Our Experienced Music Teachers
All of School of Rock Libertyville’s music teachers are experienced musicians devoted to helping students attain musical proficiency. Our instructors guide students one-on-one to personalize learning, inspire confidence and build social skills.
Music Director, House Band Director, Guitar Teacher, Bass Guitar Teacher
Jonathan Dawson was naturally attracted to the guitar. His cousin had one and she would play it when the family came around. He immediately loved the sound and found it magical for musical expression. He moved started with The Beatles and took flight when he found Jimi Hendrix and Led Zeppelin hitting the late 60s airwaves.
Over his 39 years of playing, he took lessons from a folk guitar lady, a jazz master, a series of teachers at his Pittsburgh arts high school, and then from professors in the music department at the University of Miami in Coral Gables. He’s mastered the guitar, bass, and ukulele, and helps his students develop with those, as well as players in our Performance Groups and House Band. His band is the JD Trio, and he’s played as a sessions artist and in the pit orchestra for such musicals as Rent. Now he inspires his students by showing them the possibilities they have as players in the exciting and ever-changing world of music.
Drum Teacher, Keyboard Teacher
Jared teaches drums and keyboards, with his primary focus on drums, an instrument he has been playing from the tender age of 5. Jared fell in love with the keyboard when he started to learn music theory at Elmhurst University, and through dedication and practice I developed a proficiency in both instruments.
Currently, Jared plays in two funk bands. That includes keyboards in Dream Soda and Drums in MetroFern. Jared graduated in 2021 with a major in music business with minors in music composition and music production. He was interested in music from a very young age and was in school band from 5th grade all the way through college.
As a teacher, Jared's goal is to inspire students to fall in love with the instrument and music as a whole. His favorite thing about teaching is to get his students to find their own voice and connection with the love of music. That could cover a range of genre's from his backgrounds in Funk, Pop, Jazz, Rock, R&B, Latin, and everything in between.
Guitar Teacher, Bass Guitar Teacher, Singing Teacher
Dan teaches guitar, bass, and vocals and that's not a surprise to those who know him. He's been playing and singing for 20 years now and teaching for about 10 years.
Dan's love affair with music started at a young age from parents playing classic rock throughout the house and was only increased when he learned how to play. He started playing when some of friends picked up the guitar in middle school and it was soon after that he realized how much I enjoyed both playing and singing together.
Dan graduated from Colombia College Chicago in 2011 with a degree in instrumental performance. He got into teaching after college because he loves to share the gift of music with anyone who wants to learn. He enjoys seeing a growing group of students develop a love affair with music that will bring them and those around them joy for the rest of their lives.
Guitar Teacher, Bass Guitar Teacher, Keyboard Teacher
Besides teaching music, Andy is a composer, songwriter, and multi-instrumentalist based in the Northwest Chicago suburbs. Andy started playing in bands in the mid-90s in his native Virginia. Finding inspiration in styles like math rock, shoegaze, and free jazz, Andy pursued a formal education in composition, and earned a PhD from The University of Chicago, where his principal teacher was Shulamit Ran. As a teacher he believes in helping every student find their own voice as a musician, whether it be in performing, creating, or both. Andy is currently finishing an album of original material with his wife Jackie.
Guitar Teacher, Bass Guitar Teacher
Jonathan Graef teaches guitar and bass, two instruments which he has been playing for decades. He's been playing in bands since his high school days, and, in the past ten years, has played a part in founding two promising underground Chicago metal bands. (Downcaste and Uncouth, respectively.) School of Rock represents a new, exciting challenge for the experienced musician: teaching. Emphasizing beginners and intermediate players, Jonathan hopes to communicate passion and excitement for the art form of rock, something that reached him at the right time and the right age, and maybe learn some killer tunes along the way.
Kathia’s greatest passion lies in sharing light-bulb moments with her students and learning to speak their language. To her, there is no greater gift than further understanding them and using this knowledge to help them get closer to musical proficiency
Singing was always attractive to Kathia, but she didn’t start using voice as a form of expression until she was 7 years old. As a young music enthusiast, she enjoyed mimicking the voices of her favorite artists. She was fascinated by their control and has since spent many hundreds of hours sharpening her own technique. While she is a vocal primary, Kathia’s abilities also include piano and guitar skills.
School of Rock is where music and learning come together
For over twenty years, our amazing instructors have transformed hundreds of thousands of students across the world into skilled musicians. Become a musician at School of Rock.