private lessons

You may be interested in taking private lessons to improve your own enjoyment or work towards your personal musical goals. If you live in the Baltimore metro area, you could study with me!

I have been teaching private lessons, on and off, since 1975. I have been teaching at the Appalachian Bluegrass store, in Catonsville, Maryland, since 1999. I also take a few students at my home studio in Baltimore city.

I currently teach at Appalachian Bluegrass two nights per week – Monday and Tuesday, from 5:00-9:00. Admittedly, my students tend to stick with me, so spaces in my teaching schedule don’t open up very often. You can call the store – 410.744.1144 – to find out what’s available (the store has many fine teachers, so if I can’t fit you in, you may consider one of the other teachers).


These days, I primarily teach violin; however, I can also teach viola and guitar. I enjoy teaching students the basics of singing technique – or even getting together for a basic master session on how to use your voice.

For students seeking a broader understanding of music and/or songwriting, I can teach music theory, lyric writing, and songwriting.


Below you’ll find some more information about the different instruments I teach, what styles I cover, and how I approach teaching, in general.


    Basic technique (for all styles);
    Classical and Celtic (Irish and Scottish Traditional) Repertiore;
    Other repertoire, based on personal interest of each student;
    Improvisation techniques.


    Basic technique (for all styles);
    Classical Repertiore;
    Other repertoire, based on personal interest of each student;
    Improvisation techniques.


    Basic technique (for all styles);
    Accompaniment technique for rock, folk, and celtic styles;
    Folk Fingerstyle (fingerpicking);
    Other repertoire, based on personal interest of each student.

Music Theory

    Basic elements (for all styles);
    Common Practice Era Theory (Baroque through Romantic styles);
    20th Century composition theory;
    Music Form & Analysis;
    Contemporary popular music theory.
    Other skills, based on personal interest of each student.


    Basic elements (for all styles);
    Elements of Poetry;
    Elements of Music;
    Poetry & Music Form & Analysis;
    Other skills, based on personal interest of each student.


Violin & Viola

    Standard Classical Technique;
    Primary Book Method – “Doflein”;
    Celtic bowing and ornamentation.


    Standard tuning and technique, based on the rock, folk, and celtic styles of contemporary players, such as Pete Townshend, Johnny Doyle, John Denver, and others;
    Alternate tunings, as they arise in the course of instruction;
    Basics: Left-hand position and technique; right-hand position and technique; use of flatpicks and fingerpicks.


All levels; Adults; Children 8 years and older.


    Strong emphasis on technique for all instruments;
    Additional focus on playing and helping each student find his/her own enjoyment in the chosen instrument;
    After each student masters the basics, helping the student develop personalized music goals and exploration;
    Exploring repertiore;
    Playing, playing, and playing some more!


    My parents, who sang and played music, and totally encouraged music at home;
    Friends who also play, including Jim Eagan, Sean McComisky, Sarah Brenzo, Andrew Dodds, Geoff Godfrey, Charles Roe;
    Private study with Dr. Zoltan Szabo; private study with Robin Bullock;
    Trained in the classical tradition (Bachelor of Music, “B.Mus.” from Towson University, 1997);
    The composition and performance practices of classical and contemporary professionals, such W. A. Mozart, F. Schubert, Pete Townshend, “The Edge,” John Turner, Elke Baker, Bonnie Rideout, Robin Bullock, Martin Hayes, Kate Bush, Andy Partridge, Jim Malcolm, John Denver, Don McLean, Bob Dylan, Tori Amos, and many, many others.