Susan Marlett started on Flute in the 4th grade and by the 7th grade she was using a special woodwind pick-up and guitar pedals for her flute. She was hooked. She has a degree in Fine Art, Art History and Archaeological Anthropology from Parsons School of Design and the New School. So of course she does music. After running a successful nonprofit gallery in NYC; she launched a small Internet start up. Susan never forgot her roots in Rock and Roll. Returning to teach music with the School of Rock Waldwick in 2010 as a voice and keys instructor. She was hooked on their innovative approach to teaching with her first show in Sept of 2010. Susan became General Manager in 2017 and owner in 2020.
Kurt took on the role of owner and COO for the School of Rock Waldwick after leaving a position as Manager of Strategy & Business Transformation Practice at The Hackett Group. Previously, he was in procurement and logistics for Mercedes-Benz in Montvale. Kurt is from Switzerland, where he earned several business degrees. He spent many years working for the Lucerne Blues Festival (Europe’s largest blues festival.) Kurt also has a passion for cars.
Music Director, Bass Guitar Teacher, Guitar Teacher
With over twenty-five years of experience in the music industry, Rich has developed a wide range of skills that allow him to manipulate variations in air pressure with both substance and style. He has shared stages with such artists as Cyndi Lauper, Kansas and Dada, and performs regularly in the tri-state area with multiple groups, including Friday’s Child and kidie artist/musical yogini Kira Willey.
A consummate multi-instrumentalist/vocalist/audio engineer with perfect pitch, his insights on music and sound reveal details that are often overlooked. This uncanny ability to solve problems has led to work in all forms of media – from records, radio and advertising, to film, network television and cable. As Director of Audio Production for Digital Café Tour, his recording, mixing and mastering work earned him a Telly Award for Sound/Sound Design.
Originally from Bergen County, Michael Klopp is a 1994 graduate of Ramapo High School, where he excelled in all things music and was even voted Most Musical by his fellow classmates. In 1998 he received his BA in Performance from the University of the Arts in Philadelphia with an emphasis on jazz studies and music history. Upon graduation Michael set sail for the open water and spent the following 6 years seeing the world as an orchestra drummer for different cruise lines, performing big band music, production shows and variety acts of all kinds.
In 2004 he was given the (extremely rare) opportunity to become a Guest Entertainer for Royal Caribbean as Drummer/Musical Director for multi talented performer Domenick Allen (Foreigner, Buddy Rich Band, Liberace, Broadway, London's West End) and continues to enjoy the MD chair to this day.
2004 was also the year Michael started working with Telarc/Concord Recording artist Tony Desare. With Tony, Michael has been able to travel all over the country performing jazz and cabaret music in various settings, including 2 Midwest tours as a trio and multiple Pops performances with various orchestras, including the Houston, Atlanta, Pittsburgh and Vancouver Symphonies. He has also performed at the 2015 San Javier Jazz Fest in Alicante, Spain, as well as the 2015 and 2016 Cape Cod Jazz Festivals.
Michael started with School of Rock in 2015 and has enjoyed every moment. When not in a lesson you will find him practicing often. His favorite method books are Stick Control (G.L.Stone), The Art of Bop Drumming (J.Riley), The Shuffle Drumming Workbook (C.Doboe) and Syncopation (T.Reed).
The Astronaut consists solely of one Musician at the helm. Michael Scott Kozma holds a B.S. Degree in Music Industry & Technology for Audio Engineering and Music (from where?.). He is a multi-instrumentalist and has been playing music since he was 13 years old. He was a band member with Jeremian Fraites of the Lumineers.
A descendant of the great Evelyn Danzig Levine, who wrote the classic 1949 song “Scarlet Ribbons,” and renowned New York Times sports writer Allison Danzig who coined the phrase “The Grand Slam” in tennis. Michael Scott was bestowed with the gift of songwriting passed down through generations. At 15, he attended the National Guitar Academy for one summer and returned as one of the foremost exceptional and dedicated players at such a young age. He later went on to be an acclaimed self-taught musician in other instruments, including drums.
Michael used the name “The Astronaut” as something more introspective. Not only just a songwriter, Kozma’s ability to play each instrument into a formula within his songs is something which sets him apart from most songwriters. Everything you hear is created by his hands and mind. Along with music, Michael also directs and shoots all his own music videos. The Astronaut will be constantly writing, recording, and playing his music to as many listeners as possible. Come along with him on this journey….
Legendary guitarist Richie Ranno, best known for the group STARZ, is most noted for his unique ability to blend crisp, powerful hard rock rhythms with bluesy guitar riffs.
He was inspired to learn guitar after seeing and hearing The Beatles. He joined the band Stories in 1973. Stories' "Brother Louie" had just reached #1, (old guitarist Steve Love quit to join Jobriath.) Stories toured as a headliner and as an opener for such acts as Black Oak Arkansas, Johnny Winter, The Eagles and others. The band appeared on American Bandstand on 1973. In 1975, Ranno auditioned for the band Fallen Angels. He knew they were managed by Rock Steady/Bill Aucoin, who managed Kiss at the time. After a month the band fired the keyboard player and changed their name to Starz. The band immediately began writing and recording songs. They also toured with ZZ Top and Peter Frampton. Starz got a recording deal with Capitol Records in the spring of 1976 and recorded their debut album, Starz. Their second album, Violation, achieved fame with its two hit singles: “Cherry Baby” and “Sing It Shout It”. Later albums, Attention Shoppers and Coliseum Rock also received critical acclaim, featuring songs written by Ranno and his fellow band members.
