Cathy Britell


Cathy teaches beginner to advanced autoharp for all ages. She teaches the genres students are most interested in, whether old-time, country, bluegrass, Celtic, folk, gospel, or pop/rock. The student will need to bring an autoharp, an electronic tuner, tuning wrench, and picks for the lesson. Cathy and the Dusty Strings staff will assist the student in purchasing these things as necessary.

The first lesson for the beginner will include holding and tuning the instrument, putting on picks, and developing a steady rhythm, progressing to simple song accompaniment. Cathy will also work on vocal techniques and song interpretation, intonation, and accompaniment if the student wishes. She is an expert at helping people over forty regain a strong singing voice.

Cathy is a multi-instrumentalist and singer who has played as a symphony clarinetist and taught music for forty-five years. She’s played and taught autoharp for more than twenty-five years. She’s won the International Autoharp Championship in Winfield, KS, and was elected to the International Autoharp Hall of Fame in 2012. She is a member of several performance groups locally and founded the Seattle Autoharp Week.

She also performs and teaches at the Ozark Folk Center, various music festivals around the country, and the Sore Fingers Summer School in England.  She authored the popular It’s an Autoharp beginner’s book and has several online offerings as well. Her philosophy is simple: have fun making beautiful music!

Ages: 10 and up
Levels: All
Availability: By appointment
Specialties: folk, old-time, Celtic, bluegrass
Rates: $40 for 30 min, $50 for 45 min, $60 for one hour