Matt Brown

Musician, Teacher & Producer

I teach group classes & private lessons for kids and adults at the Old Town School of Folk Music in Chicago, Illinois.  I also am available to teach 50 minute online private lessons to students elsewhere in the world. I specialize in old-time fiddling, Round Peak-style clawhammer banjo, two- and three-finger old-time banjo, and old-time backup guitar. I charge $50 USD for a 50 minute lesson. Hit the contact button to reach out about scheduling an initial lesson!

I teach old-time music the way I learned it, in a call-and-response fashion with strong emphasis placed on the history and context of the music (and, on the fiddle, the bowing!).  I am a product of this approach, and I believe wholeheartedly in the power of aural learning, though I will at times use tablature and other notation methods to reinforce the initial work of passing along the music by ear. The aural approach can be intimidating at first, but it instills the music deeply and results in instant memorization.  It also allows us to work more immediately on musicianship and expression, since our noses aren't constantly buried in a piece of paper. My lessons, classes, and workshops are fueled by laughter and camaraderie, and they prepare students to play music socially and potentially professionally.

Here are video introductions to several of my classes at the Old Town School of Folk Music: