"Particularly impressive." —The Boston Globe

Photo By Dale Rempert
Stay In Touch!

Workshops & Teaching

Mari loves sharing tunes and ideas with fiddlers and musicians all over the world! She teaches frequent workshops at fiddle camps, on tour, in her home town of Boston, and via the internet in her special 4-week online seminars. You can book Mari for a workshop via her Booking page, and find upcoming workshops to attend on her Calendar page. You can also scroll down to see any Online Seminars currently enrolling, and even get in touch to schedule your very own private lesson now!

Photo By Dale Rempert Photography

Mari's teaching appearances include:

    The Swannanoa Gathering
    Jink and Diddle School of Scottish Fiddling
    The Acadia Trad School
    Julian Family Fiddle Camp
    The Rockport Jazz Camp
    Boston Scottish Fiddle Club
    Strathspey & Reel Society of New Hampshire
    South East Regional Folk Alliance Conference
    Make Music Day, San Diego
    Austin Celtic Festival workshops
    Yachats Celtic Festival workshop
    Mark O'Connor Fiddle Camp
    School for Strings, New York
    Yale School of Music, Interdisciplinary Seminar on Rhythm
    Boston University, College of Fine Arts
    Kinhaven Music School
    American String Teacher Association Conferences
    ...and more!

Hear from some workshop organizers and students:

Of all the musicians we’ve hired over the years, Mari Black stands out not only as a great fiddler, but as a highly innovative and effective instructor. Mari has boundless energy and an ability to spirit a diverse class of fiddlers on to greater levels of challenge and expression. Mari Black is a bright light that can’t help but ignite and fan the flame of musical expression in others.”        — Avery Ellisman, Director of the Julian Family Fiddle Camp
Mari is an incredibly dynamic and enthusiastic teacher. She listened carefully to my goals and continually adapted her teaching to help me meet them. Her love of music is infectious, and she has ignited in me a passion for fiddling that I'm sure will be lifelong. Mari is energetic, warm, and fun to work with -- all on top of being an extraordinarily talented musician.”        — Cooper Lloyd, fiddle student

Online Seminars

Mari now offers Online Seminars, so you can study with her right from the comfort of your own computer! Seminars typically run for 4 consecutive weeks. Mari's signature "Universal Fiddle Skills" Seminar series covers special topics such as mastering bowing technique, ornamentation, "'comping" (accompanying), how to better coach yourself as a self-directed fiddler, and more. In addition, Mari also offers her "Dial in the Style" Seminar series, which focuses on in-depth exploration of different musical styles through repertoire. All Seminars include live weekly classes via Zoom video, class recordings to practice with in between classes, and -- best of all -- a chance to get personal feedback from Mari on your playing!

...New Seminars will be offered in the Fall!

Dates and class topics will be announced shortly -- stay tuned! In the mean time, if there are any particular Seminar topics that you would especially like to see offered, let Mari know by filling out this quick survey! She welcomes requests, and your feedback will help her shape the 2021-22 Seminar schedule!

 APRIL
Catch What You Hear, Level I
Tuesdays, 7:00-8:15 p.m. EDT
April 6, 13, 20, 27
Catch What You Hear, Level II | NEW!
Thursdays, 7:00-8:15 p.m. EDT
April 8, 15, 22, 29
 MAY
Back Up the Band, Level II | NEW!
Tuesdays, 7:00-8:15 p.m. EDT
May 4, 11, 18, 25
Dial In The Style: Waltzes, Airs, & Expressive Tunes | NEW!
Thursdays, 7:00-8:15 p.m. EDT
May 6, 13, 20, 27
 JUNE


Dial In The Style: Irish | NEW!
Thursdays, 7:00-8:15 p.m. EDT
June 3, 10, 17, 24


SEMINAR DESCRIPTIONS:



BACK UP THE BAND, LEVEL I

Essential Rhythms, Chords, and Theory You Need to Accompany Any Tune

Not currently enrolling. Join Mari's email newsletter to be notified when future dates are announced

Investment: $200 for the course — includes weekly online classes, Q&A, and the opportunity for individual video feedback from Mari

Space is limited!

