Director, General Manager
Kenny Martin, a true maestro of musical versatility, has been making waves in the world of music for decades. His journey into the realm of rock 'n' roll began with a mind-blowing experience in 1978 when he witnessed KISS on TV. That electrifying moment ignited his passion for music, and he set his sights on mastering the guitar.
For Kenny, music isn't just a hobby; it's a lifelong companion that has enabled him to communicate and connect with fellow musicians across generations. His deep-seated love for music has driven him to explore and excel in various instruments, including drums, bass guitar, piano/keyboards, acoustic/electric guitar, and even vocals.
Kenny's musical odyssey has been a journey of self-exploration and continuous improvement. He has delved into the intricacies of music theory, honed his technique, trained his ears to perfection, and mastered the art of playing a diverse repertoire of songs and musical pieces.
Among Kenny's musical heroes, Gene Simmons, the iconic bassist and vocalist of KISS, holds a special place. Kenny draws inspiration from Simmons' larger-than-life stage presence and musical prowess. Additionally, he admires legends like Elvis Presley, Prince, and Dave Grohl for their unparalleled contributions to the world of music.
Kenny's musical journey has been accompanied by the melodies of some classic albums, including KISS's "Alive," Jeff Buckley's "Grace," and Wham!'s "Fantastic." These albums have played a pivotal role in shaping his musical sensibilities.
One of Kenny's all-time favourite songs is "Come Sail Away" by Styx, a timeless classic that continues to resonate with him. Beyond music, Kenny's interests span the realms of science fiction and football. He's a connoisseur of sci-fi wonders and a passionate follower of the beautiful game.
When it comes to his culinary preferences, Kenny's ideal meal is a hearty serving of his mum's chicken schnitzel, adorned with diced tomatoes and creamy mashed potatoes. As for his dream destination, he dreams of heading to London, even if it means embarking on the longest first-class flight.
Kenny's life philosophy is simple yet profound: "Just have a crack - you never know what can happen." He envisions a world where music can be monetized in a more equitable and innovative manner.
If Kenny were a character in "Top Gun," his call sign would undoubtedly be "Gringo," a fitting moniker for a musician who's been rocking through the decades with passion, zeal, and an unwavering love for music.
**Chris Thompson: The Multitalented Music Maven**
Chris Thompson is a versatile musician and educator hailing from the vibrant music scene of Sydney, Australia. With a passion for rhythm and melody coursing through his veins, Chris has made a significant mark in both the world of music performance and teaching.
Chris's journey into the world of music began with a fascination for the instruments themselves. Drums, bass guitar, and acoustic/electric guitar all found a place in his hands, and he quickly mastered the art of playing them. His love for music deepened as he delved into various genres and styles, refining his skills to become a true virtuoso.
As an educator, Chris's commitment to sharing his musical expertise shines through. At his School of Rock franchises in the Sydney region, he not only plays these instruments with finesse but also imparts his knowledge to eager students. His teaching repertoire includes drums, bass guitar, and both acoustic and electric guitar, making him a well-rounded mentor for aspiring musicians.
Chris's musical journey was ignited by a desire to impress and connect with others, a sentiment that he continues to embody today. His philosophy is simple: "Life's a party," and he believes that music is the universal language that brings people together to celebrate.
Influenced by inspirational music teachers and formal music education, Chris honed his craft and became a sought-after musician in his own right. His proficiency in playing musical pieces and creating captivating rhythms is a testament to his dedication to the art form.
Chris's musical influences span a wide spectrum, from Gerard Way to Laura Lee and Tyler The Creator. He draws inspiration from diverse artists and genres, which enriches his own musical expression.
Outside of his musical pursuits, Chris is a culinary minimalist, with a fondness for broccoli as his ideal last meal. He dreams of flying to Bankstown Airport with a first-class airline ticket, showcasing his adventurous spirit.
While he may not have a definitive answer to his potential biography's title, one thing is clear: Chris Thompson is a musician, educator, and party enthusiast who lives life to the beat of his own drum, creating melodies and memories that resonate with all who have the pleasure of crossing his path.
Lily Velecky, based in Sydney, Australia, may not teach music, but she's a vital part of the School of Rock as a Studio Coordinator. Her journey into the world of music was shaped by the tunes her parents played during her upbringing, featuring iconic bands like U2, Red Hot Chili Peppers, and Wolfmother, alongside pop sensations like Hannah Montana and The Veronicas.
