Teachers / Staff


STAFF


Parker Smith

(Owner / Teacher) (guitar, ukulele and bass)

  • BA in Music Business from University of Miami
  • MM in Music and Human Learning from University of Texas at Austin

 

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 managing Guitar Shed, Parker maintains an active teaching schedule at Guitar Shed and conducts guitar workshops nationwide.

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 toured the country and independently released four albums, Garden Hills (2011), Solo Flight (2013), Long Live Jazz Vol. 1 (2014) and Live at Smith’s (2018). 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.

Parker’s Bands: Parker Smith and the Bandwith (roots rock) | Long Horn (jazz) | Elegant Bachelors (party band)


Nichelle Young

(Office Manager / Teacher) (piano, voice)

  • BM in Musical Theatre / Vocal Performance
  • Arizona State University

 

Nichelle has over 18 years’ experience teaching music and theatre in various public and private schools instructing Pre-K, elementary, middle, and high school students. In addition to group teaching, she has over 16 years’ experience instructing students of all ages in private voice and piano lessons. Nichelle has enjoyed being on a brief tour with Grammy award winning Speech from Arrested Development as well as conducting a 24-piece choir for one of Josh Groban’s tour concerts. She has also had the pleasure of being an integral part in the audio recording, instructing and conducting of a 60 -100-piece choir and band for many years under the direction of Frank Davis. Currently she helps lead worship, singing from the keyboard alongside her husband (bass player) with various musicians and singers on Sundays.

 

Nichelle is ecstatic to be using her Bachelor of Music degree as she steps into the role of teaching both piano and voice here at Guitar Shed. She equally enjoys her administrative role as Office Manager assisting Parker as a liaison between parents/students and teachers.


TEACHERS


Brandon Marsolo

(guitar, ukulele)

GATH

  • BM in Music Performance (Classical Guitar) from Georgia College

 

 

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.


Brian Revels

(piano, banjo, guitar, ukulele)

 

Brian Revels has been teaching music since 2011, playing guitar since 2005, and writing songs for as long as he can remember. Songwriting was the impetus for a career in music harkening back to singing in his hometown church choir and in front of his elementary school classes. His love for the guitar was somewhat late-bloomed at age 16, but evolved into an encompassing experience as he grew to local notoriety on the Athens, GA music scene.

After his stint in Athens, Brian pursued his musical passion at the Atlanta Institute of Music and in 2012, joined the school’s roster of alumni. Since then, he has found the life of a music teacher every bit as rewarding as his on-stage career, which continues with Atlanta as his home base. Since earning his degree, Brian’s instrumental study has expanded to include the piano, banjo, and ukulele.

His less-than-traditional path in music makes Brian an excellent teacher. He can meet his students from the cerebral side of a devout music theorist, or from the perspective of an utter beginner, communicating effectively in either scenario. Passion was his most motivating factor, so he works to effectively decipher what is most motivating to his students on an individual basis, building basic tenets on top of one another through a custom-fitted methodology at a comfortable pace.


Christopher Case

(piano)

  • BM in Jazz Studies from Georgia State University

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.

Chris’ Bands: Samadha (Instrumental Space Jazz) Little Tybee (Indie)


Jenny Chun

(violin)

  • BM in Violin Performance from University of Michigan

Atlanta native, Jenny Chun, began violin at 8 years old. She is a graduate of the University of Michigan School of Music, Theater, & Dance. Upon graduating from the University of Michigan in 2011, she has spent the past five years teaching violin at the Albany Music School in California’s Bay Area. She also specialized in group and duet classes for 5 years old on the violin, drums, guitar, and piano.

Ms. Chun has been accepted to prestigious music festivals including the ENCORE School for Strings, Bowdoin International Music Festival, and the International Music Academy of Pilsen. Significant teachers include Jun­Ching Lin of the ASO, David Updegraff of the Cleveland Institute of Music, and Stephen Shipps of the University of Michigan. Prior to Michigan, Ms. Chun was an active member of the Atlanta Symphony Youth Orchestra for six years. She served as concertmaster on the youth orchestra’s first cultural exchange to Berlin, Germany and again her final year. Currently she continues to teach students of all ages, though, is most passionate about teaching beginning violin students.


Marshall Ruffin

(guitar, ukulele)

  • BM Guitar Performance at Berklee College of Music

Marshall Ruffin is a musician living in Pine Lake, GA. 

He graduated from Berklee College of Music in 2006. 

Since then he has recorded and performed as a solo artist and with various groups in Atlanta and beyond.

He is the winner of the 39th Eddie’s Attic Songwriter Shootout.

He has 5+ years experience giving instrumental private instruction and enjoys the opportunity teaching affords to help motivate, inspire and instruct musicians of all ages and experience levels to achieve their personal creative goals on their instrument of choice.


Max Godfrey

(banjo, fiddle, guitar, mandolin, ukulele)

 

Max Godfrey is a singer, multi-instrumentalist, and music teacher who performs southern roots music with several groups: Max and MaggieSourwood 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.

 


Paul Miller

(guitar, ukulele)

  • BA in Jazz Studies from University of North Florida

Paul Miller is an Atlanta based guitarist and singer who has been playing guitar for over 20 years. He has a Bachelor’s degree in jazz from the University of North Florida where he studied with Barry Greene. He has played in festivals all throughout the Southeast from Floyd Fest to Hulaween and shared the stage with everyone from Anders Osborne to Ari Hoenig to Roosevelt Collier, to name a few.


Ron Abraham

(voice, piano)

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.

 


Sean McMorris

(guitar, bass)

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 website: Sean McMorris


Vivian Slade

(piano, voice, ukulele)

Vivian Slade

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.

The Dragon King’s Website and Vivian’s Website

 


Zack Albetta

(drums)

  • BA in Percussion Performance – Ball State University
  • MM in Percussion Performance – The University of Missouri – Kansas City
  • MA in Jazz and Studio Performance – The University of Missouri – Kansas City

Zack Albetta has been playing and teaching professionally for 15 years. He grew up in Santa Fe, NM, where he began playing drums at age 8. He went on to earn a Bachelor of Music in percussion performance, a Master of Music in percussion performance, and a Master of Arts in jazz and studio performance. From 2003 to 2010, Zack lived in Kansas City, MO and was a first call drummer in that city’s rich and historic jazz scene.

In 2010, he moved to Los Angeles, where he expanded his jazz resume, played dozens of musicals for the region’s top theatre companies, and became a staff musician at Disneyland. In 2016, he and his wife relocated to Atlanta, where he has hit the ground running with top acts such as Atlanta Funk Society, The Equinox Orchestra, and Delta Moon. As an educator, Zack has taught everything from beginning private lessons to college classes with students ranging from ages 8 to 80.

Zack’s website: Zack Albetta


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