Camp Woodshed – Week 1 Recap

We had a great first week at camp this year. I am always surprised by how quickly songs come together, and it seemed like these groups had the tunes together by Wednesday. After that, it was just finishing touches and cleaning up some trouble spots. We had several multi-instrumentalists this week, and campers were very flexible depending on what the band and/or the song needed. Zach and Sean are both veteran Camp Woodshed Counselors, and they were able to maintain a safe, fun environment throughout the week. Special shout-out to our CIT Kaj for helping out as well.

As usual, we started Monday with a one-minute meditation on the patio and gradually increased to five minutes by Friday. These were good meditators! I didn’t have to keep anyone from goofing off or making noises. It takes a lot of patience to be comfortable with silence, an important skill for musicians. On day 2, we tried something new with a guess-the-riff challenge. We had so much fun doing this on Tuesday that I kept it going the next couple of days and created a playlist here of all the riffs for the campers. The kids did pretty well, but they must listen to Tom Petty and Eric Clapton more!

By the time the performance rolled around on Friday, these kids were fast friends. Goofing off, taking band photos, going on a shopping spree at Poppacorn’s, and getting ready for soundcheck. The performances went off without a hitch, and I hope everyone enjoyed themselves on stage in Studio A. We’ve got 3 weeks left of camp this summer, and I can’t wait to see what is in store. Looking forward to more tunes, more laughs, and more meditation 🤫


, , , , Old Time Music Workshop is Back!
Guitar Shed had its first Old Time workshop last month, and it was a lot of fun!  Here’s what we ended up with!

The next tune will be “Shucking the Brush” via Earl White, a Floyd-county-VA based farmer, baker, and clogger.

Sunday April 28th

11:15 – 12:15

“By-ear” instruction, no sheet music

For Mandolin, Clawhammer Banjo, Fiddle, and Flatpicking Guitar

Intended for intermediate students who are new to learning by ear

Click here to register!

If you want to keep your toes in the water until then, here are some old time events going on in the next few weeks:

Jake Blount (who wrote Sunday’s tune) @ Eddie’s Attic tonight!

Bear On the Square , Dahlonega, April 20-21  Jamming, concerts and workshops of all kinds!  (Maggie and I are teaching two saturday workshops)

3rd Sunday Old Time Jam @ Waller’s Coffee Shop, Decatur,  Sunday April 21, 2 PM to 4 PM.  Consider coming this month to check things out, listen, and join in if you feel comfortable.  You might not be able to pick up all the tunes, but you’ll probably surprise yourself and pick out more than you expected.  Start by identifying the chords, since lots of the melody notes are in the chords.  You’ll probably also come away with some good questions for the workshop the following Sunday.

First Dogwood Festival – 4/13 – Join Us in the Park!

Dogwood Festival

Our Guitar Shed Sunday Teen Band is excited to play the main stage at The Atlanta Dogwood Festival this Saturday. The band has been working hard to put together a special set of music led by their instructor, Sean McMorris. Stick around after the show to catch Parker Smith and the Bandwith featuring several Guitar Shed teachers.

We have five different teen bands at Guitar Shed. Specifically, we have 2 ‘tween bands’ and 3 ‘teen bands.’ The Tween Bands consists of an Americana Band and a Rock Band, and the Teen Bands are all Rock Bands. All five groups are led by different instructors, and they will be playing together for our first Summer Shindig on 5/18 at Lake Claire Land Trust. Doors open at 5 pm for this event, and music will start at 6 pm.

With the opening of our additional studio space, Studio A, earlier this year, we have been able to offer more bands and ensembles. These bands are a great way for students to get used to playing with their peers and rehearsing in a top-of-the-line studio setting. By providing students with customized instruction in a professional, laid-back environment, we aim to prepare students for gigging in the real world. Our bands build their way up from performing mini-sets of 2-3 songs, to eventually performing a full set of music. In this case, the Sunday Teen Band will perform an entire 45 minute set.

The Dogwood Festival has a rich history in Atlanta, and here is a brief overview of the first festival…

On April 19, 1936, Atlanta invites the world to attend her first Dogwood Festival. Walter Rich, president of ADF and founder of Rich’s department store, seeks to make Atlanta internationally known for the blooming of the dogwood trees during the week-long event. Trees are planted in all parts of Atlanta under the sponsorship of the garden clubs and public spirited citizens interested in the beautification of the city. Pageants, parades and carnivals sponsored by the Junior League, along with performances by the Metropolitan Opera, Philadelphia Symphony, and choruses from local colleges, are featured.


