Tim Harman Drum Teacher, Music Director
Tim Harman has been obsessed with every aspect of drums and percussion basically since he was born. Brought up in a musical family, he first latched onto the drums by observing the drum lines of the marching bands directed by his father. After receiving his first snare drum for Christmas at the age of eight, rhythm took over his life. He started gigging in Deep Ellum clubs at the age of 15 and embarked on his first tour the next year. In the 12 years since then, he has spent considerable time on the road with bands such as The Atom Age, PEARS, Informant, Detonate and Mose Giganticus among others. In between stints on the road, he has been teaching private lessons, working in and operating drum shops (he founded The Ghost Note in downtown Denton in 2012), building and repairing drums, and doing basically anything there is to do in the realm of percussion. He's been busy and never stops learning new ways to hit things with sticks.
Beth Carter Piano Teacher, Singing Teacher
Beth was born in Springtown, Texas and was around music her whole life, growing up in a musical family. She always sung in church, choir and within her family. When she was eight she moved to Fort Worth and continued to sing in choirs and started to get into theatre. When she was 11 she started participating in musicals every summer. Then at age 14, she started attending School of Rock Fort Worth and making friends within the Fort Worth music scene. Throughout learning at School of Rock, she has picked up the piano, as well as ukulele, harmonica and bass guitar. In her last year as a student at School of Rock at age 18, she went on a summer tour and gained musical experience, as well as created everlasting bonds with the people she worked with. Currently she is studying music education at TCC and participates in their ensemble group. She still attends School of Rock as a part of the Fort Worth Adult Band, striving to broaden her horizons and become a better musician.
Melissa Birchett Singing Teacher, Keyboard Teacher, Music Director
Born and raised in Dallas, Texas, Melissa began taking voice and piano lessons at the age of five. She grew up performing in musicals and plays across Texas until she ultimately decided to study classical music. Melissa moved to sunny Malibu, California at 18 years old and attended Pepperdine University, where she received a Bachelor of Arts degree with an emphasis in Vocal Performance in 2012. During her undergrad career, she lived in Germany and traveled across Europe, performing in various operas. Continuing her education, she moved to San Francisco and received a Master's degree in Opera Performance, studying under some of the most esteemed vocal and piano instructors. While living in San Francisco, Melissa sang with the Opera Director of the San Francisco Opera and performed numerous opera scenes throughout her two years. Melissa has become one of the top teachers in the school and loves being able to mold the musical minds of her students.
Bri Wischerman General Manager
Bri was born and raised in Southern California and developed a love for music early on. She started playing the violin in fourth grade and continued on with the flute, dabbled in the bass and drums in high school, and later moved on to the piano. She was also in show choir and various musical theater productions throughout middle and high school. Being from SoCal, she inevitably developed a love for ska-punk, classic rock and metal, with her favorite band being Guns n' Roses. Bri is now learning the bass guitar in the School of Rock Adult Program and is having a blast. A mother of two settled in North Richland Hills, she enjoys horror movies, concerts, eating out and going to Six Flags and spending time with her family. Bri couldn’t be more excited to be with School of Rock, and loves helping kids explore the arts and find themselves.
James Malone Guitar Teacher, Bass Guitar Teacher
Co-founder, singer, guitarist and lead songwriter for Arsis, James has been involved in the technical melodic death metal scene for more than a decade. A lifelong musician, James grew up in Virginia and began his musical education at the Berklee School of Music in Boston, Massachusetts. In 2000, he co-founded Arsis and the band has released five studio albums and three EPs. In addition to his work with Arsis, he composed "A Diamond for Disease" for the Ballet Deviare, a contemporary ballet company in New York City, which was performed off-Broadway in 2005 to a sold-out crowd. "A Diamond for Disease" featured a 13-minute title track that took four months to write and was hailed as “a multi-movement death metal masterwork” by "Decibel Magazine." Last year, James started a side project, Necromancing the Stone.
Ariel Ditta Guitar Teacher, Bass Guitar Teacher, Piano Teacher, Vocal Instructor
Born and raised in Houston, Texas, Ariel Ditta first discovered her passion for music at the tender age of two when she threw a big fit in front of a music store because it was closed. She began taking piano lessons at four years old, voice lessons at seven, and eventually started teaching herself guitar and bass at 13 years old. Fresh out of high school, she moved to Denton to study voice performance at the University of North Texas, where she earned a Bachelor of Music degree in Jazz Studies in 2018. When she’s not busy instilling a life-long love of music in her students, she enjoys writing tunes, drawing mutant creatures that hopefully don’t exist, spending money she doesn’t have on effects pedals and making ambient, art grunge noises in her various projects around the DFW area. She is a guitar teacher, bass guitar teacher, piano teacher and vocal instructor at School of Rock Southlake/Keller.
