Gwinnett Music Academy Teachers

David Poole

 Founder / Head Instructor- Guitar/ Piano/ Songwriting

Gwinnett Music Academy was founded by David Poole, who wrote the curriculum and taught the Guitar Scales Department at Atlanta Institute of Music. He also taught classes at AIM, such as Classical (Levels 1, 2, 3, and 4), Scales (Levels 1, 2, 3, and 4), Rock 3, Reading (Levels 1, 2, 3, and 4), Notation, Rock Performance, and Jazz Performance. 


He studied Jazz Piano under Ted Howe, who helped develop parts of the curriculum at the Berklee School of Music and has had his own personal accomplishments in his recording career with several songs on the radio. He studied Classical Piano under teachers from the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra. He received his music degrees from the Atlanta Institute of Music, where he studied under Randy Hoexter, who is a staple in the Atlanta music jazz scene.


David won the Battle of the Bands with his band in the 90s. Here David was lead guitarist and a vocalist in the band. They toured all over the Southeast. Including playing prestigious places like the Cotton Club, Center Stage, The Variety Playhouse, and many other clubs around Atlanta.


David had his first song on the radio at the age of fourteen. His music has been used in film scores and several TV shows. David is accepted as one of the best songwriters in the Southeast.


Lauren Poole

  ​Founder / Voice Instructor/ Piano Instructor

Lauren Poole grew up in the metro Atlanta area. From the age of three, she was always singing. She has experience as a professional musician singing at locations in Orlando, Atlanta, and New York City. She excels in all styles including: Pop, R&B, Country, Broadway and Classical. She received her degree in music from the Atlanta Institute of Music, under Jan Smith. She has ten years teaching voice and piano.  Teaching students the foundation and techniques used to have a beautiful, and powerful singing voice. She teaches beginner to intermediate piano, specializing with children. Developing their technique and foundation in reading and theory.​


DAVe ANDERSON

Head of Recording/ Guitar Instructor/ Bass Instructor/ Drums Instructor


Dave Anderson is a two time graduate from the Atlanta Institute  of Music with perfect attendance in the Guitar program as well as Modern Recording. Dave has been playing guitar for nearly 30 years, Recording for 18 and teaching for 15. He has also recorded eleven Albums with most of them on iTunes. He teaches the Recording Classes. Teaching Mixing, Mastering, and Video Production as well as guitar, bass, and drums.

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Larry Jackson

​Saxophone/Flute Woodwind Instructor

Larry Jackson is proficient in all types of music. Plays Saxophone ( Alto, Tenor, Soprano) and Flute, teach all Woodwind Instruments, compose, produce, and read music. Has been teaching since 1995.

Studied at the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga. Was voted top 3 jazz band in the country. Played with Les Brown, and Bill Waltrous (trombonist)

His career highlights include: 1989 Image Award Nominee for Best Jazz Artist. Cut on Epic records titled "You and Me" Other nominees in the category were Miles Davis, Joe Sample, Bobby Lyle, and Sherry Winston (Flute)

He has performed with major Artists such as; Peobo Bryson, Kenny Loggins, Jennifer Holiday, Bill Waltrous, Aretha Franklin, Ali Woodson of the Temptations, Mike gruso of the Yellow Jackets, Jean Carn, Pieces of a Dream, Spyro Gyro, Roy Hargrove,

Ronnie Laws, Sunshine Band (KC), and Mary Wilson (former Supreme) in the renowned musical productions "Beehive".

He has recorded with Artists such as; Peobo Bryson, 38 Special, Bohannon, Atlanta Rhythm Section, Arrested Development, Anne G, L.A/ Babyface, Gospel Artist Luther Barnes, Cuban artist Miguel Romero, Anthony Lockett of Cameo, Vance Taylor of Earth Wind and Fire, and many more.

He performed in the TV series "I'll Fly Away", appeared on "In the Heat of the Night", Has been in commercials, musicals and even appeared in the Tyler Perry movie "Madea's Family Reunion".

He has played at top venues such as; Six Flags, Rays on the River, The Ritz Carlton, The FOX Theatre, the Rialto Theatre, and many more venues.

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​​Jason Park

​Guitar Instructor/ Piano Instructor/ Bass Instructor

Earned his Bachelors of Science in Music from Tennessee State University. He is currently working on his Masters at Georgia State University. He is talented in all areas of music. He can teach all styles and any age group. He specializes in Jazz and Classical Piano and Guitar.

He has been teaching music lessons all around Atlanta, including ​Fine Arts Matter, and Taylor Robinson Music.​ He was also the Music Director at Korean Blessed Baptist Church.

He is bilingual in Korean and English


Rita Atkinson

Violin, Fiddle, Guitar, Piano, Mandolin


Rita graduated in 2003 with honors from the Atlanta Institute of Music and has extensive training in many styles including classical, Celtic and bluegrass as well as theory, composition and improvisation. She leads two successful Atlanta area bands, Mickle-a-Do Celtic Band and the Kamayacha Gypsy Band. She has taught for 12 years and enjoys teaching budding orchestra performers and those wanting to “fiddle”.


Preston Shinall

Guitar Instructor

 Graduate of Atlanta Institute of Music in 2001. Also attended the Berklee College of Music and graduated in 2006. He has been teaching for twelve years and is fluent in all styles of guitar. Check out some of his videos at https://www.reverbnation.com/prestonshinall and http://youtube.com/prestonjshinall.


Ryan Earnheart

Guitar Instructor

Attained a diploma from the Atlanta Guitar Academy and has graduated from the first year of the course with honors as a guitar major. He has also been taught by David Poole; the former Head of the Guitar Department at the Atlanta Institute of Music. 


He specializes in All Styles  such as Jazz, Pop, Country, Classical, Fusion, Rock, R&B, Flat picking Country, New Age Jazz, Big Band Jazz, Flamenco.


He teaches all ages and all skill levels from beginner to advanced! He works great with kids and is very familiar with what younger students and teenagers are listening to nowadays. He is one of our most popular teachers and highly recommended.


Jason Mitchell

Drums and Percussion Instructor


     Jason started playing music at 14 years old, and has been playing drums for over a decade now with his radio debut at age 17.           
     He has played all over Georgia on many notable stages and has worked with the likes of Mike Froedge (DoubleDrive, Black Label Society) and Corey Lowery (Eye Empire, Saint Asonia, brother of Clint Lowery from Sevendust) Jason has been recording in the studio since 14 years old and his passion and love for music are second to none. 
    Jason works full time in the Audio/Video industry and is currently pursuing a degree in Music Theory



Adrienne Bythwood

​Violin and Viola Instructor


My name is Adrienne Bythwood and I have been playing music for eleven years. I am
currently studying viola performance at Georgia State University with Tania Maxwell Clements.
I started out on violin at the age of eleven and then picked up viola at sixteen. During high school, I participated in GMEA honor orchestra as well as statewide honor orchestra. This past school year, I taught violin at Griffin Middle School as a teacher’s assistant.


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