About Us


   At 28 years old,Phil Ling has played guitar since he was 12 and has actively been playing in bands and various recording projects for the past 9 years both in Lexington, KY and Nashville, TN. With a personalized approach to teaching, Phil has enjoyed helping students of all ages learn to play guitar by engaging their specific learning style and helping them stay focused by incorporating their musical interest.

   When he's not living the artist's dream at Mockingbird Music Room in East TN, Phil is eagerly writing, recording, and touring as his folk music project Tree Hollow. Find out about Tree Hollow's upcoming shows and hear their music at treehollowmusic.com 


   Born in the Appalachians of northeastern Tennessee, Erin Dalton grew up surrounded by music: her father is an Appalachian storyteller-songwriter, and her mother is a classically trained pianist and organist. It’s no wonder Erin is now a singer, writer, teacher, pianist, composer, and arranger. 

"I vividly remember those moments, at a very young age, when I first began to hear my own melodies and instrumental arrangements in my head. It was a strange place to be - in awe of these new shapes and forms, yet not knowing what to do with it all."  

Erin spent four years at Gardner-Webb University training in piano, voice, and composition. She created a one-act musical for her senior thesis. Erin graduated with a B.M. in Music Composition in 2008. 

From this point on, Erin traveled and taught everything from private piano lessons to hip hop songwriter/performance courses for nonprofits and organizations, hopping from North Carolina to Pennsylvania to northern India. Now she resides in Johnson City, TN involved in all things music and the local music scene, and we're thrilled to have her at Mockingbird teaching piano.


   Born and raised in Bristol, TN, Justin Short began playing drums at the early age of 13. Now at 30 years old, Justin has played with numerous bands and critically acclaimed musicians; most recently Tim Stafford of Alison Krauss and Union Station and renowned cellist, Dave Eggar. He currently hangs his hat on a regular basis as the drummer for Kingsport based bluegrass/folk band, The Beth Snapp Band. Justin has eagerly pursued his drum learning interest since college, studying under world touring and recording jazz/rock fusion drummer Jeff Sipe, as well as learning with Phill Bronson of Asheville's Jonathan Scales Fourchestra.

   With a deep love for music and an even greater passion for drums, Justin brings the perfect personality to teach drums here at Mockingbird Music Room and engage students at any level.

Schedule lessons today! 
Call us at 859.749.7796

Mockingbird Music Room & Gallery

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