Class Description:
Ever played in a group or jam session that needed something...besides just the melody? Did you look around for a guitarist or piano player and discover that there weren't any there?! Oh no, who is going to accompany those tunes? Answer: YOU!! Over four weeks of class, we will build a whole array of hip tricks and techniques that you can use to contribute rich, interesting accompaniments to any tune! You’ll learn how to easily find chords on your instrument, create groovy rhythms to accompany different tune types, start chopping (tastefully!), and even predict what chords will come next in most tunes. Along the way, you’ll gain comfort with playing double stops, get a better understanding of music theory, and have lots of fun getting creative with your new "'comping" powers. Each class will include time for questions, and class participants will have the opportunity to submit optional weekly "homework" videos* to Mari for personal feedback (*totally optional, for those who are comfortable and would like the extra personal attention!).

Class sessions will be live using Zoom video conferencing (details and access link provided when you register), and Mari will also send out recordings so that you can join the class from anywhere in the world. The seminar is geared towards fiddlers, but open to anyone on a bowed string instrument.

Topics:
Week 1: 'Comping Foundations — Essential chords & rhythms for classic tunes!
Week 2: Expanding Groove — Add interest w/ more rhythms & chord voicings
Week 3: Getting "Fancy" — Chopping, reharmonizing, & other specialty comping tricks
Week 4: Putting it all Together

Class level:
No matter what your current level is, this Seminar will be a perfect fit for you if you want to start making more rapid progress in your ability to accompany tunes. No need to worry about being "too advanced" or "too beginner", because this class is about learning how to figure out what chords and rhythms fit with different tunes. We will have players of all experience levels in the class, and everyone will be working on improving from where they already are.

How will tunes be taught?
Since this class is focused on learning to accompany fiddle tunes by ear, we won’t need any sheet music at all! Instead, Mari will help you learn the techniques you need to listen to a part of a fiddle tune, figure out what chords go with it, and discover how to play them in a hip, groovy way on your instrument. That may sound scary right now, but with practice, you’ll get better and better at it, over the course of this Seminar and beyond!
BACK UP THE BAND, LEVEL II

Intricate Rhythms, Chords, & Voicings to Help You Create Rich Accompaniments on Your Bowed String Instrument

Enrolling now for May 2021

Investment: $200 for the course — includes weekly online classes, Q&A, and the opportunity for individual video feedback from Mari

Space is limited!

Class Description:
Grab your "'comping" hats, bowed string players -- it's time to take charge of those cool, ear-catching tune accompaniments! In this Seminar, we'll explore tricks and techniques that will help you develop your own personal 'comping style and create signature accompaniment parts that will drive the energy and mood of any tune. Over four weeks, you'll expand your range of rhythmic patterns, discover richer chord choices and intriguing voicings, gain comfort with "hip" 'comping techniques like chopping and strum bowing, develop your arranging instincts, and deepen your ability to figure out chords on the fly. Along the way, you’ll gain comfort with playing double stops, improve your sense of groove and pulse, get a better understanding of music theory, and have lots of fun getting creative with your new "'comping powers"! Each class will include time for questions, and class participants will have the opportunity to submit optional weekly "homework" videos* to Mari for personal feedback (*totally optional, for those who are comfortable and would like the extra personal attention!).

Class sessions will be live using Zoom video conferencing (details and access link provided when you register), and Mari will also send out recordings so that you can join the class from anywhere in the world. The seminar is geared towards fiddlers, but open to anyone on a bowed string instrument.

Topics:
Week 1: Rhythmic Playgrounds - Ear-catching 'comping patterns for different tune types
Week 2: Learning From the Best - Adapting 'comping brilliance from your favorite recordings
Week 3: Spice It Up! - Reharmonization, planning arrangements & other specialty 'comping tricks
Week 4: Putting it all Together

How is this class different from "Back Up the Band I"?
The goal of "Back Up the Band I" is to help you get comfortable with accompanying ("'comping") jigs and reels using foundational rhythmic patterns and basic double-stop chord voicings, as well as understanding the music theory behind them. In this Level II class, we will be exploring how to create more complex and expressive 'comping textures using a greater diversity of intricate rhythmic patterns and "spicier" chord voicings and reharmonization, using ideas captured from some of your favorite recordings. You’ll also get the chance to personalize your accompaniment style while coming up with your 'comping parts each week.
BOW LIKE A PRO, LEVEL I

Exploring, Demystifying, and Mastering Fiddle Bowing

Not currently enrolling. Join Mari's email newsletter to be notified when future dates are announced

Investment: $200 for the course — Includes weekly online classes, Q&A, and the opportunity for individual video feedback from Mari

Space is limited!

