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 CBGB's and The Knitting Factory. It was during this time that Ryan began teaching at School of Rock in 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. He is the district manager at School of Rock Burbank.
Selena Manzo General Manager
Raised in Los Angeles, Selena Manzo has always been passionate about music, from photographing concerts to working as health and safety at music festivals. She is currently back in school, pursuing degrees in Business, Graphic Design and Photography. You can catch her custom-made show posters around the school.
When she's not behind the front desk, she enjoys learning new things, gardening and being outdoors. Selena loves helping build an amazing community, creating rad artwork and running around with her camera at School of Rock shows. She is our General Manager at School of Rock Burbank.
Pierre Karlsson Music Director, Guitar Teacher, Bass Guitar Teacher
Before moving to Los Angeles to study music at the world renowned Musicians Institute (GIT), Pierre performed and recorded with various rock bands from his homeland, Sweden. Since graduating, Pierre Karlsson has established himself as a sought after guitarist, composer/arranger and music collaborator whose stylistic flexibility and enthusiasm speaks for itself.
He has been teaching at School of Rock since 2007, sharing his passion and love of music by being a guitar teacher and bass guitar teacher, and directing seasonal shows. Pierre is a multi-faceted musician with credits like the film "Night School" (starring Kevin Hart and Tiffany Haddish), "Green Eggs and Ham" (Warner Bros) and Hollywood Reel Film Festival winner "The Truth About Marriage," as well as many commercial and indie projects. He has recorded with artists ranging from Benny Mardones (Into the Night) to Dona Oxford and producer/engineer Rob Brill (Paul McCartney), as well as Billy Sullivan (Trekkies) and Daniel Mendez (Motley Crue). His playing has been featured on television broadcasts around the world, including recent credits "Sing Like a Star," "Daily Blast," "Evidence of Innocence" and "Xploration Awesome Planet."
Chad Wolfinbarger Assistant Music Director, Singing Teacher, Guitar Teacher
Chad Wolfinbarger’s musical aspirations started innocently enough. Growing up in Charleston, South Carolina, he was introduced to New Wave through his sister. By the time he got to junior high, Chad had graduated to Iggy Pop, but the Euro-centric sounds of Depeche Mode, The Cure and even Falco had also made a permanent mark on his psyche. At 20, Chad grabbed his guitar, boarded a plane for the very first time and moved to Los Angeles. To make ends meet, he held a string of odd jobs — working as an extra on a Celine Dion video, cleaning toilets in exchange for studio time — and eventually landed an internship with renowned songwriter Diane Warren. The affable Chad eventually networked his way to a job at a small label, and through new relationships in the industry found himself house-sitting for a friend of famed Swedish producer Max Martin. Chad labored on and continued to refine his songwriting skills. The day came when he decided that it was now or never and as fate would have it, a phone call that very night would mean things were going to happen a lot faster than he ever imagined. His band's first record went platinum with the single "Show Me What I’m Looking for." The second record paved the way for the band to play arenas with Kelly Clarkson, Gavin DeGraw The Fray, One Republic, Rob Thomas and Lindsey Sterling. His newest band, Federal Empire, is currently charting at alternative radio across the U.S. He is the Assistant Music Director at School of Rock Burbank.
Nick Mason Drum Teacher
Nick Mason, is an international touring/studio drummer and music educator. Over his 30-year career in the music industry he has appeared on countless albums, movie soundtracks, music videos, TV shows and feature films. As an educator he helped build and manage the Buffalo Music School in Western New York. He conducts clinics, music seminars and artist consultations. Nick has one of the busiest private teaching practices in Southern California, and can regularly be seen in the pages of industry trade magazines. His performance credits include some of the industry's top acts, such as Street Drum Corps, V2A, The Rhythm Coffin, Beasto Blanco, Orianthi, TUFF, Daisy DeLaHoya, Shania Twain, Corey Feldman, Nik West, Rudy Mancuso, and many more. Nick officially endorses Yamaha Drums, Paiste Cymbals, Aquarian Drumheads, Regal Tip Drumsticks, Coffin Case, Cympad, Cool Claws and Zombie Killer Clothing. He is a drum teacher at School of Rock Burbank.
