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 Carroll County, MD area, you might be able to study with me!

I have been teaching private lessons, on and off, since 1975. Early in 2021, I wrapped up a 21-year partnership with the Appalachian Bluegrass Music store, in Catonsville, Maryland.

During the pandemic, I am limiting students to online sessions (usually over Zoom); however, I am hopeful that in the near future, I will also be able to take a few students at my home studio … way out in the countryside, north of Westminster, MD.

I am extremely fortunate that my students tend to stick with me for a long, long time; so spaces in my teaching schedule are sometimes hard to get. Regardless, if you are interested in private lessons, send me an email.


These days, I primarily teach violin and guitar; however, I can also teach viola, and I offer vocal coaching for singers too.

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 for adult students – “Doflein”;
  • Primary Book Method for young learners – “Essential Elements”;
  • 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 10 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 Gary Eurice, Rebecca Obniski, Sunita Pathik, Anna Kooser, Jim Eagan, Sean McComisky, Sarah Brenzo, Geoff Godfrey, Charles Roe … just to name a few;
  • 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.