Class Description:
This seminar is all about mastering your bow — the source of your sound, your groove, and your expressive power as a fiddler! Over four weeks of class, we will dive into the fundamentals of bowing: characteristic slurring patterns in different kinds of tunes, specialty bowing such as cuts, shuffles, & barrage, and strategies for choosing bowings that both sound and feel great. Along the way, you’ll improve your sound, develop your dance feel, and find greater ease and finesse in your right hand. Each class will include time for questions, and class participants will have the opportunity to submit optional weekly “homework” videos* to Mari for personal feedback (*totally optional, for those who are comfortable and would like the extra personal attention!).

Class sessions will be live using Zoom video conferencing (details and access link provided when you register), and Mari will also send out recordings so that you can join the class from anywhere in the world. The seminar is geared towards fiddlers, but open to anyone on a bowed string instrument.

Topics:
Week 1: JIG bowing — "strong" beats, "weak" beats, and the magic of swing!
Week 2: REEL bowing I — Using ease and groove to drive your fast tunes
Week 3: REEL bowing II — Specialty bowing patterns to create variety and interest in your sound
Week 4: WALTZ bowing — Developing your signature expressive sound

Class level:
For this Seminar, you don't need to worry at all about it being "too advanced" or "too beginner", because it's not a tune-learning class, per se. It's all about helping you learn how to make the most rapid progress from where you already are! We're going to focus on developing bow skills that you can use to improving your playing from any level. We will have players of all experience levels in the class, but everyone will working on expanding their knowledge of fiddle music!

How will tunes be taught?
This class is focused on bow work, so Mari will send out the both sheet music AND recordings for tunes we’ll be exploring ahead of time each week. That way you can look at them in advance if you find that helpful, and you can learn the tunes either by ear or by reading — whichever is more comfortable for you!
BOW LIKE A PRO, LEVEL II

Furthering Comfort, Fluency, and Finesse in Your Fiddle Bowing

Not currently enrolling. Join Mari's email newsletter to be notified when future dates are announced

Investment: $200 for the course - Includes weekly online classes, Q&A, and the opportunity for individual video feedback from Mari

Space is limited!

Class Description:
This seminar is a continuation of "Bow Like A Pro I", and it’s all about developing even greater finesse and expertise with your bow! Over four weeks of class, we will deepen your comfort executing characteristic bowing patterns in standard tunes types (jigs, reels, waltzes), while adding to our repertoire of "specialty" bowings (cuts, shuffles, barrage, recovery bowing). Additionally, we’ll explore strategies for tunes with more complex bowing patterns (strathspeys, slip jigs, rags), and work on how to further develop your sound and sense of groove — the two most important skills you have as a fiddler! As always, each class will include time for questions, and class participants will have the opportunity to submit optional weekly "homework" videos* to Mari for personal feedback (*totally optional, for those who are comfortable and would like the extra personal attention!).

Class sessions will be live using Zoom video conferencing (details and access link provided when you register), and Mari will also send out recordings so that you can join the class from anywhere in the world. The seminar is geared towards fiddlers, but open to anyone on a bowed string instrument.

Topics:
Week 1: JIGS & SLIP JIGS — Hone in on your signature swing!
Week 2: MUTLI-STYLE REELS — How to chose bowing patterns that will define a genre-specific groove
Week 3: STRATHSPEYS — Developing flare and grace in every part of the bow
Week 4: WALTZES & AIRS— How expressive can you make your sound?

How is this class different from "Bow Like A Pro I"?
The goal of "Bow Like A Pro I" is to help you get familiar and comfortable with using the foundational bowing patterns that create a great dance "groove" and govern the vast majority of fiddle playing (ie. jigs, reels, waltzes). In this class, we will expand those ideas to include more expressive and “exception” bowing patterns, and look at some more complex tunes and tune types, while we dive deeper into developing your right hand technique. You’ll also get the chance to personalize your sound while coming up with your own bowings each week.

How will tunes be taught?
This class is focused bow work, so Mari will send out the both sheet music AND recordings for tunes we’ll be exploring ahead of time each week. That way you can look at them in advance, if you find that helpful, and you can learn the tunes either by ear or by reading — whichever is more comfortable for you!
CATCH WHAT YOU HEAR, LEVEL I

How to Better Teach Yourself Using Recordings, Videos & Youtube

Not currently enrolling. Join Mari's email newsletter to be notified when future dates are announced

Investment: $200 for the course — Includes weekly online classes, Q&A, and the opportunity for individual video feedback from Mari

Space is limited!

