Erie Jones

Banjo, bass guitar, guitar, percussion, singing, ukulele
Available: Thursday, Friday, and Saturday
Specializes in early learners ages 4+
Levels Taught: All

Erie specializes in working with young people. Each child brings something wonderful and different to the table and Erie seeks to engage with that while challenging students musically. Musical rigor, emphasizing creativity, humor and playfulness, are a significant part of the process. From the get go, he teaches and supports creating music as well as performing it. When a student creates and (formally or informally) notates music, she gains a deeper understanding of her developing concepts and skills. One of Erie’s main goals is to foster autonomy, whereby the student becomes his or her own teacher.

Erie uses tablature, staff notation, playing by ear, observation, audio recording, singing, and more—in whatever mixture best benefits the student. Erie plans for immediate success so his students can start making a joyful noise right off the bat. There is no one “right path” but there is a great feeling of “rightness” when students learn and produce music which grows naturally from their creativity and aspirations. In addition to playing music, Erie encourages and helps his students to create and write their own musical pieces.

Erie grew up in a musical household and has been playing music since junior high school. A former Seattle school teacher, he taught music the last several years of his career there. He’s excited to now be in the middle of a second career teaching young people (and adults too) the mysteries and joys of the various fret boards.

Dave Keenan

Bluegrass banjo, guitar, and mandolin
Available: Sunday
Levels taught: All
Ages taught: All
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Dave specializes in roots music of all sorts, including bluegrass, country, western swing, old-time, fiddle tunes, and three-finger Earl Scruggs picking, among others. He also teaches rhythm and lead in all of these styles and likes to work with songwriters and people in bands that want help working out grooves, parts, and leads. Music theory, ear training and technique are also part of his focus.

Dave Keenan got his start at the age of 8 when his dad taught him to play ukulele. He soon picked up all the instruments around the house, eventually studying Scruggs-style banjo at age thirteen, and teaching at age seventeen. Dave is a busy music camp instructor, teaching guitar, mandolin, and banjo at several camps each summer. He plays in many bands in Seattle, including The Downtown Mountain Boys, The Buckaroosters, and many other roots music bands. His playing is always twangy and tasty. “Why do I teach? I was lucky enough to have good teachers and want others to have the same chance!”

Jason Stewart

Bluegrass banjo, guitar, and singing
Available: Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday evenings
Levels taught: All
Ages taught: 8+
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Jason is excited to share his own experience and passion for bluegrass music with new students. In his lessons, he focuses on the three-finger picking style and working towards the student’s goals for the banjo, taking time for them to become familiar and comfortable with the instrument. The right hand is really important, both for beginners and experienced players. Jason takes the approach of breaking down the mechanics and discussing proper hand positioning to make things work smoothly.

Jason has been playing the banjo since early childhood, growing up in East Tennessee. His musical experience has included performing at the Grand Ole Opry and performing and recording with Jim Lauderdale. He also was a sideman with James Monroe and the Midnight Ramblers. Currently Jason performs locally in the Pacific Northwest with the bands Prairie Flyer and Dysfunction Junction. He takes great enjoyment out of connecting with new folks and sharing all that he has learned.

Molly Tenenbaum

Clawhammer banjo
Available: Wednesday and Saturday
Levels taught: All
Ages taught: 8+
Call for rates

Molly teaches old time clawhammer and frailing banjo, two-finger fingerpicking banjo, and fiddle tunes played on banjo. She recommends one hour for adults, 45 minutes for committed teens or adults who have almost an hour but not quite a whole one, and 30 minutes for children under twelve or people in a hurry.

A banjo teacher since 1987, Molly guides students to be independent learners by listening, watching, and learning basic patterns and how to vary them to make melodies and accompaniments. She loves to see her students learning tunes, playing in jams, singing with the banjo, and generally enjoying old time music. Or she can help with working out old-time banjo parts for modern songs. She emphasizes learning by ear and recommends that students record lessons to go home with the tunes played up to speed and slowly, talked through phrase by phrase. Molly can also help students learn banjo accompaniment for old time songs, old time solo pieces, playing in jams, and banjo-fiddle duets. Lessons often focus on source recordings to “play like the old timers” and to expand repertoire.

Molly has been playing old-time banjo since she was a teenager, inspired by field recordings, travels around the Southeastern U.S., revival artists such as the New Lost City Ramblers, and by various contemporary players. She has played for square dances around the Pacific Northwest with The Queen City Bulldogs and Dram County, and is in a singing duet with her brother, Dan Tenenbaum.

Stuart Williams

Fiddle, guitar, tenor banjo
Available: Monday and Wednesday
Levels taught: All
Ages taught: All
Call for rates

Stuart plays and teaches the old time fiddle music of the Greater Northwest: Missouri and Southern hoedowns, Canadian jigs and reels, Scandinavian waltzes, and more. Having studied the details of the personal and regional styles, as well as repertoire of the older masters of this art, he is eager to pass this knowledge on to you.

Stuart is eminently interested in matching his approach to your best learning style and interests. He also enjoys teaching fiddle tunes and fiddle and song accompaniment on mandolin, guitar, and tenor and clawhammer banjo. Music theory that you can understand and readily use permeate his approach to teaching, but the most important thing is to help the student develop his or her musical ear, a feel for the music, and find their personal style and way into this wonderful social and dance music.

Stuart focuses particularly on details of style and bow work that characterize the individual and regional styles, having learned first-hand from experienced dance fiddlers in rural Michigan and the Pacific Northwest since 1972. He plays throughout the Pacific Northwest for contra and square dances, including stints with Flash in the Pan in the 1970s and Pleasures of Home in the 1990s, among others.

He also has extensive experience documenting the older generation of fiddlers and presents this music through recordings and written works. Stuart has taught full time since 1993, both privately and in workshops through the Washington Old Time Fiddlers’ Association and other Northwest organizations. He was featured in the summer 2014 issue of Fiddler magazine.