Ryan SchiffDistrict 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.
Justin SalmonsGeneral Manager, Music Director
Born in Little Rock, AR, but raised in Dallas, TX, Justin has been a music aficionado since elementary school. Inspired by his cousin's ability to riff on a Les Paul as a kid, Justin finally picked up the guitar himself at the age of 13. Initially a rocker, his thirst for a deeper understanding of the inner workings of guitar and music led him to a more diverse repertoire and a greater knowledge of music theory. Taking advantage of the immense blues, jazz, country and R & B culture that Texas had to offer, Justin broadened his influences and musical understandings, quickly becoming an old soul in a young body. This led to performing and recording with artists such as Nokie Edwards of The Ventures, Dave Bartholomew (songwriter for Fats Domino), hip-hop legend The D.O.C.,and Texas country legends The Light Crust Doughboys, which eventually led to a Grammy nomination in Southern Gospel. Graduating from the University of North Texas in 2007 and feeling the limitations of Texas, Justin relocated to Los Angeles in 2010. Here the guitarist has begun pursuing his own musical endeavors and a deeper understanding of production and recording. Never resting, Justin has continued to perform with a myriad of talented singers and songwriters in the LA club scene. As an instructor, Justin has over seven years of experience in private guitar instruction. As an understanding and adaptive teacher, Justin has successfully guided students young and old to a greater understanding and ability to play guitar. His teaching style is one of empathy and necessity, tailoring each lesson plan to accommodate each student's individual desires and goals while providing the essential tools one needs to be a competent informed guitarist.
Katie HenkelBass Guitar Teacher, Piano Teacher, Singing Teacher
Katie began playing piano at the age of five and hasn’t stopped since. In 2009 she joined School of Rock as a keyboardist, bassist and vocalist and later became a School of Rock AllStar, playing venues such as Gathering of the Vibes, The Stone Pony and many others. She then studied at and graduated from Berklee College of Music, where she went on cross-country tours with bands she was in, as well as studied audio engineering. She’s played in venues all over the country, and engineers her own music and the music of other artists.
Abigail MillerBass Guitar Teacher, Singing Teacher
Born and raised in Oak Park, IL, Abigail Joy Miller has always been an avid music lover. She started taking bass lessons at the age of 12 at a small, local music store. Shortly after, she found her people and passion at School of Rock in Chicago. After a year at School of Rock Chiago, her mom, an active member of the community, decided to open what has become the largest School of Rock in the country. In 2012, at 14 years old, she was the youngest member of a local punk band in the Chicagoland area and recorded a few EPs. In 2015 and 2016 Abigail was chosen to represent the elite top 1% of School of Rock students as a national AllStar, where she played and performed around the US including at places like Gathering of the Vibes, Lollapalooza, Riot Fest and Summerfest. When she was supposed to be going into senior year of high school, she instead joined Dalton Rapattoni as the bassist and a backup singer on The Inspired Attempt Tour. After tour she graduated early from high school and was already living in LA while her peers were going to prom. She is now attending the Musicians Institute for Bass Performance with a minor in Audio Engineering. Abigail has accomplished a great deal already at the young age of 19, and she's only just getting started.
Alyssa RobertsonGuitar Teacher, Bass Guitar Teacher, Singing Teacher
After seeing My Chemical Romance on the 2011 Honda Civic Tour, Los Angeles native Alyssa Robertson knew music was what she wanted to do with her life. Within a year of taking guitar lessons, Alyssa soon found herself wanting more to sink her teeth into, and did so by walking through the doors of School of Rock West LA. In addition to participating in the Performance Program while at School of Rock, she was also a vocalist in West LA’s House Band, which gave her the opportunity to play gigs all over town, including alongside Brad Wilk and Danny Carey, and with the House Band on Conan O'Brien's show. While growing as a musician during her tenure at School of Rock, Alyssa became interested in songwriting, and has been doing so for five years. Alyssa has also played in many bands, and has played at venues such as The Whisky A Go-Go, The Troubadour, Amplyfi and DiPiazza’s. Her main influences are Nirvana, Hole, My Chemical Romance, Placebo, No Doubt, Sleater Kinney, Bikini Kill, Paramore, Streetlight Manifesto and The Smiths.
Lucas KanopaGuitar Teacher, Bass Guitar Teacher, Singing Teacher
Lucas started his musical journey at a very young age. At the age of eight years old he started taking drum lessons with some of the most renowned drummers in Uruguay where he is from. It took him three more years to discover his true passion, the guitar. He immediately started taking electric/classical guitar lessons and playing in bands. He had over seven guitar instructors and three vocal coaches throughout his teenage years and by the age of 18 he started teaching guitar and bass. Lucas moved to Los Angeles in 2013 and started the band Void Vator in which he sings and plays guitar. The band got picked up by Grammy-nominated producer Ulrich Wild to be a part of his new Label Wurm group. Void Vator released their first EP “Dehumanized” in 2017 and got their first single, "Time Has Come," placed in the very popular video game "Fallout." Lucas has worked with Ulrich Wild on other projects as a session guitarist and played for the world class metal band Devildriver at Knotfest 2016 for a crowd of over 30,000 people. During the developing stages of Void Vator Lucas joined Patrick Kennison’s (Lita Ford, Union Underground) band Heaven Below, and recently released the album "Good Morning Apocalypse" through David Ellefson’s (Megadeth) label, EMP. "Good Morning Apocalypse" features legendary guest vocalists, such as Udo Dirkschneider and Lita Ford. The band got a song placed in the TV show "The Blacklist." Lucas is currently playing in both bands and teaching music, which is his other passion besides performing.
