Private Lessons

Making music should be fun.  That’s where I start with my students and that’s what my goal is for my students.  It thrills me when I hear stories of my students taking their violins to school and playing for their class or playing in a talent show.  It excites me when I hear how family members are learning instruments so they can play together.  I remember the day when a mother of three was sitting on a bench in my yard, practicing her violin before her lesson.  One of her daughters quickly unpacked her own violin and joined in.  Wow!  That is what I want for my students.

 Violin or Fiddle?

It’s fun for me to know what style of music you want to play when you begin taking lessons.  It’s fun, but it’s not really important because all students start out very much the same way.  Then, as time progresses, we can lean in the direction you want to go.  Many of my students enjoy playing a little in this style, and a little in that style.  You never really have to make a decision to be either a violinist or a fiddler.  Today’s musician can do it all!

 How Often?  How Long?

It is best to have weekly lessons.  Our schedules, however, don’t always make that possible.  In that case, I’ll work with your schedule.  I’ll also ask you to work with my schedule.  Sometimes I have rehearsals, concerts, Fiddle Camp, and hopefully, an occasional vacation.  Most of my students take half-hour lessons weekly.  I also have students taking 45 minute lessons and others taking one hour lessons.

In Person?  Via Skype?

I have been teaching lessons via Skype for many years. I have full-time Skype students as well as part-time Skype students.  Local students Skype when for example; their busy schedules allow time for a lesson, but not time to travel too, when the weather is bad; when there is no one to bring them; and, for other reasons as well.  Lessons via Skype is not exactly the same as lessons in person, but with advancing technology, good equipment and high-speed internet, it’s almost like being there!

 Student Profile

I have had students start as young as three and old enough to be considered “senior”.  Some of my students have had previous instruction on the violin, or piano, or voice, or saxophone, or french horn,    or . . .  Some of my students have never had any other type of musical instruction.  My students are pre-school, school-age, home schooled, working parents, non-working parents, retired . . . Many of my students are involved in other activities, including sports.


Lessons — 10 Comments

  1. Greetings Babette,

    I recently discovered that my grandfather left behind a pair of violins and I took one of them to Ray Palmer to get fixed up, who also gave me your name. I’m intrigued by the violin and I’d like to find out if it is something I would like to pursue for the long term. I am 28 years old and my main music experience is in percussion – Started with snare drum in middle school band and eventually switched to latin percussion which I play at my church to this day. I own a guitar and I pick/strum around on it occasionally but I’ve never really learned note progression and much theory, sadly. Could you give me some more info on your lessons and thoughts on me learning the violin? Thanks! -Stan

  2. Hello Stan,

    Thank you for visiting my website and contacting me. How exciting to find your grandfather’s violins! Was your grandfather local? Someone I might know? Also, you made an excellent decision to take one of them to Ray Palmer! Ray is an excellent repairman, very honest and likeable and because he is a violist/fiddler himself, repairs instruments in a timely manner. Ray is also a great young luthier and you should take a look at his instruments while you are in his shop someday.

    I have many adult students who have also been intrigued by the violin. They have come to me for a variety of reasons and with a variety of abilities. Some have had no previous musical experience at all. Most of my adult students not only meet, but also exceed their expectations. It is wonderful that your background is in percussion because rhythm is so important and certainly that aspect of learning should be easier for you to understand.

    There is an awesome fiddler friend of mine named Casey Driessen. Casey was recently touring here with Bela Fleck and the Flecktones. He is currently working on an exciting project with some really awesome percussionists. Here is the address to that information from his kickstarter page (fully funded), http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/960760498/fiddle-sticks-the-drummer-project.

    Thank you again for contacting me. I’ll be contacting you via email.


  3. hello babette, i got your name thru blue moon music. i am a retired dentist and am wanna-be- fiddler. the kicker is I’m 83 yrs young. I’ve been attempting to learn to play on my own. i don’t expect miracles at my age but i would like to reach an enjoyment level that i can tolerate. if you would consider taking me on as a project, i would be interested in private lessons or a fiddle camp. you may call me at 8704511357. i live in fayetteville., thanks , best regards, jerry herndon

  4. Hello Babbette,
    My son Sam is almost 15, and has been playing the piano since kindergarten. He is interested in learning violin as well. His piano teacher, Joyce Pettigrew, gave us your name. He is interested in private lessons, if you have any openings. Can you give us more information on the cost associated with lessons?
    Heather Lonneman

  5. I’m also a senior…retired music teacher looking for tunes and techniques for old time fiddling now with a small local group. I have played violin/fiddle with a community strings ensemble, but not for some years. I reside in Noel, MO, near the AR line, and can come to you or work with Skype once I learn how to! I have an 11-yr-old beginning student on violin, and can use some advice for teaching her. Thank you in advance.

  6. Hello Babette,
    I have always loved music and my dad left me his grandfathers violin. I was overjoyed to get it as I love listening to the violin. I like to attend the symphony and Blue grass/folk concerts. Palmer violin told me the violin would be a good starter violin to learn on and restrung it and I bought a new bow for it. He referred me to you for lessons. I would love to learn. I’ve always wanted to play violin and piano. I’m interested in private lessons for now.

    • Thank you for contacting me! That’s exciting that you have your great-grandfather’s violin! Good move taking it to Palmer Violin Shop! I will send you an email tomorrow (Monday)!

  7. Hi. I have an 8 year old daughter and 11 year old son and we looking for a teacher that teaches both clisdical and fiddle. My kids have been taking violin for awhile, you were recommended highly to us by a dear friend. Are you still doing lessons?

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