Let's Play Strings - Bluegrass Fiddle/Classical Violin Lessons

Let's Play Strings - Bluegrass Fiddle/Classical Violin Lessons

4.9 (7)
5 hires on Lessons.com
33 years in business

About this pro

FOR BLUEGRASS: No reading, ear training only!  Bluegrass, old time, Irish, Texas styles and contest fiddling.  As 4-time Southern California fiddle champ and 17-year main fiddle judge at the Topanga Banjo/Fiddle contest, I have been teaching over 30 years.  I enjoy the young players and also specialize in teaching beginning adults. I teach Timing, Tuning, Technique and Theory.  I am an expert at teaching aural playing along with improvisation. I also provide fingering and bowing.

FOR CLASSICAL VIOLIN: I am able to teach beginning through intermediate violin. I was trained classically in Russian techniques as a child by LA Phil violinists.

Its fun to teach! I love meeting the students who ultimately become like family. I also learn from my students as well. It is fun to see them progress and actually understand how to play and play well.

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Huntington Beach, CA 92646
Email verified
Phone verified

7 Reviews


  • Luke Foo

    Shelah has great patience! She is pleasant and easy going.

  • Kellie Tripp

  • Gary Boston

    I have had a fantastic experience studying fiddle with Shelah. At almost 50 years old, I decided to take up the fiddle with no prior violin or fiddle experience . Shelah has been incredibly patient with an adult learner. Her technique got me up and playing almost instantly. A year later I have 14 tunes in my repertoire, without even needing to read music. I have learned music of several different styles, each highlighting a specific technique. Not only am I enjoying playing at home and learning new tunes, I have already been able to go to my local beginners bluegrass jam and play with other, more accomplished musicians. Shelah has structured everything so that I am continually challenged without getting frustrated. She has a very keen sense of how much pushing is just enough. I look forward to every lesson and her wonderful personality makes every meeting fun.

  • Lynne La Fleur

    I am a true beginning fiddle student in my sixties. Shelah gave me much needed and valuable instruction, pointers on violin and bow posture, guided me with chin rest and shoulder rest which I was really struggling with, and tunes. A very satisfactory experience!

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What is your typical process for working with a new student?


I am using Muzie.live for my online lessons! It is way better than Zoom and set up for music teachers.

My lessons are specifically designed for each student individually taking into account how they best learn. I specialize in beginning adults!

Get to know them and how they learn.

Get them to relax so that they are open to learning.

Find out what they know and explain the functions of the instrument and how it works.

Find out what they want to learn and work within their abilities.

What education and/or training do you have that relates to your work?

30+ years being a professional musician. Worked at Knott's Berry Farm as a musician, toured to Japan and across the US. Have done recording studio work, stage plays, sang on jingles, and in an active working bluegrass band now.

Studied Russian classical violn from LA Phil teachers as a child.

Do you have a standard pricing system for your lessons? If so, please share the details here.

I have different lesson packages ranging from $320 to $560 a month.

Enrollment prior to lesson.

24-hour cancellation policy.

Contact me for more indepth information at 

[email protected] or by text/phone at (714) 454-1976

How did you get started teaching?

It just happened (a very long time ago!). I was performing at Knott's Berry Farm and playing music 6-7 nights a week with several bands throughout Orange County, CA. A friend suggested there was a teaching position open at a music store and would I be interested. I took him up on that and have been teaching ever since that time.

What types of students have you worked with?

Classical - school-aged children (7 years on up)

Bluegrass - teens through adult. I also specialize in adult beginners.

Describe a recent event you are fond of.

Any bluegrass festival or private party where I get to perform! I always have jobs coming up, see my Facebook page for upcoming events!

My bluegrass band plays at Me-N-Ed's Pizza in Lakewood usually the last Saturday every month.

What advice would you give a student looking to hire a teacher in your area of expertise?

Just give yourself time to get to understand the instrument. Fiddle is tough, but once you start understanding it, the easier and more fun it gets.

Its okay to make mistakes, we all do. Only you know the mistakes you make, the audience doesn't. Learning is a process and we never finish learning! I love it when the students make mistakes, it means they are trying! Play it like you mean it.

Playing is not a solo activity. It is meant to be shared by playing with other people and for people who want to listen. I encourage all my fiddle students to go to "slow" jams and festivals, see how othr people jam, and ultimately join in. That is the best fun.

What questions should students think through before talking to teachers about their needs?

What is the style, tunes, songs, they want to play?

Do they want to play with other people (a must), enter contests, play at a jam, join a band, join an orchestra, or just because it is something they always wanted to do.

Practicing - I suggest 15 minutes Every Day. No need to start out with a whole hour. Learning is usually done in the first 10 minutes and then 5 more minutes of practice to make it better. But needs to be done every day. Do you have 15 minutes to spend every day?

Lessons offered