Born and raised in Long Island, NY, Ryan began playing guitar at age 13 after seeing the movie "La Bamba" about rock legend Ritchie Valens. He studied with Grammy-nominated guitarist Steve Briody for several years before starting his own projects and soon became an instructor himself. While still in New York, his band Code Anchor independently released several EPs and one full-length album, "Rosada," while touring extensively nationwide from 2005-2009. A co-writer in the band, Ryan also played lead and rhythm guitar while singing lead and backup vocals. Memorable stages include the Vans Warped Tour at Nassau Coliseum and headlining bills at some of New York City's greatest venues like CBGBs and The Knitting Factory. It was during this time that Ryan began teaching at School of Rock in Melville, NY. Hungry to pursue new musical ventures, Ryan departed from Code Anchor and moved to Los Angeles in 2009. Since then, he's been busy writing, producing and performing with his newest project, Lou Pine. As a Sony/ATV artist, Lou Pine’s music has been featured on television shows like “Chicago Fire,” “Gordon Ramsay’s The F Word,” and “Food Paradise." Ryan enjoys playing every genre including jazz, funk, country and folk, but credits the blues and rock n' roll as his main influences.
Music Director, Guitar Teacher, Bass Guitar Teacher
Travis Simpson started playing the guitar when he was 12 years old and never looked back. What started out as an interest in music quickly grew into an obsession for all things sound. After graduating high school, he studied Audio Engineering at the Musicians Institute. Starting out doing stage and audio work for venues around LA like The Saban and Canyon Club, he then found himself working in audio post-production. However, it didn’t take long to find himself returning to his first love, music, when he started as a guitar teacher and bass guitar teacher at School of Rock South Bay. Now Travis, whose life has been shaped so much by music, is focused on giving back by helping develop the next wave of young musicians.
Assistant General Manager
Drew Dvorsky is a composer, producer, multi-disciplinary instrumentalist, session musician, and songwriter. He was born and raised on the westside of Los Angeles. Drew's obsession with music started with regular guitar lessons when he was 8 years old and has grown into learning every part of the recording process from engineering to writing all the way to mixing and mastering. Drew has gotten his music on dozens of major TV shows, and he has worked with industry giants in the studio and on the stage.
Music has been a gift for Drew, going beyond a career—it is the way he deals with his emotions, how he connects with the world around him, how he makes friends, and how he navigates through life. And his spark only continues to grow. Drew is a lifelong student of the craft, continuing to collaborate with amazing artists, learn, perform, and teach as much as he can. Spreading love through music is his mission, and he is honored and proud to be part of the School of Rock team.
Patrick Salmon is originally from Brick, New Jersey, where he started playing the drums at age 12 and by 15 was playing at music venues and nightclubs on the Jersey shore. Shortly after, he moved to Hollywood, California to attend Musicians Institute. During his time at MI he studied under multiple world-class drummers and many other musicians. During his time with Tomorrow's Bad Seeds he completed many national and international tours, sharing the stage with multiple bands such as The Wailers, 311, Pepper, Slightly Stoopid, Pennywise, Rise Against, The Smashing Pumpkins and The Dirty Heads just to name a few. When the band was not touring they also achieved some notable feats, like making their national television debut on the late night show “The Craig Ferguson Show.” On the studio end of things, while with Bads Seeds, Patrick worked with Grammy award-winning producer Damon Elliot (Pink) and engineer/producer Josh “Igloo” Montgomery, who is known for making all of Ludacris’s tracks.
During a short hiatus from Bad Seeds he got the chance to perform and record with the band Four Minutes Till Midnight. After recording with world-renowned producer Hiroto Kobayashi (Earth, Wind and Fire) and legendary percussionist Lenny Castro, he completed a four-week full national tour of Japan. Patrick manages a busy schedule teaching as a drum teacher at School of Rock South Bay LA, and performing and recording still with Tomorrow's Bad Seeds. He also works with Bret Bollinger, the front man of Pepper, which has given him a great network of studio musician to work with.
