Holly Schaff

Holly S.

Lynn, MA
100% Satisfaction Guarantee

100% Satisfaction Guarantee

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

Lesson Details


Levels Taught:
Beginner, Intermediate
I specialize in brass instruments, and have 20 years of experience. I can teach you everything from sound production and control to crossing from mere technique into meaningful music. We can talk about everything from a trumpeter's leadership role in the orchestra to handling the stress of a competitive instrument. There's a certain trumpet "swagger," and I can help you *earn* it.
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Holly teaches



Holly passed a background check that includes a SSN verification, national criminal record check, and sex offender registry search. Learn More
Holly delivers an exceptional lesson experience and ranks in the top 15% of our teachers nationwide.
Teaches students:
Ages 8+ and special needs

Teaching since:

My 20 years of musical experience taught me that JOY is as important as knowledge and technique. We'll pursue a learning trajectory that suits you and your goals (large or small!), all while providing you with the encouragement to enjoy the process as well as the results. My teaching style is dynamic and positive; I want you to look forward to your lessons. And I have both the teaching and performing chops to challenge you and impart some serious skills.
I have my Bachelor of Music from the Peabody Conservatory and a Postgraduate Diploma in Trombone Performance from the Royal Northern College of Music in Manchester, England. I've taught a wide range of students -- from children who've never before picked up an instrument, to accomplished high schoolers, to adults who've always wanted to learn and finally have the freedom to do so.
I enjoy helping people as much as I enjoy performing, and I'd love the chance to inspire and encourage you however I can.

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Private Music Teacher
Jan 1999 - Jul 2009
Self-Employed & The Alexander School

Helped students of all ages and levels of experience to develop technically, musically, and personally. Specialized in students who needed patience, non-judgment, and encouragement. I continue to be proud of the fact that my students ended up proud of *themselves*.

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Professional Freelance Trombone Player
Nov 2000 - Dec 2004

Played nearly every genre of music: orchestral, brass quintet, big band, party/dance band, early music (Medieval/Renaissance/Baroque) -- all at a professional level. Managed all the "ins and outs" of a one-woman business.


Postgraduate Diploma, Trombone Performance
Sep 1997 - Jun 1999
Royal Northern College of Music -- Manchester, UK
Bachelor of Music, Trombone Performance
Aug 1993 - May 1997
Peabody Institute of the Johns Hopkins University


Fluent / Native Proficiency

19 Reviews

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Meredith May 6, 2019
Trombone · Online

Holly was very energetic and motivating. She provided clear instructions and really zeroed in on areas to improve while staying positive. Great experience!

Keith Apr 7, 2019
Trumpet · Online

My 14 year old son Brett has been taking online trumpet lessons with Holly for nearly two years. Holly is always both positive and instructive. Brett has grown as a trumpet player and a leader with Holly's guidance. Holly is timely and reliable, She has been flexible with changes due to Brett's ever evolving sports schedule,

The online experience with Holly is natural and effective. We have had few technology problems and at home, car pool free arrangement is convenient.

I would recommend Holly to any prospective student!

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Robert B. Mar 12, 2019
Trombone · Online

Holly Is a good person and a good teacher looking forward to more lessons with her she is great thanks take lessons

Jen S. Oct 11, 2018
Trumpet · Online

Holly was the perfect instructor for my first months learning trumpet. Her brass playing experience was a great foundation fo a lot of insight about how to practice, progress, and get past some snags. It was a bonus that she is upbeat and very encouraging with a great sense of humor.

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Clare M. Mar 7, 2018
Trumpet · Online

My teen daughter has had one lesson with Holly so far and we are both very impressed. Her initial lesson included a thorough evaluation so she knew just where my daughter was starting from, and progressed to an actual lesson. It was clear to me that my daughter learns easily from Holly's teaching style and I could hear her progress throughout the hour. Additionally, Holly has an upbeat, positive attitude that only added to my daughter's enjoyment. She's counting down the days until her next lesson.

