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I offer lessons in:

  • Ear Training
  • Irish Traditional Fiddle
  • Bluegrass Fiddle
  • Cajun Fiddle
  • Fiddle
  • Acoustic Guitar
  • Improvisation
  • Instrumental Coaching
  • Bluegrass Mandolin
  • Mandolin
  • Irish Mandolin
  • Basic Music Theory
  • Classical Violin
  • Rock Violin
  • Jazz Violin
  • Vocal Coaching
    Interested in taking lessons with Barbara?

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    Barbara CollinsOffering private lessons in
    Olympia, Washington
    About MeContact MeBlog

    Now enrolling new students for Fall 2018. Get a head start now that it is already August!

    Openings available for violin/fiddle students of all levels & persuasions, over the age of 9. Open to home schooled individuals, TESC independent study, and family or friends who are interested in improving dkills in accompaniment. Must have attention span for a 45 min lesson at least as lessons are 45 min or an hour bi-weekly. Besides offering lessons in violin and fiddle I am well versed in teaching beginning & intermediate mandolin students and basic lead and backup guitar skills.

    Mostly offering instruction in the lower Puget Sound Region. Am able to venture twice a month to DuPont, Yelm, Shelton or Centralia when there is a demand in a region (4+ students). Home studio is in NE Olympia. House calls are also an option (with additional travel fee) as are Skype lessons upon request.


    Instruction for individuals interested in ANY of the following:

    * Interested in building a solid foundation and knowledge of the instrument & practice efficiency

    * Interested in cultivating better tone production, drive, intonation, rhythm, stylistic phrasing & bowing
    * Needing to improve or learn ornamentation, phrasing, expressive nuance, musicianship
    * Violin or fiddle players needing to learn or improve vibrato
    * Wanting to branch out, become more versatile, wanting to learn to improvise with more facility, etc.
    * Already working with online lessons yet prefer an expert to oversee progress (avoid undesirable habits)
    * Are learning a song or a tune from YouTube or recording and would also like tab, music notation as well
    * Needing a tutor to help your child in school orchestra studies, sight-reading, concert prep, audition prep
    * Wanting some restorative time for yourself with a relaxing musical pastime - assuage stress!
    * Are returning to the instrument after many years or perhaps inherited an instrument you would like to use
    * Care to become a stronger participant in local jam circles, open mics, music festivals or workshops
    * Are involved in a community orchestra or band and need help in any way with repertoire, counting, etc.
    * Interested in some fun and rewarding ear training and dexterity exercises

    Aside from learning to play solo it can also be useful to collaborate with others and understand how to better communicate and provide basic backup accompaniment - even at a beginning or intermediate level!
    My Background:

    After a few adventures abroad over the past few years I have returned to Olympia, WA and am now teaching again. I have an extensive background performing with many ensembles in a variety of styles and ‘know’ the stage and what it takes to be s confident, strong and versatile musician.

    Initially had formal classical training at Northwestern University studying with Eduardo Fiorelli for ten years as a child. Over the past 30 years have become adept with improvising violinist and multi-instrumental instructor having performed with many professional ensembles throughout the Pacific Northwest, Canada, Alaska and Hawaii, and have had enough practical experience to have become a well-versed group leader on staff at many renowned music workshops and camps in the NW and Canada. I am a strong player and with experience to participate in most types of ensembles, with or without the aid of sheet music. From this practical experience I have developed a pedagogy that includes unique tools and true-to-life session skills to help you get to the next level on your musical path. From Bluegrass, Old time & Cajun to Blues, Ethnic Folk & Gypsy-Jazz we connect in the joy of creating music! The learning process becomes more fun and rewarding in working through your optimal learning style(s) realizing your specific needs.

    I look forward to meeting students who are open to learning some enjoyable, unique tried and true exercises. Ear training is paramount, as is having a good connection with your breathing, ability to relax and connect much more with your instrument and what you deliver through it. I work with students first and foremost in improving their tone production. Improving rhythmic coordination is also vital to the process!

    My own most influential instructors: Eduardo Fiorelli, Nortwestern University School of Music; Maxine-Karen Johnson, Honolulu HI (formal training - classical violin); Kenny Baker, Byron Berline, Stuart Duncan, Laurie Lewis (Bluegrass); Paul Anastasio (jazz-swing, blues, western-swing); Bruce Molsky (old-time fiddle); Martin Hayes (Irish); Alasdair Fraser (Scottish); Natalie MacMaster (Cape Breton) Radim Zenkl and Emory Lester (various mandolin styles).

    1 posting total

    November 18, 2009
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