As a Studio Coordinator, Lily's primary mission is to ensure that all students at the School of Rock have the same incredible experience that she had when she was a student herself. Her passion for music and her belief in the transformative power of music education drive her dedication to creating a vibrant musical community.
Lily's journey in music involved an influential music teacher who left a lasting impact. Her dedication to ear training and playing a wide range of songs and musical pieces demonstrates her commitment to the art form. If she had one wish to enhance her musical abilities, she'd choose to become proficient at playing the guitar.
Lily's musical tastes are diverse, spanning from U2 and Foo Fighters to Miley Cyrus, Stonefield, The 1975, and King Gizzard And The Lizard Wizard. Her top three influential records include U2's "Rattle and Hum," Red Hot Chili Peppers' "By The Way," and The 1975's "A Brief Inquiry Into Online Relationships." Outside of music, Lily enjoys collecting vinyl records and attending live gigs, making her an integral part of the music scene.
Guitar Teacher, Bass Guitar Guitar Teacher, Drum Teacher
Ariq is a multi-instrumentalist who was inspired to become a musician by watching artists like Jimmy Page, Kevin Parker and Dave Grohl. Learning to become a musician by self-expression took Ariq to complete his Bachelor of Music degree through JMC in Sydney.
Ariq is a keen car enthusiast and lover of football (the English kind) but nothing brings a smile to his face more than the music of Led Zeppelin. Ariq is available for guitar lessons, bass guitar lessons, and drum lessons at School of Rock Bella Vista.
Miss Eleni, a versatile musician and singer, calls New South Wales, Australia, her home. Her musical journey began with a deep-rooted love for singing, nurtured by moments in the car, in the shower, and harmonizing with her mom's vinyl records. She expanded her repertoire to include piano, keyboards, bass guitar, and even percussion instruments like tambourines and shakers. This diverse skill set reflects her insatiable passion for music.
As an educator, Miss Eleni's goal is to help her students express themselves with nuance and emotion through music. Music and singing have been her constant companions throughout her life, and she aspires to provide the same enriching experience for her students. Her teaching philosophy centres on conveying messages through music, allowing students to find their own path in this timeless art form.
Miss Eleni's musical journey features a diverse array of projects, from being the backing vocalist in "Th!nk Pink" to leading the original outfit "Sisco Electro." Her dedication to music has led her to perform with award-winning bands and participate in memorable choir experiences, including singing at the Sydney Opera House with 300 voices.
Outside the spotlight, Miss Eleni engages in solo performances at Aged Care Homes, offering comfort and joy to seniors through music. Her interests extend to motorbike rides with friends, hitting the beach, and exploring other countries. With a penchant for double cheeseburgers and a lifelong connection to Elvis's music, her dream destination is Graceland, where the King of Rock 'n' Roll's legacy lives on.
Simone White is a versatile, eclectic drummer with his eye on the bigger picture. Not content to just lay down a beat, Simone contemplates the significance of everything around him and the role every part plays in creating and expressing music. With a versatile background ranging from Hip-Hop, Funk, Latin, Reggae, Jazz, and Drum and Bass, to Rock, Punk, Metal, and Progressive, Simone has played with George Clinton and recorded and toured with Mark Eitze of the American Music Club. He is an accomplished live and session musician.
Simone was the drummer for The Disposable Heroes of Hiphoprisy, Michael Franti & Spearhead, and has toured with Nirvana, L7, and The Breeders. Simone is a Drum Teacher at School of Rock Bella Vista in Sydney. Originally from San Francisco in the United States, Simone called Australia home after falling in love with Sydney after playing The Big Day Out Tour. Simone has been teaching drums for 30 plus years and is available for Drum Lessons at School of Rock Bella Vista
Bass Guitar Teacher, Guitar Teacher, Keyboard + Piano Teacher
Ryley is a guitar teacher, bass guitar teacher, and keyboard + piano teacher at School of Rock Bella Vista in Sydney’s Hills District.
Ryley graduated from School of Rock as a student and was accepted to continue his music education through Western Sydney University’s Music Program.
Growing up in a family passionate about music, Ryley was exposed to a variety of musical styles and cut his teeth learning the songs of Queen and The Beatles. Throughout his School of Rock journey, Ryley had the opportunity to perform at the Whiskey a Go-Go in Los Angeles as well as showcasing his talents at Musician’s Institute in Hollywood where he impressed the faculty. He has toured the United States playing shows in Los Angeles, San Diego, Phoenix, Las Vegas, and San Francisco.
Ryley’s passion for music has passed onto his students with his ability to engage them and make music fun.
