​The Bojangles Music School is a group of Houston professional artists dedicated to having a direct, positive influence on the next generation of Houston musicians.

We offer lessons either in the privacy of your own home or at our studio located on the top floor of Rockin' Robin Guitars and Music (http://rockinrobinguitars.com) located at 3619 South Shepherd Drive, Houston, Texas 77098.

We believe the ability to play a musical instrument enriches lives, and provides a positive and necessary outlet of artistic expression for all ages.

Our mission is to be the music school that inspires students through our passion and knowledge.

  • "I know first hand that the students of Bojangles Music School are receiving the finest lessons available."
    Deryl Dodd
  • "On any given night, you will find Bojangles faculty members performing all over Houston with some of the city’s best bands. But this isn’t what makes Bojangles special. What makes Bojangles special is that all of these fine musicians are committed to the school’s core mission of insuring that Houstonians will enjoy a future rich in excellent music. "
    Dr. Garreth Broesche
    PhD, University of Houston Moores School of Music
  • "We love the personal attention and convenience of having Bojangles in home lessons."
    A. Noël Matheny
  • "Because Shawn Parks knows and understands the amount of work involved in learning the guitar, he and the rest of the Bojangles staff bring this dedication and passion to providing high quality guitar instruction."
    Dr. Alejandro Montiel
    Texas Guitar Quartet
  • "I love Bojangles. They have working musicians helping students create the sounds they want."
    Hunter Perrin
    Houston-born professional guitarist with far too many accolades to list here

Mark Riddell

Instructor

Mark Riddell is one of the best bassists in Houston, beloved by his peers not just for his chops, but because of who he is––smart, steadfast, funny, and effortlessly cool. He’s a chameleon who never changes: a consistent ace who morphs into the backbeat for roots rock, blues, honky tonk, vintage pop, and more for a variety of artists including Mike Stinson, The Mighty Orq, Leon III, Charlie & the Regrets, Grand Old Grizzly, The Allen Oldies Band, Luba Dvorak, Trish Cramblet & The Bad Habits, and The High Roller, as well as occasionally Sam Morrow, Brian Whelan, Jimmy Pizzitola, and others. A top Bojangles instructor with eight years of experience––and a law degree he hasn’t ended up needing to use all that much––Mark teaches beginner guitar, beginner piano, and of course, the bass. “I want my students to understand that learning to play an instrument is a process that can feel like a strange relationship: at times, frustrating and challenging, and at other times, richly rewarding and awfully fun,” Mark says. “It takes patience, and it takes physical and mental discipline to progress. But the confidence and pride it can bring is priceless.”

Shawn Parks

El Jefe

Shawn Parks founded Bojangles Music School with the wild hope that he could build a haven for students and teachers of music to come together, get better, and ensure Houston’s rich artistic legacy doesn’t just last, but grows. Shawn’s expertise is primarily acoustic guitar, and his students benefit from that focus, as well as his building-block approach. He is a rare blend of classically and barroom trained: after studying with Ray Wylie Hubbard and Davin James, he was accepted into the private studio of Dr. Alejandro Montiel, a founding member of the Texas Guitar Quartet, where he studied classical guitar. He has also written songs that have been recorded by others including James. A staunch believer in continuing education, he currently studies voice under Dr. Sharon Radionoff. In 2017, Shawn and Matt Harlan launched A Night for Guy, an annual gathering featuring performances from Houston’s finest musicians and special guests, to honor the life and music of Guy Clark. “Most of all, I want my students to gain a deeper appreciation for how powerful and even magical music is, not just in the ways we create it, but also in the ways we enjoy it,” Shawn says. “Love of music is primal. I believe we were all meant to make it.”

Kat Nicholson

Instructor

Kat Nicholson is one of those teachers kids can’t wait to hang with again. As she makes a basic lesson in foundational music theory not just painless, but fun, she’ll simultaneously scribble a Disney-worthy dragon on a scrap piece of paper––and the student is hooked. Kat has been playing a variety of instruments for about seven years, and you can catch her gigging with her band Spotted Horse around Houston and Austin. At Bojangles, she teaches guitar, bass, piano, and ukulele, as well as beginner drums. “The most important thing I want my students to gain is the ability to teach and learn on their own as they grow with their instruments,” Kat says. “I also want them to understand that practice is paramount. Talent is a pursued interest, so anything you’re willing to practice, you can achieve.”

Tom Lewis

Instructor and GM

Tom Lewis does a lot, and he does it all well. The sought-after songwriter, guitarist, poet, and producer has worked with and learned from the best, including Radney Foster and international award-winning songwriter, artist, and poet Chad Elliott. He infuses his own roots music with jazz cadence and cool, breathing new life into the genre. Tom first picked up the guitar about 15 years ago, spent five years gigging on the road, and four years teaching health and movement science. These days, he’s teaching music and playing shows––sometimes solo, sometimes as guitarist for Chad Elliott, Chuck Hawthorne and Libby Koch, or Eric Woodring. At Bojangles, Tom is a favorite instructor who teaches guitar and ukulele, and also serves as air traffic control as the school’s General Manager. “A music instrument is a living creature,” Tom says. “You’re always learning, trying new things, and taking chances with it. If you play flawlessly, then you’re playing without soul.”