Maureen DavisSinging Teacher
Maureen is a master vocal coach and a top innovative teacher, featured in the national publication "Music Connection Magazine" and on Fox News for her "story-first" and "speech-singing" techniques. She also incorporates yoga methods for natural breath control, stamina and vocal health. Having Broadway theatre credits, Maureen has trained young singer/dancers for Broadway, TV and film, and works with future performers on safe microphone technique and stage presence. Students can also work on songwriting with her. Maureen has placed over 200 songs in TV and film and has three albums out. When she is not teaching, you can catch Maureen with her rockabilly band, Maureen and the Mercury 5, performing at Disneyland, opening for bands including Big Bad Voodoo Daddy and Dick Dale or playing with all-stars from the bands Cheap Trick, Quiet Riot, The Sweet and Kiss at the Ultimate Jam Night at The Whisky A Go Go on the Sunset Strip.
Atticus ReynoldsDrum Teacher
Atticus Reynolds is a drummer, composer and educator hailing from Chapel Hill, North Carolina. He is the first jazz musician and composer to receive the Kenan Music Scholarship at the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill. He has been teaching students for nine years. Prior to moving to Los Angeles, Atticus worked at Jazz at Lincoln Center in New York City. He has studied with renowned artists, including Kenny Washington and Joe Farnsworth in New York, and received extensive classical snare drum and Latin percussion training with composer-performer Dr. Juan Alamo. He also studied for two and a half months at the Conservatorio de Música de Puerto Rico. In 2016, Atticus composed and recorded an original suite of music in San Juan, Puerto Rico, which resulted in the release of his debut album “Ventana” in 2017. KCRW and KJAZZ radio stations have recently played selections from the album in the Los Angeles area. In 2017, he was selected to participate in the Banff International Workshop in Jazz and Creative Music in Canada, directed by Vijay Iyer. Atticus has played a wide variety of music over the years, including for hip-hop and rap artists, marching bands, and indie rock and pop artists. He is excited to join the School of Rock team.
Nick MizockGuitar Teacher, Drum Teacher, Singing Teacher, Bass Guitar Teacher, Piano Teacher
Nick Mizock was born in Chicago, Illinois and began playing guitar at the age of 11. By the age of 18 he had already played professionally at Chicago Symphony Center and was a serious performer of rock, jazz and classical guitar. In 2004, he became the first guitarist to double major in Classical and Jazz Guitar at Northern Illinois University, where he studied with the world-renowned guitarist Fareed Haque (Sting, Dave Holland, Paquito D’Rivera). While performing in the Northern Illinois University Latin jazz ensemble he shared the stage with the "Saturday Night Live" band’s percussionist, Valerie Naranjo. After graduation Nick was accepted into the Classical Guitar master’s degree programs at New England Conservatory and Mannes School of Music but chose instead to work and develop his skills as a professional musician in Chicago. There he led his own bands, Zock and The Zock Organ Trio, performed with the band Magnetic and played countless performances at some of Chicago’s best rock clubs, including The Double Door and Lincoln Hall. Additionally, he averaged a little over 100 gigs a year, playing weekly at Potbelly Sandwiches, with the Connexion Wedding Orchestra, and freelancing as a solo guitarist and sideman. Nick released Zock’s debut album in 2015 and in 2016 was featured on Magnetic’s debut EP, both receiving positive acclaim. In 2017 Nick relocated to Los Angeles to pursue his master’s degree in Studio Guitar at the University of Southern California, where he is currently studying with Grammy-winning classical guitarist Scott Tennant. His future plans are to release The Zock Organ Trio’s debut album and an album of Frank Zappa’s music arranged for classical guitar. Nick has performed at the Savannah and Chicago Jazz Festivals, and at just about every major hotel in the Chicagoland area.
Stefano AshbridgeDrum Teacher
Stefano Ashbridge began teaching the drums almost 20 years ago when his teacher at the time asked him to fill in. That allowed Stefano to pass on his love of the drums and music at a relatively early age, making it easy for him to relate to his students' frustrations and passion for drumming. Since then, he has gone on to teach hundreds of private and group students of all ages and skill levels. He has developed a teaching method that allows each student to reach their musical goals, while having fun learning the music they love. He is also involved with Hudson Music's Teacher Integration Program. Stefano has studied with noted drummers Zoro (Lenny Kravitz, New Edition) and Mark Schulman (Cher, Pink). He is located in the Los Angeles area, where he is also involved in the music scene there as a session and live drummer. He has played and toured with such artists as Brad Wilson of Stone and Grammy nominee Derek Jordan. He was also awarded Electronica Drummer of the Year at the L.A. Music Awards.
