Carlos Andrés Caicedo

Classical and Latin guitar
Available: Tuesday morning, afternoon, and evening
Levels taught: All
Ages taught:  10+

Carlos specializes in classical guitar, flamenco, Latin, and acoustic guitar. He has more than fifteen years of experience teaching all ages as well as abilities, having taught individual lessons, elementary and high school music classes, college-level students, and also for several music schools. His expertise covers a diverse range of styles, from classical repertoire to Spanish-style, flamenco, Latin rhythms, and bossa nova to folk, rock, pop and beyond. His dedicated and personalized approach inspires, engages, and supports his students.

Carlos has a postgraduate degree in flamenco guitar from Liceu Conservatory in Barcelona, Spain and a degree in Classical Guitar Interpretation from Javeriana University in Bogota, Colombia. In 2008, Carlos won a prized scholarship to study flamenco guitar in Barcelona. In 2012, he was selected to play flamenco guitar with the Colombia Symphony Orchestra for a contemporary Opera. Carlos has performed as a soloist, as well as in duets and ensembles in Spain, Colombia, California, and Seattle.

Being from Latin America, Carlos has a unique approach to guitar, one that reflects the rich heritage of playing nylon string guitar, and of using the instrument to play music ranging from Bach to Led Zeppelin to rumba. Through every lesson and interaction, Carlos strives to break down the wall of what people perceive nylon guitar to be. He brings creativity, exploration and improvisation to each lesson, while at the same time covering the technique and details necessary to help develop a well-rounded musician. Whether you’re a lover of nylon guitar or you’re looking to expand your classical repertoire, Carlos has the experience, technique, and patience to help you achieve your goals.

John Calvin

Classical and steel-string guitar, ukulele
Available: Wednesday and Thursday morning and afternoon, Friday afternoon and Saturday morning
Ages taught: Adult
Levels taught: All

John specializes in acoustic guitar, classical guitar and ukulele. He loves to work with adult learners ranging from beginning to advanced players. He uses finger style and flat pick techniques to play rhythm accompaniment, lead and chord/melody style. Students get a healthy dose of folk, ragtime, country, blues, jazz and Irish music, and cover the nuts and bolts of practical music theory. John offers patient instruction, encouragement, and lots of support for his students whether they pursue a relaxing hobby or desire to become expert players. He welcomes those interested in most any style of guitar or ukulele playing.

Performances include churches, bars, weddings, concerts, live radio, and festivals. John’s current goal is to be the best teacher he can be, and with more than 25 years of teaching experience he has helped countless aspiring players to live their dreams. John believes that the basics of musical instrument playing are accessible to everyone. Steady progress springs from the application of good practice habits. Students with prior musical training or experience should build upon the foundation of knowledge that they already possess, and with John’s patient guidance apply it to learning to play the guitar or ukulele. There are many great ways to discover music. Some people are most comfortable learning to “play by ear,” while others succeed by reading musical notation or tablature. Still others become adept by watching experienced players and following their example. As a teacher, John is comfortable with all of these methods, and aims to find what works best for each student.

Carolyn Cruso

Flute, guitar, hammered dulcimer
Available: By appointment
Ages Taught: 8+
Levels Taught: Beginner to intermediate

Carolyn has been a performing multi-instrumentalist and singer/songwriter for twenty-five years. She’s recorded nine albums and has traveled the country and Europe with her music. She’s known as an innovative dulcimer player, pushing the boundaries of tradition while respecting its roots.
Carolyn’s philosophy on teaching and learning is to always keep an open mind. You start from where you are. You delight in the discovery of music and in the wonders of experimentation as well as the discipline of music basics. It is experiential and yet systematic. It is a give and take where the teacher learns through teaching and the student teaches through learning. Carolyn believes in a gentle yet focused approach and students consider her an excellent and patient teacher.

Orville Johnson

Dobro, guitar, slide guitar
Available: Tuesday
Ages Taught: Adult
Levels taught: All

Orville is a nationally acclaimed player and teacher of lap-style dobro. He also teaches fingerpicking, flatpicking, and bottleneck slide styles on acoustic guitar, covering many roots music genres. He’s available for consultations on recording, arranging, singing, and music theory.

Orville was born and raised in the southern Illinois heartland. He is a singer, instrumentalist, record producer, songwriter, session player, teacher, and, above all, an instinctive and sensitive musician. As his entry in the Encyclopedia of Northwest Music (Sasquatch Press 1999) states, he has become a vital figure on the NW music scene in the 30-some years he’s lived here, appearing on over 400 CDs, movie and TV soundtracks, and hosting a roots music radio show.

Orville is known as a patient and insightful teacher of music and has taught at the Puget Sound Guitar Workshop, International Guitar Seminar, Port Townsend Blues Week, Euro-Blues Workshop, and many others. His teaching style is based on helping students accomplish their goals, developing an approach that fits their own ways of learning, adding technique and repertoire, and, ultimately, bringing them to a point at which they can teach themselves. Knowledge is power.

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.

Papa Josh

Acoustic and electric guitar
Available: Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday
Ages Taught: 7+
Levels Taught: All

Papa Josh teaches guitar to beginning, intermediate and advanced players of all ages and styles. With a master’s degree in jazz performance studying with renowned virtuoso Fareed Haque, Josh has developed a thorough understanding of music theory and improvisation and amassed a wealth of experience putting these concepts into play. Josh has developed his own fun and enlightening approach to teaching beginners and helps lifelong guitarists open up to new skills, musical perspectives and approaches to playing. He encourages confidence by remaining patient, sensitive, and open to students’ individual tastes, abilities, and unique struggles.