Paxton McMurray Guitar Teacher, Bass Guitar Teacher, Keyboard Teacher
Paxton grew up around jazz and blues music in New Orleans, Louisiana. He began on the piano at four years old, and continued his training on drums, bass, guitar and harmonica. In addition to his jazz training, Paxton attended NOCCA and The Colburn School for classical music, and later studied recording and mixing at the Musicians’ Institute.
He plays in several bands around LA as a multi-instrumentalist, and continues to write/record his own material. He is also a former School of Rock student. Paxton started on keyboards at School of Rock Burbank and began playing around town with the school at 10 years old. The school helped him discover his passion for drums and guitar as well, which he studied with School of Rock for several years.
Paxton is excited to continue to be a part of School of Rock, and hopes to share his experiences with this growing community of young musicians.
Jeremy Cohen Bass Teacher, Guitar Teacher
Jeremy Cohen began learning piano at the age of four in his hometown of Beverly, MA. Through public school programs, he also picked up the trombone. He played in and led the trombone section under the leadership of Ray Novack, a Beverly music veteran. Jeremy’s dreams of becoming an atomic scientist were forever changed when he picked up the bass guitar. He has since played in countless high school bands, local rock schools and also while getting his degree in Music Therapy and Bass Performance at Berklee College of Music. Jeremy’s stylistic flexibility and interest in different genres has led him to international touring, most recently as bassist/songwriter of indie rock band The Rare Occasions and as Music Director for pop singer Patrick Martin. Jeremy is the recipient of many awards, including the John Lennon Songwriting Contest Song of the Year Award for “Dysphoric,” which he co-wrote with The Rare Occasions. He is a bass guitar teacher at School of Rock Burbank.
Kapali Long Guitar Teacher, Bass Guitar Teacher, Singing Teacher
Born and raised in Honolulu, Hawaii, Kapali Long has been performing music all his life since the age of three by learning piano, then ukulele and so forth. His main instruments are his voice and guitar, but he plays close to 20 instruments. He's proficient in all styles including acoustic, electric and lapsteel guitar. He can play guitar, piano, ukulele, mandolin, harmonica, bass, percussion, banjo and a bunch of "band" instruments. Music is in his blood. Being from Hawaii and a native Hawaiian, Kapali's mother plays bass and sings, his grandfather and grandmother toured in the 60s he's also the nephew of Hawaiian music greats Buddy Fo and Mikilani Fo.
Long has played and writes all genres from rock to reggae, metal to folk and country to urban.
Scott Warren Keyboard Teacher
Scott Warren was the latest keyboardist for heavy metal bands Dio, and Heaven and Hell. Scott is a self-taught keyboardist. He began playing at age six. Later he trained professionally at Dick Grove School of Music. Scott Warren was a member of the groups Warrant, Keel and Berlin.
Today Scott Warren is part of Dio Disciples, which includes surviving members of the final line-up of Dio, along with former Lynch Mob vocalist Oni Logan. He also plays in the band Hellion alongside fellow Dio Disciples member Simon Wright. His most notable work with the band would have to include his keyboard solo on the recent "Killing the Dragon" album on a track titled "Before the Fall." He is a piano teacher at School of Rock Burbank.
Katie Cole Drum Teacher
Katie Cole has always had a passion for music and has been playing all kinds of instruments for the past 15 years. She specializes in drums and has played in multiple touring bands. She’s been in jazz bands throughout high school and college and has played anything from pop to heavy metal. Katie is currently writing with her band Dangerkids. She is a drum teacher at School of Rock Burbank.
Michael Ijac Guitar Teacher, Bass Guitar Teacher, Drum Teacher
Mike Ijac has been playing music all his life, from jamming with friends to joining folk band Low Ceilings in Boston and exploring the DIY scene of the Northeast. After spending some time in LA, Mike returned to his home state of Florida where he first started working for School of Rock. Since moving back to LA he decided to continue being part of the School of Rock family as a guitar teacher, bass guitar teacher and drum teacher at School of Rock Burbank. Mike currently releases music as Mykeadelic and released an album last year called "Magic Hour."
