ABOUT

Musicians Institute’s Guitar Craft Academy Nashville is dedicated to inspiring excellence in the art of guitar building and design, while preparing students for careers in the music industry. By providing hands-on instruction from top professionals in a state-of-the-art educational environment, we give students the skills necessary to achieve their goals. We strive to develop a diverse array of talented individuals who can enrich the global community by contributing their expertise and craftsmanship.
 

The Guitar Craft Academy (GCA) provides intensive, hands-on training in the specialized skills of luthiery—the art of guitar building and technical maintenance.

In just six months at GCA, you will be trained to design, fabricate and nish your own electric guitar or bass—turning raw wood into a completed instrument of your own creation. You’ll also gain detailed knowledge of:

  • Guitar Pickups & Fretwork
  • Wiring Modifications
  • Repairs & Maintenance
  • Advanced Electronics

You will also develop musical skills through weekly private lessons focused on sound, design, and technique.

In addition to giving you the satisfaction of taking home an instrument you built with your own hands, GCA will train you to work in the music industry, preparing you for careers including:

  • Working at a guitar maintenance and repair shop
  • Being a luthier for a custom boutique shop
  • Touring as a guitar/bass tech for artists and bands

FACULTY

Butler, Kelly

COURSES: Instrument Repair, Fretwork Setup, Electronics, Instrument Design, Instrument Fabrication, Finish Work
SPECIALTIES: Designed & prototyped Gibson Custom Models
CREDITS: Gibson Custom Art & Historic Pro Shop designer, custom builder, lead repair; First Act Custom Division General Manager & Chief Luthier
HONORS & EDUCATION: Graduate of Roberto-Venn School of Luthiery; patented inventor of guitar parts

Frizzell, Jordan

COURSES: Teacher’s Assistant
SPECIALTIES: Guitar tech
CREDITS: Alumnus of GCA in Hollywood with Emphasis in Acoustic Guitar
HONORS & EDUCATION: Head Guitar Technician at British Audio Service in Nashville

Jones, Phil

COURSES: Instrument Repair, Fretwork Setup, Electronics, Instrument Design, Instrument Fabrication, Finish Work
SPECIALTIES: Building & designing electric guitars; experienced with acoustic & classical nylon-string guitars, banjos, mandolins & other fretted instruments; repair & touch-up finishing
CREDITS: Luthier & Restoration Specialist with Gruhn Guitars Inc., Master Luthier at Gibson Guitars Custom & Historic Shop; built models for Eric Clapton, Paul McCartney, Keith Richards, Bruce Springsteen & many other artists
HONORS & EDUCATION: AA Degree from St. Petersburg College; apprenticed with Guitar Workshop of Florida and luthiers Harley Day & Michael Battel

Jordan, Jason

COURSES: Instrument Performance (Guitar)
SPECIALTIES: Touring/recording guitarist, demo product specialist, songwriter, educator
CREDITS: Live performances with J.T. Hodges, Clayton Anderson, Love and Theft
HONORS & EDUCATION: Instructor at Middle Tennessee Performing Arts Academy and Shiloh Music; endorsed by ESP Guitars, Paul Reed Smith Guitars

Kornau, Jon

COURSES: Instrument Repair, Fretwork Setup, Electronics, Instrument Design, Instrument Fabrication, Finish Work
SPECIALTIES: Guitar building & finishing
CREDITS: Worked for Gibson Guitars, Fender & Guild Custom Shop; helped construct guitars for Keith Richards, Waylon Jennings & Slash
HONORS & EDUCATION: Xavier University; recipient of Chairman’s Award from Fender & Auto-Cad Certificate from Tennessee Tech

