Michael Pierce is a guitar teacher at School of Rock East Lansing. He has been playing guitar from a young age, and has been actively performing and teaching since 2012. Michael graduated from Aquinas College in 2017 with a degree in Classical Guitar Performance, and he has studied with many world-class guitarists. Michael currently performs and tours with the rock band Conrad Shock and The Noise, and soul-pop band August. He also plays solo classical guitar for weddings, corporate parties and private events all around West Michigan.
Guitar Teacher, Bass Guitar Teacher
Tommy McCord is a Lansing-based musician with nearly two decades of performing, recording and touring experience. At School of Rock East Lansing Tommy is a guitar teacher and bass guitar teacher. Tommy has toured the continental US, Mexico and Canada multiple times as a guitarist and singer in the bands The Plurals and Drinking Mercury, and has overseen over 100 independent music releases as a co-founder of the record label GTG Records. Tommy also has experience as both a live sound and recording engineer and can be found behind the mixing desk at venues like Mac's Bar, The Avenue Cafe and the studio space for GTG Records.
Mandy Waltz is a drum teacher at School of Rock East Lansing. Mandy started drumming when she was 10 years old, and did drum line, jazz band and orchestral band throughout high school, but had the most fun when playing with her friends in rock bands. In 2014, she graduated from Central Michigan University with a degree in Writing and Communication, again finding she had the most fun playing in rock bands with her friends. Since then she has toured all over the US, Canada, Mexico, the UK and continental Europe, and is looking to do even more with her main band, Rodeo Boys.
Guitar Teacher, Bass Guitar Teacher, Drum Teacher
Alex Everdeen is a guitar, bass, and drum instructor at School of Rock East Lansing. He picked up his first guitar when he was 10 years old and still has a hard time putting it down. Over the years, he picked up French Horn, drums, bass guitar, trombone, trumpet, and saxophone. He received his Bachelor’s in Music Education from Michigan State University and has performed with many prestigious ensembles, such as the MSU Wind Symphony and the Spartan Marching Band. He is an avid musician with a passion for finding the newest cool sounds.
Music Director, Studio Coordinator
Kaitlyn is a graduate of Central Michigan University with degrees in music education and musical theatre. She hails from the Lansing area but has recently returned from New York City, after performing in Bridging the Gap Cabaret series at 54 Below in Manhattan. She has previously performed at Midland Center for the arts as Edwin Drood (The Mystery of Edwin Drood) and Bay City Players as Reno Sweeney (Anything Goes), and is excited to be Music Director and Studio Coordinator here at School of Rock!
Joey has been playing guitar since the age of 15. He has since learned to play the bass guitar and continues to learn other instruments such as piano and drums.
He enjoys playing all genres of music. Joey has toured and performed across the nation with multiple bands and artists, including country groups with David Shelby, and Adam Calvert. Also hip-hop group Mikeyy Austin and The Happy Medium.
Guitar Teacher, Bass Guitar Teacher
Brian began playing guitar since he was 14 years old and hasn't stopped yet. In addition to guitar, he also plays drums, bass and keys. He has been playing gigs since 2003. He is the guitarist and primary songwriter for local band Mr. Denton On Doomsday, an avant-garde rock 4 piece. Mr. Denton has performed at several national tours in support of their release "Origami Trail". Mr Denton performed in front of over 10,000 fans at the Common Ground festival in Lansing alongside Three Days Grace, All That Remains and P.O.D. At the Rockapalooza Festival in Jackson, they shared the stage with Candlebox, Saliva, Mushroomhead and many others.
Benjamin Martin teaches drums at School of Rock East Lansing. He began playing drums in elementary school, in both concert and marching band. Two years after graduating he joined a local rock band, "Mr. Denton on Doomsday", that has toured regionally, nationally, and continues to perform today. Benjamin has 15 years of experience performing in shows and is excited to teach students not only how to practice, but also how to perform for an audience.
Guitar Teacher, Keyboard Teacher
Elijah Hoene is a Lansing native who has been playing piano since he was five years old, and guitar since he was seven. Between the ages of 12 and 19, Elijah was the frontman and guitarist for the band "The 89th Key", who went on to win the Loft's Homegrown Throwdown competition in 2018. Elijah loves to sing, play guitar, piano, drums, bass - really any instrument he can get his hands on. From Beethoven to Black Sabbath, Elijah loves all varieties of music. He is studying psychology at Lansing Community College, and in the time he does not spend studying, you can be sure you will find an instrument in his hand. He also has a dog and two cats and loves animals as much as he loves music.
Piano Teacher, Guitar Teacher, Bass Teacher, Singing Teacher
Nikki Westphal is a piano, guitar, bass, and voice teacher. She started playing piano at 8 years old and later picked up guitar at 13. Nikki began to realize her love for rock music when she joined a summer camp at School of Rock in her hometown. She later went into house band where they did lots of local gigs and went on tour. After moving to Michigan, Nikki joined the Triumph Music Academy performing gigs throughout Grand Rapids and is now pursuing a psychology degree at Michigan State University. Nikki loves all styles of music, especially rock music, and is excited to be a teacher at School of Rock!
Maura Drinkert is a singing teacher at School of Rock East Lansing, with additional experience in classical percussion, piano, bass, ukulele, composition/music production, and songwriting. She is currently a junior at Michigan State studying music education and composition. Based in Fowlerville, MI, Maura has aspirations to become an elementary music teacher, as well as a successful composer and producer. She is currently recognized under ASCAP and sells her own sheet music on J.W. Pepper! Maura is honored to have worked with many talented musicians, including the world-renowned Sō Percussion. Her work has been premiered at the Michigan Music Conference and in the beautiful venues of the MSU College of Music.
Maura is excited to work with the brilliant students at School of Rock! She believes that music, of any genre or setting, brings people together; it offers students a chance to express themselves in a safe environment and community that they might not have anywhere else.
Guitar Teacher, Drum Teacher
Troy is a guitar instructor and drum teacher at School of Rock East Lansing, and a man of many talents. After many years of holding down the beats on drums for the cover band Atomic Annie, he seamlessly stepped into the rhythm guitar role in 2020. Troy also serves as Annie’s media specialist. He designed the logo, and edits and produces the band's videos. If all that wasn’t enough, Troy is an award-winning filmmaker and journalist, an avid multi-sport athlete, and a film and journalism professor at MSU. He has two documentary films on Amazon and Apple TV.
Singing Teacher, Keyboard + Piano Teacher, Drum Teacher, Bass Guitar Teacher
Nick Mills is a Lansing-based musician and educator who has been writing and performing music since the 2000s. He is a voice teacher, piano instructor, drum teacher, and bass guitar teacher at School of Rock. Nick began playing the piano at 7 years old and spent his teens learning drums, bass, production, and music theory. He has since written and recorded over 300 original songs across a wide variety of styles, and written and performed original scores for two short films. Nick earned his bachelor's degree in Music Education from Central Michigan University with an emphasis on vocal music, and he is excited to help students to grow their passion for music, express themselves, and work as a team through the power of rock.