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About Us

At Ampersand We Believe In Music

Music for Everyone

We believe that by bringing music to people of all ages we can actually change lives through enriching their minds.

In-home Lessons

We come to you! This keeps you from having to drive to yet another location.

Balanced Curriculum

Our curriculum combines a balance between both classical and popular styles keeping lessons interesting and informative.

Student Community

Ampersand offers two annual concert events for our students to come together and perform.

Our Story

At Ampersand we believe in music. We believe that music has the power to change a person’s life. We believe that Music can inspire great ideas, heal the mind, and even feed the soul. Music is everywhere, in every culture, part of every creed, and community. Music my not be the universal language, but it is a universal human need.

The word ampersand comes from the Latin phrase “and per se,” meaning “and by itself.” At Ampersand Music we use the word “ampersand” as our company’s name as if to say “Music in and of itself.” We believe that by bringing music to people of all ages we can actually change lives through enriching their minds.

Ethan Shirey

Ethan Shirey

Director of Operations

Ethan began the pursuit of music at a young age of 9, playing guitar in a Bluegrass Gospel band from ages 9 to 15 at festivals and concerts across Texas and Arkansas. The band had many accomplishments including Recording a full length studio album, appearing live multiple times on a Dallas based radio station, and sharing the stage with Grammy nominated acts like The Isaacs Family. In 2008 Ethan started an Alternative Rock band encompassing all original music. In 2009 the band was able to appear as the opening act for the Grammy nominated rock band After Edmund. In 2011 the band signed a management contract with a Dallas based booking agency. That same year the band released a studio single on iTunes, Amazon, and Spotify. August of 2014, Ethan graduating from the University of North Texas, with a bachelors degree in Finance.

June of 2013 Ethan co-founded Ampersand Music School along with his brother Benjamin. Together they operate Ampersand as business partners bringing music lessons to students throughout the Denton County area. Ethan’s passion is to inspire students with a love for music and to give his students the tools they need to create music on their own

Benjamin Shirey

Benjamin Shirey

Director of Curriculum

Benjamin Shirey began performing music at the early age of 9 playing double bass. He later went on to study voice, guitar, piano, drums and music composition. First and foremost Benjamin considers himself a composer. He received a bachelor’s degree in Music Composition in 2010 from University of North Texas and later received his Masters in Music Composition from the same university. His mentors include composers Jon Nelson, David Stout, Cindy McTee, Andrew May, and Panayiotis Kokoras. His compositional work explores acoustical phenomenology, art teleology, and the epistemology of music itself, expressed through a variety of forms such as installation art, experimental opera, textural counterpoint, intermedia performance and music for film.

In June of 2013 Benjamin co-founded Ampersand Music School along with his brother Ethan. Benjamin is very passionate about teaching the next generation musicians and composers. It is his hope to impart a love for music and a thirst for creativity in music.

Cole Rhoades

Cole Rhoades

Instructor

Colo Rhoades began his passion for music more than fifteen years ago when he started playing guitar and piano. Pursuing his passion further Cole received his bachelor’s degree from Howard Payne University in 2013, where he received a minor in guitar performance. Later in 2015 Cole graduated from Dallas Baptist University with a master’s degree in Worship Leadership. Teaching and ministering to others have long been passions of Coles’. With nearly 10 years of teaching experience he is accomplished at teaching various styles and genres of music.

Cole currently serves as the Associate Pastor and Worship Leader at Flower Mound First Baptist Church where he leads weekly praise and worship services. A particular passion of his is equipping students who are interested in worship music to lead and flourish in their local churches and other places of ministry. He currently resides in Flower Mound, TX with his wife, Kaitlen. His teaching philosophy is grounded in his desire to help others and his desire to see them obtain their greatest potential.

  

 

Sean Lynch

Sean Lynch

Instructor

In third grade Sean Lynch began piano lessons and continued his studies for four years. Later in High School, Sean Lynch learned to play drum set in a black gospel church of Dallas and is proud to say that his first job ever was performing and playing drums. 

Inspired by the music of Steely Dan, The Dave Matthews Band, Blink 182, Tower of Power and later on the music of Wayne Shorter, Sean started playing the drum set regularly. As his playing progressed, he then went on to win several snare drum competitions.

Sean later attended North Central Texas College on a full performance scholarship. In 2012, he placed second in the TCCBDA Jazz Competition. He is currently a jazz studies drum set major at the University of North Texas. 

In January of 2019 he played on recordings that won the national ATW jazz competition.

Sean has studied with famous drummers such as Ralph Peterson Jr., Quincy Davis, Mike Clark, Ed Soph, Steve Barnes, Mike Drake, and Stockton Helbing. 

Sean is devoted to making the world a more musical place. He dedicates his life to making music worth listening to, music that provokes you to cry, laugh, shout, smile and dance.

Lessons with Sean can be described as exciting, inspiring and challenging.