We are so excited to be adding this amazing teacher to our staff! Please help us welcome Chris Butler to Sandy Springs Music, we know you will absolutely love him!
Here’s a little more about Chris:
Chris was born in Brooklyn, NY. Chris’ first music story comes from his father. “When he was teething as a baby, Chris would chew on my Fender Telecaster.” As a young child, Chris would play with any instrument he could get his hands on. By 5th grade, Chris began to take guitar seriously, learning chords and jamming with his dad. Soon after, he discovered bass guitar and then things went to a whole new level. In middle school Chris played bass in the “Rock Ensemble” while also playing viola in the school orchestra. By his freshman year of high school, Chris was playing along on bass, note-for-note, with his favorite Rush albums and suddenly realized he might have a future in music. Going to high school in West Virginia proved challenging for Chris, musically. “I lived in a rural town and went to a small school. There weren’t a lot of opportunities to play, so I created my own.” Chris would convince his principal to allow him to put on talent shows and other performances at school. He would teach other kids how to play instruments and sing, just so he could have a band.
Chris graduated high school at 17 and immediately flew to Hollywood, CA to study bass guitar at Musicians Institute. Chris studied with a Who’s-Who of touring and recording artists from Jeff Berlin, Tim Bogart (Vanilla Fudge), Billy Sheehan, Paul Gilbert and many more. Chris left Hollywood to hit the road with his first pro band, Lookin’ Blue. Chris and the band called Atlanta, GA home as the band played around the Southeastern US. Chris eventually played as bassist or guitarist for some of Atlanta’s hottest original bands. Chris also spent plenty of time on the road with a number of hardworking cover bands.
Eventually Chris grew weary of the road life and landed a spot as founding music teacher at St. Benedict’s Episcopal School in Smyrna, GA. Here Chris used all of his years of performance experience to build music programs at this K-8 school. This is also where he began taking on private students on piano and guitar. After 7 years at “St. B’s”, Chris was recruited to build new music programs at another Atlanta-area school, The SAE School. Chris built a middle school orchestra program from scratch, and also pioneered a high school Rock Band Class that immersed the students in the music business. Chris explains, “As a project-based school, I wanted the kids to experience everything I had experienced over all my years in the business.” While teaching, Chris has also continued to grow as a musician, which has allowed him to take on private students on many instruments including guitar, bass, piano, ukulele, drums, violin, viola, cello and upright bass. Chris says, “When I started, I didn’t know I would love teaching so much! But sharing music with my students and helping them grow really fulfills me and makes me happy. I see each student as an individual with his or her own needs and strengths. I really enjoy getting to know each student and helping them shine!”