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100% Satisfaction Guarantee

100% Satisfaction Guarantee

Try the first lesson and if you’re not satisfied we'll refund any unused lessons.
100% Satisfaction Guarantee

100% Satisfaction Guarantee

Try the first lesson and if you’re not satisfied we'll refund any unused lessons.

Banjo Lessons

Available Locations:
Profile-location-online Online
Profile-location-studio Teacher's Studio
Profile-location-home Student's Home
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,

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  • Speaks English, English
  • Awarded Supported Artist from Ableton, Izotope, Fishman
  • Teaches Beginner, Intermediate, Advanced

Reviews (19)

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Laura May 16, 2019
Audio Engineering · In studio

Super Knowledgable. Psyched to learn more.

Dennis May 16, 2019
Banjo · In 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.

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Luis R. Mar 15, 2019
Guitar · In studio

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

Martha Feb 1, 2019
Banjo · In studio

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

kevin Jan 4, 2019
Banjo · In studio

Great 1st lesson. Derek is knowledgeable and patient.

Mike J. Dec 30, 2018
Banjo · Online

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

Katy Nov 7, 2018
Banjo · Online

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

Patrick Nov 2, 2018
Banjo · Online

I enjoyed the lesson and learned a lot from derek.

Trey H. Aug 20, 2018
Ukulele · In studio

Two Thumbs Up!

Rollin May 26, 2017
Banjo · In 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.

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David Nov 10, 2016
Banjo · Online

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

John White Oct 30, 2016
Mandolin · In studio

Talented guy, easy to understand and very patient!

Steve W. Sep 30, 2016
Guitar · In studio

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

Lee Jun 7, 2016
Banjo · In studio

Great! He explains things well!

Marianne C. Jan 21, 2016
Acoustic Guitar · In studio

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

Mary A. Dec 3, 2015
Ukulele · In 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!

Nancy V. Jun 5, 2015
Ukulele · In 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.

Nancy V. Apr 28, 2015
Ukulele · In 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.

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Mary A. Apr 10, 2015
Ukulele · In studio

Great Lesson


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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