Tony Vega

Instructor

Billy F. Gibbons has called Tony Vega a “monster” guitar player––and if that’s not divine sanctioning in your world, we wish you all the best at another music school. Crowned Best Guitarist by the Houston Press, Tony also took home Houston Press Music Awards for Best Male Vocalist, Best Contemporary Blues, and Best Blues, the last of which he clinched twice. All impressive honors, to be sure, but what may stand out most about Tony is his ability to connect with players at all levels––a gift he’s honed over two decades of teaching experience. At Bojangles, Tony teaches beginner, intermediate, and advanced guitar, as well as beginner drums and bass, to all ages. He can play just about anything, but he specializes in the blues and American roots music. We can’t think of a better Houston day than jamming with him in a lesson, then catching him later on stage at the Big Easy Social & Pleasure Club. “I want my students to embark on a lifelong journey of having fun playing music,” Tony says. “Music is therapy.”

Matt Harlan

Instructor

No Depression has called Matt Harlan a “master wordsmith,” and Lonestar Music Magazine has claimed you’ll often find veterans “trying to figure out his guitar backstroke playing style,” but in spite of serious praise for his four albums––two of which topped the Euro Americana Chart––and songwriting honors from American Songwriter, the Telluride Bluegrass Festival, Billboard, and others, Matt remains doggedly––even fiercely––humble. That blend of virtuosity and kindness makes him an ideal instructor, and at Bojangles, he teaches guitar and voice to all ages. Named Singer-Songwriter of the Year in the 2013 Texas Music Awards, Matt also appeared in the acclaimed documentary For the Sake of the Song, alongside heavyweights including Lyle Lovett, Lucinda Williams, and Guy Clark. A frequent performer in Houston and beyond, Matt has shared the stage with legends including Clark, Lovett, and James McMurtry, as well as elite new artists such as John Fulbright and more.

Judson Duncan

Instructor

When he was interviewed recently for a University of Houston student paper, Judson Duncan summed up the way we all feel: “Nothing sounds better than a live band.” A first-rate guitarist, bassist, and ukulele player and teacher, Judson has been making a beautiful noise for about 24 years. He first picked up the trumpet at age 9, then moved on to guitar three years later. He has studied under masters including guitar shredder Rusty Cooley and metal giant Joel Gregoire, and honed his audio engineering and studio production skills at Houston Community College. To further develop his deep understanding of the instrument, Judson has also worked as a guitar tech since age 18, most notably with Diamond Guitars. When he isn’t helping Bojangles students learn how to perform rock, jazz, pop, blues, or metal, Judson can usually be found gigging, most often as the guitarist for metal band Green as Emerald.



Matt Harlan

Instructor

No Depression has called Matt Harlan a “master wordsmith,” and Lonestar Music Magazine has claimed you’ll often find veterans “trying to figure out his guitar backstroke playing style,” but in spite of serious praise for his four albums––two of which topped the Euro Americana Chart––and songwriting honors from American Songwriter, the Telluride Bluegrass Festival, Billboard, and others, Matt remains doggedly––even fiercely––humble. That blend of virtuosity and kindness makes him an ideal instructor, and at Bojangles, he teaches guitar and voice to all ages. Named Singer-Songwriter of the Year in the 2013 Texas Music Awards, Matt also appeared in the acclaimed documentary For the Sake of the Song, alongside heavyweights including Lyle Lovett, Lucinda Williams, and Guy Clark. A frequent performer in Houston and beyond, Matt has shared the stage with legends including Clark, Lovett, and James McMurtry, as well as elite new artists such as John Fulbright and more.

Tony Vega

Instructor

Billy F. Gibbons has called Tony Vega a “monster” guitar player––and if that’s not divine sanctioning in your world, we wish you all the best at another music school. Crowned Best Guitarist by the Houston Press, Tony also took home Houston Press Music Awards for Best Male Vocalist, Best Contemporary Blues, and Best Blues, the last of which he clinched twice. All impressive honors, to be sure, but what may stand out most about Tony is his ability to connect with players at all levels––a gift he’s honed over two decades of teaching experience. At Bojangles, Tony teaches beginner, intermediate, and advanced guitar, as well as beginner drums and bass, to all ages. He can play just about anything, but he specializes in the blues and American roots music. We can’t think of a better Houston day than jamming with him in a lesson, then catching him later on stage at the Big Easy Social & Pleasure Club. “I want my students to embark on a lifelong journey of having fun playing music,” Tony says. “Music is therapy.”

