Marissa Barnette Singing Teacher, Keyboard Teacher
Marissa Barnette can not recall any part of her life when she wasn’t a singer. The daughter of a songwriter, she grew up around music that included his original compositions that inspired her to further exploration into creating music. Mainly a vocalist, Marissa’s talents cover such instruments as keys, and guitar, as well as ukulele, sax and trombone. In the early years, she taught herself to sing beautifully just to meet the expectations of those who performed with her in various musical ensembles and repertory programs.
Later, she trained formally under the expert instruction of professors and mentors at the College of Lake County and Lake Forest College. (Along the way she won awards for her jazz performances.) She has sung as a regular of Timeless Entertainment and that has given her great exposure throughout the area. She inspires by drawing out the best in her students. She listens closely to them to help them and leads them to express their own music abilities in their performances and songwriting.
Walker Wilson Drum Teacher, Guitar Teacher, Bass Teacher, Singing Teacher
Walker Wilson was at the tender age of three when he was first introduced to music of the legendary band Rush. He recalls how his dad would play those prog rock gods constantly and how the family would join together in song and dance — often finishing on the furniture. Inspired by the band’s musicianship, Walker pursued music that keeps driving him to improve as a player.
Walker plays a broad range of instruments, including drums, vocals, guitar, and bass, and to a lesser extent keyboards. Walker practices constantly whenever he is not giving lessons or rehearsing for his next show in one of his bands. For the band Vivid Vision, he’s the lead singer from behind the kit, and in Fun Monkey he drives the drums on their jams. Walker engages his students in stories of his band practices and performances, and he’ll show them videos of drum solos he’s played at their many gigs. He encourages them with assurances that they too can become drumming rock gods with some practice and commitment.
Michael Salgado Bass Teacher, Guitar Teacher, Keyboard Teacher and Singing Teacher
Michael Salgado’s friends drew him into becoming a musician. His best friend was a guitar player and he wanted Michael to join a band. Then came the need for a bassist and he had found his instrument. Today, Michael performs and teaches bass, keyboards, guitar and vocals using skills he’s build over years of playing in bands from here to New Orleans. He’s played with such legends as Marquis Hill, Isaiah Collier, Ramsey Lewis, and Sugar Blue.
Michael inspires his student through his great talent and his way of connecting to his students’ music visions. He ties them together with analogies that create imagery his students use to understand music concepts and to energize their efforts.
Jonathan Dawson 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.
Romario Avila Guitar Teacher, Bass Guitar Teacher, Keyboard Teacher
Romario grew up surrounded by music due to his family's appreciation of Norteño and Rock & Roll music. The appreciation of music eventually turned into becoming the multi-instrumentalist. Romario's first plunge into music was during high school, when his current audio engineer started to write music with Romario and covered songs they both loved to play. Since then, Romario has always been found with an instrument nearby. Romario's been playing the guitar, drums, bass, piano, and ukulele for 8 years now, but he's primarily a guitar player and guitar instructor. Romario graduated from the College of Lake County with an associates of arts and is currently studying at Lake Forest College for his BA in music with a minor in music education. At Lake Forest College, Romario is currently in the LFC Jazz Ensemble as a guitarist and the Chair of the Music Student Advisory Committee. He always want the best for his students and will always be there to support their endeavors with their music career/hobby. No matter what the difficulty the students' aspirations are with music, Romario's goal as an instructor is to guide and facilitate them towards their dreams.
Jared Brown 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.
Dan Dubow 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.
Andy Jasinski 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.
Daniel Jackson Singing Teacher, Guitar Teacher, Keyboard Teacher
Daniel Jackson is a multi-instrumentalist who hails from Birmingham, AL. He spent the first 7 years of his career traveling in musicals like: Green Day’s American Idiot, Rock of Ages and the Buddy Holly story in the titular role. As a songwriter, Daniel has worked with artists like: Blondie Chaplin, Jason Robert Brown, Tom Kitt, Scott Weiland & more. Daniel feels honored to get to teach the next generation about the ups and downs of the performing industry.
Jonathan Graef 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.
Ryan Sander Drum Teacher
Ryan Sander is a drummer and percussionist from Cape Cod, Massachusetts. He has been playing drums since the age of nine and started playing professionally in 2013 in local jazz bands and pit orchestras. Musical theater has been a large part of Ryan’s life as he has gotten the chance to work with many talented actors and musicians such as Leslie Carra-Rudolph, Caitlin Kinnuen, Caitlin Galaglie, Fergie L.Philippe, Peter Hodgson and David Kornfeld. Along with performing, teaching is a passion that runs deep for Ryan as passing on the knowledge of being a professional performer to the next generation is something any musician dreams of. Ryan truly strives to connect with each student and fuel their interest in discovering the joy of music.
Evan Hill Drum Teacher
Evan teaches drums and has been a teacher at School of Rock for almost a year. He's been playing the drums for 6 years, and tries to get his students to feel like they can be both creative and technically skilled. He really likes teaching at School of Rock because it gives him a chance to work with kids, pick up different instruments, and teach more about music as a whole. As a teacher, he hopes to emulate the positive role models that he had growing up.
Kathia Torres Singing Teacher
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.