Scott MellisGuitar Teacher, Bass Guitar Teacher, Singing Teacher
Scott Mellis started out playing in heavy metal bands in high school, sneaking into bars underage and carrying the gear of older band members. In his solo project he has opened for folk-rock icon Richard Thompson, Serena Ryder, Jeff Martin, Fink and Joseph Arthur. He was asked to open for Jason Mraz and Tom Morello after being spotted playing an impromptu acoustic set at a clothing store in Austin for SXSW.
Naiim WilsonGuitar Teacher
Naiim Wilson was born in Arizona and raised in California, where he took up the guitar at the age of 12. Inspired by bands such as Led Zeppelin and The Beatles, he joined School of Rock as a student at 13, honing his skills through relentless practice, private lessons and show performances. After having performed at venues such as The Troubadour, The Joint and The Whiskey-a-Go-Go, Naiim was placed under the tutelage of Emmy-nominated conductor Michael Bearden and continued to perform on his own, as well as with other acts. In 2017, Naiim returned to School of Rock as a guitar teacher, guiding the younger students through their journeys as young musicians. Naiim plays a plethora of different styles, including rock, funk, jazz, blues, folk, and raga, with rock being his leading style.
Kevin KatichDrum Teacher
Kevin Katich is a session drummer/percussionist, teacher and Foley artist/sound engineer based out of Los Angeles, CA. He has been playing since 1997 and has been fortunate enough to study the art of percussion under legends such as Mark Craney (Jethro Tull, Tower of Power), John Molo (Bruce Hornsby, Phil Lesh), Tony Pia (Edgar Winter, Brian Setzer Orchestra) and Gregg Bissonette (David Lee Roth, Maynard Ferguson). In his career, Katich has appeared on stage with Gene Simmons, John Fogerty, Solomon Burke, Steven Stills, Reba Macintyre, Billy Steinberg, Stewart Copeland and Gnarls Barkley. He has also written, recorded and performed with many Los Angeles-based bands and has performed in the following stage musicals as a drummer and percussionist: "The Devil and Billy Markham," "The Rocky Horror Show," "Cabaret," "Children of Eden," "Grease," "Bye Bye Birdie" and "L'Innocent." Kevin loves to teach and is thrilled to join the faculty at School of Rock West LA.
David AbramsGuitar Teacher, Bass Guitar Teacher
Born in Northern California but raised in Dallas, Texas, David started out playing violin in middle school, but when he discovered the music of Jimi Hendrix and bands like Van Halen, Nirvana, Pantera and Metallica, he quickly switched to electric guitar. He began to learn riffs of his favorite bands and sought out other friends who played instruments to start rock bands in garages, playing covers and originals. As David progressed and discovered players like Steve Vai and Joe Satriani, he became more interested in learning theory and developing technique. As a result, David took it upon himself to practice several hours a day everyday. This led to a desire to further his studies in college, and David went on to receive a Bachelors of Music from the University of North Texas, where he studied Jazz and Classical Guitar. During this time David also played in his own rock bands, taught lessons and played freelance gigs around the DFW Metroplex in a variety of styles. David then moved to Los Angeles to study briefly at the Musicians Institute in Hollywood. He currently resides in L.A., teaching and doing gigs and session work for artists. He's toured extensively as a guitarist with guitar legend Guitar Shorty as well as with the smash hit musical "American Idiot." In addition, he plays in a rock band with the sons of R & B singer Brian Mcknight called, BRKN RBTZ. At School of Rock he teaches guitar, bass and beginner keys lessons as well as directs the Rock 101 classes.
Joe DiasGuitar Teacher, Bass Guitar Teacher, Piano Teacher, Singing Teacher
Born in the mid-90s, singer/songwriter/producer/multi-instrumentalist Joe Dias lives and breathes music. From Boston, MA, Joe has been writing and recording music since 2012 and continues to work towards achieving his goals and dreams. Joe attended both School Of Rock Boston and Berklee College Of Music. Joe gets much of his inspiration from his beloved sister, Gianna, who sparked his passion for pursuing music as a career while she was battling a rare type of terminal cancer. Her spirit inspires him every day to be the best he can. When he's not working on music of his own, Dias continues his passion by teaching kids at School of Rock and inspires them to do what they love. His main goal is to never stop believing in his dreams no matter what happens.
Steven SkaletskyStudio Coordinator
Born and raised in Sylmar, California, Steven studied many different types of art forms growing up. Starting with drawing and heading towards graphic design, painting, construction and a stint in sculpting, he’s experienced many types of artistic mediums. Having studied set and costume design, makeup and performance at Southern Oregon University, he graduated with a BA in Theater Arts in 2013 before ultimately deciding to move back to Los Angeles. He is a true creative spirit with a deep love and appreciation for art and music.