The Coca-Cola Main Stage features music in a variety of genres for three tune-filled days. The International Stage programming features hundreds of performers representing Atlanta’s global communities, this year appearing on the Main Stage. With entertainment ranging from dancing to singing and several additional varieties, the International Stage programming celebrates Atlanta’s diversity.

Performers and times are subject to change.

Reminder NO outside food or beverages may be brought into Piedmont Park during the festival. Thanks for your cooperation.

Here is some information from the Dogwood Festival’s website about parking and getting there!

Piedmont Park, Atlanta, GA

We always encourage attendees to take MARTA to the Atlanta Dogwood Festival, but this year, it’s more important than ever! Give your MARTA Breeze Card a workout!

The Atlanta Police Department will be heavily enforcing all illegal parking around Piedmont Park the weekend of the Atlanta Dogwood Festival. Residential Parking fines have substantially increased and vehicles parked within tow zones will be impounded. We encourage everyone to utilize MARTA or park in authorized parking lots in the area.

The easiest way to get to the Atlanta Dogwood Festival is by taking MARTA to the Arts Center or Midtown station.

Public Parking Lots

22 14th St NW – parking garage (entrance on 13th St)

22 14th St NW Suite C – parking garage (entrance on Spring St & 13th St)

1138 Peachtree St NE – surface lot

674 Spring St NW – surface lot

80 13th St NE – surface lot

887 Peachtree St NE – surface lot

800 Peachtree St NE – surface lot

860 Peachtree St NE – parking garage

855 Peachtree St NE – parking garage


Please leave your dog at home!

Due to a city ordinance, no dogs (other than service dogs) will be allowed in Piedmont Park during the festival.

No Smoking in the Park!

There is a City of Atlanta ban on smoking in outdoor parks and recreational facilities including Piedmont Park where the Atlanta Dogwood Festival is located. This means no tobacco products including cigarettes, cigars and pipe tobacco will be permitted.


dogwood festival


🎨 At its core, the Atlanta Dogwood Festival is an arts festival, and the juried Artist Market welcomes 250+ fine artists from throughout the country each spring. Selected from more than 1,000 entries, participating artists working in metal, oil, mixed media, photography, sculpture and more bring their best new work to the Atlanta Dogwood Festival, nationally, one of the first in the annual art festival season.

☀️ Among this year’s booths, you’ll find fine artists working in a variety of mediums, styles and price ranges. Take your time, peruse and enjoy this opportunity to browse, talk with the artists, admire their creativity and purchase one-of-a-kind works of art.

, , Old Time Music Workshop – March 24

Max is teaching a weekend Old Time Music Workshop for students interested in learning old-time festival tunes by ear in a group setting. This is a great “stepping stone” towards participating in jam sessions like the 3rd Sunday Waller’s jam or summer festivals like Clifftop, Mount Airy, Bear on the Square, etc., where you have to pick up tunes on the fly.

Students will learn one or two tunes over the course of an hour using a call-and-response teaching method. Max will demonstrate a phrase on the fiddle, and students will attempt to play the phrase back on their instruments. Instruments will also be on hand to demonstrate how to “translate” a phrase from fiddle to banjo, mandolin, etc. Once the tunes are learned, students jam on it for a while and have fun with it.

Register today in the Student Portal!

, New Groups Starting Soon!

We are excited to announce our two newest groups at Guitar Shed! Reach out to the front desk or check out our group pages for more info.

, , , , , , , , Adult Recital Recap – Join a Band! We’ve got 7 Adult Ensembles at Guitar Shed – 1st rehearsal is FREE

Join a Band

What a weekend we had in January! Starting with our Adults Solo Recital at Bob and Harriet’s Home Bar on Friday and ending with our Adults Ensemble Recital at Aisle 5 on Sunday. We had several performers doing double duty, and lots of students out both nights to support each other. A packed house both nights, and everything from bluegrass to jazz, blues, R&B, and more.

Our solo recital had some great arrangements, original songs, and even a surprise set from some of our teachers. I like to keep our teachers on their toes, and we pulled together a 3-song bar band set at the end of the night. I forgot my earplugs that night, and my ears are still ringing.