Guitar Teacher, Bass Guitar Teacher
For Chad, music has been a lifelong journey. Since Chad was 12 years old, he has been playing in bands and writing music that runs the gamut from hardcore punk to progressive rock. In 2016, Chad completed his Bachelor of Arts in Music Composition and Performance at The Evergreen State College. Upon returning home to Southern California, he joined the alternative rock band, Modern Color. Over the past four years Modern Color has released 2 LPs via Other People Records and completed numerous tours in North America, Europe and Japan. Alongside his music career, Chad has pursued his passion for teaching by conducting virtual guitar lessons and tutoring high school and middle school students in various disciplines including math and science. Chad's goal as a teacher is to nurture creativity and inspire young musicians to play the type of music that they want to hear
Guitar Teacher, Bass Guitar Teacher, Keyboard Teacher
Darvin Aguilar was born and raised in Hollywood, CA. He began playing bass guitar at sixteen. After graduating high school, he played in a variety of bands ranging from Death Metal to Progressive Metal. He played dozens of shows throughout that time including stints at The Whisky A Go-Go, and The Cobalt Café. He then decided to pursue a music degree at El Camino College in Torrance, CA. There, he began his musical journey into the jazz and classical world picking up the double bass as his main instrument. This led him to expand his horizons, playing in Jazz combos, Jazz Big Bands, Latin and Salsa groups, String Quartets, and even performing as a Principal Bassist in an Orchestra. He has performed at many other venues in Los Angeles including, The Lighthouse Café, The Study, The World Stage, The Grand Annex, Lido’s and many more. He is now completing his Bachelor's Degree in Music Performance with an emphasis on Jazz Bass at CSUN.
From Indianapolis, Indiana, Quentin Jones first entered music performance through his middle school band. After joining the drum line at Pike High School, Quentin worked regularly with several of the ensembles on campus (jazz bands, show choir band, pep band, concert band). At age eighteen he was awarded a full scholarship to Pomona College in Claremont, CA where he would complete his B.A. in Music.
Upon moving to Los Angeles in 2014, Quentin began drumming for Tamborazo Pancho Villa, a company of bands specializing in traditional Mexican music based out of East Los Angeles. There he plays tambora (bass drum) and tarola (snare drum) to accompany brass and woodwind players (saxophone, trumpet, tuba, trombone). Around the same time, Quentin became the drummer at a Nigerian church in Chatsworth called Trinity International Christian Center where he works playing African Praise and Worship music on drum set to this day. In 2016 Quentin completed his Master of Music degree in Drums/Percussion Performance from Shepherd University in Los Angeles.
Nowadays, Quentin maintains a full schedule of teaching and performing at local music schools, venues, and private events throughout the greater Los Angeles area.
Melissa Jane Dichiera
Born in Melbourne, Australia, Melissa Dichiera made her first TV appearance at the age of seven and hasn't stopped performing since. A skilled triple threat, she has performed in numerous bands and shows throughout Australia. Her most recognized international success is fronting the pop R&B group Les BiJioux in Japan, hosting the TV show "X-Beyond Surf" on ESPN International and starring on VH1's "Rock N' Roll Fantasy Camp" during the second season. Trained in opera, contemporary, blues, gospel, pop and rock, Melissa combines her powerful voice with a captivating stage presence to create a unique front-woman unlike anyone else on the scene today. She is currently the lead singer of the bands Lady Zep, an all-female Led Zeppelin tribute band, Final Gravity, an original progressive rock band, and SYNN, an original metal band. She is a vocal instructor at School of Rock South Bay LA.
