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.
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.
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, he sings and plays guitar in Perth band Cosy along with fellow Rock Scholars mentor Oscar van Gass, plays bass in Fox Scully and also plays guitar in Noah Dillon’s band.
Instruments: guitar, bass guitar, drums, vocals
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 and Best Rock 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 and teaching vocals at Rock Scholars, along with running the odd song-writing workshop.
Instruments: vocals, guitar, bass guitar
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, guitar
Christiaan is a former Rock Scholars student who graduated from WAAPA with an Advanced Diploma of Contemporary Music.
He has been playing live since the age of 15 and performs both locally and nationally. He enjoys playing all styles, especially blues, funk, jazz, rock and country. He currently plays with Foxton Kings, The Hunting Birds, Elli Schoen and Georgia Reed.
Chris 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. He bring a positive and friendly vibe to all lessons!
Instruments: guitar, bass guitar and keyboard
Christian has been behind the guitar for more than 10 years, with a wealth of live performance experience. When he’s not studying a Bachelor of Music - Contemporary at WAAPA, mentoring bands and teaching guitar at Rock Scholars, he is busy playing lead guitar in Perth-based band Wooly Mammoth and Grace Armstrong. Christian’s relaxed personality in addition to his love & passion for music make him an excellent band mentor, and for valuable and rewarding lessons.
Instruments: guitar, bass guitar, vocals
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 and one half of contemporary country rock duo Sartori & Gamble. Jake’s easygoing personality and natural musicality are an asset to Rock Scholars and we love having him around the place!
Charlie spent a number of years learning how to be in a band at Rock Scholars, crafting a passionate outlook on music. He is now giving back to the Rock Scholars community the important lessons he learnt in his time here.
Charlie has been playing guitar for 13 years and in his spare time plays drums for indie-garage rock outfit Pot Plant House Party and grunge-pop band Flossy as well as studying a Bachelor of Sound at SAE.
Charlie’s easy-going personality as well as his passion for music make him a fun, welcoming mentor and tutor.
Instruments: drums, guitar, bass guitar, keyboard
Peppa has played music for as long as she can remember. It was in a primary school rock band that she first picked up the bass guitar, and she hasn’t put the instrument down since. Peppa is currently studying bass at WAAPA and playing in rock, pop and jazz bands including Spacey Jane, Jon Stapleton and The Dizzy Gs. She has an infinite love for music that she hopes will inspire young musicians to come.
Instruments: bass guitar, keyboard
Oscar van Gass
Oscar van Gass is a Perth based drummer and multi-instrumentalist with a decade's experience in live performance. A former WAAPA student, Oscar performs regularly with Mosquito Coast, 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, keyboard
Claudia mainly performs as a bass player yet originally began her musical pathway as a guitarist and drummer. She has always been a passionate music fanatic and has been gigging for around two years now, recently returning from her first over east tour with Noah Dillon. Claudia plays regular gigs with Noah and his band, alongside Scholars' mentor Samuel Rocchi, as well as Mal de Mer. She's also played with bands such as Miraud, Spacey Jane and Sydnee Carter. When she isn’t gigging with her bands, she is busy studying to become a Graphic Designer! After helping out with mentoring holiday jam sessions for a while, Claudia officially joined the team as a band mentor in July 2019.
Instruments: bass guitar, drums, guitar
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
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.
Daniel Ohm comes from the bush lands of Australind. Now living in Perth, he is a Bachelor WAAPA student studying composition. Daniel dabbles in playing multiple instruments, but drumming is his strongest in technique. He plays in two bands, Counted Sheep, and Matt Jonath band, and will soon be starting up his own original band.
Mike Jelinek (Jelly)
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
Trevor joined the team in early 2018 and has very quickly built up a great group of vocals and keys students. His contagious passion, ferocious drive and sense of humour exhilarates audiences in every spectrum of their live music experience. Trevor’s appreciation for musical culture is endless and all-encompassing.
Despite being self-taught Trevor most recently set up shop at the highly regarded WAAPA where he continues to develop his talent and love for melody, rich harmony and theatrical sounds. Ceaselessly creative, Trevor’s ability to entertain is entirely unique, original and largely influenced by keyboard legends including George Duke, Jimmy Smith and Henry Butler.
Trevor is a hugely energetic tutor and can teach all contemporary styles.
Instruments: Vocals, Keyboard
A multi instrumentalist, Luke played jazz guitar at school and won a special citation for outstanding musicianship at the 2008 WA schools Jazz Competition. He has a particular love for blues music, psych rock, jazz, lounge and alternative rock and is currently lead guitar player for the Psychedelic Porn Crumpets.
Instruments: guitar and drums.
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
Luke Cleland studied guitar and vocals at WAAPA and is passionate about sharing his knowledge with others. Gigging regularly under his own name at venues around Perth, Luke has had countlesshours of experience entertaining audiences with his enthusiasm for the inclusive nature of music.
Having had the opportunity to play with Perth-based acts incl. Wooly Mammothand Morgan Bain, Luke is keen to share his experience with young musicians in the hopes they can find the same joy he’s been so lucky to find in music.
Instruments: guitar, vocals, keyboards
Ali joined the Rock Scholars family in 2016 and brings with her a wealth of music experience. She is a super cool multi-instrumentalist who plays in several of WA's leading young bands including Dream Rimmy, Gunns and Human Buoy. Ali also works as a promoter for Cool Perth Nights.
Instruments: Vocals, bass, guitar, keys
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
With his natural feel, strong sense of timing, impeccable groove, strong technical foundation and musical ear, Marcus is an impressive and versatile musician. He currently drums in Desert Sonnes. As Rock Scholars’ resident drum tutor Marcus’s lessons focus on developing good technique and having fun! He teaches students of all ages.
Mitch McDonald has a long association with Rock Scholars and started mentoring here many years ago. After taking a break from mentoring to pursue musical superstardom with his band The Love Junkies we are so happy to welcome him back to the Rock Scholars family.
Mitch is currently mentoring bands, giving guitar lessons and also holds the occasional workshop at Rock Scholars.