I give fiddle, violin (Suzuki and traditional), viola and mandolin lessons to students of all ages and levels of experience.
I teach out of my studio in Saint Paul and at workshops and clinics around the country. I also online using Skype, Hangouts, FaceTime and Zoom — whichever is easiest for you.
I also produce prerecorded video lessons (like this one), and if you’re a current student, I make those available to you at no extra charge.
In addition to teaching traditional bluegrass and old-time fiddle and mandolin, I teach other styles, including Irish, Cajun, blues, even some Scandinavian, swing and Gypsy.
I’m also a classically trained violinist, so with many students I take a hybrid approach, combining fiddle and traditional classical repertoire and technique. This approach works particularly well for traditional classical violin students who are interested in learning how to improvise, or to add a uniquely American touch (e.g., swing and blues) to their playing, or to explore other genres and traditions.
My teaching style — whether I’m teaching fiddle, violin or mandolin — is modeled on the Suzuki method. I emphasize ear training and tone production. Even with students who are learning using standard notation, I emphasize ear training, teaching tunes by ear, through call and response. And like Suzuki instructors, I believe in giving lots and lots of encouragement, and trying to make the lesson as relaxed and non-intimidating as possible.
Above all, I believe in making the lessons suit the individual student.
If you’re interested in fiddle, violin or mandolin lessons, send me an email and let me know what you’d like to accomplish with your playing or which styles of music you’re interested in exploring. We can come up with a lesson plan that will keep you motivated and help you accomplish your goals.
I charge $30 for a half-hour lesson and $60 for an hour. If you pay by the month (which you can arrange with me at your lesson), I offer a discount: $25 for a half-hour and $50 for an hour. I accept payment by cash, check, credit card, Square, Venmo and Paypal.
To schedule a lesson, you can either email me using the form below or use my website’s online scheduling app. If you’re not seeing any lesson times on the online app that will work for you, just email or call (651-271-4392) to let me know when you would like to schedule a lesson and I’ll see what I can do.
For beginning students, I generally recommend a half-hour lesson on a regular schedule, either weekly or every other week. I find that shorter lessons help students stay focused on one small, achievable goal at a time. More frequent lessons provide students with the repetition and reinforcement that’s such an important part of learning a new skill.
Where I Teach
My studio is at 701 Randolph Avenue in Saint Paul. That’s near the intersection of West 7th and Randolph Avenue, about a block from the Schmidt Brewery Artist Lofts. For more on my teaching studio, click here.
More than talent or inspiration, the desire to show up and do the work is the most important part of being an artist. And it’s an essential, non-negotiable part of learning an instrument. I ask my students to respect their commitment to our time working together.
Though exceptions are accommodated for illness or emergencies, cancellations made later than 24 hours before lesson times will be charged.
Note: Because this is Minnesota, I do offer lessons by Skype and Google Hangouts on snow days. If you have any questions about how to do that, just let me know.