David Pray - Owner / Instructor
Bitten by the music bug at an early age David Pray knew he would be performing on stage
for the rest of his life. It was on a transcontinental flight listening to Creedence Clearwater
Revival's "Up Around The Bend" that did it. But it wasn't only rock n roll. David studied
classical guitar at the University of Hawaii, cut his teeth on 80's New Wave and Top 40
bands, then on to modern country as Madonna Nash's bassist and music director and
rhythm guitar for Brandon Bailey Band. Original jazz compositions with Aqua Viva,
performed in theatre productions, recording studio sessions, attended master classes with
blues phenom Robben Ford and original Tonight Show guitarist Gene Bertoncini were
also highlights of David's myriad of musical experience. He also concocted the world class
Katy Perry tribute show Firework and played with the highly entertaining variety show 40
East. David is passionate about music and equally passionate about putting on a great
performance as a rock solid bassist or rhythm guitarist.
"I have always considered it a privilege to share the knowledge gleaned from my musical journey. Lessons are fun, engaging, relevant, and students learn the songs they want to learn. Many of my former students now perform on stages all over the country. But it isn't just about music. It's also about spending quality time mentoring and having a positive influence in someone's life."
Currently offering lessons in guitar, bass, ukulele, mandolin, voice, and performance coaching. Skype and FaceTime lessons are also available.
Daniel Bennett - Leland Instructor
Dan Bennett has been in and around music most of his life. He started taking piano lessons
at age 7, then began drumming at age 10, but everything changed when he got a guitar for
his 13th birthday. Soon he was playing guitar in the youth band at church. He played in a
variety of bands in high school, everything from hard rock to school "pep band" as well as
various church groups. After finishing school, he continued to play a variety of instruments,
in multiple bands. He's played bass, drums, and guitar in and with several different bands.
He is currently the Lead Guitarist for the harmony-driven Rock/Americana band
"Striking Copper" (www.strikingcopperband.com) and is the guitarist/singer in the soulful duo
"Falling for Tuesday." He also leads worship at Crossroads Baptist Church. His goal is to help
new musicians fall in love with music and their instrument, and to help more experienced
musicians find their voice.
Austin Cole - Hampstead Instructor
Austin Cole has been playing music ever since he was a kid. At age 9 his parents got him his
first guitar as a Christmas giff. Ever since then he has been rockin! Austin is proficient in
guitar, and percussion. When Austin reached the 6th grade he started playing percussion in
middle school band and continued throughout middle school and high school. During that time
he performed in many different honor bands and drum corps his senior year. Austin is a former
student of David Pray where he learned his unique teaching style, what it truly means to play
the guitar with proficiency, and to play with pure bliss and innovation. Austin is now currently in
college, and is the music director for Renovation Church in Hampstead NC. He also has
played in many other bands across town in the past. In Austin's free time he enjoys reading,
outdoor activities, family time, and coffee!
Favorite quote: "Pick n Grin"
Carson Parker - Rocky Point / Burgaw Instructor
James “Carson” Parker grew up in a musically-inclined family. His grandfather sang in a gospel quartet, and his mother sang as well as played a bit of piano. From ages 9-10, Carson took piano lessons from a local teacher in Burgaw, North Carolina but quickly lost interest and stopped taking them altogether. Disheartened, he no longer took any music lessons or played any instruments until he started high school at 14 years old. Carson met a guitar player who was incredibly talented and immeadiately gained interest in learning to play the guitar. He started playing guitar at age 14 and began taking lessons from David Pray shortly after that and it stuck! Having the right teacher made all the difference.
Since then, Carson has played in 3 bands, joined 7 different worship teams, and currently plays electric guitar and bass at Port City Community Church and Rock Church. He is very passionate about playing music and sees learning an instrument as a powerful element of personal expression. He hopes to share the joy that music brings him with others by teaching them how to pursue and enjoy playing music on their own.
Favorite band: Colony House