Dan Mitchell, M.Ed.

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Dan Mitchell has been an adjunct instructor of guitar at Hardin-Simmons University and Abilene Christian University for more than 20 years. He has been performing in restaurants and for special events for over two decades, much to the delight of crowds and audiences.

Dan’s music has been described as soothing and relaxing, which transports the listener to wonderfully tranquil places. He has witnessed numerous marriage proposals, providing romantic musical backgrounds to many of them. In addition, he has been an influence to many budding talents, such as Aaron Watson, affectionately known as the Honky Tonk Kid.

Under the tutelage of Dan Mitchell, Watson’s career took off. Watson has released three albums, Shutupanddance,Honky Tonk Kid, and San Angelo, and has toured the nation. Aaron once said of Mitchell, “He is still the most incredible guitar player that I have ever encountered. There is nothing he can’t play. He was a great teacher, and he became a great friend.”

Mitchell not only honed Aaron’s guitar chops, he also gave him a big dose of confidence at an age when it’s needed most. “He always asks everyone who takes his class why they want to play the guitar. I told him, ‘I like writing songs, and I think I want to be a country singer.’ He didn’t hesitate or make light of it. He just said, ‘OK, that’s all I need to know. Now my job is to get you to where you need to be.’ He took me serious, he didn’t even laugh,” Watson remembers.

Aaron made the most of those guitar classes. You can take Mitchell’s guitar class only twice to get credit, yet Aaron remembers taking the class “probably 10 times.” Mitchell also taught Aaron a great deal about how to structure a song. “You talk about God putting his hand in the deal…here is this ‘diamond in the rough,’ amazing guitar player in Abilene teaching, and I end up with him! It was a blessing,” says Watson.

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