Tony Walsh knows how to tell a good story—and he has plenty to share.
Originally from London, Walsh spent his teenage years touring Europe with his band. He later moved to Hollywood to work in film in the 1990s and early 2000s.
He found jobs in lighting departments on various movie sets, including on the 1996 film “The Birdcage,” where he joked around with Robin Williams, and later on the set of “Batman Forever,” where he worked alongside Jim Carrey.
“Robin Williams used my jokes!” Walsh said. “He was interested in anything that was interesting, so every time I saw him, I had to have something new to tell him,”
Now the co-owner of The Musicians Woodshed, a music school and store, Walsh spends his days teaching music and songwriting.
When the film scene eventually got old, Walsh said, he decided to move to Central Texas closer to family. He put his love of music to use once more, opening The Musicians Woodshed in Lakeway in 2011.
In 2018, Walsh and his team opened a second Musicians Woodshed off West Parmer Lane. Now the location sees about 200 students per week.
The Musicians Woodshed offers classes in vocals, guitar, piano, drums, violin, bass, ukulele, songwriting and more. In addition to offering classes, the business sells instruments and features a recording studio.
The first thing visitors see when they walk through The Musicians Woodshed’s doors is a stage. Woodshed students learn not only how to play but how to perform.
“Our people are on the stage all the time,” Walsh said. “They just think that’s the norm.”
Students also get the chance to perform as a band. In Garage Band classes, students who play different instruments team up to learn songs. The staff arranges for the band to perform on Sixth Street in Austin.
“It’s not just a teacher teaches from a book and the student learns from the book,” store manager Don Denham said. “They’re learning about band chemistry.”
Lessons are individualized to students’ interests.
“If a kid comes in and says ‘I want to learn Ed Sheeran,’ we’re not going to be like, ‘Hey, you have to learn Beethoven first or you won’t learn this,’” Denham said. “We want to offer a more flexible approach to getting kids excited about playing music.”
The Musicians Woodshed offers classes in the following areas:
• Bass guitar
Source: The Musicians Woodshed/Community Impact Newspaper
The Musicians Woodshed
9900 W. Parmer Lane, Ste. A120, Austin
Hours: Mon.-Thu. 11 a.m.-7 p.m., Fri. 11 a.m.-6 p.m., Sat. noon-4 p.m., closed Sun.