Monica didn't know when she was younger that this was 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. After some internet research, Monica learned about School of Rock.
Monica and Gene quickly scheduled an appointment thinking this was all just too good to be true. They had no idea that School of Rock would not only change 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 fortunate to have met some incredible artists and 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.
Regional Manager, Regional Music Director, Bass Guitar Teacher, Drum Teacher, Guitar Teacher, Keyboard + Piano Teacher, Show Director
Dylan is a Long Island-based multi-instrumentalist and educator who has been working at School of Rock since 2015, shortly after graduating with a bachelor’s degree in music education from Five Towns College. Dylan is well-versed in many genres, having performance credits in various rock bands, jazz groups, chamber orchestras, theater orchestras, and more. He has performed at NAMM’s Winter Show in Anaheim CA & South by Southwest in Austin, TX, as well as several local venues including Revolution, 89 North, KJ Farrell’s, Fordham University’s Winterfest, and more.
In the studio, Dylan has played electric bass, upright bass, drum set, percussion, keys, ukulele, and laid down vocal tracks on many songs and albums across multiple genres. A lesson with Dylan means a lesson in theory, ear training, performance, and exposure to multiple genres of music. He is the Regional Manager and Regional Music Director at School of Rock Huntington, Queens, Rockville Centre, Roslyn, and Syosset/Oyster Bay.
Regional General Manager, Bass Guitar Teacher, Drum Teacher, Guitar Teacher, Keyboard + Piano Teacher
James began playing music before he learned to speak, starting with the drums and branching off to learn guitar, bass, keys, and vocals. James received his degree in Audio Engineering from I.A.R. James is continuing his musical journey touring with his band, King Falcon. James is the Regional General Manager and Chief Information Officer at School of Rock Huntington, Queens, Rockville Centre, Roslyn, and Syosset/Oyster Bay.
Regional General Manager
Dorianna has extensive experience working with children, including being an Assistant Director at a sleep-away camp for underprivileged children and adults with special needs. She has also worked at several local day camps, as well as after-school programs.
Dorianna has a bachelor's degree in Psychology from Mount Saint Mary College and a master's degree in Social Work from Adelphi University.
Assistant Music Director, 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. He is a member of the band Her Dark Heaven and continues to work as a full-time drum instructor and show director at School of Rock.
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.
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.
Piano + Keyboard Teacher, Singing Teacher
Dominick was a jazz major at Manhattan School of Music's Precollege program and went on to study jazz trumpet, classical voice, and music education at William Paterson University of New Jersey. Dominick is an experienced musician and trained educator whose lessons are focused on engaging students in musical experiences and adapting instruction to meet the needs of every learner.
Along with performing, Dominick is also passionate about composing and arranging music. Dominick possesses a wealth of knowledge regarding music theory in a variety of traditions and helps students grow in musical literacy, enhance musical awareness, and achieve songwriting goals. Dominick is a piano teacher and voice teacher at School of Rock Queens.
Michael was born in Whitestone, New York. His parents introduced him to music while in utero, listening to Led Zeppelin, Pink Floyd, and Zappa—the classics. It was his grandfather who handed him his first guitar and that one Christmas gift forever changed his life. Guitar Hero was fun to play but when he actually held a guitar he knew the game wouldn’t be enough. From that moment on his passion for the instrument began his journey into songwriting.
Michael was a School of Rock student by the age of 10. He felt at home there with other kids just like him. It was School of Rock that introduced Michael to performing. The school had such a profound impact on him that he is now one of the top instructors and directors at three New York area School of Rock locations in which he is also the co-owner.
At the age of 13, Michael formed his band, The Inoculated Canaries. He was in his science class when the instructor mentioned inoculating canaries during the bird flu. The band’s first EP, The Blue Laws, was soon followed by their single “Don’t Be Late” and an acoustic version of the song “Jericho.” Their second EP, Trying Times, was also followed by singles “Count Me Out,” “Who Are You?,” “The Lawyer’s Wife,” “Sneakers,” “Donna,” and “Hypocrite.”
Michael formed a second band, King Falcon. They released their debut single “Shake! Shake! Shake!” in early 2020. Both bands are actively writing, recording, and performing.
Today, Michael is endorsed by ESP Guitars. Matt Masciandaro, President and CEO of ESP Guitars comments: “ESP works with many of rock’s leading guitarists, and Michael’s amazing technique, stylistic range, tone, and phrasing make him a welcome addition to our team.” Tony Rauser, Director of Artist Relations, adds: “We are happy to welcome Michael of King Falcon to the ESP artist family! Michael’s unique and melodic playing style is showcased perfectly in his first ESP video lesson series.”
Bass Guitar Teacher, Guitar Teacher, Show Director
Jack is a multi-instrumentalist currently based in Brooklyn, NY. He started playing the piano at age 5 but switched to focusing on the guitar at age 9 and took lessons for the next 10 years, alongside playing the drums and bass. Jack studied classical music theory heavily throughout high school and now is majoring in audio engineering at New York University.
Jack has played in bands ranging from indie pop to noise rock to country, as well as playing in musical pit orchestras, and he writes reviews for a variety of small music publications. He currently records and performs with the bands It Takes Dedication and Such a Pretty Face, among many others. He is a guitar teacher and bass guitar teacher at School of Rock Queens.
Shayla is a singer and guitarist with a passion for vocal coaching. She is currently studying music at the Brooklyn College Conservatory. She is a versatile vocalist with an appreciation for every genre. She leads a rock cover band in her free time, and she loves to sing jazz.
With a background in classical and choral music, Shayla is able to incorporate a great mix of traditional and modern techniques with her lessons. She has a talent for creating a welcoming and positive environment for all students. Driven by creativity and her appreciation for individual expression, Shayla is a songwriter who likes to share her music at open mics around Manhattan. She also records and mixes her own music, and is looking forward to the release of her debut EP.
Shayla is a singing teacher at School of Rock Queens.
Keyboard + Piano Teacher, Guitar Teacher, Bass Guitar Teacher
Scott is a multi-instrumentalist from Arlington, VA. He has been playing guitar, bass, and piano since early childhood and has remained passionate about music ever since. He was a student at School of Rock for several years, so he has firsthand knowledge of how it feels to be a student here.
Scott has made a point to discover and study all the different musical genres he can find as a means to develop a diverse range of influences from which to draw both for the purpose of lessons and his own musical inspiration. While Scott understands that learning a musical instrument requires a certain level of diligence and perseverance, he also believes that it can and should remain both enjoyable and rewarding throughout the entire process. Scott is a keyboard and piano teacher, guitar teacher, and bass guitar teacher at School of Rock Queens.