Some of the teachers we list on the main instructor page specialize or are good at teaching kids. We do this a public service, and do not make any claims as to the proficiency or availability of any of the instructors, or endorse particular teachers. If you’re an kids instructor who would like to be included on this list, please send an email to [email protected] and we’ll post it to this page. Instructors from all over New England welcome!

InstrumentLocationInstructor Information
Bsss, VocalsProvidence, RIJeff Horton, East Providence, RI 401.435.4173 [email protected]. Jeff has been playing bass for over 40 years and singing since he was a child. He is a six-year veteran of Northern Lights, founder of The Neon Valley Boys, and current member of The Mary Maguire Band and The Pegheads (along with a few other projects). Jeff has taught Harmony singing workshops at Joe Val, Grey Fox, Podunk, and Thomas Point Beach bluegrass festivals, as well as leading bass workshops at Greyfox’s Grass Roots stage for the past 10 years. The harmony workshops are co-taught with Mary Maguire. Certified in Secondary Education (mathematics) in RI, Jeff teaches children and adults.
Vocal Techniques and Rhythm GuitarCentral NHMary Maguire  ( has continued to present her popular bluegrass harmony workshops at Joe Val, Grey Fox, Podunk, and Thomas Point Beach bluegrass Festivals for ten years with bassist Jeff Horton, and is a founding member of The Mary Maguire Band and acoustic swing favorites Sweet, Hot & Sassy!  The Joe Val Bluegrass Festival 2011 includes Mary teaching two new Fast Track! Vocal classes.  Mary always has fun with students of all ages, specializing in getting beginner guitarists and singers on their way and inspiring intermediate students to new levels of musicianship. Music theory tutoring and performing band consultations are also available, fees are by arrangement. Lessons are usually at her central NH studio (3 minutes off I-93).  603.455.0238
Guitar, Mandolin, Bass, SingingBrookline, MAAugust Watters, Brookline, MA [email protected]. Ear Training, String and vocal ensemble instructor at Berklee College of Music. Teaches guitar, mandolin, theory, ear training for kids and adults. (617) 738-8198 (h), (617) 747-8686 (w).
FiddleBoston, MAAlan Kaufman - Veteran fiddler and leader of the BBU's monthly kids' jam. Multiple contest winner and author. Email: [email protected]
FiddleMedford, MAEllery Klein teaches all levels and ages 6 and up fiddle and violin in the Boston area, at her home studio in Medford, MA and at Powers Music School in Belmont, MA. While professionally, she focuses primarily on Irish music, she loves to play Old-Time and a little bluegrass. She has trained in the Mark O'Connor Method for Books I&II (2013) and in Alice Kanack's Creative Ability Development Method (2019). For beginners, she mainly uses, an online fiddle curriculum. She teaches a wide variety of fiddle tunes to expose students to different genres and styles. As students achieve technical proficiency, encourages them to find resources such as the Boston Bluegrass Union to meet others, play out in the community and discover their own style. She runs group workshops through the year to allow students group playing, harmonising, chording, listening and improvising practice. Ellery's students enjoy her patient teaching, her ability to teach to the individual, and her love of all things fiddle!
[email protected]
FiddleBrighton, MAAndy Reiner (781-696-7724,  [email protected]).   Among the first 50 teachers to be trained in the Mark O'Connor Violin Method, and staff at the annual O'Connor Method Camp in Charleston, SC, Andy Reiner is on the cutting edge of this new movement to encourage creativity and improvisation alongside classic North American repertoire.  Your young fiddler will flourish playing music they love as they become competent with styles and techniques that allow them to jam with other kids and adults and start their own band one day!  ~~~  Bluegrass ambassador to Southeast Asia for The State Department in 2011 with The Earth Stringband, 2008 graduate of Berklee College of Music (BM Violin Performance), director of Rustic Roots - primitive music camp and co-director of Fiddle Hell Massachusetts, among the first 50 teachers certified in the O'Connor Violin Method, performances and workshops at festivals and music camps across US, Canada, Europe, and Southeast Asia.
FiddleMedford and Jamaica Plain, MALaura Smith teaches bluegrass, oldtime, celtic fiddle and classical violin to all ages, with a focus on inspiring and enabling students to love making music. She has a BA in Violin Performance and a minor in American Roots Music from Berklee School of Music, and has taught privately for eight years.  She plays in several bands, and has taken firsts in her age division at several fiddle contests, including the California and Nevada Oldtime Fiddle State Champions, Western Open Championships and top 5 in the National Oldtime Fiddle Championships. Laura is currently teaching at locations in Medford and Jamaica Plain.  For more info and updates, please check or email
[email protected].
CelloBoston, MAValerie Thompson
Cellist and Berklee graduate, with much experience working with kids.
BanjoLexington, MARichard Stillman Influential New England banjoist, New Jersey banjo champion in 1983 and the 2002 and 2003 New England banjo champion. He is a six-time winner of the annual banjo contest held at Lowell, Massachusetts (1985-1995), where he has given the bluegrass banjo workshop every year since 1996. email: [email protected]
BanjoCambridge, MARicky Mier teaches beginning through advanced three-finger banjo. Currently a student at Berklee College Of Music, he is also a flexible and experienced teacher who delights to teach all ages. Please feel free to contact Ricky for further details!
[email protected] ....(415) 309-8399
FiddleLexington, MADave Reiner
Leading New England fiddler, author, and master of several traditional fiddle styles. email: [email protected]
FiddleCathy Goode Local fiddler and guest director of JVBGA. Many years experience teaching children and instructor at the Grey Fox Bluegrass Academy for Kids. Teaches fiddle. email [email protected] Newton
Banjo, BassNewton, MALouis Kaplan Many years experience teaching children and participating in the Grey Fox Bluegrass Academy for Kids. Teaches banjo and bass. Newton email [email protected] Newton
Banjo, Mandolin, GuitarNewton, MAHowie Tarnower is a multi-instrumentalist and well known veteran of the Bluegrass and Folk world.  He has recorded and toured extensively with many bands including; The Fiction Brothers, Country Cooking and Special Consensus.  He has performed with many of Bluegrass' finest musical talents; Tony Trischka, Peter Wernick, Matt Glaser, Don Stover, Chris Jones, Hazel Dickens, and Rose Maddox to name a few. He has played on dozens of recordings, soundtracks and broadcasts from Prairie Home Companion to Car Talk.   He has taught at many area schools and  arts programs including; Winchester and Belmont Community Music Schools, All Newton Music School, Cambridge Public School, Middlesex School and The Park School. He continues to perform with many local artists as well as his own bands; Boston City Limits and The Blue Suede Boppers  Teaches guitar, banjo and mandolin.  Home phone (Newton) 617-969-2559
Gutiar, MandolinCambridge and Brookline, MATony Watt Award-winning flatpicking guitarist Tony Watt teaches guitar and mandolin throughout the Boston area, but primarily in Cambridge and Brookline. He has taught privately for over 10 years, and now teaches courses in bluegrass guitar and mandolin for the BBU;s Bluegrass Academy. Tony has also taught guitar workshops and Kids' Academies at bluegrass festivals including Joe Val, Grey Fox, Thomas Point Beach, and many more. e-mail: [email protected]
Guitar, Mandolin, Fiddle, Banjo, Dobro

