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The mandolin is a wonderfully versatile instrument and I offer instruction on a many styles including bluegrass, jazz, western swing, old-time and folk. As with all my teaching, I try and stress essential techniques and concepts that will help you gain a better understanding of your instrument. With Beginning students, I feel that it is absolutely critical that they are given proper guidance from the very first day, avoiding the development of any "bad habits" that can impede their progress and cause problems down the road. With a more advanced player, we work on improvising skills, rhythm and chord shapes, stylistic variations and theory.

"The classes and lessons are incredible. Keith does an amazing job of presenting a wealth of information in a way that someone like me with little experience could grasp. His teaching approach keeps me motivated and challenged. I really feel like I'm developing a fuller understanding of my mandolin and my playing is steadily improving."

Alana Stewart
Mandolin student

"I had the pleasure to participate in the first session of Keith's Jazz Mandolin class that just finished this evening. I would certinaly recommend the class to anyone who is interested in a more complete relationship with the mandolin. I love the Old Town School, and have enjoyed plunking around in several classes over the years. The Jazz Mandolin class, however, is the first one I've taken that treats its students as musicians rather than just hobbyists - though hobbyists too will get a lot out of it. Keith throws a lot at you, and I expect to retain about 20% of it - but now I've got a solid foundation for much much more. I'll definitely use the techniques and knowledge to improve my bluerass and old-time playing."

Joel Simon
Mandolin student

I have played the banjo for over 30 years and studied with world-renowned master musician Tony Trischka. Instruction is offered on 5-string bluegrass (Scruggs) style as well as 4-string tenor dixieland jazz banjo. Bluegrass banjo lessons concentrate on developing a solid right hand, left hand techniques and learning both the open position and up the neck basics. More advanced students might work on improvisational skills, learn a little theory or study some of the important licks and techniques pioneered by great players such as Earl Scruggs, Don Reno, Bill Keith, J.D. Crowe and Bela Fleck.

Tenor banjo lessons will cover the basic chord shapes and inversions that are essential to playing the instrument. Right hand pick techniques and strum patterns are also stressed. Students moving beyond the basics will learn to use passing chords and inversions to create the moving patterns that shape the rhythm sound of the tenor as well as studying chord melody techniques and single-string soloing.

"Since I began taking lessons with Keith, my ability and understanding of the banjo has soared. Keith brings a vast knowledge of music theory and genre's to the lessons, and always gives you more information than you could hope to retain. He challenges me to improve and makes me want to practice to keep up with the pace of learning he sets. He recognizes my musical shortcomings and revisits those issues to help me overcome them. I could take lessons from Keith for the rest of my life and never exhaust his knowledge."

Tim Metzger
5-String Banjo Student
As a professional musician, I have performed on both acoustic and electric guitar for 25 years. Instruction is offered in both flatpick and finger picking and in many styles such as folk, bluegrass, western swing, jazz, country blues rock and country.

"With many years' experience as a professional musician and teacher, Keith provides very comprehensive instruction in an informal yet focused environment. His lessons are challenging and require dutiful practice, but why else would one engage such a fine instructor? If you want to reach a higher level of musicianship, Keith will take you there."

Patrick Penney
Guitar student
"Long Gone Lonesome Boys"

"Lessons with Keith are always fluid and dynamic. I really like that Keith offers more than one solution to a question or problem, allowing me to approach a song or break from many different angles. Keith gives excellent, clear explanations. He breaks down difficult concepts into practical applications that you can understand. And that translates into better playing.

He gives me insights and techniques that immediately improve my playing, along with material to explore and develop over time. He's also excellent at teaching the role of the guitar in a group or a band setting. Keith has an amazing wealth of knowledge in so many different styles of music and on so many instruments--and he's happy to share it. I highly recommend him as a teacher and a coach.

Jeff Bone

Guitar Student

The "dobro" and steel guitar are wonderfully unique and I am very excited to offer instruction on these instruments. From the great hawaiian techniques of the 1920's right up through the blazing licks of modern bluegrass master Jerry Douglas, I work with students on both the left hand bar essentails as well as critical right hand picking patterns. With the basics covered, we begin to explore classic songs and standard instrumental numbers in various keys in order to develop a solid foundation on the instrument.

The non-pedal electric steel guitar shares much in common with the acoustic dobro, but actually requires very different techniques in order to produce good tone and sustain. I teach both 6 string and 8 string tunings and work with the student on on bar bends, string dampening, chord blocking, harmonizing melodies and single string soloing.

"Many folks are talented and are wonderful performers but not always good instructors. However, Keith is blessed with both traits and loves to share his years of musical knowledge. A great musician doesn’t simply play his part. He listens to others. This is key from a student’s perspective. He knows how the pros do it because he is one.  He listens to my questions and sincerely cares about my results. He even answers questions that I can’t always formulate, that’s the strength of his interpretation. His guidance in technique, music theory, fretboard knowledge, vocal harmony and music history is invaluable and is critical to well rounded learning.

Knowing what to play starts with true understanding of the genre. Whether it’s bluegrass, western swing, jazz, or rock, Keith’s vast experience allows me to find the roadmap before I drive the car. This is crucial so I can be true to the form and true to players who created great American roots traditions.  You gotta know the rules before you can break ‘em. I envy Keith’s multi-instrument knowledge and sincerely appreciate his passion for his craft."

Steve Avery

Dobro student