Fiddle & Banjo LEssons

A patient, experienced teacher, Joseph offers Old-time fiddle and banjo lessons to students of all skill levels in the Raleigh, Hillsborough, Chapel Hill, and Durham areas from his home in Durham. He teaches lessons to those further afield through Skype and Facetime. Having taught Old-time banjo and fiddle as some of the most prestigious workshops at home and abroad (and in one of the few university programs in the US), he loves helping people grow as players and develop the skills to learn on their own. His interest in teaching spans from beginners to advanced players. He thoroughly enjoys introducing beginning banjo players to the basics of Old-time banjo from clawhammer to fingerpicking styles. As for the more advanced fiddler or banjo player (or those who feel stuck in a rut), he takes great pleasure in helping them think critically about their musical practice and about the tradition. Whether you’re interested in regular lessons or an occasional consultation feel free to touch base.

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Workshops & Camps

Over the last decade, Joseph has been sharing his music and stories at workshops and camps at home an abroad, helping participants delve deeper into Old-Time music and grow as capable listeners and thoughtful players. His relationships and study with older masters like Clyde Davenport and Charlie Acuff shape the form and substance of his teaching and provide students with a vital link to the rich current of this music tradition. His workshops are not a mere study in tunes and technique. Rather, he invites participants to engage with the complex and diverse people, places, and sounds that give this music its beautiful power. Guided by the belief that good listening makes for good playing, he invites participants to listen patiently and thoughtfully. His experiences teaching diverse learners in a variety of contexts—in a conservatory program, at fiddle camps, in university lecture halls, in an 8th grade class room, on the side of a state park trail—have shaped him into a patient, whimsical, and capable teacher. Besides bringing a deep knowledge of the music and the culture around it to workshops, he brings a deep respect for the communities that form around traditional music at workshops and camps and seeks to foster them, jamming with participants, chatting over meal, and goofing off.

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