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Music Instruction

There are many fine music teachers, schools, workshops, and organizations that promote Celtic music. Here you will find links to local teachers who offer lessons on many celtic instruments, and also information about Mary McLaughlin's singing workshops.

Local Music Teachers

David Brewer
David gives lessons on bagpipes, whistles, and the bodhran. He is a member of the local band, Molly's Revenge. David has moved to the East Coast but is offering instruction via the Internet. Please contact him at
Michel d'Avenas
Pipe Major Michel d'Avenas is a classically trained musician who has been teaching bagpiping for almost 40 years. He welcomes students of all ages and ability levels and is available for individual or group lessons, seminars, workshops, school demonstrations and pipe band consultations and tuning. He teaches at his home studio on the Monterey Peninsula, California.
Art Friedman
Art is an irish and old time fiddle teacher/performer. 650-224-5604.
Scott Peden
Scott plays for party's of all sorts, and has a modern outfit, and a 16th century outfit, for renaissance or medieval events and weddings. He also plays a variety of Irish Music, and plays shuttle pipes also, which are small and quiet indoor bagpipes. He considers himself a Celtic piper, not just Scottish. He gives lessons to those that are interested in the Pipes, but not looking to go towards the band experience. Based in Boulder Creek. 831 338-2306
John Lavelle
John offers button accordion lessons and can be contacted at: or 408-269-1752. He is ready to take on students immediately.
Lars Johannesson
Lars plays and teaches flute (modern, celtic, baroque) and performs often with the Gourd music crowd. (Shelley & Barry Phillips, William Coulter, Neal Hellman.)
Kris Yenney
Kris has a M.M. degree in cello performance from New England Conservatory of Music, and has also studied at Julliard, Tanglewood, and in Banff, India and Scotland. She teaches cello, gamba, chamber music, and music theory privately in Palo Alto and the Santa Cruz mountain area, and is an ensemble coach and directs the Palo Alto Chamber Orchestra's SuperStrings and Preparatory groups. 650-814-0580.
John Weed
John offer lessons for first time students to advanced fiddle techniques (bowing, ornamentation, and improvisation). He teaches several folk genres with an emphasis on Irish, Old-Time American, and Bluegrass fiddle, but has also taught Scottish, French Canadian, and Classical as well. As much as he hates to admit it, he was classically trained, and has just over 20 years experience (but who's counting?). He is able to teach sight-reading, theory, ear-training, and chord structure depending on student interest and desire. (831) 818-5021.
Laurel Thomsen
Laurel gives violin and viola instruction in Classical, American Folk, and World Music genres; she also offers instruction in the Suzuki method and improvisation. She has 10 years teaching experience. Her teaching methods focus on creating an ease and freedom of expression through working with the natural biomechanics of the body and properly training the ear and the mind. Her teaching emphasizes all aspect of right and left hand technique, posture, and both music reading and playing by ear. Based in Monterey, California. Please contact Laurel Thomsen: 831-224-0913.
Jesse Autumn
Jesse teaches lessons on folk harp and double-strung harp, piano, recorder, pennywhistle, and specializes in intro to fulton technique concepts, celtic and world music, ear training and musicianship, arranging, music theory, reading music, singing with your instrument, improvisation skills. 464-2743. E-mail
Nasatir School of Percussion
Nasatir is located in San Francisco's East Bay (Castro Valley), and it provides Bodhran lessons.

Workshops & Classes by Mary McLaughlin

Internationally renowned Irish singer Mary McLaughlin returns from her continuing studies in Ireland for workshop series & classes. Please register in advance as number of attendees is needed to prepare materials.

Singer Within Workshop: Thursday evenings from June 17 to July 29, except for July 8. Singer Within 1, from 6pm to 7:30pm, is for anyone who wants to discover (or re-discover) their inner voice, by learning basic singing skills & developing confidence.

Singer Within 2 Workshop: From 7:45pm to 9:15pm, for those who have taken Singer Within 1 & are ready to move on to the next level. Register at & you'll receive details of location, price, etc.

Special Chant Workshop: Early chant - Gregorian & Byzantine polyphonic chant from the 10th to 13th century, on Saturdays from 2pm to 4pm at St. Andrew's Church in Aptos. Cost $30-$40. Register: Mary is currently completing her Masters in Ritual Chant & Song at the Irish World Music Academy. You'll learn early Christian chants that have been the foundation of Western Music.

Sean-Nós Songs Workshop: Learn songs in the Irish tradition - Gaelic songs are taught phonetically. Saturday mornings from 10am to 1pm, from June 12 to July 17, except for July 2, on Branciforte Rd in Santa Cruz. Cost: $30-$40. Register by e-mail at

Cór Anglí Gaelic Christmas Workshop: On Sundays from 1:30pm to 4:30pm, from June 13 to July 18, except for July 4, at St. Andrew's Church in Aptos. Cost: first one is free trial - after that choir fee. Register:

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