Class Description:
This seminar is all about helping YOU become your own best teacher! As a self-guided fiddler, you have hundreds of recordings and videos at your disposal to learn from...and Mari is here to help you take best advantage of these resources. During this 4-week course, we will explore ways to break down all the information contained within a video or CD performance and separate it into smaller pieces that will help you learn with greater ease. Within this context, we will identify the patterns, form, groove, and stylistic elements that are common to all tunes. Mari will help you hone in on each element, so that you can better copy the things that you love most about your favorite recordings and videos. As you get better at using these skills, not only can you become a better fiddler yourself, but you will also start being able to learn much faster! Each class will include time for questions, and class participants will have the opportunity to submit optional weekly "homework" videos* to Mari for personal feedback (*totally optional, for those who are comfortable and would like the extra personal attention! :)).

Class sessions will be live using Zoom video conferencing (details and access link provided when you register), and Mari will also send out recordings so that you can join the class from anywhere in the world. While this seminar is intended primarily for bowed string players, players of any melody-focused instruments are most welcome to join us!

Topics:
Week 1: Form & Melodic Patterns — the fundamental “Building Blocks” of fiddle tunes
Week 2: Rhythm & Bowing — Sussing out the patterns that create the essence of style
Week 3: Hearing the "little" stuff — The many embellishments that make a tune sound great
Week 4: Putting it all together!

Class level:
No matter what your current level is, this seminar will be a perfect fit for you if you want to start making more rapid progress in your self-guided tune learning. No need to worry about being "too advanced" or "too beginner", because this class is about learning how to learn. We will have players of all experience levels in the class, and everyone will be working on improving from where they already are.

How will tunes be taught?
Since this class is focused on learning by ear, there will be NO SHEET MUSIC PROVIDED. Instead, Mari will help you learn the techniques you need to listen to a part of a fiddle tune, figure out what the notes / rhythms / decorations are, and discover how to play it on your instrument. That may sound scary right now, but with practice, you’ll get better and better at it — over the course of this seminar and beyond!
CATCH WHAT YOU HEAR, LEVEL II

Expanding Comfort and Depth in Learning From Your Favorite Recordings and Videos

Not currently enrolling. Join Mari's email newsletter to be notified when future dates are announced

Investment: $200 for the course — Includes weekly online classes, Q&A, and the opportunity for individual video feedback from Mari

Space is limited!

Class Description:
This seminar is a continuation of "Catch What You Hear I", and it’s all about developing even greater fluency in teaching yourself new musical material from your favorite recordings and videos. Over four weeks of class, we will deepen your comfort with picking up melodies by ear, recognizing melodic and bowing patterns, deciphering the ornaments and variations that make a particular recording special, and -- most importantly -- emulating the tone, expression, and character of the recording you're learning from. Mari will help you hone in on each element so that you can make your rendition of a tune sound closer and closer to your favorite CD recordings and videos, making you a better fiddler AND helping you be able to learn more repertoire more quickly in the future! As always, each class will include time for questions, and class participants will have the opportunity to submit optional weekly "homework" videos* to Mari for personal feedback (*totally optional, for those who are comfortable and would like the extra personal attention!).

Class sessions will be live using Zoom video conferencing (details and access link provided when you register), and Mari will also send out recordings so that you can join the class from anywhere in the world. While this seminar is intended primarily for bowed string players, players of any melody-focused instruments are most welcome to join us!

Topics:
Week 1: Capturing the "foundation" - melodic patterns and the essence of character
Week 2: Rhythm & Groove — picking bowing patterns that match the sound you're hearing
Week 3: Emulating Embellishments — honing in on ornaments and small melodic variations
Week 4: Putting it all together!

How is this class different from "Catch What You Hear I"?
The goal of "Catch What You Hear I" is to help you get comfortable with the foundational skills needed to learn a tune by ear off of a recording: identifying the form of the tune, discovering how the basic melody is moving (ie. in scales, arpeggios, broken 3rds, etc), picking bowings that match with the general feel of the tune, and adding in small ornaments in the same places as the recording you're learning from. In this Level II class, we'll be moving more quickly through learning the basic tune by ear and turning our attention to a deeper emulation of tone and character (ie. how to make a tune rendition sound "bouncier" vs. more "flowing"), as well as exploring how to pick up the more subtle variations in bowing / ornaments / variations that make your favorite recordings really stand out.

