Music Director, Keyboard + Piano Teacher, Guitar Teacher, Bass Guitar Teacher, Drum Teacher
Mike is a multi-instrumentalist, session player, producer, recording engineer, and film composer. He currently plays keyboards in the Philly-based psychedelic rock band St. James & The Apostles.
He started playing piano at age 4 but didn't take music seriously until picking up guitar and bass at 9 years old. After taking guitar lessons for over a year at the original School of Rock, he also picked up the drums. After moving on to the music program at Archbishop Ryan High School, he rotated between instruments in different ensembles.
After high school, Mike ended up in the music program at Community College of Philadelphia, graduating with honors in 2010 with a double major in Music Theory and Sound Recording Technology. While there he sang as a tenor in the school choir and rotated between bass, drums, vibraphone, and percussion in the Jazz ensemble.
Soon after graduating, Mike formed St. James & The Apostles with his cousins, while also teaching one-on-one lessons on the side. The band has since released four albums and started their own recording studio, Green Rock Recorders, with the purpose of producing their own records, which soon blossomed into a fun side career as a sought-after production team. They were also awarded 2019's "Best Band" by Philadelphia Magazine.
Guitar Teacher, Bass Guitar Teacher, Drum Teacher
Mark started early in his life with music. At age 6, he was playing drums along to all his favorite albums. As a teen, he taught himself guitar along with bass, mandolin, and piano. After years of touring as a multi-instrumentalist, Mark took the knowledge he gained and focused it on teaching all the tricks, secrets, and fundamentals of music he has picked up over the years.
Mark has been influenced by many different genres and bands. Ranging from the classics like Pink Floyd, Genesis, and Yes to the more obscure acts like Magma, This Heat, and Talk Talk. He has taken his love for all things experimental and put that into over 20 original albums written, produced, and recorded by himself.
Darren has been playing drums for a little over two decades. He has studied drums and percussion in college and his experiences encompass a wide variety of styles with many different people and bands in Ohio, Tennessee, New Jersey, and New York. Some artists in which he has performed with include the Dave Landeo Band, Stonewater Groove, Jagstar, Jason Allen Phelps and Donald Brown.
Darren has recently spent much time over the last two years studying at The Drummers Collective in New York City where he continues to study. Drums are his primary focus, however, beginning in 1998 he worked as a systems technician for a pro concert sound company in the southeast. During this time, he gained valuable experience in the music industry that he applies not only to his playing but everyday life as well. He has been fortunate to have been a technician on a long list of shows varying in genres and artists that include the Black Crowes, Sister Hazel, Slayer, Kenny Wayne Shepherd, Nickelback, Johnny Lang, Moe, Wilco, Old 97's, Patti Smith, Sonic Youth, Keb Mo, James Brown, Rascal Flats, Keith Urban, Alan Jackson, Branford Marsalis, Michael Brecker/Herbie Hancock, Cassandra Wilson, as well as many others. Darren holds a BSC in audio production from Ohio University.
Bass Guitar Teacher
Eric has been playing bass for about 18 years, and doing so has taken him all over the world. After a few years playing in the Philadelphia music scene, Eric traveled the globe as a professional musician, playing on cruise ships with his band, The Funky T. That experience led Eric to seeing 37 different countries in 2 years while also honing his skills on the bass and truly learning how to play in a band.
Since the cruise career, Eric has continued to play in the Philadelphia music scene with The Funky T, while also backing up local artists such as Emily Drinker, Maggie Mae and John Gilbride at venues like The Ardmore Music Hall, Philadelphia Folk Fest, Milkboy, 118 North and many more. In addition to playing in bands, Eric also has a solo bass project called "Coop a Loop" which consists of bass-centric music created with nothing but a bass, a loop station and effects pedals. The most recent chapter of Eric's musical journey has led him to teaching at School of Rock. Influenced by bassists such as Victor Wooten, Marcus Miller, Joe Dart, Flea and Les Claypool, Eric hopes to continue his own search for knowledge while teaching the next generation of musicians.
Guitar Teacher, Bass Guitar Teacher, Drum Teacher, Keyboard + Piano Teacher
Dakota is a multi-instrumentalist and audio engineer from Plymouth Meeting, PA. His musical journey started at the age of 11 when he decided that he wanted to pick up guitar and drums. Video games such as Guitar Hero and Rockband really got him involved with music, but the plastic instruments were soon traded in for the real thing. Since then, Dakota has picked up other instruments such as bass, piano, and various smaller stringed instruments. Dakota currently holds a Bachelor of Science in Music Technology degree from Temple University, where he graduated in 2020. Dakota was trained in audio engineering, composition, conducting, and music theory. As a producer, his influences span a wide variety of genres and styles so that he can constantly take in new information and approaches to the craft. His primary influences include Tame Impala, Mac DeMarco, Dream Theater, Flume, Queen, John Mayer, and many others. He has performed and composed in various styles of music including rock, metal, R&B, funk, and psychedelia. Dakota has been a part of many different bands and projects over the years, but in June of 2019 he decided to take matters into his own hands and go solo. He has been releasing music independently since then, taking full control of the creative process. Dakota is excited for his future at the Fort Washington School of Rock, and looks forward to helping musicians blossom into their full potential.
Drum Teacher, Guitar Teacher, Bass Guitar Teacher
Sammy is a multi-instrumentalist, producer, and songwriter from Lake Charles, LA. His musical journey began at the age of 8 when he received his first drum set for Christmas and started taking lessons soon after. While listening to many artists including The Beatles, The Rolling Stones, Led Zeppelin, AC/DC, and Rush, he had the desire to be like those artists and perform on stage. After watching the Foo Fighters documentary, Back and Forth, he was inspired by Dave Grohl to start playing other instruments and taught himself to play guitar and bass. Throughout his middle school and high school years he participated in his local after school music program, Young Band Nation run by SWLA Studios, and had the opportunity to play shows in his local scene including landing a spot at the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival. When he turned 18 he moved to Boston, MA, where he was enrolled at Berklee College of Music under scholarship and graduated in Spring 2022 with a bachelor's degree in Professional Music with concentrations in Music In Special Education and Recording and Production for Musicians. Sammy has played around the Boston area with many bands and has toured across the northeast with emo-punk band, Villain of the War, as well as his own solo project, Chair Umpire. He now resides in Philadelphia, PA, still playing as well as helping put on DIY shows in the Philly scene. He also enjoys his time in the recording studio whether it’s playing or recording someone else. Sammy’s main goal in teaching is to show his true passion and love for music and how to have fun, especially seeing kids have that same passion that he had when he was young.
Laura’s love for learning music started early when she spent time with her sister figuring out the different harmonies to Beatles tunes so they could perform “shows” for their parents. Growing up, Laura took classical music lessons training in singing Italian opera and playing the cello. Though she has a deep appreciation for the classics, it wasn’t until she picked up one of her dad's guitars that she began to experience the magic of learning to play songs that she felt truly connected to and the rewarding feeling of performing songs that speak to the soul. Laura enjoys a wide range of music, spanning from prog-rock to classic bluegrass. A few of Laura’s favorite artists are Pink Floyd, Jeff Beck, Neil Young, Stevie Wonder, Radiohead, Hot Tuna, and Esperanza Spalding.
Over the years, Laura has written many of her own songs and worked on various projects as a session vocalist and guitarist. She spent three years performing as a vocalist in a Pink Floyd cover band (Think Pink Floyd), where her experience as a performer truly developed. She is currently learning the ropes of music production and is expanding her knowledge of audio recording, mixing, and engineering.