The instructors at Hickey's Rock School are dedicated to music: to making music, to teaching and performing music; they are selected based on their skills and unique abilities, and their passion for others to be able to make music and enjoy doing it. They are all active professionals, playing and recording with their own bands, and together represent a diverse background of music experience to offer to their students.
Ryan Vanderhoof is Director of Hickey's Rock School and conducts bands, teaches guitar, bass, voice as well as music theory and songwriting. He has a BFA in Classical Guitar Performance from Ithaca College, and is a former member of the band Akron/Family with whom he wrote five albums of original music and toured internationally. His music appears on film and TV including the late Robin Williams film 'The World's Greatest Dad' and UK primetime show 'Skins'. In 2014 he released a five song EP 'Seahorse Memoirs' and is currently working on a full length solo album, as well as playing guitar for the reggae/funk band 'Road Man' featuring Jon Petronzio from Ithaca reggae legends 'John Brown's Body'.
Drum instructor Willie B. (aka Brian Wilson) has performed and recorded across the globe. In 2008, he joined Jamie Lidell on a world tour including a month as opening act for Elton John in Europe. Willie B. is best known for his custom setup that allows him to play bass and drums simultaneously. When not performing, Willie B. is an active teacher in the Ithaca area.
Bob Keefe has taught guitar for over four decades and teaches all styles and all levels of guitar. Classically trained, Bob holds a Masters and PhD in Music from the University of North Texas. For the past 23 years, Bob has maintained an active guitar studio of about 35 students a week in the Ithaca and Lansing, NY. Bob is an active performer in jazz and rock bands and his performance history goes back over four decades. He performs regularly with the Backtalk Band and with his new band Bob Keefe and the Surf Renegades.
Tim Ball is a versatile fiddler, guitarist, and teacher who grew up in Watkins Glen and currently lives in Newfield, NY. A staple of the contra dance and Irish music scenes in western New York for the better part of a decade, Tim has toured widely with contra dance bands such as Tempest and Tunescape. Tim is a graduate of Ithaca College, where he studied violin with Susan Waterbury. He has more than 10 years of experience playing Irish and American fiddle music, and has also studied early music, jazz improvisation, Suzuki Pedagogy, and the Creative Ability Development method. Tim teaches violin and fiddle, and also teaches regularly at camps including the Kanack School of Music fiddle camp and the Ithaca Suzuki Institute.