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I offer lessons in:

  • Accompanying
  • Ear Training
  • Fiddle
  • Basic Music Theory
  • Intermediate Music Theory
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    Sarah ComerOffering private lessons in
    Puyallup, Washington
    About MeContact Me
    I'm Sarah Comer and I specialize in old time fiddle in the northwest style - what does that mean? I'm so glad you asked :) "Old time" is what we call all the traditional dance music of America, and just as there are many different American accents, fiddling from different regions of America has a particular sound and repertoire influenced by the tunes and ornamentation drawn from the various immigrant groups that settled that area. In the northwest we have lots of the driving southern hoedowns that you probably intuitively associate with the words "old time", but also Irish jigs, Canadian reels and Scandinavian waltzes that have been here for generations and become part of the old time repertoire. If you'd like to know more about what that sounds like, you can watch my set at Northwest Folklife with David Cahn here:

    My Teaching Background
    I've been teaching private lessons for 12 years, as well as group classes at Pierce College, The Washington Old Time Fiddlers' Association Workshop, and Dusty Strings Music School. I also lead the Dusty Strings Dance Band (see them in action here and teach at/co-organize the Winter Fiddle Festival with Stuart Williams.

    My Teaching Philosophy
    Learning a new instrument can be both exciting and frustrating at times, and my job is to make the challenging parts of it as fun and engaging as possible. I believe in setting a firm foundation in playing by ear before moving on to sheet music, just as you learned to speak before learning to translate the symbols of written English. Music theory is something all musicians should know, but it's doubly important for people that learn by ear or have any elements of improvisation in their playing, so I incorporate it into lessons at every level of ability. I benefit from having not been a "natural" at this; I started off with bad timing and a worse sense of pitch, but I was fortunate to have a really great teacher that showed me that with patience (from both student and teacher) and practice anyone can learn to do this.

    I was also really fortunate to get to watch and learn from masters of this tradition who were among the last generation that learned before fiddle camps and CDs, and played it in their neighbor's barns on home-made dance floors instead of on stages. To me the history and tradition are inseparable from this music, and it's an honor to get to be a part of passing that on to another generation of fiddlers.

    Rates And Availability
    I currently teach at my studio in Puyallup, at Dusty Strings Music School in Seattle (in the Fremont neighborhood) and via Skype anywhere you have an internet connection. For rates and availability contact me, for more information on upcoming performances while my website is down, check out