On Sunday, we had some teachers fill key roles in two of the bands. Monica saved the day with R&B Ensemble and prepared 3 songs the day of with the band. She sat in, and it sounded like they’d been rehearsing together for months. Zach also filled in on drums, swinging with the Jazz Ensemble. Big thanks to our photographers, Akash Das and Addison Hill, for capturing both evenings! We still have a couple of spots in our ensembles, so please check out our ensemble page here and join a band!

Below is a list of all of our Adult Ensembles

Acoustic Ensemble – Wednesday Night Supper Club

Americana Ensemble – The Bullfrogs

Blues Ensemble – The Bobcats

Jam Ensemble

Jazz Ensemble

R&B Ensemble – We are One

Rock Ensemble – Cosmik Debris

Our bands rehearse Sunday-Friday nights in our brand new rehearsal space, Studio A. We have a full studio setup with 5 individual monitor mixes and a subwoofer. Mixes can be controlled via iPad or even from your phone, and we have top-of-the-line equipment for you to use. 2 drumsets, 2 guitar amps, bass amp, 2 keyboards, plenty of mics, and much more. Studio A is also set up for recording, so you can easily record your rehearsal by plugging in a computer to the mixer. There has never been a better time to join a band at Guitar Shed! Up until very recently, all of our bands crammed into the drum room, which is now the teacher’s lounge. Now, there is plenty of room to spread out and jam! Contact the front desk if you are interested in joining one of our bands. The first rehearsal/audition is free!

Joining a band can be intimidating at first, but we do our best to create a safe and comfortable environment for musicians of all different skill levels. If you have been thinking for a while about joining a group, this is the place for you. We are a non-competitive music school for students of all ages. In addition to our Adult Ensembles, we also have 4 teen/tween bands that rehearse in Studio A. Two of these bands are Teen Rock Bands, and we have 1 Tween Rock Band, and 1 Americana Tween Band (The Tadpoles) as well. These groups also have a few openings, which you can view here.

For teens and tweens who aren’t able to commit to a band that rehearses weekly, we have 4 sessions of our summer camp, Camp Woodshed, open in 2024. They are filling up quickly, so now is the time to register for your spot. The early bird discount ends at the end of January. At Camp Woodshed, you will have a lead instructor from Guitar Shed as well as learn from some of our other teachers during master classes each day. There is a pizza party at the end of the week with a live performance in Studio A! Guaranteed to be the best week of your summer! So, even if you can’t commit to weekly rehearsals, you can still join a band in 2024!

Join a band!

, , Should I sign my child up for the Kids and Teens Winter Recital?

kids and teens winter recital

Should I sign my child up for the Kids and Teens Winter Recital?

The answer isn’t always yes. While we would love to have ALL of our students perform at our recital, this isn’t feasible or realistic. For one, we have limited space and time available. However, the main requirement to perform in a recital is talking to your teacher. Ultimately, they will let you know if they think your child is ready to perform. Below are the criteria our teachers use to determine if you are ready.

If students don’t meet the criteria, we still encourage everyone to attend! Our Winter Kids and Teens Recital is the biggest performance of the year for us, and it is great to see all of your faces in the audience. Hopefully, your child will leave feeling inspired and participate the next time around!

Recital Criteria

Talk to your child’s teacher
This is the first step! Start a conversation with your child’s teacher if they haven’t already mentioned the recital to you. Teacher contact info is available in the student portal if you are unable to have a face-to-face conversation.

How long has your child been playing music or taking lessons? If it’s less than a few months, they probably aren’t ready to perform.

Steady Beat
Can your child play the song without speeding up or slowing down drastically? We’d rather hear a recognizable ‘Mary Had a Little Lamb’ than have them struggle through the first measure of Chopin’s Etude Opus 10 No. 4 . No song is too “easy” for a recital.

Good Tone
Good tone can be subjective, but are they able to stay on pitch and play the correct notes consistently? Try to pick a piece that your child is confident in, not one that they picked the week before the recital or one that they can only play accurately on a ‘good day.’

We give extra points for creativity. Extra imaginary bonus points, that is, because being creative is its own reward. Ever heard a reggae version of ‘Jingle Bells’ or a punk version of a Taylor Swift song? The best part about being enrolled in private lessons is that you can work with your teacher to come up with your very own unique arrangement! If possible, try to stray away from the stock tunes in your lesson books and seek out fun, new material. We love hearing what you come up with.