Cameron Towell is a piano teacher and keyboard teacher at School of Rock Bella Vista, with a focus on contemporary and jazz piano. He studied classical piano as a young child and still loves beaking down the master composers of that era.
Taking inspiration from artists Billy Joel, Bill Evans, and Stevie Wonder, Cameron plays in a funk band called Soul Craft. His band is often seen around the wedding circuit in Sydney.
Cameron is passionate about teaching his students and can break down difficult concepts into easily digestible pieces. He has enormous patience with younger students and easily turns musical ideas into games.
His favourite song is Elton John’s “Benny and The Jets” and his guilty pleasure song is the Campfire song from Spongebob Squarepants.
Cameron is available to take on new piano and keyboard students at School of Rock Bella Vista.
Guitar Teacher, Bass Guitar Teacher
Cooper Scarfe, a skilled guitarist based in New South Wales, Australia, embodies the soul of music with his mastery of the bass and electric/acoustic guitar. His musical journey was ignited by the legendary riffs of bands like AC/DC and Led Zeppelin, which played a pivotal role in shaping his path as a guitarist. His love for the instrument began in childhood, nurtured by the powerful melodies and captivating guitar work of these iconic bands.
Cooper's commitment to music extends beyond his own talent. He aspires to pass on the knowledge he's acquired, offering his students a means of self-expression through music. In this pursuit, he hopes to empower future generations of musicians, sharing the transformative power of melody and rhythm.
At the heart of Cooper's musical endeavors is his role as the lead guitarist in "Shallow Pink." For two years, he has lent his exceptional skills and creativity to the band, playing a pivotal role in their sonic journey. As the lead guitarist, Cooper adds his unique touch to the band's sound, helping them craft their distinctive musical identity.
Influenced by guitar legends like John Petrucci, Marty Friedman, and Dave Grohl, Cooper's musical horizon knows no bounds. He draws inspiration from the guitar virtuosos who pushed the boundaries of their craft, forever changing the way the instrument is played. With albums like "Images and Words," "OK Computer," and "Master of Puppets" in his repertoire, Cooper's musical taste spans diverse genres and styles.
Guitar Teacher, Bass Guitar Teacher, Drum Teacher
Jackson Lobb, a versatile musician residing in New South Wales, Australia, is a musical explorer with a diverse set of talents. His musical journey was sparked by a love for singing along to the radio during his daily commute to school. Encouragement from his parents and friends recognized his innate gift for music, setting him on a path to become a musician.
As an educator, Jackson's mission is to instill a love for learning and playing music in his students. His goal is to expand their horizons by introducing them to various music genres and styles, allowing them to explore the rich world of music and develop their unique musical identities.
Jackson's musical journey has been enriched by self-exploration, influential music teachers, and formal music education. He places a strong emphasis on understanding music theory, refining technique, ear training, and playing diverse musical pieces. His desire for improvement lies in mastering musical theory, enabling him to apply scales, modes, intervals, and more in his improvisation and overall music practice.
In terms of musical influences, Jackson draws inspiration from artists like Cory Wong, John Mayer, and Keith Urban. His top three influential records include John Mayer's "Where The Light Is" (Live), Cory Wong's "Meditation" Paisley Park Session, and Vulfpeck's "Live at Madison Square Garden." A song that brings a smile to his face is "Brown Eyes Baby" by Keith Urban.
Liza-Marie is a singing teacher at School of Rock Bella Vista with a background as a singer-songwriter, arranger, and performer based in Sydney, Australia.
Taking inspiration from artists Tori Kelly, H.E.R, Pink Sweat$, Lianne La Havas, and alike, Liza-Marie writes and performs songs influenced by mixed genres of R&B, Soul, Pop, Christian, and many more.
Not only does she compose songs for herself, but also for church (Iglesia Ni Cristo (Church Of Christ)) in the Music Department of Oceania. As she continues to find her voice through her songs and develop her skills as an individual artist, she hopes to make herself known in the community and inspire others.
Liza-Marie's go-to song to jam out to is Bittersweet by Lianne La Havas.
Katie Holland's musical journey began with a simple yet powerful inspiration—her dad playing the guitar. His melodies resonated with her, igniting a spark of curiosity and creativity. She embarked on her musical path by teaching herself the bass guitar and later joined School of Rock for drum lessons. As she delved deeper into the world of music, especially the heavier genres, Katie felt an irresistible urge to become a part of the sonic tapestry she admired.