Karlee Streit Singing Teacher, Keyboard Teacher
Karlee grew up in Northern California in a small mountain town known as Truckee. She was always in love with music and singing, so at age 11, she began to take vocal and acting lessons. She began performing in many local productions at the age of 13 and has been hooked ever since. As the first singer in the Truckee High School Jazz band, she went on to win multiple awards at various jazz festivals in Northern California and Reno. She also performed in many shows including opening for country singer Mark Mackay at the Hard Rock Hotel in South Lake Tahoe.
After she graduated, she went on to study music education at Cabrillo College in Santa Cruz and Butte College in Oroville before switching to the Artist, Producer, Entrepreneur program at Musician’s Institute. Now she spends her time focusing on writing and performing her own music.
Alexis Angel Keyboard Teacher, Guitar Teacher, Bass Guitar Teacher
Alexis is a much-sought after session/touring musician in Los Angeles. Alexis started learning music at 6 years old and has been heavily involved in it ever since. Some projects that he’s involved in include, playing the part of Ray Manzarek in a Doors Tribute band “Strange Days” and George Harrison in various other Beatles tribute bands. His main focus is on writing original music and session work. His music style ranges from Rock n' Roll, Blues, Latin and Honky Tonk, to name a few.
He has been highly praised by legendary Doors guitarist, Robby Krieger, for his skill on the keyboard, as well as having the ability to play guitar and bass efficiently.
Some of his other passions outside of music include illustration, as his ability to sketch/draw has been another one of his passions since he was in elementary school. Alexis continues to keep chasing his dream of having a career in the arts and is very passionate of sharing the knowledge he has learned to students who are after the same goal.
Ian Waters Guitar Teacher, Keyboard Teacher
Ian Waters is a multi instrumentalist who grew up in Louisiana exposed to jazz and blues. He began learning guitar at the age of 8 taking private lessons and playing regularly at church services by his teens. As a young adult, he began playing in rock and roll bands in Tennessee and eventually landing in Los Angeles, playing guitar for Cat Scan, an art punk band who Rolling Stone magazine called one of the best bands of 2018. Currently, Ian produces and writes for artists in his home studio and is working on a solo EP. When not playing music, Ian is involved in theater, performing in local community plays and short film projects.
Margo Messenger Keyboard Teacher, Singing Teacher
Hailing from the Baltic Sea Region of Kaliningrad, Russia, Margo is passionate about music, movement and creativity.
She grew up in a musical family, singing for local and international projects. Margo’s musical background includes many styles. She studied classical piano, worked for musical theaters, led a vocal pop group, power metal band and cruise ship jazz bands, and performed original music all over the USA.
Looking for a more effective and sustainable way of singing and playing music, Margo got into the field of mindfulness, yoga, and somatic modalities (Alexander technique).
Margo teaches music as a tool for self care and self empowerment. She helps her students ignite their inspiration, and guides them towards creative freedom.
Marcel Borbón Guitar Teacher, Bass Guitar Teacher
Marcel Borbón Pérez is a performer-composer born and raised in Los Angeles, California. From his beginnings as a punk, ska, and reggae guitarist - he went on to study classical guitar, composition, and music theory at Loyola Marymount University.
As a multi-instrumentalist, Marcel has toured internationally on electric bass, played Balinese Gamelan with various LA ensembles, and has honed his percussion and string skills playing the Caribbean and Mexican music of his childhood. Over the years, his musical interests have evolved into making music on synthesizers and drum machines, alongside an incessant studying and appreciation of jazz music and the music of Abya Yala.
His music has appeared on the Netflix series The OA, and he has released 3 albums with his band under Saddle Creek Records. Marcel's passion for music pushes beyond any genre as he constantly seeks to better himself and inspire his students and colleagues.
Jason Austan Drum Teacher
Jason Austan is a drummer, multi-instrumentalist, producer, audio engineer, composer, arranger, and educator. Jason began playing drums at the age 15, being taught by instructors in the area and playing with local bands while growing up in New Jersey. During his early 20s, he turned his passion into a full time career by moving to Los Angeles, California. Focusing exclusively on music, he began his journey by attending the Musicians Institute of Hollywood where he received a diverse education. First, he studied drum set performance and then moved on to audio engineering, live sound, and the independent artist programs. He has played and recorded drums, engineered and produced with countless number of artists and bands in his personal recording studio and other studios around the country. At the same time, he also uses his talents to teach students of all ages the encyclopedia of knowledge he has attained along the way, while keeping in mind the value of self education and finding your own individual voice. Versatility and balance are the key ingredients in his lifelong journey as a musician. Jason is always moving forward, improving with hard work and determination, while never forgetting the joy that music has always brought him.
