The Studio

... is your home. 

Not only does this make lessons incredibly convenient for your busy family, it makes learning easier for your child. They are more comfortable in their own space, and will make much more progress learning in a familiar environment.


With Musician Makers, every teacher comes to you.

Music Class

Our Story

Musician Makers began as a passion project. Austin was teaching many of his own guitar students in their homes, "on the side" from his job and band. With some encouragement, he decided to make it his full-time gig and began teaching 7 days a week while building relationships in the then, brand-new community of Nocatee in northeast Florida.

Within just a few months, Musician Makers began to grow into a large community of students Austin could not teach all on his own. Knowing the needs of musicians - flexibility, solid pay, and an outlet to play music 24/7 - he created a mobile studio setup that would appeal to professional musicians & families alike.

While encouraging creativity, Austin focuses on teaching all of our students the foundations of music with an emphasis on songwriting, excellence and fun! Musician Makers is known for getting students to truly have fun with music! Our teachers always go out of their way to include plenty of creativity and encouragement into lessons. 


Austin's desire for this studio is to make musicians, because he believes

everyone can be positively impacted by music. 

Meet Our Teachers

All of our teachers are passionate about inspiring a love for music in each of their students. We work together as a team to provide an effective and dynamic approach to curriculum and lesson planning. Our teachers all bring a wealth of experience and knowledge to the table, ranging from classical training to years

of live performances & songwriting. 


Austin Pillsbury

Owner & Teacher

Austin founded Musician Makers in 2016 after years of teaching guitar on his own. He began learning guitar in middle school, and started teaching at the age of 16. Austin now has a total of 13 years of teaching experience. He also writes & produces music in his home studio & often collaborates with other artists. His artist name is Austin Vernon and his music is on all major streaming platforms.


Jacob Shearer

Office Manager &

Guitar Teacher

Jacob has been playing guitar since 2005, and was trained classically for 8 years. Two of those years were at Douglas Anderson School of the Arts where he also studied music theory and piano. He has 10+ years of live performance experience and has been with Musician Makers for 4 years. He has experience teaching people of all ages, and believes that music should be fun!


Mike Pruitt

Piano & Voice Teacher

Mike has been studying piano for 10+ years. He has been with Musician Makers for 4 years and also works as the Director of Music for St. Patrick’s Episcopal Church. Mike has traveled around the country playing piano in multiple bands and in many worship communities! He has a gift for teaching and helping his students find their inner creativity.


"I love what I do, and can’t wait to share the gift of piano with everyone!"


Chris Fairbanks

Guitar Teacher

Chris was initially trained in piano since age 6, he has been playing guitar since he was 12. Throughout his teens, Chris was in multiple church bands and even lead for his high school chapel band.

 When he moved to Jacksonville in 2012, one of his first jobs was teaching guitar for an elementary after care program. He has been teaching with Musician Makers for 3 years! 


"I have a passion for teaching and love passing on knowledge to those who want to learn!"


Emily Stewart

Piano & Vocal Teacher

Emily has been performing since she was very young, in ministry and academic settings. Although Emily’s primary instrument is voice, she is also experienced in playing piano and acoustic guitar. Emily began her study of singing at Douglas Anderson School of the Arts. She continued her studies at Florida State College at Jacksonville and Jacksonville University, where she earned a Bachelor’s degree in Music Education. She has also earned her Master’s degree in Music Performance at Lee University in Cleveland, TN.

Emily has been with Musician Makers for one year, and is beloved

by all her students. 

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Landon Gay

Guitar Teacher

Landon has been playing guitar and singing for almost 9 years. He has been playing playing piano for 3 years. He even has experience playing pedal steel! Landon is a songwriter and performer, often performing at local shows in Jacksonville, and also tours. He has been in several bands, and has performed with many artists over the years. Landon truly has a gift for educating children, and makes music fun, engaging, and creative. Landon has been teaching with Musician Makers for 2 years, and we love that many of his students end up writing their own songs, and creating their own music!


Juan Ortiz

Piano Teacher

Juan has been playing piano for 20 years, and has been performing music live for over 15 years. Juan has over 10 years of teaching experience. He is fantastic with kids, and he knows how to make music fun! Juan is an expert in chords, scales, improvisation, and piano performance. His unique gift for teaching allows him to break those topics down in a simple and understandable way. Juan has been with Musician Makers for one year, and we are lucky to

have him on the team!


Chelsea D'Amico

Piano & Vocal Teacher

Chelsea has been playing the piano for about 17 years. She was classically trained, and went to Douglas Anderson School of the Arts for classical piano/vocal music studies from 9-11th grade. Her favorite thing about teaching is seeing the kids finally get that one thing they’ve been struggling to learn - or when they learn their song fully - and seeing the joy on their faces! Teaching brings me great joy as well. Chelsea is a valuable asset to the Musician Makers team.


Jon Alessandria

Guitar Teacher

Jon has been playing guitar for over 13 years, knows a bit of piano, sings, and also does music production and songwriting.

He is a creative and engaging teacher who strives to instill a passion for music in his students. He even ran a "practice contest" last year where the winning student got to choose a wacky color for him to dye his hair. Jon had hot pink hair for about 6 months.


Jon has been working with kids for 10 years, and has an extensive resume of volunteering, working with nonprofit youth programs, VIPKid, and the Jacksonville Public Library.

Jon's musicianship, dedication to his students, and education experience make him an incredible instructor. He has been with Musician Makers for 2 years and we are lucky to have him.