College of Music where they took private lessons with Cambridge-based fingerstyle guitar player Lyle Brewer. Since 2018, Alex has been heavily involved in the Allston DIY music scene hosting basement shows, singing, and playing guitar and bass for bands such as Dino Gala, Tada!, Butch Baby, and others.
Sky Schumacher Guitar Teacher, Bass Guitar Teacher
Sky knew from the moment he was put on this earth that he was here to make music. He wrote his first song at age 5, performed on his first professional stage at age 7, formed the first band of his own at age 9, and has been making music nonstop ever since. Originally from Atlanta, GA, Sky has used music to make sense of life's inherent chaos. He would spend hours on end jamming, playing with local bands, and expanding his repertoire of original and cover music and arsenal of creative vocabulary. Sky currently attends Berklee College of Music on a full-ride scholarship, where he has delved deeper into the world of songwriting, performance, and production. Sky released his first self-produced single and is currently working on a solo album.
Sky believes that as a society, we are embarking on an immense shift in consciousness laying the groundwork for the next great musical revolution. In order to actualize this, we must use theory and repertoire, not as rules or destinations, but as ideas to apply to the creative and emotional spectrums upon which great art is built. He believes that the deeper one can connect with their own vulnerability and authenticity, the more they can allow the audience to access those parts of themselves they may not have even known existed. Through the cultivation of each student's authentic artistry utilizing the framework of the great musicians of the past, Sky hopes to help usher in an era of artistic freedom, independence, intelligence, and connectivity.
Shelby Guffey Singing Teacher
Shelby Guffey is a music maker from the midwest, and a lover of all things melodic. She has an extraordinarily large family, sitting at the second oldest of 32 children. As such she is a natural caretaker. Shelby has been singing since she was a kindergartener, in honors choirs, and contemporary groups. She attended Berklee College of Music, where she studied vocal performance and cultivated her love of teaching. She has a speciality in Folk, Pop, Jazz, and Rock. Shelby believes in empathy and patience above all else, and cherishes creativity and fun.
Michael Couch Guitar Teacher
In attending School of Rock himself, Michael discovered a passion for music and art that helped him find his path in life. Writing and performing around Chicago led him to attending Berklee College of Music in 2017 and graduating magna cum laude with a degree in contemporary writing and production, with guitar as his primary instrument. Though fundamentally a Rock musician, Michael has experience playing, writing, and producing in multiple styles including Punk, Ska, Electronic, Funk, Orchestral, and Progressive Rock. He has a strong understanding of music theory and an exceptional ear for production, and he deeply values experimentation, independence, and the power of art to make a positive impact in the world. He shares these things with his students through a belief in practical application and helping others find themselves through music the way School of Rock helped him.
Dylan Walsh Guitar Teacher, Keyboard Teacher
Ever since Dylan began playing piano at age five, he's always pushed himself to be the best musician he could be. By the time he was 18, Dylan was proficient playing not just piano, but guitar, bass, and drums as well. A graduate of Berklee College of Music, he majored in songwriting and minored in music production. Throughout his schooling, he played with many bands and toured, mostly playing synths and guitar. Comfortable in the Boston and Rhode Island scenes, he occasionally plays in Los Angeles and Seattle. Trained in various genres and a multi-instrumentalist, Dylan is a well-rounded musician who knows that with hard work and practice, the sky's the limit. Dylan specializes in keyboards and guitar, as well as songwriting and music production.
Kristina Paul Singing Teacher, Keyboard Teacher
Kristina Paul has always had a strong love for music. At the age of 3, they started classical piano lessons and vocal instruction through children’s theater programs. As they grew older within the programs, they took on leadership roles teaching the younger children in the groups. Once Kristina found their passion for music, their horizons broadened to more styles including Rock, Jazz, and their favorite...Metal! During their time studying vocal performance at Berklee College of Music, they honed their skills and learned many important teaching techniques. The most important part of music for Kristina is to have fun and express yourself!
Ian Ridenhour Drum Teacher, Keyboard Teacher
Ian Ridenhour fell in love with music in the womb. Starting on drums and percussion at age 4,
Ian gradually added formal music theory and songwriting to his studies, alongside the piano.
Graduating high school early, he spent time building a music career in his hometown, Asheville,
NC, before pursuing his education further. In 2018, Ian received a scholarship to the Berklee
College of Music, studying songwriting and piano. Ian has shared the stage with The Accidentals, BJ Leiderman, The Blind Boys of Alabama, and Third Eye Blind and has presented at TEDx twice. While primarily performing on piano, drums remain Ian’s true love, and rhythm guides his every note. Ian's focus is on helping kids find joy through music and their creative pursuits.
Jennings Smith Guitar Teacher
Jennings Smith had a rocky start to his musical journey, finding the guitar clunky and awkward. A few years older and wiser, he picked it back up with the help of a skilled teacher. That changed everything, and a few short years later, he was performing in the local venues of his home state, North Carolina. Jennings went on to attend Berklee College of Music with a major in contemporary songwriting and production. It was during this time that he founded his band Myth of I, an instrumental metal band that has become a staple in the Boston scene. He knows how important a good teacher can be, and hopes to provide that same opportunity to grow and learn that he was given as a kid.