Emilee Saville Studio Coordinator
Emilee was born and raised in California but was able to enjoy a few wonderful years on the East Coast. She has also had the privilege of traveling to France and Scotland. Emilee loves to learn new things - there aren’t enough lifetimes to enjoy everything life has to offer!
Besides the Celine Dion concerts she would put on for her stuffed animals as a little girl, learning music has always been out of reach. In late 2018, Emilee had an epiphany that the only thing in the way of her learning music was herself. She began to teach herself piano and started taking more academic music classes in 2020. Emilee looks forward to integrating music into every aspect of her life from here on out.
Bella Primera Drum Teacher, Bass Guitar Teacher, Guitar Teacher
Born and raised in Burbank, Bella has been playing music since 2016 when she began taking lessons at School of Rock. As a multi-instrumentalist Bella plays Drums, Bass, Guitar, and Piano in a variety of different styles. Her favorite genres include Classic Rock, R&B, and Pop. She has played venues throughout LA such as the Troubadour and the Whisky a Go Go. During her time at School of Rock, Bella moved her way up through the Performance Program and was in House Band. After graduating out of SoR, she began and is currently pursuing a Bachelor's degree in Music with a minor in Business.
Christian Porro Guitar Teacher, Bass Guitar Teacher, Keyboard Teacher
Christian Porro is a multi-instrumentalist, performer, and educator born and raised in Los Angeles. Growing up in a Hispanic household, he gravitated towards music at a very young age, specifically Latin and Jazz styles. He picked up the guitar at the age of 13, after playing the flute and piano since the age of 8. As a child, Christian studied on scholarship at the Colburn School of Performing Arts. After diving into and discovering his love for rock and metal music, he went on to graduate with a degree in Guitar Performance from the acclaimed Musicians Institute in Hollywood, CA. Growing up in such an immersive music city, he has had the opportunity to play in bands of all styles across the LA music scene, ranging from metal to salsa to grunge-pop and more. In his spare time, he enjoys writing and recording his original compositions, however teaching has become his most fulfilling passion.
Elias Williams Drum Teacher
Elias Williams grew up in San Francisco where he began playing drums at the age of six + started playing professionally at fifteen. Having always loved music + seeking to further his knowledge of percussion, he attended the Ruth Asawa School of the Arts World Music Program where he learned how to play a variety of styles including Japanese taiko, Afro-Cuban, Brazilian samba + Balinese gamelan. He was also the drummer of the Blondies, a Bay Area-based indie rock band with which he gained experience playing a variety of live shows between the Bay Area and LA + eventually went on his first tour around the Pacific Northwest.
He returned to his High School as a drum technique teacher + teaching assistant. At this time he began playing with Aylon Cohen, a local blues guitarist who he performed with at a variety of clubs + bars across Northern California + began teaching drum lessons. Elias went on to study at Musicians Institute in the Drum Performance Program, where he studied a variety of musical styles including Jazz, Funk, Classic Rock + R&B. At the beginning of the pandemic he began writing + producing his own music, which he will soon be releasing as part of a duo called Notferadio. He now spends his time producing his own music + works as a drum teacher at School of Rock Burbank.
Paige Sommerer Singing Teacher
Paige Sommerer has been a working professional singer and actress in New York City for 10 years in musical theatre, television and film. She has worked Off-Broadway, at New York City’s leading regional theaters, and with ABC. Performing took off for Paige during her 6th Grade Talent Show and she has been studying voice privately for over 20 years. Paige has a bachelor’s degree in English from the University of Missouri and is a native Kansan.
Besides her career, Paige has taught children for over a decade. She believes that creative expression is what connects us all and to teach what she loves is the greatest gift. She’s one lucky gal!