Dr. Michael Berthelot established Rockin’ Mozart Academy formerly, Westside Music Academy in 2005 first in Brusly on East Main Street. He is passionate about music, with a rich background in the field. Dr. Berthelot is on a mission to bring rich music culture to all that he encounters. Dr. Berthelot has developed a model Music School, where all orchestra instruments and Rock n' Roll instruments can be learned all in one place. In the Classical side of the school, all students can learn from top qualified instructors on almost any instrument and compete or play for fun. The Rock School branch exposes students of all ages to the world of Rock n' Roll. These students can join rock bands and study rock music in their private lessons. The student-lead rock bands perform regularly during the year for different community and local events. With unmatched curriculum and unique systems where Music meets Science, Rockin' Mozart has many talented students all over Louisiana performing and educating others. Dr. Berthelot currently owns 4 locations in Louisiana. (Zachary, Donaldsonville, Port Allen, and Plaquemine)
Besides the high skills in Entrepreneurship, Dr. Berthelot’s endeavors include his successful music program at MSA West Academy. Since the school's opening in 2008, the program has been awarded with gold trophies in prestigious music competitions throughout the country. His role as a leadership figure for generations of students is unsurpassed. Many of which continue to pursue music degrees or minor in music.
Through his portfolio of skills, he is working on creating and expanding music culture across as many communities as possible. This goal has benefited many generations of musicians already and will continue for many years to come. He is constantly evolving his education through music.
Dr. Berthelot holds a Master's Degree from Louisiana State University and a PhD in Music Composition from Louisiana State University (2008). He has completed an alternative teacher education program from Southeastern University in 2011 and currently holds a Level 3 teaching certificate.
Dorela Hyka-Berthelot’s passion for music began at an early age. She embarked upon her cello studies at the age of five, taught by her father and encouraged by her schoolteachers until the age of twenty. Once Dorela graduated from the college “Academy of Arts” in Tirana, Albania, she continued to invest in her education in cello performance at the Musikhochschule in Freiburg, Germany. She was honored with a Solo-Performance Diploma. Furthermore, in 2006, she received a Master’s degree in 2006 from Louisiana State University (LSU). She was a recipient of the First Prize in the “Young Instrumentalist” competition in Tirana at the age of fourteen. Also, at the young age of twenty, she was awarded the honor to perform the Dvorak cello concerto as a soloist with the TOB orchestra of Tirana. Praised for her “rich tone, elegant phrasing and absolute pitch” Prof. Christoph Henkel (Freiburg 2001).
Dorela has served as a member of the chamber orchestra “Virtuosi of Tirana” – a well-known and respected orchestra within Europe. In this capacity, she was the recipient of many prizes and recordings, not limited to: the First Prize Pro Archi Hungary (1996); First Prize in the European festival in Belgium “Summa cum Laude” (1997); First Prize in the festival “Youth and Music” in Vienna, Austria; and the Big First Prize of the Commune of Vienna (2000). During her years in Germany, Dorela was an active orchestra musician and soloist in Bayreuth’s “Young Orchestra” (1999-2001). Within this role, she was selected to perform and record in a chamber quintet with the great violinist Professor Konrad Ellegiers (Essen) and Violist Prof. Ferenc Gabor (Berlin). In summary, Dorela has performed in many orchestras throughout the world. These positions include: an understudy for the Opera of Tirana; part-time in the Freiburg Philharmonic; principal cellist of the Opera of Musikhochschule Freiburg, music director Ulrich Furrer; Principal cellist of the part-time chamber orchestra of Freiburg, conductor Michael Vollhardt; Principal Cellist of Chautauqua New York; Principal cellist of Louisiana Sinfonietta; sub-cellist at Louisiana Philharmonic; and co-principal at the BRSO.
Dorela is a sub-cellist with the LA Philharmonic in New Orleans, Former Sinfonietta's Principal cellist, and Co-Principal cellist at the BRSO. She is an active concert musician performing multiple genres from classical, pops, jazz, and worship music. Applauded by a local LA art critic in one of her solo performances: "The most moving performance of the concert was Dorela Hyka Berthelot's cello solo in Gabriel Faure's "After a Dream". To label her solo lyrical would be an understatement. She wasn't merely performing a solo -- she was telling Faure's musical story, its moournful tones filled with overwhelming emotion......" The Advocate Jan 25 2011-R.Miller. She works with our Rockin’ Mozart Family using her extensive experience and knowledge to broaden the local minds of aspiring musicians. She and Dr. Michael Berthelot have two children, aspiring musicians like their parents! Dea sings and plays piano. She started learning cello at the age of 6. Dorian plays the trumpet and the piano. Their family has touched many lives around the world, and together they are making history in our local southern home.