Shawn Parks

El Jefe

Shawn Parks founded Bojangles Music School with the wild hope that he could build a haven for students and teachers of music to come together, get better, and ensure Houston’s rich artistic legacy doesn’t just last, but grows. Shawn’s expertise is primarily acoustic guitar, and his students benefit from that focus, as well as his building-block approach. He is a rare blend of classically and barroom trained: after studying with Ray Wylie Hubbard and Davin James, he was accepted into the private studio of Dr. Alejandro Montiel, a founding member of the Texas Guitar Quartet, where he studied classical guitar. He has also written songs that have been recorded by others including James. A staunch believer in continuing education, he currently studies voice under Dr. Sharon Radionoff. In 2017, Shawn and Matt Harlan launched A Night for Guy, an annual gathering featuring performances from Houston’s finest musicians and special guests, to honor the life and music of Guy Clark. “Most of all, I want my students to gain a deeper appreciation for how powerful and even magical music is, not just in the ways we create it, but also in the ways we enjoy it,” Shawn says. “Love of music is primal. I believe we were all meant to make it.”

Judson Duncan

Instructor

When he was interviewed recently for a University of Houston student paper, Judson Duncan summed up the way we all feel: “Nothing sounds better than a live band.” A first-rate guitarist, bassist, and ukulele player and teacher, Judson has been making a beautiful noise for about 24 years. He first picked up the trumpet at age 9, then moved on to guitar three years later. He has studied under masters including guitar shredder Rusty Cooley and metal giant Joel Gregoire, and honed his audio engineering and studio production skills at Houston Community College. To further develop his deep understanding of the instrument, Judson has also worked as a guitar tech since age 18, most notably with Diamond Guitars. When he isn’t helping Bojangles students learn how to perform rock, jazz, pop, blues, or metal, Judson can usually be found gigging, most often as the guitarist for metal band Green as Emerald.

Tom Lewis

Instructor and GM

Tom Lewis does a lot, and he does it all well. The sought-after songwriter, guitarist, poet, and producer has worked with and learned from the best, including Radney Foster and international award-winning songwriter, artist, and poet Chad Elliott. He infuses his own roots music with jazz cadence and cool, breathing new life into the genre. Tom first picked up the guitar about 15 years ago, spent five years gigging on the road, and four years teaching health and movement science. These days, he’s teaching music and playing shows––sometimes solo, sometimes as guitarist for Chad Elliott, Chuck Hawthorne and Libby Koch, or Eric Woodring. At Bojangles, Tom is a favorite instructor who teaches guitar and ukulele, and also serves as air traffic control as the school’s General Manager. “A music instrument is a living creature,” Tom says. “You’re always learning, trying new things, and taking chances with it. If you play flawlessly, then you’re playing without soul.”

Mark Riddell

Instructor

Mark Riddell is one of the best bassists in Houston, beloved by his peers not just for his chops, but because of who he is––smart, steadfast, funny, and effortlessly cool. He’s a chameleon who never changes: a consistent ace who morphs into the backbeat for roots rock, blues, honky tonk, vintage pop, and more for a variety of artists including Mike Stinson, The Mighty Orq, Leon III, Charlie & the Regrets, Grand Old Grizzly, The Allen Oldies Band, Luba Dvorak, Trish Cramblet & The Bad Habits, and The High Roller, as well as occasionally Sam Morrow, Brian Whelan, Jimmy Pizzitola, and others. A top Bojangles instructor with eight years of experience––and a law degree he hasn’t ended up needing to use all that much––Mark teaches beginner guitar, beginner piano, and of course, the bass. “I want my students to understand that learning to play an instrument is a process that can feel like a strange relationship: at times, frustrating and challenging, and at other times, richly rewarding and awfully fun,” Mark says. “It takes patience, and it takes physical and mental discipline to progress. But the confidence and pride it can bring is priceless.”

Kat Nicholson

Instructor

Kat Nicholson is one of those teachers kids can’t wait to hang with again. As she makes a basic lesson in foundational music theory not just painless, but fun, she’ll simultaneously scribble a Disney-worthy dragon on a scrap piece of paper––and the student is hooked. Kat has been playing a variety of instruments for about seven years, and you can catch her gigging with her band Spotted Horse around Houston and Austin. At Bojangles, she teaches guitar, bass, piano, and ukulele, as well as beginner drums. “The most important thing I want my students to gain is the ability to teach and learn on their own as they grow with their instruments,” Kat says. “I also want them to understand that practice is paramount. Talent is a pursued interest, so anything you’re willing to practice, you can achieve.”



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How it Works

We offer 30, 45, or 60 minute music lessons for all skill levels and ages in the privacy of your home or business or at our studio location at Rockin' Robin Guitars & Music.

bojangles policies

4 simple rules we follow
  1. Lessons are scheduled to reoccur at the same time and day each week
  2. One free cancellation will be given each month as long as it is canceled 24 hours in advance of the lesson's start time.
  3. Special consideration for holidays or any other circumstances is up to the discretion of Shawn Parks Founder of Bojangles Music School
  4. Rescheduling lessons is based on the availability of the instructor.

Interested in lessons?

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drop us a line

and let us know if we are being too loud
[email protected]

// (832) 968-4290

3619 S Shepherd Dr, Houston TX 77098

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