Now, as an accomplished drummer, Katie imparts her knowledge and passion to aspiring musicians at School of Rock. Her mission is clear: to help her students establish a personal connection with music that speaks to their individuality. Katie nurtures their confidence, whether it's the exhilaration of owning the stage or simply the courage to explore new horizons in music.
Katie's musical journey has taken her to the realms of Pesticide, a band that she drums for. While the band is currently on hiatus, their memorable debut gig radiates with excitement and the shared eagerness to make music come alive.
In her pursuit of excellence, Katie continues to explore her musical prowess. She delves into ear training and masters various songs and musical pieces. If she had one wish, it would be to bolster her confidence when performing on stage, further embracing the spotlight.
Katie draws inspiration from legendary drummers like Nick Menza, Danny Carey, Dave Grohl, Neil Peart, Joey Jordison, and Taylor Hawkins. Their rhythmic genius and passion for music motivate her. In an ideal gathering, she'd invite the wise voices of Dave Grohl, Dave Mustaine, and Chino Moreno to share their invaluable insights.
Outside the world of music, Katie indulges in video games, and true crime podcasts, and pursues her degree in social work at university. She also enjoys savouring Italian cuisine with a Diet Coke by her side.
In her future adventures, Katie dreams of revisiting America after being inspired by the 2023 School of Rock America tour. As she continues to drum her way through life, Katie "Dutchy" Holland remains a dynamic force in the world of music and beyond.
Rasula Ratnayake, a multi-talented musician based in Sydney, Australia, is a true maestro with a wide array of musical skills. His journey into music began when a music teacher asked him to play the drums for a class song. The experience was an instant revelation, and Rasula found himself not only enjoying it immensely but also picking it up with remarkable ease.
As an educator, Rasula is driven by a deep sense of purpose. He strives to ensure that his students not only enjoy playing music but also become great musicians. Drawing from his own experiences with teachers who didn't foster his passion, he aims to be the kind of teacher who lays a solid foundation for his students while keeping their interest in their chosen instrument alive and thriving.
Rasula's musical talents are showcased in a band that's yet to be named. He takes on the pivotal roles of the main drummer and saxophonist in the group. Having been a part of this band for approximately six months, it remains an active and evolving project that allows him to explore the depths of his musical creativity.
Rasula's influences span a diverse spectrum, from drummers like Larnell Lewis and Alex Bent to innovative musicians like Tigran Hamasyan and Jacob Collier. His top three influential records include "We Like It Here" by Snarky Puppy, "The Sin and the Sentence" by Trivium, and "The Mountain" by Haken. When it comes to songs that bring a smile to his face, Snarky Puppy's "What About Me?" and "Lingus" top the list.
Guitar Teacher, Bass Guitar Teacher, Keyboard + Piano Teacher, Vocal Teacher
Luke has a diverse musical background that led him to his current role as a music teacher. While art was initially his favourite subject, he found himself drawn to music in year 9, thanks to friends and his love for singing. At the age of 15, he received a guitar for his birthday, sparking a deep passion for playing and singing, particularly in the style of James Hetfield from Metallica.
As a music teacher, Luke's mission is to pass on his profound love and knowledge of music to his students. His journey into music education began in school, where he participated in choir and instrumental groups. He continued his musical studies through college and eventually studied music at TAFE. Teaching music at home became his main job, and he honed his skills, eventually pursuing a career as a high school music teacher.
Luke's musical interests span a wide range of genres, including heavy metal, rock, and symphonic metal. Influenced by iconic musicians like James Hetfield, Tuomas Holopainen, and Brian May, Luke's favourite albums include Metallica's "Symphony and Metallica," Iron Maiden's "Rock in Rio," and Kamelot's "The Black Halo." His favourite songs range from Metallica's "Creeping Death" to Queen's "Somebody to Love."
Beyond music, Luke is a self-proclaimed nerd with a penchant for cartoons like "The Simpsons," "Family Guy," and "South Park." He enjoys sci-fi and fantasy TV and movies, attends conventions like Supanova and OzComicCon, and collects figures and memorabilia from various pop culture franchises. His ideal meal is a hearty burger with chicken, bacon, and pineapple, accompanied by chips and a large drink.
Luke's dream destination is Europe, where he hopes to attend metal festivals and explore castles. He envisions himself as "that guy who plays guitar and likes Power Rangers." If he could have one superpower, it would be teleportation, allowing him to go anywhere he desires. Luke, also known as Luke Krusty Smitho, is a music enthusiast and a devoted nerd with a passion for teaching and all things music-related.
Luke is available to teach guitar, bass guitar, keys and vocals at School of Rock Bella Vista.