How will tunes be taught?
Since this class is focused on learning by ear, there will be NO SHEET MUSIC PROVIDED. Instead, Mari will help you expand your comfort with the techniques needed to listen to a part of a fiddle tune, figure out what the notes / rhythms / decorations are, and discover how to play it on your instrument. That may sound scary right now, but with practice, you’ll get better and better at it — over the course of this seminar and beyond!
DRESS UP YOUR TUNES

Exploring Ornaments, Double Stops, & Variation-Building

Not currently enrolling. Join Mari's email newsletter to be notified when future dates are announced

Investment: $200 for the course — Includes weekly online classes, Q&A, and the opportunity for individual video feedback from Mari

Space is limited!

Class Description:
Are you searching for a way to make your tunes sound "fancier" and more interesting? Yearning to come up with your own signature version of a tune that makes listeners go "Ooooh!"? In this seminar, we will explore concrete and accessible ways to elevate simple tunes into iconic, ear-catching pieces: decorating with tasteful grace notes, adding intrigue with small rhythmic gestures, digging into the musical architecture that goes into constructing great variations, and more. We’ll also focus on how to strike a balance between creating something adventurous and distinctive while still respecting the shape and sound of the original tune. Over the course of the four weeks, you’ll gain an array of techniques that you can use to build your own versions of any of your favorite tunes — skills you can use for the rest of your musical life! Each class will include time for questions, and class participants will have the opportunity to submit optional weekly "homework" videos* to Mari for personal feedback (*totally optional, for those who are comfortable and would like the extra personal attention! :)).

Class sessions will be live using Zoom video conferencing (details and access link provided when you register), and Mari will also send out recordings so that you can join the class from anywhere in the world. While this seminar is intended primarily for bowed string players, players of any melody-focused instruments are most welcome to join us!

Topics:
Week 1: Ornaments — Playing with taps, turns, rolls, triplets, cuts, and more!
Week 2: Variation, Part I — Using small “fills” to make a big difference
Week 3: Variation, Part II — Expanding your personal spin on a whole tune
Week 4: Double Stops & Reharmonization — Adding your own touches to enrich the texture of the tune

Class level:
This seminar is designed for more experienced players who are fluent with learning the basic melody of a tune, but are wanting to learn how to "dress up" those melodies in a fun and stylistic way. To reap the greatest benefit from this class, you should already be comfortable moving around your instrument, and be able to learn standard tune melodies—either by ear or with sheet music—with relative ease.

How will tunes be taught?
This class is focused on ornamenting and decorating traditional melodies, so Mari will send out basic versions tunes we’ll be exploring ahead of time each week. That way you can become familiar with the melodies in advance, if that’s helpful for you. Mari will send out both sheet music and reference recordings, so you can learn the tunes either by ear or by reading — whichever is more comfortable for you!
DIAL IN THE STYLE | NEW!

Style "Laboratories" for Your Favorite Genres

Enrolling now for June 2021

Investment: $200 for each 4-week course — Includes weekly online classes, Q&A, and the opportunity for individual video feedback from Mari

Space is limited!

Class Description:
This new repertoire-based seminar series is your chance to dive deeply into the essence of your favorite musical styles! In each 4-week session, we'll embark on an in-depth exploration of a different genre of fiddling, working carefully through some of Mari's favorite tunes from the repertoire. Over the course of 4 weeks, we'll delve into concrete ways you can bring out the idiomatic sounds of each style: coloring your tone, capturing characteristic rhythmic feels (i.e bowing!), and zeroing in on distinctive ornaments. Come hone the nuance of your playing in a genre you know, or start exploring a style that's brand new to you!

Class sessions will be live using Zoom video conferencing (details and access link provided when you register), and Mari will also send out recordings so that you can join the class from anywhere in the world. While these seminars are intended primarily for bowed string players, players of any melody-focused instruments are most welcome to join us (aka. flutes, accordions, pipes, mandolins, etc)!

