Parker Smith is the founder and owner of Guitar Shed, a modern music school in Atlanta that opened its doors in August of 2015. With over 15 years of teaching experience, including teaching at lesson studios, summer camps, preschools, elementary, and middle and high schools, he believes in maximizing each student’s true potential by customizing individual lessons. Believing that one is never too old or too young to begin the journey, Guitar Shed fosters music learning as a lifelong process. In addition to teaching improvisation to school aged students and adults, Parker spent 5 years creating music lessons for preschool students in Georgia and Texas.
Parker performs as a vocalist, guitarist, bassist, and on mandolin, ukulele and piano. He has played innumerable gigs as a sideman, soloist, and leader of his group “Parker Smith and the Bandwith.” He has also shared the stage with members of Zac Brown Band, Imagine Dragons, Hiautus Kaiyote and Fruition. He has toured the country and independently released three albums, Garden Hills (2011), Solo Flight (2013), and Long Live Jazz Vol. 1 (2014). He specializes in blues, jazz, bluegrass, fingerstyle, slide guitar, songwriting and improvisation. Parker holds a degree in Music Business from University of Miami and a master’s degree in Music and Human Learning from University of Texas at Austin.
The Piano and the love of music have been lifelong pursuits for Christopher that have taken him all around the world and provided a treasure trove of experiences. Growing up with a piano in the home, it was evident early on that he was drawn to the instrument and at the early age of 4 he asked to begin lessons and quickly absorbed the fundamentals that would provide a foundation for years to come. Christopher’s family moved often exposing him to a wide variety of teachers and approaches, including a short lived encounter with a brilliant teacher that introduced him to the concept of improvisation. Building on the fundamentals he learned through his early lessons, learning to improvise opened the door to a new freedom in playing and composing, and infused music with a new passion that still bears fruit today.
It was early in high school when Chris began playing with other musicians and began his journey into the world of live performance. Those early skills have grown and refined themselves across countless stages and among many musical collaborators. After years of playing semi-professionally, Christopher decided that decided to pursue music and attended the Georgia State University Jazz Studies program. After school, Chris continued to perform and tour with a knack for versatility and the ability to comfortably blend in and enhance with any style of music.
Chris has led and accompanied a wide variety of musical projects. He is the principal songwriter/producer for the psychedelic space jazz group Samadha, but has also lent his talents to the delicate folk of Adron and the retro soul of Curtis Harding. As a member of virtuosic atlanta supergroup Little Tybee he has helped to push musical boundaries for appreciative audiences everywhere. As a touring musician he has shared stages with Jack White on the Lazaretto tour and traveled to Canada, Europe, Mexico and Panama as a performer as well as multiple runs across the US. Chris strives to bring this experience and excitement for what music to Guitar Shed. He knows firsthand that music is not just notes on a page but a vital art form that can reward the player as well as the listener.
Since 2001 Christopher has taught in an effort to share his knowledge of and passion for music. Christopher strives for a balance of patience and precision knowing that each student has the potential for great musical expression inside them. He knows with the proper tools and consistent effort we can achieve great things. Chris has taught students over the years from the very young to the very old, from the absolute beginner to the seasoned veteran looking to expand their knowledge. He stresses a practical knowledge of theory and peppers his lessons with compositional exercises and chordal literacy as well as the classical favorites. For the student looking for a fresh, vibrant approach to playing that can help them move closer to finding their particular voice at the instrument, Mr. Case is a great choice.
Sean L. McMorris is a professional musician and instructor with close to 25 years of experience. Equally proficient on guitar and bass, he has taught at DeKalb Musician’s Supply (1997), Atlanta Music School (2001), and privately since 1990. In 1989, he studied music theory privately under one of the founding instructors at LA’s Musicians Institute, the late Vic Trigger. And from 1991-1993, studied jazz bass under Dr. Wayne Goins at Kennesaw State University
Gigging around the Southeast and Mid-west on both guitar and bass since 1992, Sean L. McMorris has performed in a multitude of genres such as: afro-beat, rock, blues, neo-soul, reggae, folk, zydeco, funk, and jazz. Over the years he has shared the stage with artists such as: Dionne Farris (Grammy nominee, Arrested Development), Van Hunt (Grammy winner), Derek Trucks (Allman Brothers), John Popper (Blues Traveler), Heather Luttrell (INXS Rockstar, solo artist), and the Barenaked Ladies, to name a few. Currently he performs with East Coast Entertainment group Ascension throughout the region (2012-current); as well as performs every Sunday at Wesley Chapel UMC (2015-present); and is a member of world group performing artist, The Lightning Orchestra Band.
As an instructor, his goal is to expose students to many different forms of music and artistic expression, to provide knowledge and understanding of music theory, and to help the student develop his/her technique for guitar or bass. He will also teach material the student is familiar with (covers), and share tips on developing guitar parts and bass lines for original music. The student will learn to make charts, understand song structure, and become more familiar with pitch (using your ear). In addition, the student will receive basic knowledge of effects pedals and development of good tone.
