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Paul Reed Smith and Maryland Hall's summer music school returns with John McLaughlin joining expanded program

PRS Music School
(Image credit: Paul Reed Smith)

Paul Reed Smith and Maryland Hall's annual summer school for aspiring musicians returns this year for the third time, livestreaming four-days of top-quality music tuition from a host of professional players.

This year sees jazz-fusion pioneer John McLaughlin and legend of Celtic acoustic guitar Tony McManus offering masterclasses in their craft. The session director Paul Reed Smith is, of course, most famous for making some of the finest electric guitars on the market, and he too will be teaching alongside session king Tim Pierce and YouTube guitar superstar Tyler Larson.

“We are going at it again,“ said Larson on his Music Is Win YouTube channel. “You can stream it anywhere in the world. It's four days of learning about music. I am going to be talking about guitar as well as other great teachers and touring musicians – John McLaughlin, Tim Pierce, Paul Reed Smith, Bryan Ewald, just to name a few.“

Imagine learning how to groove from Dennis Chambers, learning harmony from John McLaughlin or improving your technique with Tyler Larson and Tim Pierce. That kind of input can help skyrocket your playing

Paul Reed Smith

The theme for the event is once more “Understanding Rhythm, Harmony, and Melody Makes You a Better Musician,” with lessons taking you beyond realms of technique and placing it in the context of other musicians.

Session directors Gary Grainger (groove & bass) and Greg Grainger (groove & drums) – better known the Grainger Brothers – are joined by Maryland musicians such as Michael Ault (guitar), Bryan Ewald (guitar), Benjie Porecki (keys), Mia Samone (vocals) and Bill Nelson (guitar).

Held digitally for the second consecutive year, anyone anywhere in the world can take part so long as they have an active internet connection and $100 for the course fees. A portion of the proceeds will be donated to the Johns Hopkins Kimmel Cancer Center.

Lessons will be tailored to musicians of all abilities, and each day a PRS guitar will be given away. 

”This is a tremendous opportunity for students to learn directly from these amazing touring musicians and teachers,” says Paul Reed Smith. ”Imagine learning how to groove from Dennis Chambers, learning harmony from John McLaughlin or improving your technique with Tyler Larson and Tim Pierce. That kind of input can help skyrocket your playing.”

The 3rd Annual Paul Reed Smith Music School at Maryland Hall takes place on Monday, August 9 and runs through until Thursday, August 12, with classes starting daily from 11am EST, and finishing at 4:30pm.

To enroll, head over to PRS Music School.

Jonathan Horsley has been writing about guitars since 2005 and is a regular contributor to Guitar World, Total Guitar and MusicRadar.