June — Irish
Dive into a treasure trove of beautiful, energetic dance tunes — driving reels, swinging jigs, plucky hornpipes, cheeky polkas, and more as we get your ears and fingers fine-tuned to the characteristic sounds and gestures of Irish music. We’ll cover idiomatic ornaments (rolls, slides, hammerons, pull-offs), signature bowing patterns, and concrete ways to capture that distinctive Irish “lilt” in your playing!

Class Level:
All "Dial In The Style" seminars are designed for players who are already fluent with learning the basic melody of a tune, but are wanting to learn how to create exciting, more stylistically-authentic renditions of traditional tunes (instead of simply playing the basic melody). To reap the greatest benefit from this class, you should already be comfortable moving around your instrument, and be able to learn standard tune melodies—either by ear or with sheet music—with relative ease.

How will tunes be taught?
Since this class is focused on shaping tunes in idiomatic ways, Mari will send out the tunes we’ll be exploring ahead of time each week. That way you can become familiar with the melodies in advance, if that’s helpful for you. Mari will send out both basic sheet music and stylistic reference recordings, so you can learn the tunes either by ear or by reading — whichever is more comfortable for you!

FAQ:



What does a 4-week Online Seminar with Mari include?
Each seminar lasts 4 weeks and includes weekly classes via Zoom video, recordings of each class that you can reference later, and the opportunity to submit weekly videos* directly to Mari for some personalized coaching and feedback on your playing. Each class meeting will always include time for questions so you have lots of support as you’re working on the seminar material. (*NOTE: Sending in videos for feedback is totally optional, designed for those who are comfortable and would like the extra personal attention :)).
How do I register for a seminar?
When a seminar is enrolling, there will be a "Pay Now" button that allows you to register and submit your tuition securely using PayPal or credit card. Once you register, you will receive an email directly from Mari with the link to the seminar Zoom meeting and any other info you need to be ready for the first class. You can expect this email within 24 hours after submitting your class tuition. If for some reason you don't receive a confirmation email within 24 hours, email info@mariblack.com and we'll be right in touch to help you.
What if I can’t make it to the live Zoom video class?
Don't worry if you're running late for class or have a scheduling conflict with the live Zoom session — Mari will be recording each class and sending it out immediately after, so anyone who is absent / late / simply wanting to review the material during the week can re-watch the class whenever they like. Ah, the magic of the internet!
What is the level of each seminar?
Mari’s Online Seminars welcome players from a wide range of levels and musical backgrounds! In the past, we’ve had professional-level fiddlers looking to polish their skills or explore a new style, classical players who want to try out some fiddling for the first time, folks who have only played a few months but are eager to learn new skills, and everything in between — all have found Mari’s seminars to be both accessible and challenging! For some seminars, Mari will suggest that you already have certain level of comfort/facility in order to get the most out of the class. Please refer to the detailed description for each seminar to see if it might be a good match for your current skills.
What instruments can take part?
Most of Mari's seminars welcome any melody-playing instrument (i.e. violin/fiddle, ‘cello, flute/whistle, accordion, etc). A few seminars focus on bow techniques ("Bow Like A Pro", "Back Up the Band") and are therefore designed specifically for bowed string players (i.e. violin/fiddle, viola, and ‘cello). Please refer to the detailed description for each seminar to see if would be a good fit for your instrument.
How will tunes be taught in each seminar?
For most seminars, Mari will provide both reference recordings and sheet music for the tunes we explore, so you can learn them by ear, by reading, or both — whichever way you are most comfortable! For the seminars that focus specifically on how to learn by ear ("Catch What You Hear", "Back Up the Band"), there won’t be any sheet music provided, but Mari will help you learn the techniques you need to listen to the tune and figure out how to play it on your instrument. That may sound scary right now, but with practice, you’ll get better at it, over the course of the Seminar and beyond!
Can I purchase access to past class videos/materials?
At the moment, there is not a "view later" option available for the Online Seminars. This is because Mari tailors her teaching carefully to the small group of folks who are participating during the active 4 weeks so that everyone gets lots of individual support during the live seminar. If you’re interested in taking a particular seminar that is not currently enrolling, be sure to let Mari know via email, as she plans upcoming seminar offerings based on interest!



