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About Us
I offer lessons in:

  • 5 String Banjo
  • Fiddle
  • Acoustic Guitar
  • Mandolin
  • Basic Music Theory
  • Intermediate Music Theory
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    Stuart WilliamsOffering private lessons in
    Seattle - Bainbridge Island, Washington
    About MeContact Me
    I teach the music I have loved all my life. That is, traditional or "old time" fiddle music. I have been fortunate to have met and learned first hand from a number of masters of this age old art, fiddlers here in the Pacific Northwest who themselves learned from long lineages of fiddlers and who played for dances in the rural southern, midwestern and northwestern states as well as Western Canada. I have also worked to document this rich tradition through productions and events with Northwest Folklife, Voyager Records and the Washington Old Time Fiddlers Association. I enjoy playing for square and contra dances and other community events. I am honored to have been featured in the Summer 2014 issue of Fiddler Magazine. In my spare time I tend to my garden and serve at the beck and call of my two cats. In a former life I studied biology and worked in a lab studying blood platelet function.

    My Teaching Background
    I have been teaching music full time now for 20 years: private lessons, group classes and workshops at camps and festivals around the Northwest. My students have been my best teachers as far as letting me know what works and what doesn't. I also spent several years as an academic tutor working under some excellent teachers and garnered a lot of ideas which I apply to teaching music, particularly around targeting diverse learning styles.

    My Teaching Philosophy
    First off, fiddling is darn good fun and if we're not having fun then, well, not much learning will take place! I try to draw on the best of the old time fiddlers' intuitive and "by ear" approach while guiding the students toward a comfortable technique appropriate to fiddling. I enjoy helping students find their own voice and sense of style within the broader fiddle tradition, delving into a variety of stylistic nuances and repertoire based on our regional tradition. I host jam sessions for the students and help facilitate performance opportunities at the appropriate level. I integrate applied music theory and ear training into the learning experience and teach reading standard notation as an adjunct skill rather than the primary mode of learning. I try to explore, respect and make use of differences in learning modes and styles as well.

    Rates And Availability
    I teach at Dusty Strings in Seattle's Fremont neighborhood, at my home on Beacon Hill and on Bainbridge Island at the Island Music Guild. Please contact me for rates and availability.