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Karlton Jan 29, 2018
Trumpet · Online

I began playing trumpet again after a 45 years break (I played in HS). I was concerned because I tend to be very self-conscious and nervous. Holly is amazing, not only because of her technical expertise, but because she has taken all the stress and worry out of learning to play. She has made music what it should have always been ... FUN! I love our lessons together and enjoy practicing. She is a wonderful instructor and I would highly recommend her to anyone wanting to learn to play an instrument.

I'll be glad to answer any questions anyone may have.

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Katrina M. Jan 20, 2018
Trombone · Online

Holly gave me alot of encouragment. She has a great sense of humor! I think she was a really good teacher.

Guy G. Jan 8, 2018
Trombone · Online

Good first lesson. Off to a good start, with plenty to work on until the next lesson. 5 stars.

Blake B. Jan 8, 2018
Trombone · Online

This was my first lesson and I was a little anxious but Holly put me at ease and everything went well. She gave me practice assignments and lots of great tips on how and what to practice. I'm looking forward to our next lesson.

Jen S. Dec 8, 2017
Trumpet · Online

I appreciated Holly's enthusiasm and great information that motivates me to practice and improve.

Misha D. Dec 4, 2017
Trombone · Online

Holly is absolutely fabulous! She really motivated our daughter and made the lesson a very enjoyable and very productive experience.

Lisa Nov 8, 2017
Trombone · Online

Holly makes the lessons really fun and she is incredibly patient. My eleven year old daughter is very self conscience but Holly has lots of ways to help her feel comfortable and is very encouraging. She also has a great sense of humor. For the first time ever my daughter wanted to get her horn out and practice without me having to ask. I would definitely recommend Holly!

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Brett S. Sep 25, 2017
Trumpet · Online

Holly is a wonderful music instructor: talented, energetic and positive! Holly's friendly disposition removed any of the "distance" that might be associated with online education.

meredith Sep 11, 2017
Trumpet · In studio

Very enthusiastic and knowledgeable!

Greta Jul 25, 2017
Trumpet · Online

My daughter's lesson with Holly was amazing. My daughter started playing trumpet at the age of 6. I bought her a used trumpet and she basically taught herself how to read music and how to play. By the time she was in middle school, after several years of elementary school band class, where everyone learns an instrument, my daughter had grown bored of her trumpet. She was great at it, but there was no challenge and very little inspiration for her to play. When she met Holly for her lesson that all changed. She was able to talk with Holly and share with her many of her trumpet and band experiences. Holly was enthusiastic and positive as an instructor. She really was able to connect with my daughter(a teenager) and encourage her. My daughter left her lesson feeling very interested in trumpet again and wanting to explore a variety of music she could play on her trumpet. For the next few days she was listening to various trumpet players online and different music styles, at Holly's recommendation.
I can confidently recommend Holly as an instructor for any student who wishes to play trumpet. I believe she is the perfect instructor for my middle school daughter.

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Mary C. Jun 20, 2017
Trombone · Online

Sally Jun 19, 2017
Trumpet · In home

Holly is so great! My little boy was having trouble staying motivated and Holly really brings out the fun! She is so enthusiastic and empowering. She is gifted, funny and professional. We love her.

Beth Mar 21, 2017
Trombone · In studio

Holly Schaff is a wonderful trombonist and teacher. She inspires students with her quick wit and quirky sense of humour all the while teaching the fundamentals of trombone in memorable ways. Holly has been a professional musician on the east coast for years and not only communicates clearly, but demonstrates important techniques and tricks when she teaches. She has studied and played with some of the finest Low Brass teachers and specialists in the world and imparts this learned knowledge of musicianship to her students in lessons. I highly recommend Holly as a trombone teacher for beginning, intermediate, or advanced students.

Beth Mitchell
Kanstul International Recital Artist and Clinician

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Kim Mar 11, 2017
Trombone · In studio

I really enjoyed working with Holly -- she is passionate about the trombone, knowledgable and thoughtful, but also has a great sense of humor, so our lessons were a lot of fun. I think I improved a lot over the course of the months that I studied with her, and also gained the confidence to go from being a beginner to playing in an ensemble.

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