Papa Josh is an exciting guitarist, bass player, and vocalist. A protégée of world renowned guitar virtuoso Fareed Haque, Josh began performing rock, blues, funk, and jazz at age 16. He has since performed at the 2003 Monterey Jazz Festival, 2010 Vancouver Olympics and 2012 World Loop Championships, to name a few. Since relocating to Seattle in 2013, Josh has performed with Joe Doria, Skerik, D’Vonne Lewis, Klozd Sirkut, Marmalade, Tetrabox, Six Demon Bag, and more. A well-studied instructor with a graduate degree in jazz performance from Northern Illinois University, Josh began teaching guitar while in high school and has gone on to lead master classes and ensembles and teach music theory and improvisation at high schools and universities. Josh has also worked extensively with beginner and intermediate students of all ages. His patient and playful approach imbues confidence that helps overcome any obstacle to musical development.

Dave Keenan

Bluegrass banjo, guitar, mandolin
Available: Sunday
Levels taught: All
Ages taught: All
Call for rates

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!”

Eric Madis

Acoustic, electric, and slide guitar
Available: Thursday
Ages taught: Adult
Levels taught: All

Eric specializes in acoustic and electric guitar covering both flat- and finger-picking blues, bottleneck slide in open and standard tuning, ragtime, folk, country, and Hawaiian slack key guitar. He also teaches fretboard logic, strategy, and efficiency, and helps songwriters develop guitar arrangements for their songs.
Eric feels that musicians need a mentor; someone who can answer their questions and help them to develop their playing to a performance level, whether the performance takes place on stage or simply sitting on the edge of their own bed. He loves to help others develop arrangement and improvisational abilities.

Eric began playing guitar at the age of ten and has a lifelong amazement with the instrument’s beauty and versatility. He is a prolific soloist, bandleader, and veteran session musician. He has performed with a variety of artists, including blues legend Big Walter Horton, Hawaii's Farden Family, ukulele great Bill Tapia, swing violinist Paul Anastasio and poet Nicki Grimes. Eric began teaching in 1976, privately and for National Guitar Workshop, Northwest Folklife, UW Experimental College, Dusty Strings and

Barry Pollack

Classical, fingerstyle, and steel string guitar
Available: Wednesday - Sunday
Ages taught: 10+
Levels taught: All

Barry works with beginners to help them start with best practices and with experienced players of all styles and levels who want to expand their musical horizons. He enjoys playing and teaching finger styles including blues, folk, jazz, classical, and Spanish guitar. Barry teaches traditional and modern approaches to song accompaniment, lead guitar, and how to arrange folk, pop, and jazz tunes for solo guitar playing. He’s a master at teaching music literacy—understanding how melodies, chords, improvisation, and rhythms work on the guitar. He also conducts the Dusty Strings All Guitar Orchestra and Group Guitar.

Barry has opened for or appeared with Ray Charles, Jeff Beck, Tom Petty, Bo Diddley, Heart, Mikael Baryshnikov, the Seattle Symphony, the Northwest Chamber Orchestra, the Joffrey Ballet, and the Portland Opera. He is the author of Popular Guitar Music (a Prentice Hall text book), one of the first books to use extensive transcriptions of actual recorded and popular licks, riffs and rhythms to teach how to play the guitar and understand musical ideas. PDFs of the book are available for free on his website.
At every level of playing and learning there is a next step. He works with his students to find that and to guide them towards musical and guitar playing goals. Lessons are not a test of what you did the week before but an opportunity to study and play together and get direction and inspiration for the coming week.

Tai Shan

Guitar, singing, songwriting
Available: Sunday - Wednesday
Ages Taught: Specializes in young adults
Levels Taught: Beginning to intermediate

Tai’s expertise is in working with women ages seven to adult—helping them to find their voice and joy through music. Under her skillful guidance, students progress from learning the guitar to writing and performing. What is unique and motivating is that she teaches her students the songs that they are currently listening to—the music they adore and follow. As one of her student’s commented, “I got to learn songs I actually know and love, and received help putting my own songs together.”

In nine years of teaching, Tai has won praise for her supportive approach to teaching music and songwriting and has developed a large and respected private studio. A graduate of Cornish College and a singer-songwriter herself, she is known for her unique chord voicings, wide sweeping melodies, and detailed lyrics. CultureMob raves: “Tai Shan sings as if the world was unaware of beauty, and it is her task to describe it.”
Tai helps students set their own goals by designing a curriculum that takes them from beginning guitar to on-stage performance. When students have mastered their song Tai helps them create a digital recording. She also hosts a bi-annual student showcase and films the performance, providing opportunities for the students to build their stage confidence and fan base. As former student Briana Marela (K Records) stated, “Tai gave me the courage to go out and perform.”

Alex Sturbaum

Bodhran, bouzouki, button accordian, and Irish guitar
Available: By appointment
Levels taught: All
Ages taught: All
Call for rates

Alex Sturbaum has been playing and teaching traditional Irish and trans-atlantic music for over a decade. He began his career in Cincinatti, OH, teaching with the Riley School of Irish Music and playing in various local groups.

Alex attended Oberlin College, where he founded the successful contra dance band Gallimaufly, as well as teaching a course on Irish music within the Experimental College. He has gained recognition in traditional music communities all over the country for his complex, powerful accompaniment and energetic accordion playing.

Alex now lives in Seattle, where he plays with various groups including Countercurrent and Piper Stock Hill. He is a capable multi-instrumentalist, switching with ease between guitar, bodhran, button accordion, and bouzouki.

As an educator, Alex emphasizes connection with the music, listening skills, and lift.

Stuart Williams

Fiddle, guitar, and tenor banjo
Available: Monday
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.