I give fiddle, violin (Suzuki and traditional) and mandolin lessons to students of all ages and levels of experience. Starting in the fall of 2018, I will begin teaching fiddling to viola students (for more on that, click here).
I teach out of my studio in Saint Paul and at workshops and clinics around the country.
In addition to teaching traditional bluegrass and classic country-style fiddle and mandolin, I teach other styles, including Irish, Cajun, blues, even some Scandinavian, swing, klezmer 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 for four or more lessons in advance, I offer a discount: $25 for a half-hour and $50 for an hour. I accept payment by cash, check, credit card and Paypal.
I teach in the afternoons and evenings, Monday through Thursday. During the winter, I also teach from 10am-4pm on Fridays and Sundays.
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.