Guitar Teacher, Bass Guitar Teacher, Keyboard Teacher, Singing Teacher
Secily is thrilled to be back at School of Rock! Her first show was Pink Floyd's "The Wall" in 2005 in Salt Lake City, UT. As the music director in Utah, she helped direct a myriad of shows until she moved to Los Angeles. As a teacher, she's worked in the public school system, Montessori, private lessons and a few different music schools. As a performing musician, she's played gigs with the likes of Grimes, Raining Jane (Jason Mraz), Alex Boye and now she plays with her wife in their band Winter Grain. Winter Grain just released their third EP which was produced by Ryan Hadlock (Allen Stone, Vance Joy, Foo Fighters) in Seattle at his family studio, Bear Creek. They were lucky enough to get to record with Adam Neely which was a dream come true for Secily as he is a pedagogical inspiration to music educators everywhere. Her background includes piano lessons at the prestigious Cleveland Institute of Music and a wide variety of music experiences while at Brigham Young University. Her production work with Salt Lake Underground podcast Soundwaves garnered her a Utah Journalism Award. She's worked with Rock 'n Roll Camp for Girls for many years and in fact was the co-founder of the SLC camp a few years ago. She is incredibly excited to work at School of Rock again as the program has grown exponentially in so many stunning ways, most importantly in ways that facilitate the best experience for students. If she wasn't busy loving everything music she would be writing puns for Laffy Taffy.
Guitar Teacher, Bass Guitar Teacher, Keyboard Teacher
With over 18 years of experience, Stephen has spent much of his time playing guitar with local musicians and has studied under many experienced instructors. From Rock and Metal to Jazz and Classical, Stephen has an extensive knowledge of music theory and knows how to apply it to each genre to achieve the sound you may be looking for. Stephen teaches primarily electric guitar/bass, is great with beginners, and is ready to take anyone’s playing to the next level.
Keys Teacher, Vocals Teacher, Drums Teacher, Guitar Teacher, Bass Teacher
Based in Los Angeles and born on the East Coast, but calls Chicago home, Sonny is a growing student of music that names various musicians from different music genres as music influences: starting with Stevie Wonder, who was a key influence for Sonny becoming interested in piano, voice, and songwriting (..and drums and percussion, etc..) at the age of 9!
From there, Sonny has gone through different music phases like Classical, Jazz, and Punk that have kept Sonny developing and engaged as a student of music. Sonny also cites different music instructors throughout Sonny's life that have inspired and influenced Sonny's passion for music.
Music has led Sonny to different places and different spaces, both recorded and live (space is the place!); and it is the past, the present, and the future experiences that contribute to Sonny's "why" for being a music instructor. It is also these experiences that contribute to Sonny's "why" for instructing at School of Rock.
Sonny is happy and ready to be a part of the future of music, at School of Rock!
Guitar Teacher, Bass Guitar Teacher
Dash's uncle gave him an old acoustic guitar at the age of 8 and he's been obsessed ever since! From Los Angeles, 26-year-old Dashel Dupuy has been playing in funk, punk, rock, pop, and indie bands since he was a freshman in high school. His early musical experience includes snare drumming in the high school drumline, tenor in the advanced high school chamber choir, and gigging with his first teenage rock band around town. Since then, Dash has broadened his horizons significantly by taking a range of music classes at Pasadena City College, taking private vocal, guitar, bass, drums, and theory lessons, and gigging with his new band, Strawberry Fuzz, selling out venues such as the Troubadour and The Venice West.
Keyboard Teacher, Singing Teacher
Music producer, songwriter, and vocal coach, Zulheyk was born and raised in LA. She was first introduced to music by her parents whose occupations were both in the entertainment industry. Zulheyk had her studio debut at the age of 5, covering background vocals for one of her dad's album tracks. Eventually, she began performing in musical theater where she developed her talent for singing, dancing, and acting. Before releasing her first single, Zulheyk received her degree in music production from the Los Angeles Film School in 2020.
Her main influences are female vocalists with powerful voices like Christina Aguilera, Kelly Clarkson, and Amy Winehouse. After graduating, she worked as an afterschool program director where she provided music and sound effects for all the special events that she planned for her students. When working in education, Zulheyk discovered a need to be more of a mentor and decided to begin teaching youth about music. She became a music instructor and began teaching at a small studio in Long Beach and helped set up student showcases after months of private lesson rehearsals. There she was able to work alongside other musicians which allowed her to expand her knowledge of music theory into multiple genres. Her favorite genre is a mix of R&B and soul with a hint of modern jazz. Zulheyk is also inspired by French producer FKJ, and plays piano and guitar, and sings in different languages.