(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 20 years of teaching experience, including teaching at lesson studios, summer camps, preschools, elementary, 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.
(Office Manager / Teacher)
- 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.
(Shed Manager / Teacher)
- 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.
(Office Assistant / Teacher)
- BM in Classical Piano from University of Montevallo
- MM in Classical Piano from Manhattan School of Music
Drew Spradlin is a pianist and composer originally from Alabama. He has earned a B.M. from the University of Montevallo and a M.M. in classical piano from Manhattan School of Music under the direction of Phillip Kawin. He applies this traditional training to modern musical outlets including mixed media and electronic composition. Drew has given performances at Mannes School of Music’s Institute and Festival for Contemporary Performance, Abrons Art Center, Spectrum NYC, Mise-En_Place Bushwick, and has showcased works at numerous other venues. He has released compositions through New York’s eclectic label Not Art Records, Montreal’s Dream Disk Lab, and TAR Records from L.A.
In addition, Drew is a very active teacher, maintaining a studio of many students. His pedagogical philosophy incorporates a strong foundation of music theory, ear training, and composition. He believes structural knowledge of music assists one’s performative ability and yields much more expressivity and joy.
- 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.
Originally from North Carolina, Desmond Myers has been performing teaching and writing music since he was in his teens. Desmond’s path to music was encouraged by his father who was a guitar enthusiast and impressed upon him the importance of blues legends such as Albert King and Jimi Hendrix from a young age. Desmond quickly took up his father’s guitar obsession – at one point having three separate guitar instructors in order to absorb a breadth of musical styles. In addition to learning jazz and folk with John Tosco, he studied classical and latin guitar styles under Professor John Bailey at the North Carolina Visual and Performing Arts Center.
Desmond has extensive performance experience, both nationally and internationally. His role as a singer and instrumentalist in Charlotte’s long-standing Tosco Music Party led to new opportunities for his original music in Europe. During his 8 years living and working abroad in Munich, Germany and Paris, France, Desmond performed both his original music and as a songwriter and touring member of The Band Her, a French synth-pop band where Desmond supplied lyrics, guitars, and keys and was lead guitarist and vocalist at the Lido de Paris latest show “Paris Merveilles.”
In parallel to performing, Desmond has had the opportunity to teach students of many ages (5-65 years old) and from broad cultural backgrounds. In Germany, he taught at the “Private Music Institute of East Bavaria” and “Musikschule Wittl” where he handled a roster of 20+ students and taught lessons in a variety of styles including jazz, rock, metal, folk and classical. In France, he worked with “La rock school de Paris” to help students develop their guitar and voice skills, and cheered them on at the end-of-the-year showcase at a prominent Parisian jazz club.
Now in Atlanta, Desmond is thrilled to be a part of the Guitar Shed team where he will be teaching guitar, piano, bass and ukulele. He hopes to impart on students the importance of creativity and variety in music and sees it as his duty to follow and adapt to the passions of each student while exposing them to new styles and genres. Students also have the chance to learn more about improving their on-stage performance skills, songwriting, and producing their original music in some of the leading digital audio softwares.
- BM in Music Composition from GSU
Dylan Banks is an Atlanta native who’s been actively involved in the local music scene for almost 15 years. Dylan grew up as a drummer and started taking drum lessons when he was 8 years old, along with playing in his first bands around 14 years old and gigging professionally since 2009. Earning his undergrad in Music Composition at Georgia State, he began teaching in 2014 after graduation. You can often find Dylan performing in multiple styles of music: catch him playing drums in a jazz/soul band one day, keyboards for a rock outfit on another, and even DJing dance music in clubs and venues on the weekends.
Though drums are his primary instrument, Dylan also teaches piano and has professional experience working in digital music production, composition, scoring for film, and performing as a DJ. Banks’ teaching style is as eclectic as his background, pulling from many musical (and non-musical) influences to strengthen the bond between music and performer. He firmly believes you must work hard to obtain your musical goals, but you must not forget to have fun along the way.
- BM in Cello Performance from Western Michigan University
Gail Burnett has a degree in Cello Performance from Western Michigan University. For 20 years, she has been teaching young children the foundations of music in a developmentally appropriate, educational and fun class setting, performing as a children’s entertainer (Miss Gail and the Jumpin’ Jam Band) in the Atlanta area, speaking on a state and national conference level to Educators on using music effectively in the classroom and teaching private cello and piano lessons. She most enjoys working with beginner-range students, children and adults alike, to help reinforce rhythm and pitch, mechanics and other components that are important to competence….all while making it an enjoyable experience! She is currently co-authoring the music section for a book on brain development.
Gail is also a studio musician, contract musician for worship and other bands and has been a part of ESOEBO, a roots/Americana-charted band, performing regularly at clubs, private events and songwriter festivals including 30A, Wire and Wood and 2016 winner of Eddie Owens Presents open mic shoot out.
In her 20’s, Gail found she had a gift for playing by ear and much of her work now is improv-based. However, she is passionate about helping students to both discover their creativity and learn foundational music knowledge to get them where they want to go on their musical journey! She is the mother of a 23-year-old son and a 21-year-old daughter, who are both songwriters/musicians, with music on Spotify and other platforms. She is a strong believer that while music does have a strong genetic component, everybody is musical and capable of learning!…. its just a matter of helping them discover their best way to learn!
- BM in Classical Guitar Performance by the Federal University of Mato Grosso – Brazil
- MM in Classical Guitar performance in progress at Georgia State University (December 2020)
Hoberdan Peno da Silva is a Brazilian Classical Guitar Player with plenty of experience performing as a Soloist, a Chamber Musician and also with Brazilian Popular Music Groups.
Enamored with Music Performance and Research, Hoberdan has participated in festivals and Guitar Master Classes in Brazil and in the U.S.A with great names of the Classical Guitar as Paul Galbraith (Scotland), Alvaro Pierri (Uruguay/Austria), Fabio Zanon (Brazil), Carlos Barbosa-Lima (Brazil) as many others.
He has won awards in competitions like the Best Brazilian Music Performance in the I Soloist Competition of Mato Grosso (2017), U.G.A Exchange Program Award during the Winter Festival of the Federal University of Santa Maria (2015), and as a performer in 2018 was invited by the Chamber Orchestra of the Federal University of Mato Grosso to perform the Premier of the Concerto Simples I for Guitar and Orchestra (Full Version) by the Brazilian Composer Nestor de Hollanda-Cavalcanti.
- 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.
Josh Martin’s distinguished music career continues to make waves in the industry by combining his insatiable thirst for all types of music with his dazzling and innovative guitar techniques. After graduating from the Atlanta Institute of Music in 2008, he has toured the world with his Atlanta based, experimental folk band Little Tybee, as well as worked with several top musical instrument brands to make instructional videos and product demos.
His approachable, professorial style makes it easy to become engrossed in his passion for the instrument, and continues to inspire many. Josh has taught regularly throughout his career, including classes at the Atlanta Institute of Music, as well as clinic tours around the US. His captivating teaching style chases the engagement of each student, and conjures excitement in beginners to advanced players, from folk finger pickers to metal shredders. Check out some of the instructional videos Josh has done for Ibanez, Earth Quaker Devices, as well as compositions with Little Tybee.
- 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.
(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 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.
- 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.
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 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 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.
- 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
See our teachers in action performing “Don’t Change Horses” by Tower of Power!