Rock journalist: Doug Brod (formerly of Spin Magazine) in his book : “Just A Little Weird” said Richie Ranno and Starz is one of the Top 4 Most Influential Rock Bands of all times along with Kiss, Aerosmith and Cheap Trick.
Richie has continued to perform with his bands Starz, Hellcats and Richie Ranno’s All Starz in arenas and stadiums throughout the U.S. alongside a host of major acts, including ZZ Top, Peter Frampton, Aerosmith, Ted Nugent, Rush, Foghat and many more.
In addition to writing, recording and playing with his own bands, he often performs with other rock ’n roll greats, including Michael Schenker of UFO and MSG and Uli Jon Rother (formerly of the Scorpions), he received a Platinum Album award for playing guitar on Tunnel of Love on Gene Simmons’ solo album, and with Cactus.
Guitar Teacher, Show Director
Eric is a fantastic example of what School of Rock can do for a budding musician. He started with School of Rock in South Hackensack. He played many shows there. He became a valuable part of their House Band and made it into All Stars in 2006. Some of the memorable places he played include: BB Kings, World Cafe Live and Royal Oak Theatre. He plays out regularly and is a great addition to our staff. He truly understands the School of Rock method. Today he is part of several touring groups including an Allman Brothers Tribute Band called: A Brother's Revival. You should see him play the pedal steel guitar. And he plays with several Grateful Dead tribute bands.
Bass Guitar Teacher
Franky Hernandez received his first round of music education from Berklee College of Music from 1978 to 1980. While there, he studied with John Neves, Bruce Gertz and Rich Appleman. He then went onto William Patterson University to study with Rufus Reid, Harold Mabern, Steve Bagby and Ron Naspo. Franky has performed with some notable acts such as Chet Atkins, The Mamas and the Papas, and Lou Christie. He has also played with tons of oldies groups including Fabian, The Angels, Little Peggy March, The Coasters, etc.
Little Wing Director, Singing Teacher
Michele studied at Montclair University and sings regularly for local churches. Michele uses our techniques with her own spin on the activities. The children enrolled in our Little Wing program love the class and look forward to coming back. Michele has good classroom management instincts and she is able to keep the children's attention focused on the current activity while making each child feel listened to. She is able to impart valuable information on the fundamentals of music in a safe and inspiring manner.
Michele also works with some of our special needs students. She stepped up to work with these incredible students developing a curriculum tailored to each student. Michele takes the initiative to get to know them and the parents to assess the goals for each student. She has planned and implemented a meaningful learning plan for each student. Michele has presented music using a variety of creative techniques that challenge each student with attainable goals. The students have responded well to her curriculum and the parents are thrilled with the results. Michele is enriching the lives of our special needs students that will go well beyond the classroom.
Singing Teacher, Show Director
Ginny has a long history of singing and started studying privately at the age of 8. Ginny then found School of Rock and she was hooked; she is a product of our school! She excelled quickly in bands, going on tour with our Show Band. Ginny studied at William Patterson and performs on a regular basis in our area.
Andy has been a part of our School of Rock family for a long time. He started with us as a young drum student and quickly rose through the ranks making it to House Band. He was interned with us for several summers before going to college and working in the film industry. Some of his favorite SoR shows include the Blues, Led Zeppelin, An Organ show, He credits the Blues show for teaching him the importance of listening to his fellow bandmates. And of course he loved rocking out with the House Band. He still plays out in several cover bands.
Keyboard + Piano Teacher, Guitar Teacher
Charlie’s musical knowledge and devotion are deeply rooted in his early childhood when he was exposed to tons of the greatest classic rock hits and artists through listening to his father’s collection of CDs. Cutting his teeth on over a decade of meticulous classical piano training and many performances at prestigious venues such as Carnegie Hall and Lincoln Center, Charlie got more involved with rock and roll music during high school when he co-founded his first band with a close friend. He transferred his musical knowledge from the piano to the electric guitar and even began to forge his abilities as a vocalist. Since then, Charlie has relentlessly pursued greater knowledge and experience in the art of music through countless hours of practice and study, as well as involvement in an abundance of projects, studio work, and live performances across the Greater New York area. He sings and plays rhythm guitar, bass, and keyboards for studio tracking sessions with his rock band, The Vespids.
Singing Teacher, Keyboard + Piano Teacher, Show Director
Bianca Teresi is a professional actor, musician, writer, and teaching artist. She graduated from the University of the Arts with her BFA in musical theatre in 2015 and has since worked in professional theatre all over the county. Some of her favorite credits include Shrek (mama ogre/dragon), Les Misérables (Fantine), and Spamalot (Lady of the Lake).
Bianca has been a teaching artist for over five years. She has taught with various companies such as Anselmo Music Academy, The Broadway Originals, and Inside Broadway, and now is thrilled to be working with School of Rock. It is her personal mission to inspire singers by approaching her students with empathy and a passion for the arts.