Mark has had a passion for music since early age. He began performing live at the age of 12. He is a graduate of St. John High School (2008) and has led the school drum corps for a total of ten years. Three of those years while still in high school. He continued his education at Southern University and BRCC after high school to expand his mind while also expanding his performance skills. Mark played in the worship rock band of the First United Methodist Church, Plaquemine alongside Dr. Michael Berthelot and Terry Granier.
Since 2002, Mark has performed all around the Baton Rouge metropolitan area including New Orleans, Lafayette, New Iberia, Lake Charles, Texas, Mississippi, and Beale Street in Memphis, Tennessee. Mark has performed with many bands and has been invited to perform with some great local artists such as Purple Sidewalk, Short Round, The Patsies, Heath Ransonnet, Jason Martin, Jude Dupont, Luis Mariani, The Anteeks, The Helldörados, and Hitchhiker. Notably, he has opened shows for Black Star Riders (former members of Thin Lizzy), famous actor Michael Shannon, and Jimmy DeGrasso.
Mark has volunteered at St. John High School for the past 10 years to lead the school drum corps. Mark is a remarkable instructor at Rockin' Mozart and is the leader of the Rock School. He works with students on Guitar, Bass, Vocals, or his specialty, Drums. He creates bands of different experience levels with students performing for recitals, concerts, or other local events.
Kyte grew up in Saint Amant, Louisiana, and has lived in Plaquemine for the last 8 years, where he is the Talented Visual Arts teacher at MSAW. He graduated from Saint Amant High School and attended the New Orleans Center for Creative Arts. He has taught private lessons for 12 years and taught in public schools for the last 10 years. He graduated with a BFA in Painting and a Minor in Art History from the University of Louisiana at Lafayette. He attended Southeastern University where he received a certification to teach K-12 Visual Arts. He has spent many summers pursuing professional development opportunities across the country at places such as the Art Institute of Chicago, Ringling College of Art and Design, and Rice University, where he’s focused on building a curriculum that elicits high-performance achievements in AP Drawing and 2D Design.
Mr. Mike is a Multi-Genre musician. He holds a BM degree from LSU in Classical Guitar Performance. He is very patient, encouraging, and guides our students in guitar and rock bands! After teaching at Rockin Mozart for 5 years he has become one of our top instructors and leaders. Michael is currently the Manager of the Port Allen Location
Tyler is a caring instructor and manager at our Donaldsonville studio. Beside his rock band performances, he has a love for teaching. He has been inspired and taught by Dr. Berthelot since his early years. He has a knowledge of multiple instruments in his portfolio. Tyler is currently the companies liaison between Ascension Catholic Band Program and Rockin Mozart.
Allyson began studying music at a very young age. In the fifth grade, she started on the recorder as her first wind instrument and piano as her first percussion instrument. From there, she advanced to the drums and clarinet. She is an alumni of Rockin' Mozart. Throughout middle school and high school, she played in the Math, Science, and Arts Academy's orchestra as the First Chair Clarinet. She has competed in many music festivals across the country. From there, her musical journey became her first job when she began teaching at RMA. In the later years of her musical journey, she picked up singing. She guides young minds in clarinet, piano, and vocal performance. Allyson is currently studying Accounting at LSU with the goal of finishing her undergraduate degree in 2020. She is flexible, intuitive, and patient with young children.
Violinist from Venezuela with large experience playing in orchestras and teaching violin.
His musical career started at his home country in the massive musical education program -El Sistema-. There, he played in youth orchestras and studied with several violin professors such as Leonardo Hurtado and Heemath Jahoor. In Venezuela, he also took chamber music classes with the professors Florian Ebersberg and Adrian Ascanio.
From 2008 to 2014, Tirado taught young violinists of El Sistema and played in his hometown’s professional orchestra (OSEG). In 2014 he moved to Chile to play in orchestras and to teach young artists of this region.
He had participated in several festivals, chamber music courses, and masterclasses throughout his career such as New England Conservatory and FESNOJIV Seminar (2010), String Quartets Latin American Academy Seminar (2010), Dispotraining for musicians and teach to teach (2014, 2015, 2016), Internacional Music Festival FIMA (2020). In these events he had the opportunity of learning from international masters such as Levon Chillingirian, Nicholas Kitchen, Ingrid Zur, Jörg Heyer, Emmanuele Baldini and Erzhan Kulibaev .
Frank Tirado-Fontaines is currently pursuing a master’s degree in violin performance at Louisiana State University with Professor Espen Lilleslatten.
