Monica didn't know when she was younger that this is where she wanted to be but her life has led her to School of Rock Queens. Monica grew up in a talented home where everyone had a musical talent except for her. Her dad, a self-taught musician, could play anything you put in front of him. Monica, on the other hand, was musically challenged. She would sing at the top of her lungs not really caring that she was pitchy and off-beat (and still does). Her parents sent her to piano lessons even though she really wanted to play the drums. After the second month of lessons, the instructor told Monica that he would pay her to stop going if she promised not to tell anyone she had been his student (true story!).
Monica's son, Michael, became interested in playing the guitar at a young age. She and her husband, Gene, encouraged Michael to play but quickly realized that taking lessons just wasn't enough. Coming home and practicing on his own wasn't fun. Like most of you, Monica turned to my dear trusty friend, Google, to help solve the problem. She asked Google, "what can we do to help our child find other kids to play music with?" Google replied, "School of Rock." Monica was in disbelief. Google had made a mistake! We all know that School of Rock was a movie, how would that help her child? What she didn't know was that the movie resulted from an actual school!
Monica and Gene quickly scheduled an appointment thinking this was all just too good to be true. They had no idea that Google had not only changed her son's life but the lives of her entire family! Throughout Michael's years at School of Rock, Monica turned her photography to the concert world. She was not only fortunate to have met some incredible artists but is lucky to now call them her friends. They introduced her to the music business, teaching her about recording, managing, touring, and the list goes on. It was around this time that Michael's band, The Inoculated Canaries, started to develop into more than a garage band. It was also at this time that Gene told Monica he knew what her calling was, and he was right!
Monica and Gene operate School of Rock Queens with the knowledge that it changes the lives of those who walk through the doors. School of Rock Queens is a clubhouse for our students. They have a place to express themselves musically and are challenged by the incredible teachers that are here.
Victoria has had an interest in music since she was 3 years old. Her way to happiness was learning how to compose some of her favorite songs beginning at the age of 5, along with already having an interest in singing. Aside from being part of the glee club in her early years of school, Victoria furthered her education at Forest Hills High School, where she auditioned for their music program and later was selected to be a member of the school's concert choir. Today you’ll find Victoria continuing her education, hopefully in the near future at Baruch College where she plans to major in Music Management Enterprises.
Guitar Teacher, Bass Guitar Teacher
Elijah is a singer, songwriter, and guitarist based in New York City. Originally from Marlboro, NJ, Elijah came to New York City to study music at The New School of Jazz. It is at the New School where Elijah developed his love and skill for songwriting.
Elijah has been playing guitar in the band, Mojohand, since its inception in 2016, and has been the primary singer and songwriter of the band since 2019. Mojohand has released 9 singles, their debut album, Songbook, and played well over 100 shows all around the country since 2018 both as headliners and openers for national acts like Oteil Burbridge, Whitey Morgan, Jesse Daniel, and Taz Neideraur.
Show Director, Drum Teacher
Aaron is from Brooklyn, New York. He started playing drums when he was 12 years old and has been teaching for nearly a decade. During Aaron's growth as a drummer, he participated in both middle school and high school band, along with taking private lessons at home. During his private lessons, he learned how to play all types of musical genres spanning from rock and metal, to even jazz and Latin music. Learning all these different musical styles as well as learning how to play in a school band helped shape Aaron into the musician he is today. Shortly after high school, he received a music scholarship to Muhlenberg College, where he studied music education. He was involved in the jazz ensemble and had the opportunity to play with local musicians at a young age.
As a school of rock drum instructor, Aaron is comfortable teaching students of all age levels music theory, beginner to advanced drum grooves and fills, and insight into how they can become more proficient, versatile, and successful musicians. Along with teaching, Aaron has worked with multiple bands in New York and played at a variety of venues such as The Knitting Factory, The Mercury Lounge, Bowery Electric, Berlin Under, Queens Brewery, The Chance Theater, and The Hideout. Over the last year he became a member of the band, Her Dark Heaven, while also continuing to work as a full-time drum instructor and show director at School of Rock.
Guitar Teacher, Bass Guitar Teacher, Drum Teacher
A hard-hitting and charismatic multi-instrumentalist, Zach is a native Brooklynite with over 15 years of experience as a music educator. Intrigued and inspired from a very young age, he has been passionately invested in musical performance since age 11 and in teaching music since age 22. As a performing artist, Zach has over 500 shows and 5 years of national touring under his belt, sharing stages with many acts including Three Doors Down, Eve 6, Third Eye Blind, and Fastball. His work has been licensed on networks such as MTV, ESPN, Oxygen, and TRU TV. He’s currently an endorsed artist and educator, and an active member of the funk rock band, the DIligent Delinquents, as well as the rock band, The Sonic Bullet, and blues rock band, Brewster Moonface.
Karol is a drummer from Slovakia. His first steps towards music were studying the piano from the age of 7. When he was 15, he started to play the drums. After high school, Karol auditioned for the Jaroslav Jezek Music Conservatory in Prague and was accepted. It was the first time he received an education focused on Jazz music. He was fortunate to study under the direction of well-known Czech Jazz musicians Martin Sulc, David Doruzka, and Jaromir Honzak.
While studying Jazz, Karol was also exposed to a variety of styles of music. Karol graduated Conservatory with a Diploma in Music in 2012 and remained in Prague where he collaborated with artists in the Czech music scene. In 2014, Karol decided to grow his musical knowledge and applied to study at Berklee College of Music where he was honored to receive a scholarship award. At Berklee, Karol studied a Music Performance Major. His main focus was to perfect his Jazz language. He studied with top musicians like Ralph Peterson, Neal Smith, and Darren Barrett who helped him improve his musicianship.
In 2017 Karol had an opportunity to record with Ralph Peterson’s Gen Next Big Band. The live album, I Remember Bu, was released in October 2018 and includes special guest Donald Harrison. Karol graduated from Berklee in December 2018 with a bachelor’s degree in Music Performance. During his studies in Boston, Karol unceasingly sought a performance experience not only within the college campus. He has worked with many talented musicians while constantly developing his musical knowledge, strengthening his dedication, and fulfilling his passion for music. Karol is a drum instructor at School of Rock Huntington, Queens, Rockville Centre, Roslyn, and Syosset/Oyster Bay.
Mark has been playing drums for over two decades and has taught for five years. He has played in a variety of musical contexts including progressive rock and metal, jazz, pop rock, gospel, and blues. His two favorite bands are The Beatles and Dream Theater (Portnoy-era), indicative of his wide-ranging musical interests. For the first ten years of playing, Mark studied with his high school and college drum instructors as well as Jason Edwards, the prolific performer, Modern Drummer columnist, and President of ProLogix percussion and pads. Mark’s passion as an instructor is getting his students to become well-rounded performers and have a blast in any musical genre they desire. One of his greatest pleasures in life is watching the transformation that takes place as his students fall in love with music while blossoming into accomplished musicians.