Mentors and tutors
At Rock Scholars all of our mentors and tutors are actively involved in the Perth music scene and bring both technical expertise and real world experience to their teaching. Most of them have been through the Rock Scholars program themselves and they are deeply passionate and knowledgeable about music. Our band mentors are multi-instrumentalists and many of them hold formal music qualifications from WAAPA or other tertiary education establishments.
All Rock Scholars staff hold current working with children clearance.
Sam has been involved in the Rock Scholars community for over 10 years. He started out playing bass as a student in our band program before moving on to guitar and vocals. He is now our busiest mentor.
Sam is an accomplished musician and song writer, and has a unique ability to facilitate band communication and growth through clear direction and encouragement.
Instruments: Guitar, Bass, Drums, Vocals
John joined Rock Scholars in 2016 and has built up a large group of regular and loyal students. John specialises teaching modal and harmonic theory and particularly enjoys helping students to develop their improvisational skills. He is also an awesome band mentor.
John is currently studying contemporary music at WAAPA and plays in hardcore rock band Statues.
As a former Rock Scholars student, Josh has a passion for everything we do and loves sharing his considerable knowledge and technical expertise with a new generation of young musicians.
Josh draws influence from drummers such as Steve Gadd, Dave Weckl, Dennis Chambers and Art Blakey. All of whom's work he studies as a part of his bachelors degree in Contemporary Music at WAAPA.
He currently plays in Perth bands Wooly Mammoth and Lake Louise and has recently been supporting Sydnee Carter. at festivals like Groovin’ The Moo and SOTA.
Instruments: Drums, Bass, Guitar
A multi instrumentalist, singer and song writer, Jake is an ex-Rock Scholars student who studied contemporary music at WAAPA. He is the smoking hot guitar player and vocalist in blues rock outfit Desert Sonnes. Jake’s easygoing personality and natural musicality are an asset to Rock Scholars and we love having him around the place!
Instruments: Guitar, Drums
Amelia is the bassist and vocalist in local indie rock outfit Spacey Jane. Amelia studied classical piano for 11 yrs before switching to bass, and when she’s not a mega busy muso playing some really cool gigs around town, she finds time to study medical science!
Instruments: Bass, Keyboard and Vocals
Christian has been behind the guitar for more than 10 years, with a wealth of live performance experience. Currently studying contemporary music at WAAPA, Christian also plays guitar in Perth-based bands, Wooly Mammoth and Grace Armstrong. Christian’s relaxed personality in addition to his love & passion for music make for valuable and rewarding lessons.
Sam joined our mentoring team in 2016 but as a former Rock Scholars student who spent several years playing and learning his craft here, he is now giving back some of his incredible talent and passion for music.
Sam is a renowned singer/ songwriter who performs regularly under his own name, a guitar player in Perth band Cosy along with fellow Rock Scholars mentor Oscar van Gass, and also plays guitar for Noah Dillon.
Instruments: Guitar, Bass
Christiaan is a passionate and talented guitarist. He graduated from WAAPA with an Advanced Diploma of Contemporary Music.
He has been playing live since the age of 15 and is a former Rock Scholars student himself. He performs locally and nationally, both live and in the studio. He enjoys playing all styles, especially blues, funk, jazz, rock and country. He currently plays with The Hunting Birds, Elli Schoen and Georgia Reed.
He has a love for trying to inspire his students with the same passion for music that he has. He is very passionate about teaching, always seeking to equip students with the technical, theoretical and performance skills that are needed for them to grow into fine musicians.
Christiaan strives to bring a positive and friendly vibe to all lessons!
Instruments: Guitar, Bass and Piano
Carla is an Albany-born singer-songwriter whose captivating live show and relatable lyricism saw her win the inaugural Mojo Rising Band comp, win Best Regional Act at the WAM Awards, play stand out performances at festivals such as Falls Festival, WAMFest and more recently BIGSOUND, and support artists such as Holy Holy, Alex Lahey, Jen Cloher, Birds of Tokyo, Stella Donnelly and many others. When Carla's not super busy in the coming months playing festivals like Queenscliff and Fairgrounds, and supporting John Butler Trio, Missy Higgins, The Waifs and Pete Murray, she'll be mentoring rising young bands at Rock Scholars and running the odd song-writing workshop.
Instruments: Vocals, Guitar, Bass
Sam is the joint owner of Rock Scholars with his wife Karen, he is passionate about all forms of music as long as it includes guitars. And drums.
Sam is a lifelong musician and has played guitar in lots of bands all over the world. He is currently teaching beginner and intermediate one-on-one guitar lessons and also mentors bands in our program.
Instruments: Guitar, Bass, more guitar
Gemma is a self-taught keys player and vocalist. She is passionate and emotive in her work and loves to share her love of all things music with others. Gemma has been studying contemporary music as a keys player and vocalist at WAAPA since 2017 and as well as being a solo act, plays keys and sings vocals for Paige Forster’s band.
Instruments: Vocals, Keyboard
Oscar van Gass is a Perth based drummer and multi-instrumentalist with nearly a decade's experience in live performance. An ex Rock Scholars student himself and now part-way through his studies at the Western Australian Academy for Performing Arts, Oscar performs regularly with The Chlorines, Kid Dingo, The Kramers & Cosy, among other groups including small jazz and corporate ensembles. With experience across a variety of genres and playing styles, Oscar's approach to teaching encourages a broader appreciation for music in all forms, seeking to develop passionate young musicians with a focus on technical facility, aural skills and musicianship within his lessons.
Instruments: Drums, Guitar, Keys
Jelly is a stalwart of the Perth music scene having performed, recorded, and composed with some of Perth’s most successful artists (Felicity Groom, Gunns, Usurper of Modern Medicine). He is a highly experienced teacher, with over a decade of experience teaching all ages, skill levels and styles both at schools and privately. Jelly also studied music at The University of Western Australia.
Instruments: Drums, guitar, bass and keys
Karen is the joint owner of Rock Scholars with her husband Sam, and manages all of our day to day operations, marketing and customer service.
Karen is passionate about what we do having seen first hand the benefits of our Band Program being the parent of a Rock Scholar herself. Her step-son Billy plays in the Rock Scholars band Homebrand.