Cumberland, RI

(The RMI Learning Center at Rick's Musical Instruments, Inc

Bill Thibodeau began his professional career as a mandolin player at the age of 8.  He performed with his late father, Sam Tidwell, and his brother Dave at Colby College in Maine, and became an equally skilled performer of ukulele, banjo, mandolin and fiddle.  Over the next decade he performed with several regional and touring bands including Bluegrass Supply Company, Kennebec Valley Boys, Blue Diamond, Union River Band, The Adrians, Anna Mae Mitchell, The Bill Thibodeau Band, and many others. Bill began his career as a noted instructor, sharing his talents with the musicians of tomorrow, including children.  Following a recent move to Rhode Island, Bill has been welcomed to the staff of the RMI Learning Center at Rick’s Musical Instruments, Inc. of Cumberland.Contact: 207-949-0868 or [email protected]
Guitar, MandolinProvidence, RIBen Pearce teachs beginning guitar lessons as well as mandolin lessons to students of all ages and at all levels.  The focus of all lessons is teach students the musical underpinnings of traditional music that better facilitates playing with other people and building the musical community.  I give lessons mostly in Thanks for doing this for me.  I currently teach Beginning guitar lessons as well as Mandolin lessons to students of all ages and at all levels.  The focus of all lessons is teach students the musical underpinnings of traditional music that better facilitates playing with other people and building the musical community.  I give lessons mostly in Providence RI, but also teach private lessons occasionally in and around Boston.  I can be reached at [email protected] .  My website is and my phone number is 401-484-8236 .  I am also a builder of and repair person of guitars and mandolins.
Guitar, Mandolin, Violin, Bass, VocalsCambridge, MAEthanRobbins is a Cambridge-based bluegrass musician, specializing in guitar, violin, mandolin, bass, and voice.  He plays in numerous bluegrass groups in the area, including Cold Chocolate, Three Tall Pines, and Bluegrass: The Band, and can be seen performing at such festivals as Ossipee Valley, Joe Val, and Strawberry Park.  For the past three years, Ethan has taught students whose ages range from 3 to 55 and can teach beginners to advanced students in almost any style.  He offers very competitive rates and is available for both in-home lessons or at his studio in Cambridge.  To get in touch, contact [email protected] or at 301-213-5851.