Venezuelan cellist with strong experience in orchestral work and teaching experience in Venezuela, Chile, and Louisiana State. She had her beginnings in music back in her home country, in the well-known program El Sistema. Ortega obtained a bachelor’s degree in modern languages (English and French), and in 2016 she moved to Northern Chile to play in orchestras and teach young artists of that region. She is currently pursuing a master’s degree in cello performance at LSU with professor Dennis Parker and has played in the cello section of various orchestras in the State of Louisiana such as LSU Symphony Orchestra, Acadiana Symphony Orchestra and Rapides Symphony Orchestra, and she has participated in Opera in the Ozarks in Arkansas State. Maria Ortega also performed as a soloist in music festivals such as Dispotraining (Iquique 2016), Chamber Music Festivals in Iquique (2017-2018), Teach to Teach Masterclasses (Villarrica 2018-2019), Antofagasta International Music Festival (2020), and Collaborative String Institute (Baton Rouge 2023). These venues gave her the opportunity of learning from great international professors such as Ingrid Zur (Argentina-Germany), Jörg Heyer (Germany), Heidi Litschauer (Austria), Rodrigo Pozo (Chile), Emmanuele Baldini (Italy), Alvaro Bitrán (Chile-Mexico), Dennis Parker and, Rita Sloan (United States of America).
Jay is one of our instructors at RMA Port Allen. He holds a Master's degree in Piano Performance and is currently working on his doctoral degree in Piano. Jay is one of Rockin' Mozart Academy's many talented instructors. Our students love Mr. Jay.
Veronica Perez Espinosa holds a Bachelor of Music Education from Northwestern State University of Louisiana. Veronica has shared musical experiences with students in the Baton Rouge area from K-5th grade. She has experience teaching group and individual lessons in Spanish and English. Currently, Veronica is a graduate student at Louisiana State University majoring in Music Education with emphasis in Elementary Music. Veronica teaches piano, voice, flute, and early childhood music in Spanish and English.
Chase has a Master's degree from LSU in Percussion studies and is currently working on his DMA at LSU. He is highly trained in multiple instruments which benefits our rock students greatly. Chase brings the highest quality in each and every lesson enhancing our students' lives in the wide world of musical knowledge.
Mrs. Erin Trent is a voice and piano teacher who received her Bachelor’s in Music Education from LSU, specializing in voice and choral studies. Mrs. Erin has been a cantor at local churches since she began studying voice, having sung at St. Joseph’s Cathedral and Our Lady of Mercy in Baton Rouge during her career. As a college student, she also participated in Baton Rouge and LSU opera. Mrs. Erin has a lifelong love of learning and has also received a Master’s in Social Work and Library Science. She was the children’s services librarian at the Central Branch of the EBR Parish library for five years. In her spare time, Mrs. Erin enjoys teaching choir at Fellowship Christian Academy, singing with the BR Symphony Chorus, and helping her daughter, Olivia, participate in local musical theater. Mrs. Erin’s philosophy is that learning to sing is a beautiful journey of self-discovery
Lina Maria Casas is a Colombian violinist currently pursuing a master’s in music performance at Louisiana State University. She holds a bachelor’s degree in Violin Performance from the National University of Colombia and a High School Diploma with an emphasis in music from the Conservatory of Ibague in Colombia.
She was part of the cohort 2021 from the Entrepreneurial leaders “La Joven” program by Global Leaders Program and Bolivar Davivienda Foundation and completed the course Music in Early Childhood during the XXII edition of the Suzuki Music Festival in Bogota.
From 2017 to 2022, Lina was a member of the Colombian Youth Philharmonic, which provided her with the opportunity to learn from great national and international professors and perform in numerous theatres across Colombia, Central America and Europe. Committed to giving back, she has volunteered as a violin teacher in the "Creando Lazos" initiative, mentoring young talents across Colombia through both individual and group lessons. As violinist, she has also been part of different orchestras in Colombia including the Youth Philharmonic Orchestra of Bogota, Youth Philharmonic Chamber Orchestra of Bogota, UNAB Symphony Orchestra and Bogota Chamber Orchestra.
Currently, Lina performs with various local orchestras, including Baton Rouge Symphony Orchestra, Acadiana Symphony Orchestra, and Rapides Symphony Orchestra. She is also a faculty member at Rockin Mozart Music School and Kids‘ Orchestra program.
BJ Davidson has been a professional musician for 12 years. He plays multiple instruments including guitar, bass guitar, drums, Percussion, and Ukulele. BJ has been a professional drummer for the last decade with experiences all around the country with live performances, recording sessions, private instruction, touring and major festival performances. He has been a part of many different bands over the years; Ventruss currently and formerly Bayou Bullets. BJ also spent time in Seattle, WA as part of the Blue Thunder Drumline family. They are the official drumline for the Seattle Seahawks football team. This was his first professional drummer job and since then his career has blossomed. He has taught private lessons for 3 years now and looks forward to continuing his path in music education. "Music changed my life. It helped me discover myself and grow as a person. I hope to pass this knowledge and experience on to others who may share similar experiences. Together we can change lives through music"
Jessee Altazan is a long time musician and artist. As a proud mom and Zachary native, she thrives in our studios as one of our creative leaders and teachers. She spent 5 years at Southeastern Louisiana University studying Instrumental Performance with a Concentration in Guitar with a Minor in Dance. She also plays electric guitar with her husband at The Rock Church and World Ministries. With her own colorful flair, she currently manages our Zachary RMA location!