John McCoy Guitar Teacher, Bass Guitar Teacher
John McCoy is from a small town in North Texas. His exposure to music started when his mother, a Beatles maniac and also a fan of 80s new wave and pop music, supported his learning of music in school. Growing up, his older brother, who had been a gigging bass player in DFW, exposed him to metal, punk, alternative rock and jazz fusion bands at an early age.
John was in the children's church choir all through grade school and also was in musical theater in high school. He always had an interest in musical instruments and finally got a guitar at 14. When John was in high school he learned that his longtime neighbor was a monster behind a drum kit and soon started his first band with him. He still plays in a band with him to this day. John took classical guitar instruction while in college, as well as private lessons from virtuoso guitarists of notable progressive rock and metal bands.
John is the lead guitarist and key songwriter for Surrounded By Monsters, a metal band based in Denton, TX. They have released one EP independently, and after signing a record deal with Nuclear Blast Records they released a full-length studio album called "Novella." They have toured all over the US and in parts of Canada.
After being with School of Rock Southlake/Keller, John has realized that he loves to teach guitar but also still enjoys learning it. He is a guitar teacher and bass guitar teacher.
Billie Wigington Drum Teacher
Billie Wigington is a professionally trained musician and specializes in drums and guitar. Billie is a graduate of Musician’s Institute in Hollywood, California. He has an appreciation of all genres of music, but rock n' roll is his specialty. Growing up, Billie has primarily been a drummer at heart with over 15+ years of experience playing, as well as multiple years playing in bands and performing on stage. He is very passionate about sharing his knowledge of music with upcoming musicians. He is a drum teacher at School of Rock Southlake/Keller.
Lane Hillard Guitar Teacher
At an early age Lane saw a Poison concert on TV and was instantly enthralled. And while the big hair and spandex didn’t stick, the love of rock did. He began taking lessons near his hometown of Nocona, Texas and started playing in the area. At the age of 18 he packed up his life and moved to Los Angeles to attend Musician’s Institute and pursue a career in music. While there he played in multiple bands of varying styles including rock, metal, blues, adult contemporary, and more rock. He also developed a love of sound sculpting through the use of various amps, pedals, & other gear. His favorite bands include Rush, Queen, Van Halen, Steve Vai, Boston, and Megadeth. In early 2020 he moved back to Texas to continue his musical journey. He’s excited to be able to share his love of music with the students at SOR.
Matt Chapman Guitar Teacher, Drum Teacher
Matt has had a love for music all of his life, despite being the only member of his family to ever pick up an instrument. After years of worshipping bands like Led Zeppelin, Pantera and Black Sabbath, he picked up the guitar at age 12, and began performing live with his original band ‘United Madness’ only a year later at age 13. He is a founder of the local metal band 3Eighty3, a math rock trio called Terra Bubona, as well as tribute bands to Prince, Godsmack, Paul Gilbert, Seether, DOWN and Pink Floyd. He has toured with multiple bands, working with incredible people along the way, such as Alan Niven, former Guns N’ Roses manager and Buddy Blaze, creator of Dimebag Darrell’s ‘Dean From Hell’ guitar. Matt started as a guitar and drums instructor at the School of Rock in Mansfield in 2017, and became Music Director in 2019. Since the closing of SOR Mansfield, Matt is now permanently teaching guitar, bass, drums and keys at SOR Southlake!
MICHAELA THURSTON Studio Coordinator
This Chicago native is the product of a double lineage of musicians and singers. A true third generation catalyst! Her vocal style has gained positive attention in music arenas all over this country and the West Indies. At the age of 7, her gifts (singing, drums, bass guitar, piano and music composition) began honing. She began her music career playing drums as she traveled the country with her parents and later became the musical director for their ministry. Those gifts developed and became the catapult for her to move into directing choirs and eventually expanding as a recording artist, musician, producer and songwriter. She has had the opportunity to share stages with many artists like: The Legendary Rudy Love (Grandfather) & the Love Family, Michael & Gina Thurston (Parents) The Clark Sisters, Kim Burrell, Kierra Sheard, Tye Tribbett and many more! Michaela is currently working on her solo album and a few other entrepreneurial endeavors. Her ultimate goal is to remain true to herself and God while touching and inspiring all who cross her path one smile and song at a time. Michaela is excited to bring her creativity to School of Rock!
DAVID DUSSING Drum Teacher
At the young age of 2, David showed interest in rock and roll and playing the drums. His uncle, being a rock drummer, started teaching him the basics of percussion at age 4. By the age of 6, David had started taking classical jazz and rock lessons. David was inspired to get into heavy metal from his father who is a well renowned heavy metal bassist. David has been a metal/death metal drummer in the DFW area for the past 10 years. He has played with many bands such as Macabre Eternal and Unprophecied Leviathan and opened up for the Texas Death Metal Fest 2 years in a row. David is a dedicated and passionate musician with a classical background in jazz, who has also developed a love for rock n' roll, heavy metal and many other genres of music. David has a love for teaching music and is excited to inspire the future generation of rockers!