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Kenny Jackson

Pittsboro, NC, USA

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Teaches Lessons: Online, In Person

Levels: Beginner, Intermediate, Advanced

Teacher Since: 1986

Pricing: Contact me for info.

Listing Created: 11/17/2011
Listing Updated: 7/13/2015

More About Me

“Kenny Jackson is one of the best! He is able to break down knowledge of his craft for the beginner to understand, and teach at any level. I am a beginning fiddle player, and while I am in awe of his musical skill, I still find him to be an encouraging, clear, and excellent teacher.” ~Sue West

The instrumental styles that I teach are deeply rooted in old-time music, especially from the Appalachian mountain region. It’s music that I have loved, played, and taught for many years.

I believe that traditional music is best learned by ear and by heart, with written music used only as a memory aid if used at all, and that for learning nothing beats an ongoing relationship with a good teacher. I teach according to individual needs and interests while always keeping the tradition close at hand. On the fiddle, I’m happy to work with folks who have had no formal musical training as well as those looking to make the leap from classical violin technique to traditional fiddling. I also offer lessons on old-time banjo, including clawhammer and finger-picked styles. Normally I teach to ages 16 and older, but I’m willing to consider a younger student who is highly motivated to learn. Contact me and we’ll discuss it.

If you’re a beginner, I’ll help you develop a good foundation with the instrument. You’ll learn simple, authentic versions of traditional tunes. We will work a lot on bringing out the rhythms and phrasing of the music in a way that makes your fiddling sound like the real deal. You’ll learn to play in standard violin tuning as well as traditional alternative tunings that lend the music unique character. I will help you to build your skills and understanding of the music so that you can begin to do what is the most fun part – playing music with other people. For more experienced players, we can work on expanding your repertoire, honing your technique, learning to play more challenging tunes, and exploring nuances that come with intensive playing and listening.

You can take lessons with me either online via Skype or in person at my home in beautiful Chatham County, NC. I have taught many students via Skype since 2007, and it is a great alternative if you aren’t within commuting distance, are short on time, or if you just prefer to take your lessons in the comfort of your own home. What you’ll need for this are a high-speed internet connection, a webcam, and a Skype account with the software downloaded (you can get it here) and installed on your machine.

New Students

After you contact me, I’ll send you a short questionnaire for you that will help me to know a bit about your musical background and interests, your experience level at playing your instrument, and your goals. If you’re unsure whether we’re a good fit, I’m happy to offer you an initial 30-minute get-acquainted lesson at half price.

Lesson duration and frequency

My standard lesson duration is 30 minutes; most students find that in a half hour lesson they can get enough material to carry them through until the next lesson. For a dedicated student, weekly lessons really help to maintain a sense of continuity and progress. That said, longer lessons can offer an opportunity to go into certain material in greater depth, so if you feel it would be beneficial to you, we can do 45-60 minute lessons. I also recognize that for some, occasional or even one-off lessons may best meet their needs.

Lesson rates and discounts

Please contact me for my current rates. For students who are committed to regular lessons, I offer a discounted rate when four or more lessons are booked at once. Payment can be made online via PayPal, credit/debit cards, or via bank transfer. If you prefer other payment arrangements (check, cash, bullion, or barter), please let me know at the time you book your lessons and we’ll work something out.

All lessons are to be paid for in advance, and the payment is nonrefundable. However, if you need to miss a scheduled lesson due to illness, unexpected family, school, or work circumstances, etc., just let me know and we’ll reschedule your lesson for the earliest convenient date.

Life is short, and there’s a lot of music to be made, so if you’d like to learn to play old-time fiddle, carpe diem!


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