Meet Our Instructors

From the most basic ABC’s of music theory to some of the most complex chords, scales, and rhythms, the instructors at Ovation Music & Studios can help you bridge the gap between today’s challenges and tomorrow’s success with lesson plans that are customized to fit your interest and learning curve.

Brandon Blackburn

Brandon Blackburn started playing guitar at the age of twelve learning traditional country songs in hopes of being able to play in his father’s band. At the age of sixteen, Brandon started playing out in various live music venues in southern Ohio with the band Drifters and became the fill in house drummer for the Paint Valley Jamboree.

It was at the age of twenty when he decided to take his next step in music and attended McNally Smith College of music. There, he played in various ensembles including Blues, Country and Jazz. Brandon acquired a bachelor degree of arts in music performance, for guitar, with a minor in music business. He has studied music under the tutelage of some of the giants of the music industry such as Greg Koch, Bobby Stanton, and Bill Kirchen.

Brandon is an accomplished guitar player in many situations such as session work, live performances, composing, arranging, and teaching the instrument. Brandon toured as the lead guitarist, music director and bandleader for, Indie Music Channel, Hall of Fame Member, Ryan Daniel, for 6 years. Brandon now tours full time with Country artist Krista Lynn Meadow, performing 150+ dates a year. Brandon also finds himself playing on many recording sessions in Nashville.

Livy Blizzard

Perfect your singing voice with our vocal teacher, Livy! During her musical studies at Volunteer State Community College, Livy took lessons here at Ovation Music & Studios! Her accomplishments at Vol State include, being part of the Vol State Show Stoppers and The Vol State Singers. After she graduated Magna Cum Laude with an associate degree in Fine Arts in Music from Volunteer State Community College, she continued her education at Belmont University. At Belmont University, she continued studying classical voice, and exercised her skill at the Belmont Opera. Livy is an experienced private music tutor and is well versed in musical literature. Now that she has graduated with her Bachelor’s degree in Music Performance from Belmont University, she has come back to Ovation Music & Studios as a teacher! Proficient in voice, piano, and music theory.

Jared Corder

Jared received his Bachelor’s degree from Herberger School of Music at Arizona State University specializing in classical guitar and piano. He and his wife have toured across the country with their band *repeat repeat, having played events such as Live on the Green, Bonnaroo, and opening for The Black Keys at Bridgestone Arena. Proficient with guitar, drums, bass, piano, ukulele  music theory, music composition, ear training, and vocals. Online lessons through Zoom available. (Link to Jared’s band)

Ryan Drinnen

Graduated from Berklee College of Music.Ten years of experience in studying and performing music as a guitarist, and has been serving as the guitarist and vocalist for the band Revenchrist. Teaches guitar, bass, uke, and vocals, music theory.

Aaron Keen

Aaron studied guitar performance at Volunteer state community college, and Music theory and composition at MTSU. After his time studying, he joined the Young Americans, a musical education group. He has 16+ years of teaching experience, and is a proficient teacher of piano, guitar, music theory, ear training, music composition, music improv, dulcimer, ukulele, bass, and vocals. Online lessons through Zoom available.

Kassandra “Kassie” Mills

Train your voice and accompany yourself on piano with the help of Kassandra! Kassandra has a background in theatre performance, and she graduated Cum Laude from Piedmont University with a Bachelor’s degree in Vocal Performance. She has earned such achievements as: Director’s award for chorus (2016), becoming vice president of her NAfME chapter(2019-2020), and becoming secretary of Piedmont University Singers (2021). Kassandra will teach you how to harness the power of your voice! Proficient in music theory, music composition, vocal performance, and piano. 

Adam Shea

Adam studied guitar performance at McNally Smith College of Music. After college, Adam moved back to the Cedar Valley area of Iowa to teach and play in various bands, performing everything from country to metal. Adam recently moved to the Gallatin area to play guitar with touring country artist Ryan Daniel. Teaches guitar, bass, ukulele, music theory and piano. 

Eli Simon

Ready to master the drum kit? Eli is your guy! Eli Simon graduated with a bachelor’s degree in Jazz Performance in May 2020 from Bowling Green State University. With over 20 years of experience playing the drums, Eli has developed a deep understanding of various musical genres, from jazz to rock and everything in between, he has honed his skills to become a versatile and dynamic drummer. As a teacher, Eli is dedicated to helping his students achieve their musical goals. He creates customized lesson plans tailored to each student’s interests, abilities, and learning style and provides them with the tools and techniques necessary to improve their drumming skills. Whether you are a beginner or an advanced drummer, Eli can help you take your playing to the next level.

Sam Stuckey

Sam Stuckey is a Roots, Progressive Bluegrass, and Country music artist and singer/songwriter. Hailing from Butler, Pennsylvania, but now residing in Nashville, Tennessee, Sam was an active member of the Western Pennsylvania roots music community. His blending of guitar-picking styles complements his higher, rustic bluegrass harmony. He has also spent a number of years as a mandolin and upright bass sub-player.

At the age of 12, Sam Stuckey began playing guitar. His early influences were derived from classic rock bands of the 60s, 70s, and 80s; however, it wasn’t until his sophomore year of college that Sam discovered his passion for roots music, particularly bluegrass. His current influences include bands such as The Travelin’ McCoury’s and The Infamous String Dusters, and guitar enthusiasts such as Molly Tuttle and Bryan Sutton.

In 2018 and 2019, Sam made it onto the DelFest main stage after his song arrangement was chosen in the Band Scramble. Sam has also opened for artists and bands such as The Allegheny Drifters, The Barefoot Movement, The Stray Birds, Billy Strings, and bluegrass legend Mac Martin.

Sam released his debut EP, ‘Euphonic Premier,’ at the onset of 2020, which included 6 original songs, spanning the gauntlet of the bluegrass genre. It has acclaimed reviews from local and national radio stations alike.

Ovation Music School


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Mon-Fri: 11 AM – 6 PM
Sat-Sun: By Appointment


107 East Main St.
Gallatin, TN 37066