Drew Vervan

Our Instructors - Drew Vervan

Drew Vervan teaches fiddle. He has performed professionally in the Baltimore area for 18 years, and worked as a musician in Germany, England, and Ireland. Drew’s teaching style includes a thorough grounding in basic violin technique, music reading skills, clear explanations of music , and traditional folk tunes, some drawn from his own transcriptions.

Fiddle and Mandolin

Monday and Tuesday Evenings from 5:00 to 9:00 PM

Private Lessons

You may be interested in taking private lessons to improve your own enjoyment or work towards your personal musical goals. If you live in the Baltimore metro area, you could study with me.  I have been teaching private lessons, on and off, since 1975. I have been teaching at the Appalachian Bluegrass store, in Catonsville, Maryland, since 1999. I also take a few students at my home studio in Baltimore city.

Learn to play Celtic music – the music of Ireland and Scotland.

Each Monday evening, from 7:00 – 8:30 pm, you can join a slow, Celtic-tunes session, and learn Celtic instrumental dance tunes – reels, jigs, hornpipes, marches, polkas and more.

During each session, you’ll play through a variety of tunes, slowly building a repertoire of the most popular and commonly played tunes.You’ll learn the tunes by ear; by reading music; and by listening to others play.

For many of the tunes, you’ll be provided with sheet music as part of the session.

Beginners, intermediate, and advanced players are all welcome to join.

If you’ve only been playing for a short time, or if you’ve been playing for many years, you’ll benefit from this session. Your sessions are lead by Appalachian Bluegrass fiddle instructor, Drew Vervan, who provides you with sheet music for the tunes, as well as instruction and guidance about how to play and/or accompany the tunes in an authentic Celtic style.

Drew also offers you suggestions on memorization techniques, to move you from the sheet music to a more dynamic session.

From time to time, you’ll also learn about Celtic culture, music history, and music theory – as the music often prompts related questions.

Most folk instruments will fit in nicely at the session, with the most common instruments used in Celtic music being the fiddle, mandolin, guitar, 4-string tenor banjo, flute, accordion, tin whistle, cittern, and uilleann pipes.

    • $10.00 per session, if you already take music lessons at Appalachian Bluegrass.
    • $15.00 per session for all others.

Instruments I Teach

These days, I primarily teach violin; however, I can also teach viola and guitar. I enjoy teaching students the basics of singing technique – or even getting together for a basic master session on how to use your voice.

For students seeking a broader understanding of music and/or songwriting, I can teach music theory, lyric writing, and songwriting.  Below you’ll find some more information about the different instruments I teach, what styles I cover, and how I approach teaching, in general.

Violin

Basic technique (for all styles); Classical and Celtic (Irish and Scottish Traditional) Repertiore; Other repertoire, based on personal interest of each student; Improvisation techniques.

Viola

Basic technique (for all styles); Classical Repertiore; Other repertoire, based on personal interest of each student; Improvisation techniques.

Guitar

Basic technique (for all styles); Accompaniment technique for rock, folk, and celtic styles; Folk Fingerstyle (fingerpicking); Other repertoire, based on personal interest of each student.

Music Theory

Basic elements (for all styles); Common Practice Era Theory (Baroque through Romantic styles); 20th Century composition theory; Music Form & Analysis; Contemporary popular music theory. Other skills, based on personal interest of each student.

Songwriting

Basic elements (for all styles); Elements of Poetry; Elements of Music; Poetry & Music Form & Analysis; Other skills, based on personal interest of each student.

Instrument Technique

Violin & Viola

Standard Classical Technique; Primary Book Method – “Doflein”; Celtic bowing and ornamentation.

Guitar

Standard tuning and technique, based on the rock, folk, and celtic styles of contemporary players, such as Pete Townshend, Johnny Doyle, John Denver, and others; Alternate tunings, as they arise in the course of instruction; Basics: Left-hand position and technique; right-hand position and technique; use of flatpicks and fingerpicks.

Levels Taught

All levels; Adults; Children 8 years and older.

Teaching Approach

Strong emphasis on technique for all instruments; Additional focus on playing and helping each student find his/her own enjoyment in the chosen instrument; After each student masters the basics, helping the student develop personalized music goals and exploration; Exploring repertoire; Playing, playing, and playing some more.