Allan MacDonald

Chanter, Fiddle, Tenor Banjo

“Practice, fun, and tunes—that’s what it’s all about!” says long-time Dusty Strings Music School faculty member Allan MacDonald. An accomplished and knowledgeable guide, he is passionate about making Irish and Scottish music accessible to everyone.

Allan’s approach to teaching is to create a safe, comfortable, non-intimidating environment for students to follow their musical interests, develop healthy practice habits, and enjoy playing music. He is comfortable teaching by ear or with sheet music and selects his approach according to the student’s preferences and needs.

Growing up in Scotland, Allan first learned fiddle tunes from masters such as Angus Grant, Alisdair Hardie, and Tom Anderson.  He played in orchestras in 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 soon he was playing Scottish and Irish fiddle at the Edinburgh International Fringe Festival with Sheena Wellington.

Allan has played many a late-night pub session with great players in Scotland, San Francisco, and Seattle, including Brian Therioux, Tina Ley, Flynn Cohen, and Dylan Schorer, and at local pubs Molly McGuire’s, Conor Byrne, and the Irish Emigrant. He has taught violin to grades four through eight at a Waldorf school, and transcribed the Martin Hayes album Under the Moon for MelBay Publishing.

Specialties: Irish, Scottish

Levels: All

Ages: 5 and up

Rates: $45 for 30 min, $55 for 45 min, $65 for one hour

Availability: Tuesday, Wednesday online; Thursday, Fridayin-person

Online/In-Person: Hybrid

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