Old-Time Fiddle Lessons With Paul Kirk

Old-Time Fiddle Lessons With Paul Kirk

5.0Exceptional(10 reviews)
Offers online services
Offers online services


I have been teaching string instruments for 33 years privately, in classroom settings, and also in workshop formats. I realize that everybody thinks and learns differently, and especially with folk music, which is an aural tradition, the needs of the individual come more into play. There is not one set method that works for every student. I tailor lessons to suit your needs, which enables you to learn at a pace that is comfortable for you, and to maximize your learning.

My specialty is working with "cross over" students, especially those coming from a background in Classical violin. While the intruments are physically the same, the techniques for Old-Time fiddle are drastically different from Classical violin. For many, acquiring the style and sound of this seemingly simple music can be difficult. I will help you get your violin to sound like a fiddle.

Check out my YouTube channel to get an idea of what I do. There are also a few lesson videos that may inspire you to want to learn more:


I love seeing learning in progress. This involves a student applying techniques I have taught them to different tunes on their own. It is very satisfying to see students progress and have fun with the music they are making on their fiddles.


Serves Parma , OH
Offers online services

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  • Reviews

    0 reviews


    Kerry L.

    When I had my first session with Paul, I struggled with the simplest of old time techniques. Even double stops stumped me. Pauls patience and thoughtful, well-planned instruction seemed tailored to my specific needs almost from the very beginning. He considers what the student player wants to achieve, identifies quickly their current skill level, and designs a plan of action that will elevate their playing ability week over week. Of course, you have to put in the practice! One of my favorite aspects of lessons with Paul is his knack for being able to explain concepts in multiple ways until Im able to understand, imitate, and repeat the method or technique. To be honest, Im only 2 months into my instruction with Paul, but I am super excited about my future as a fiddler under his tutelage. And I didnt even mention his extensive knowledge about the tunes! One would not be able to find an all-around better instructor for old-time Appalachian fiddling than Paul Kirk.
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    April 17, 2021


    Rowan C.

    His patience and ability to understand that all fiddlers are different. He has such a wide range of tried and true experience that he is able to pull from about every type of violin music you can imagine. I feel comfortable with him learning as an adult and I can only imagine he would be fantastic for beginners, masters, young and old alike
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    April 13, 2021


    Steven M.

    Very thoughtful, kind, knowledgeable and patient. All things that make a great instructor.
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    October 30, 2020


    Jim P.

    I was able to learn tunes on my own and then check them against Pauls version during our next lesson. He offered different bowing options, letting me know which bowings he thought the original recordings used and which ones would be a worthwhile challenge to help me improve as a fiddler. He is not dogmatic and does not oblige you to play exactly like him, but still offers many suggestions for improvement.
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    April 08, 2020


    Melanie G.

    Paul is a very patient teacher able to meet a student wherever they are, from those at a beginner level to the more experienced player. Paul has very thorough knowledge of both the playing techniques of old-time, especially the bowing intricacies that really define the OT sound, and also of the history behind the music, regionally by fiddler and tune. He is passionate about sharing this information and bringing together musicians as a community, as is the history and intention of the style. His method of teaching aurally is accessible to every musician, and also allows him to use particular tunes to deliver key concepts and techniques, ensuring those studying with him build a solid repertoire to bring to festivals and jams.
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    April 08, 2020


    Alex B.

    I love Paul’s approach to fiddling. He teaches with the entire old-time style in mind, so many of the techniques and fiddle patterns I’ve learned from him are easily transferable to tunes I’ve learned in the past. I’ve taken lessons from a few teachers, but Paul is the only one who teaches tunes in tunings that are half-steps and whole-steps down from colloquial tunings. This, to me, adds an element of authenticity to his teaching. He’s attentive to the student’s wants and abilities and tailors the lessons accordingly, but always pushes them to excel. His own journey with the fiddle lends his capabilities to a variety of styles and repertoires and I love his knowledge of the tunes in music in their historical context. Last, he’s a lot of fun! I’ve never felt stressed or pressured in any of the lessons I’ve taken with Paul. I highly recommend him!
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    April 07, 2020

    Frequently asked questions

    I determine what level the student is at, then I choose tunes and techniques that will gradually take them to more advanced levels.

    I specialize in "cross over" students, those who come from different musical traditions, especially Classical music. 

    Remote lessons are more productive and helpful if the student already has some experience playing the instrument. While I prefer new students who have some experience, I will also accept those who have none. 

    Services offered