Bay Area Fiddle / Guitar / Singing Lessons

Bay Area Fiddle / Guitar / Singing Lessons


Study fiddle, guitar, & singing with Colin!

Colin is an experienced music teacher in the San Francisco Bay Area who enjoys working with students who are motivated to explore musical expression while building technical skills and repertoire on fiddle / violin, acoustic guitar, and voice. He got his start teaching in the summer of 2013 when he was hired for the first time to teach at two highly-esteemed music camps: Valley of the Moon Scottish Fiddling School (guitar) and Mike Block String Camp (Jam Instigator and ensemble coach). A frequent re-hire at both of those camps ever since, Colin has also taught at Lark Camp (guitar, fiddle), Crisol de Cuerda (guitar), Merry Time Music Folk Camp (guitar, fiddle), Pure Dead Brilliant Fiddle Weekend (guitar, song), and Weed’s Winter Weekend (fiddle).

Whether working one-on-one with a weekly private student or with a group at music camps, Colin’s engaging approach is an easy-going yet hands-on effort to cultivate a focused and fun learning environment where:

  • Repertoire is tailored to each student’s goals, interests, and ability
  • Students feel free to make mistakes, as critiques are non-judgemental, constructive, encouraging, and motivating
  • Purposeful, meticulous drills are balanced with getting to let loose and make music
  • Working on challenging new skills is inspiring, not daunting

Please submit a contact form with questions and for availability.

  • Lessons are 30, 45, or 60 minutes long.
  • Please submit a contact form for rates.
  • Discounted per-student rates available for small groups.
  • Colin’s students are mostly adults and some young adults, but he is open to teaching students as young as 8.
  • All levels.
  • Students primarily learn by ear, but lessons can incorporate some sheet music and learning to read music if desired.
  • Colin heavily emphasizes learning good technique from square one. Lessons are divided up between technique work and learning repertoire to apply the technique to.
  • While the words “fiddle” and “violin” can be used interchangeably when referring to the physical instrument, they often denote music of different styles. In this case, Colin teaches fluency and musical expression on the instrument using tunes and stylings from a number of strong “fiddle” music traditions, including those of Scotland, Ireland, Finland, Appalachia, Cape Breton, Quebec, Sweden, and more. He is not a classical violinist, but he will be happy to connect you with a teacher who is a better fit if that is what you are looking for.
  • Should you develop a keen desire through our lessons to deep-dive into a specific fiddle tradition, Colin will gladly help you connect with the right resources and teachers to help you on that path.
  • Colin plays and teaches acoustic guitar in standard tuning using a pick.
  • There are three main focus-areas that he teaches on guitar: accompanying singing, accompanying instrumental fiddle music, and flat-picking melodies.
  • If interested, Colin can teach chord theory as you go along.
  • Primary genres for instrumental guitar are Celtic and American fiddle music.
  • Genres for singing and playing guitar are very flexible, as a lot of that skillset is translatable between genres.