Kat Bula

Bluegrass and old time fiddle, classical violin
Available: Monday - Friday, weekends by appointment
Levels taught: All
Ages taught: Young adult to adult
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Kat is all about helping adult and teenage fiddlers learn to make music they like, with people they like. She emphasizes the skills needed to be a great collaborator in any genre, whether improvisation, music theory, or deep listening. She’s skillful at helping students find and address psychological blocks that might be interfering with their playing or their ability to connect with other musicians. A veteran of multiple playing-related injuries, she’s also become highly skilled at helping other fiddlers prevent and troubleshoot pain.

Kat’s roots as a fiddler are in bluegrass, Texas, old-time/Midwest, and classical styles. Always in pursuit of expansion and new people to collaborate with, her performing career has ranged from contemporary country to metal, Western swing to pirate-themed folk punk. She’s also an active session musician and tours regularly with a variety of artists. A singer-songwriter herself, she loves creating fiddle parts that support great vocalists singing great songs.

Kat holds a B.A. in Music from Western Washington University, with focuses on ethnomusicology, classical violin, and electronic music composition. She has won awards at numerous fiddle competitions, including the Northwest Regional Fiddle Contest and the Washington State Fiddle Contest. Since 1996, Kat has worked with hundreds of private students, as well as teaching at such events as California Coast Music Camp, Puget Sound Guitar Workshop, the Washington Old Time Fiddler’s Association Workshop, and the Bellingham Folk Festival. She’s published articles on Mel Bay Publications’ Fiddle Sessions, as well as on her own blog at katbula.com.

Allan MacDonald

Scottish and Irish fiddle
Available: Tuesday
Levels taught: All
Ages taught: 5+
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Practice, fun, and tunes—that's what it’s about! Allan is comfortable teaching by ear or by sheet music, and selects his approach according to the student’s preferences and needs.

Allan grew up in Scotland and first learned fiddle tunes from masters such as Angus Grant, Alisdair Hardie, and Tom Anderson. He played in orchestras during his teens and studied at the Royal Academy of Music in London. However, the jigs and reels of Irish pub sessions proved to have a greater pull than symphonies and concertos, and he soon was playing Scottish and Irish fiddle regularly, including a performance at the Edinburgh International Fringe Festival with Sheena Wellington.

Later, he worked as a Scottish fiddler at Fort Michilimackinac in northern Michigan, appeared on local television in San Francisco playing Scottish fiddle with guitarist Dylan Schorer, and transcribed the Martin Hayes CD, Under the Moon, for MelBay Publishing. He taught violin to grades 4-8 in a Waldorf school for two years and has taught privately for 15 years. In San Francisco, he played many a late night pub session with great players including Brian Therioux, Tina Ley, Flynn Cohen, and Dylan Schorer. Since moving to Seattle he has played in sessions at Molly McGuire’s, Conor Byrne, and the Irish Emigrant, as well as several house concerts and other appearances.

Stuart Williams

Old time fiddle, clawhammer banjo, guitar, mandolin, and tenor banjo
Available: Monday and Wednesday
Levels taught: All
Ages taught: All
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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.