Lacy, Mark

COURSES: Instrument Repair, Fretwork Setup, Electronics, Instrument Design, Instrument Fabrication, Finish Work
SPECIALTIES: Building archtop, flattop and semi-solid guitars; repair/restoration of vintage guitars; designing guitar hardware with 3D metal printing method
CREDITS: Repairman for Norsk Musikk, Norway’s largest distributor of instruments; featured in Guitar Aficionado, Guitar Player and Vintage Guitar magazines; worked with Aerosmith, U2, Pink Floyd and Stevie Ray Vaughan; worked at top-rated luthier Gruhn Guitars; owner of Lacey Custom Guitars
HONORS & EDUCATION: Graduated with distinction from London Guildhall University’s Musical Instrument Technology program

Lanham, Marty

COURSES: Instrument Repair, Fretwork Setup, Electronics, Instrument Design, Instrument Fabrication, Finish Work
SPECIALTIES: Acoustic and electric guitar design and fabrication, custom inlay, traditional wood-carving, repair, restoration and set-up, banjo and mandolin construction
CREDITS: Performed on banjo at Grand Ole Opry with Wilma Lee Cooper; owner of the Nashville Guitar Company; built custom instruments for Kevin Eubanks, John Anderson and Steve Martin.
HONORS & EDUCATION: Worked as curator and restoration specialist for the Marty Stuart collection and the Roy Acuff collection at Opryland

Mather, Stephen

COURSES: Instrument Repair, Fretwork Setup, Electronics, Instrument Design, Instrument Fabrication, Finish Work
SPECIALTIES: Guitar repair, assembly, setup, woodworking, wiring and quality control
CREDITS: Thorn Guitars / Thorn Custom Inlay, Collings Guitars; owner of Armory Guitar Works
HONORS & EDUCATION: Graduate, Lab Tech & Teacher’s Assistant at Musicians Institute, Guitar Craft Academy in Hollywood

Shearon, Thane

COURSES: Instrument Repair, Fretwork Setup, Electronics, Instrument Design, Instrument Fabrication, Finish Work
SPECIALTIES: Guitar repair, set-up, vintage restoration, custom modification, fretwork & finish work
CREDITS: Performs on guitar & vocals with Blue Rose recording artists Cold Truth, Gregg Martin Group, Ed King & Artimus Pyle of Lynyrd Skynyrd
HONORS & EDUCATION: Manager at Fender Nashville Service Operations, Service Coordinator at Guild Custom Shop

Singleton, Clark

COURSES: Instrument Performance (Bass)
SPECIALTIES: Bass, drums, guitar, bandleading, music theory
CREDITS: Touring bassist with Caroline Kole, Morgan Frazier, Cort Carpenter; teacher at School of Rock; recorded at RCA Studio A, Warner Brothers & House of Blues
HONORS & EDUCATION: BA in Music from University of North Carolina at Greensboro; Weaver Academy for the Performing and Visual Arts; endorsed by Aguilar Amplification and Roscoe Basses

Slawson, Tyler

COURSES: Instrument Performance (Guitar)
SPECIALTIES: Blues, rock
CREDITS: Toured nationally with Jackie Lee, Starstruck, Caroline Kole, Morgan Frazier & Cort Carpenter
HONORS & EDUCATION: Texas A&M University; Musicians Institute; endorsee of Keeley guitar pedals

Venerosa, Tim

COURSES: Instrument Performance (Guitar)
SPECIALTIES: Rock & country guitar, chart reading & writing, guitar gear, production
CREDITS: Performed at the Grand Ole Opry, lead guitar with Morgan Frazier & Caroline Kole
HONORS & EDUCATION: AA Degree in Guitar from MI, recipient of MI Full Ride Scholarship Award; endorsed by Orange Amplifiers, JHS Pedals, Elixir Strings

FACILITIES & EQUIPMENT

The Guitar Craft Academy facilities contain state-of-the-art workshop equipment, including industry-standard tools & technology used for the design, fabrication, electrical wiring and repair of guitars and basses, including: various industry-standard saws, drill presses, sanders, buffers, jointers, mills, routers, CNC machine, etc.

COURSE CATALOG

Program requirements, course information, and further GCA details.

QUESTIONS

Our admissions department is happy to answer your questions!

READY TO ROCK?

The first step in applying is to complete an Application for Admission.