Sean’s bands: Sean McMorris
Since being drafted as the drummer in the family band at age 7, Ron has been completely obsessed with music. When the family bought their first piano, he played it night and day to the point that his friends would have to pull him away to go outside. In his early teens he made the leap to playing keys in a high school band and building his first basement studio – always acting as arranger, producer, and instrumentalist by default.
Ron has played with a long list of successful Detroit bands, playing around the city and around the country. His attention for details has kept him in demand for Rock, 80’s, Motown, Pop and Dance music. He also studied Music Theory at the University of Michigan.
For the past 7 years Ron has taught voice, keyboards and recording at The Detroit School of Rock and Pop. His students have gone on to prestigious schools like Belmont and NYU. He is also putting the finishing touches on a vocal textbook he co-authored which is due out later this year.
Now living in Atlanta, Ron is looking forward to helping new students reach their musical goals.
Brandon Marsolo is an active guitarist, singer/songwriter and music teacher from right here in Kirkwood! He has been in countless bands and performed just about every major genre of music there is, ever since his teenage years (most recently The Norm and Thoughtomatic) and often performs around Atlanta, as a solo act, too. Brandon earned a bachelor’s degree in Music, with a concentration in Classical Guitar, at Georgia College, but loves to incorporate ear-training and other fun, self-taught methods along with the methods of the classical tradition. Outside of music, Brandon is a huge sports nut and loves going to games and supporting our Atlanta teams.
Raised in Atlanta in a musical household, Izaak began playing at a young age under his parents’ instruction. He studied in the studios of Levon Ambartsumian, Shakhida Azimkodjaeva, and Dr. Michael Heald at the University of Georgia, and more recently Raymond Leung of the Atlanta Symphony. Izaak graduated in 2015 from the University of Georgia with a degree in Violin Performance and a minor in English.
He has been the second violinist in the Walton String Quartet since 2011, an events quartet based in Atlanta that has performed at various events across the southeast. While primarily a classical musician, Izaak also dabbles in improvisatory styles, and had the opportunity to perform behind Kishi Bashi at the Georgia Theatre in April of 2014.
In addition to performing, Izaak enjoys teaching; he is especially passionate about helping students find the best sound on their instrument, both through technical setup and musical development.
Alex Gordon has “officially” been playing the guitar since he was 14. Unofficially, he began strumming a tennis racket two years prior to that, inspired by the films The Buddy Holly Story and Back To The Future. Once “official” guitar lessons began with an actual guitar, Alex quickly progressed with a passion and a hunger for learning that propelled him to practice constantly. Taking inspiration from legendary guitarists such as Chuck Berry, Eddie Cochran, Jimi Hendrix, Mark Knopfler, and Scotty Moore, Alex played in a succession of high school rock bands that allowed him to discover a love of performing.
Alex attended the Atlanta Institute of Music where he graduated with Honors in 1995. With a strong foundation in harmony, theory, composition, performance, and recording, Alex would go on to lead and perform in various bands as well as perform as a touring solo singer songwriter in venues across the country. In recent years, he has recorded and produced over 20 CDs and digital EPs and as a composer, Alex has written musical works for PBS, the Alliance Theater, and the Georgia Aquarium. He has been married for 19 years and has an 11 year old son.
Alex’s Website: Alex Gordon Hi-Fi
Vivian Slade has been a working musician for over 20 years, starting out as a singer/songwriter in the pop rock genre. She toured the east coast from 1998 to 2000 receiving rave reviews and charting on college radio before settling in Nashville to raise her two daughters. During her career, Vivian has been involved in a myriad of creative projects ranging from children’s theatre to performing in an a cappella three part harmony group to acting as the house vocalist in Cuenca, Ecuador’s premier jazz listening room.
In recent years, she has turned her attention to teaching and especially enjoys inspiring young, budding musicians. Her most recent project is The Dragon King, a children’s illustrated book/audio book/musical and values education curriculum inspired by a boy who had been badly burned. For more detailed information on Vivian or to know more about empowering children through The Dragon King please visit the links below.
Max Godfrey is a singer, multi-instrumentalist, and music teacher who performs southern roots music with several groups: Max and Maggie, Sourwood Honey, and The New Millennium Jelly Rollers. He also records as a solo artist, and and has performed and led call-and-response singing workshops at farms, colleges, music venues and community centers all over the east coast.
Passionate about music and excited about positive community growth in the thriving Kirkwood neighborhood, Rebecca is grateful to join a team that includes an amazing group of teachers and becoming a member of the Guitar Shed team is a natural fit.
Rebecca has a degree in Business and enjoys working with people and helping them achieve their goals. Having a lifelong love of music, she was first chair clarinet in school and played in the Florida All-State Band two consecutive years. She has played the club circuit and in her free time she enjoys singing, playing acoustic guitar and bass. Rebecca strives to achieve and maintain outstanding administrative support and customer service and is here to help you along your musical path. Along with assisting you on your musical journey, Rebecca also loves tending her garden! She is at the Shed Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays and Sundays and you can email Rebecca at email@example.com
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