Sign up in the Student Portal
If you’ve made it this far, go sign up for the recital in the Student Portal on 11/1. A $10 charge will be added to your December invoice to guarantee your spot, performers will not be charged at the door. Guests can buy tickets in advance or at the door.  We’ll see you at City Winery!

Extra tips…

This is not a competition
I repeat… this is not a competition. Everyone is in a different place on their musical journey.

Schedule an extra lesson!
Chances are you have some makeup credits available at this point in the year. Feel free to use those to schedule an extra lesson in the student portal leading up to the recital to help with jitters. If you don’t have makeup credits, contact the front desk and add an a la carte lesson.

Play with your teacher!
Unless your child is feeling super duper confident, it is probably best to have a teacher accompany your child on stage. Even if your teacher can’t make the recital, we have plenty of teachers who are up to the challenge. They are all very talented professional musicians.

Have some ‘Dress Rehearsals’
Our teacher Mr. Chris is famous for having his students perform in front of an audience of puppets. Although they aren’t animated, having an imaginary audience will help simulate the recital experience. Even better, perform for your neighbors, siblings, grandparents, and pets!

Have fun
Dress up, skip onto the stage, and take an extravagant bow; this is your time to shine!

, Camp Woodshed 2024 Dates Announced!

Camp Woodshed 2024 Dates Announced 🏕️

Early bird registration begins 12/1, and this will be our first camp in our brand-new rehearsal space Studio A.

Mark your calendars 📆!

June 10-14
June 17-21
July 15-19
July 22-26

camp woodshed

, , , Winter Recital Signup


We are excited to hear all of our students perform at our Kids Winter Recital on 12/2!

Registration opens on 11/1 so now is a good time to talk to your teachers and settle on a piece to play. Can’t wait to hear what everyone comes up with ❄️

Tickets are available on City Winery’s website. Individual performers do not need to buy tickets from City Winery’s website, a $10 charge will be added to your account when you register in the Student Portal to confirm your spot.

Winter Recital

, , , It’s the most wonderful time of the year…Oakhurst Porchfest

Oakhurst Porchfest

Once October rolls around in Atlanta, there seems to be an endless amount of festivities packed into one month, all culminating in the biggest holiday of the year for our younger students… Halloween. We used to give out chocolate after each lesson at Guitar Shed. As we grew as a school, our chocolate bill grew, but we also began to take the chocolate for granted. Candy after a music lesson (or any activity for that matter) is a beautiful thing, but wouldn’t it be so much more special if we only had it for one month out of the year? Alas, we have candy at the front desk through the entire month of October. And to tide you over until next October, we’ll have some more candy around Valentine’s Day.

While you are deciding between fall festivals to attend, pumpkin patches to visit, and everything that Atlanta has to offer, I hope you mark your calendar for this Saturday, October 14th, Oakhurst Porchfest. Oakhurst is one neighborhood over from us, and we have several Oakhurstian(?) students offering up their porches this weekend. For those of you unfamiliar with the event, it is a gathering of over 200 bands playing 1 hr. sets throughout the day. There is a level playing field and a true sense of camaraderie between performers and attendees. Teenage garage bands, hipster dad bands, massive Pink Floyd tributes, energetic brass bands, first-time buskers. and seasoned veterans reuniting for a one-off show. Audiences are welcome and encouraging as sound permeates throughout the neighborhood. We have a few performances on our radar this year, but if you know anyone in the Guitar Shed family that is not listed please let us know, and we’ll be sure to spread the word. This is a completely volunteer-run event, with the coordinators, hosts, and musicians all donating their time and talents to one day of musical revelry. Most of all it serves as a reminder that music is alive and well in Atlanta. Check out the Oakhurst Porchfest website for addresses and set times!

Just like the candy, it won’t be here for long, so let’s enjoy it while it’s here.

Keep Shedding!

Guitar Shed Oakhurst Porchfest Schedule

Christo Case and the Porch Pirates – featuring teachers Chris and George

Max and Maggie – featuring teacher, Max

Cosmik Debris – Guitar Shed Rock Ensemble

In Cahoots – featuring teachers Chris, George, Will, and Parker

Riff Kats – featuring members of our Guitar Shed Blues Ensemble

Oakhurst Porchfest