Derek VanScoten

Derek V.

Austin, TX
Teaching Locations:
Teaching Locations:
Levels taught:
Beginner, Intermediate
I have been teaching banjo since 2007 and can guide a student with folk/ bluegrass/ old timey and pop.

About Derek V.

TEACHING MISSION: Capture the joy of playing music. Inspire continual playing and/or practice, regardless of student's lifestyle/career choices.
I start the first lesson with a student wish list (songs, goals, etc) and every lesson we take significant steps towards the goals.

Skills: Guitar/Mandolin/Piano/Bass/Banjo/Recording/DJ Technology

Education: B.M. Classical/ Jazz Guitar Performance, University of Colorado, 2003
B.S. Audio Engineering/ Production, Middle Tennessee State University, 1997

Teaching Experience:
-The Musicians Woodshed (Austin) Sept 2013- Present
-Brooklyn Music Lessons (NYC) 2010-2013
-University of Colorado (Boulder) 2000-2010
-Naropa University (Boulder) 2007-2010
-The Lesson Studio (Boulder) 2005-2009

Performance Experience:
Freelance Musician/ Arranger/ Composer 2000-Present
I have played guitar, mandolin, bouzouki, keyboards, or bass in folk, classical,


Write a Review
21 Reviews
Ray H.
Profile-location-home Student's Home

Derek is an excellent musician and knew exactly where I was and how to start me out. Really looking forward to our next lesson

Posted Aug 23, 2020
Brian B.
Profile-location-home Student's Home

Wonderful, great experience!
Very satisfied

Posted Feb 23, 2020
Profile-location-studio Teacher's Studio

Super Knowledgable. Psyched to learn more.

Posted May 16, 2019
Profile-location-home Student's Home

Derek is a very knowledgable instructor, easy to talk to, and I found his teaching technique is very motivating. He set realistic practice goals for the next session, which will require me to do my part, but that's the reason we show up, to learn how to play a musical instrument.
I highly recommend him.

Posted May 16, 2019
Luis R.
Profile-location-studio Teacher's Studio

Derek was very helpful! No time was wasted! Awesome 1st lesson!

Posted Mar 15, 2019
Profile-location-studio Teacher's Studio

First lesson. Lots of fun.... very positive experience!

Posted Feb 1, 2019
Profile-location-studio Teacher's Studio

Great 1st lesson. Derek is knowledgeable and patient.

Posted Jan 4, 2019
Mike J.
Profile-location-online Online

My first lesson was really great. I learned cords and easy rolls.
You'll enjoy it!

Posted Dec 30, 2018
Profile-location-online Online

Patrick is enjoying learning banjo from Derek. He is patient and keeps him engaged. Such a nice guy.

Posted Nov 7, 2018
Profile-location-online Online

I enjoyed the lesson and learned a lot from derek.

Posted Nov 2, 2018
Trey H.
Profile-location-studio Teacher's Studio

Two Thumbs Up!

Posted Aug 20, 2018
Profile-location-studio Teacher's Studio

As an adult learning to play an instrument for the first time, very little has come naturally. I had tried two other instructors prior to Derek and felt as though I made little progress with them. Derek's approach is much more intuitive and the progress more obvious. great teacher with a sound approach.

Posted May 26, 2017
Profile-location-online Online

Great teacher, very clear, patient communication. Can't wait for the next lesson!

Posted Nov 10, 2016
John White
Profile-location-studio Teacher's Studio

Talented guy, easy to understand and very patient!

Posted Oct 30, 2016
Steve W.
Profile-location-studio Teacher's Studio

First lesson... the teach has the talent!!! I'm impressed.

Posted Sep 30, 2016
Profile-location-studio Teacher's Studio

Great! He explains things well!

Posted Jun 7, 2016
Marianne C.
Profile-location-studio Teacher's Studio

As an 'older' beginner, Derek tuned into what it is I'm wanting and tailored my lessons perfectly!

Posted Jan 21, 2016
Mary A.
Profile-location-studio Teacher's Studio

Derek is very professional and friendly. Really knowledgeable about music, and he let me go at my own pace. Very patient! He's a great teacher!

Posted Dec 3, 2015
Nancy V.
Profile-location-studio Teacher's Studio

He's a kind person. He works with you for what you want to work at. He will introduce new things to your capacity.

Posted Jun 5, 2015
Nancy V.
Profile-location-studio Teacher's Studio

he has helped me to memorize portion of my favorite song while learning a certain strum with accent on 2nd beat and working on it. he has helped me to organize time to learn. shown me strum pattern and how many in between per note while following and artists song. he is helping me to be disciplined not to think about it and do it subconsciously which is wonderful to learn. i am learning a finger pattern. all will take time. when i stumble he picks the same note up with me as i start again and helps me grow thru my difficulties with explanation and repeating over and over with me until i get it. very patient and nice person with good teaching skills.

Posted Apr 28, 2015
Mary A.
Profile-location-studio Teacher's Studio

Great Lesson

Posted Apr 10, 2015

Photos & Videos

11 Photos & Videos


Music Teacher
Jan 2000 - Present

Austin, Brooklyn, Boulder

Derek has been a professional educator for over 10 years. While many successful artists hide their tips and tricks, in fear of being copied and/or surpassed, Derek offers up his toolbox on a regular basis. In late 2012 and early 2013, Derek was a guest clinician at several Ableton 9 launch parties (L.A., N.Y.C., Atlanta, Chicago, and Miami) where he performed and discussed his methods of using Ableton with live instrumentation. He has taught as an adjunct teacher at the University of Colorado and Naropa University. Areas of focus included guitar, mandolin, music production, theory/ composition, banjo, classical guitar ensemble, and electric bass.


Guitar Performance
Jan 1999 - May 2003

University of Colorado

Bachelor of Music in Guitar Performance
Sep 1999 - Apr 2003

University of Colorado

Bachelor of Science in Audio Engineering/ Music Production
Jan 1994 - May 1997

Middle Tennessee State University



Fluent / Native Proficiency


Fluent / Native Proficiency


Magna Cum Laude
May 2013

University of Colorado

Magna Cum LaudeUniversity of Colorado Bachelor of Music in Guitar Performance


Supported Artist
Jan 2013

Ableton, Izotope, Fishman


National Association of Music Merchants
Jan 2013
NAMM is the not-for-profit association that promotes the pleasures and benefits of making music and strengthens the $17 billion global music products industry. NAMM's activities and programs are designed to promote music making to people of all ages.
American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers
Jan 2006
The American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers (ASCAP) is a membership association of more than 480,000 US composers, songwriters, lyricists and music publishers. The ASCAP is committed to nurturing music makers throughout their careers.

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