I help adults and teens who want to have more fun playing music but feel stuck in their progress or don’t know what to play when there’s no sheet music in front of them. I also help fiddle/violin players of all levels, and beginning guitar players, who are looking for a solid launching pad of technique and healthy posture.
You can decide whether you like me by reading on. And then, if you like me, contact me to see if I have a spot available for you.
Here’s the stuff that will help you figure out whether I’m likely to be the right teacher for you:
- I mostly work with adults and teenagers. I love helping adults learn exactly what they want to learn, and regain their natural confidence about trying new things. I don’t have a child development background or extensive experience with kids under 8. But trust your gut; if you think I sound like someone you want in your life, and your child is totally precocious, go ahead and contact me anyway.
- For fiddlers, I mostly teach old-time, bluegrass, Texas-style and Irish tunes, in addition to the general improvisation, accompaniment and theory stuff that applies to every genre, including rock. But I’m happy to dig up a klezmer tune for you now and then, or whatever it is you’re interested in, and if you want to try your hand at a classical piece I’ll help you dig into that, too.
- For guitarists, I teach beginning rhythm accompaniment and fingerstyle patterns. If you want to accompany yourself singing, or accompany country/bluegrass/old-time musicians, I can help you do that. If you want to be a great rock soloist, you will want to find another teacher who specializes in that.
- I love working with people who play neither of these instruments. Maybe you’re an oboeist who just joined a rock band, but you don’t know how to improvise. Or maybe you’re a singer and you just want to gain a better understanding of music theory. Whatever your exact situation is, if you need someone to help you gain the skills that help you move seamlessly across genres and playing situations, I’m here for you.
- On that note, I am really concerned that you think for yourself. No matter which instrument you play, we will work on improvisation and music theory skills from the beginning, so you have the confidence to play music you don’t know how to play. I especially don’t see enough fiddlers who have that skill. This is the number one reason you should come see me if you’re a classical violinist who doesn’t think you could possibly ever “jam” with other musicians.
- I’m a nice teacher. I assume you will practice the amount that you can, and if you give me excuses for why you didn’t, I’ll suggest you to stop apologizing for being a busy person. If you have a hard time understanding a concept, I’ll assume I need to try explaining it a different way. No knuckle-rapping around here.
- I am really concerned about your physical health. I only made it to age 15 before I had to stop playing for awhile due to a repetitive strain injury. I learned a lot from that experience and continually study more about how we can avoid carpal tunnel, tendonitis, etc. This is the number one reason you should come see me if you’re a beginner or a self-taught fiddler or guitarist.
- If you want to see me play, come see a Big Sur or Thimble vs. Needle show, or check out this video footage from the live album I appeared on with Coty Hogue and Aaron Guest. (The fiddle solo starts at the 1:16 mark.) I also sit in regularly with a variety of other bands around Bellingham and Seattle, playing anything from rock to swing.
- “Do you know how old I will be by the time I learn to really play this thing?” Yes. As Julia Cameron says, “the same age you’ll be if you don’t.” So let’s get started!