"I highly recommend Ellery to anyone looking for a violin/fiddle teacher. She is skilled, kind and patient and uses an interactive curriculum that my son absolutely loves. In one year, he went from violin novice to confidently playing several fiddle tunes and even his favorite Star Wars theme song with fellow students at a local outdoor concert.
We love Ellery so much that after moving to a new town, we still make the 40-minute commute for lessons with her each week!" -Seema, mom of Yusuf
"Ellery is an amazing fiddle instructor. My son began taking lessons from her 4 years ago and during this time I have seen big improvements with his ability to play. She’s great at understanding the individual needs of her students and coming up with a tailored learning approach that enables her students to feel comfortable and grow their skills." - Jeana, mom of Alexander
I teach youth lessons on Tuesday afternoons and Saturday mornings at my studio in Medford, MA. The studio is on the Malden line, very close to 93N. It is very accessible from Somerville, Winchester, Stoneham, Everett, Arlington, and much of Boston.
Click the link to see my studio policies and tuition for weekly lessons.
I run three group workshop/jam sessions a semester for all my students.
I teach adults and homeschoolers during the day on Tuesdays-Thursdays.
To inquire about openings, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
First of all, the big question: "What's the difference between a fiddle and a violin, anyway? "
I say, "It's the attitude!"
I pride myself on teaching "to the individual" - finding what works, what motivates, and what brings joy to each person in my studio. There is no doubt that the violin can be a challenging instrument to learn. My goal is to teach perseverance, confidence and a willingness to make mistakes, to laugh ... and be compassionate towards oneself. I aim for technical excellence, but view it as part of a holistic process that is an ongoing journey while we learn new tunes.
I switched most of my beginners to the online subscription curriculum FiddleQuest in 2016. Developed by a longtime teacher in Ashland, OR, Fiddlequest enables teacher and student to use a multimedia approach to learning the instrument. It's also a great resource for those parents who aren't musicians themselves to allow the student to watch videos, as well as hear and play along with the music at home between lessons.
For older and more advanced students, I teach a fiddle repertoire that continues to offer a mix of styles. I focus on tunes often played in the Boston area, tunes selected to teach more advanced techniques, or repertoire from the Mark O’Connor Method Books III and IV.
I love to teach classical repertoire to beginners and intermediate students who are interested, mainly using the Doflein Violin Method Books and the Barbara Berber Solos For Young Violinists collections.
All of my private youth students are highly encouraged to attend my semi-regular group workshops (about 6 times a year).
The first section of a workshop features the Creative Ability Development method from Alice Kanack. This method teaches creativity through the use of musical improvisation, improvisation games and exercises for all levels of playing. I use CAD as the "bridge" in my teaching: whether my student is focusing on classical or fiddle repertoire, they will develop the ability to sit down with any other student and make music together through the language of creativity.
After a CAD session, the last third of a workshop features a casual jam session, playing the tunes we know for and with each other. (Parents who play are encouraged to join in!)
No, it's never too late to learn the fiddle! For adults, I tailor my repertoire and teaching style to your experience, goals and hopes for the instrument. I mostly teach adults during the day time hours, and schedule lessons on a flexible basis - I know that we grownups all have complicated lives.
My students include beginners, adults who "used to play" and hope to get back into the instrument, and accomplished classical musicians who want to learn the nuances and repertoire of fiddle styles. I also introduce adult students to some of the exercises in Creative Ability Development in order to foster creativity.
I encourage all adult students to also find a social or group outlet for the skills we learn in lessons, such as a local session, some friends to play with for fun, or a formal group music experience.
Launched in 2015, Fiddlin’ on the Hill is a summer strings camp for violin, viola and cello players ages 9-14, of all stylistic backgrounds who are excited for a fun week packed with fiddle tunes.
Accomplished fiddle instructors offer classes in repertoire, improvisation, composing, group playing, step dancing, art classes. We'll also get outside for crafting, reading and playing games!
This year’s camp will run July 20-24, 2020, 8:45 am-4:00 pm. Click here for more information or registration.
I strongly believe that every child should hear, experience and participate in a variety of musical experiences early on. Music is intrinsic to being human, expresses emotion and fosters connections through joy and song!
As a strings teacher, I understand the importance of developing the musical ability inherent in every person at a young age. Pitch and rhythm are not elusive talents for the select few- really! Singing, dancing and moving to songs early on develops musical literacy for a lifetime of opportunities for music, fun and community.
For more information about my work bringing weekly music to local preschools, click here.