Hear from some past Seminar participants:

Mari is a fantastic teacher! She has an adept way of breaking down concepts and teaching them in an accessible way. Also, she has really mastered how to conduct a workshop over Zoom. Technology and distance did not hinder my learning at all. It was wonderful to be able to get direct, personal feedback from such great teacher and player this way.”        — Beth, "Bow Like A Pro I" participant, May 2020
This is the best learning format I've encountered, even better than (in-person) live, and certainly better than pre-recorded. Mari gives lessons that can be returned to and mined at different levels for fresh material. The video feedback is first rate, the supporting materials are well organized. Mari is enthusiastic and extremely effective as a teacher. I really can't say enough good things about Mari's seminars!”        — Mark, "Catch What You Hear" participant, November 2020
The “Expressive Tunes” seminar I took with Mari was amazing! She is a lively teacher, and a positive and supportive coach. Every session was well planned, engaging and helpful. She offered clear and detailed instruction in class, and her individual feedback was spot on. I learned important techniques from her that no other teacher has ever taught me. Getting to hear her exquisite playing was a special bonus. I can’t wait to take many more classes with Mari!”        — Julie, "Dial In The Style" participant, May 2021
“I've wanted to improve and bring my playing up to dance speed. Wasn't sure when I started the New England Contra Dance seminar if that was possible, but amazingly Mari got me there! The individual feedback is so helpful. I feel like I can take what I've learned from this course, apply it to the other tunes in my local fiddle group repertoire and continue with confidence that I can play for local dances. Mari you rock!”        — Wendy, "Dial In The Style" participant, November 2020
Mari has analyzed the hows and whys of fiddle playing and is able then to teach in steps that are easy to follow. Her knowledge is deep, her approach is broad, and instruction fine-tuned. Mari is friendly, funny, and puts students at ease immediately; she is encouraging and direct. I learned a ton in one workshop that I applied immediately to my playing and will be able to continue to work on long after the workshop has ended.”        — Susan, "Dial In The Style" participant, September 2020
There is so much information packed into a short time and Mari answered questions I could never figure out how to ask. It is extremely engaging and personal, and Mari takes time to give customized feedback which I really looked forward to each week. She is a wonderful, energetic teacher and the classes are full of fun, quirky tricks that really stick in your mind and help your music. You will definitely leave smiling and feel like you are being taught by someone who really cares about you and your playing.”        — Leah, "Catch What You Hear" participant, October 2019

Live Workshops

Mari loves teaching at camps and workshops around the country! While on tour, she gives frequent stand-alone classes and can be found on the faculty of several world-class music camps each summer. All of Mari's workshops focus on learning tunes, so you should definitely come prepared to play play play! Tunes will be taught by ear, but don't worry -- Mari will always show you how to capture the melody in your ears and fingers, and she'll even send you home with recordings and sheet music to help you practice.

Photo By Mark Sprinkle

Mari teaches workshops on a broad array of topics, including:

  • Bowing and ornamentation techniques
  • Improvisation
  • "Comping" (accompanying) for string players
  • Playing for dances
  • Twin and trick fiddling
  • Learning quickly and easily by ear
  • How to coach yourself as a self-directed musician
  • Classes on specific regional styles of fiddling, i.e. Scottish, Irish, swing, klezmer, etc.
  • More special topics available on request

Workshops are open to all bowed string players (violin, viola, ‘cello, bowed string bass), and often to all melody-playing instruments (flutes, harps, melodic guitar players, etc). Mari also specializes in all-level workshops that will challenge, excite, and engage fiddlers of any age, experience level, or stylistic background.

You can book Mari for a workshop via her Booking page, and find upcoming workshops to attend on her Calendar page.



Private Lessons

When she's not on tour, Mari teaches private lesson in her hometown of Boston, as well as via Skype / Zoom Video for those further away. Lessons are available to students of all ages and experience levels. Mari welcomes everyone, from brand new fiddlers to experienced musicians looking to explore new styles or polish their playing at the highest level.

Private lessons will focus on your individual musical interests. Mari believes in learning by doing, so you will do lots and lots of playing. You will learn tunes, improve your fiddle technique, build your improvisational skills, gather supporting theory knowledge, and expand your repertoire. Mari teaches a variety of musical styles, including various types of folk fiddling, jazz, Western Classical, tango, klezmer, and improvisation. She is happy to work on whatever types of music most interest you — they all contribute to building good violin skills.

Come fiddle for fun, improve your jamming skills, or prepare for a national competition. The sky is the limit!

Contact Mari directly to schedule your lessons today.