Holly Schaff
Lynn, MA
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Holly Schaff

Holly S.

Lynn, MA
Profile-background-check Background Check
This teacher successfully passed a thorough criminal background check with SterlingBackcheck. This badge verifies trusted teacher status.
Profile-student-favorite Student Favorite
This teacher is rated in the top 15% of teachers in the specialty subject. This badge demonstrates subject mastery on a nationwide scale.
Teaching Locations:
Profile-location-online Online
Teaching Locations:
Profile-location-online Online
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.

About Holly S.

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.
(My recommendation for young, beginning students is half-hour, weekly lessons. This gives us the opportunity for regular check-ins, without overwhelming them with too much information at once.)


Write a Review
40 Reviews
Profile-location-online Online

Holly did a great job putting my son at ease and encouraging him. He is looking forward to the next class.

Posted Jun 11, 2021
Profile-location-online Online

Holly has been super encouraging and knowledgeable to help my daughter learn Euphonium as a second instrument.

Posted May 20, 2021
Walter L.
Profile-location-online Online

Holly is a terrific teacher, encouraging and supportive. If doesn't know something she says so.
Holly is so good that my 9 year old granddaughter is working with her online, too.

Posted Nov 18, 2020
Profile-location-online Online

Great with kids!

Posted Oct 27, 2020
Profile-location-online Online

I’m an adult beginner, and Holly has been a wonderful teacher for getting to learn all the basics, I’m having so much fun learning the trumpet from her!

Posted Oct 13, 2020
Profile-location-online Online

Holly is great! She explains thing clearly and bring lot of energy to the lessons. My son has never played trumpet before and just after 5 lessons, he's playing a few songs. He feels very comfortable with Holly and would like to continue.

Posted Oct 10, 2020
Profile-location-online Online

Holly is great! And especially so for first time learners!

Posted Sep 9, 2020
Profile-location-online Online

Holly was so upbeat and attentive throughout the whole session. She gave words of encouragement and offered great pointers. Holly provided a thorough assessment and laid out a plan for future meetings. My son and I look forward to his next lesson.

Posted Aug 28, 2020
Profile-location-online Online

My son had a great first lesson with Holly! She was very kind and gave great instruction and feedback.

Posted Aug 28, 2020
Profile-location-online Online

Holly is wonderful and funny!
You can feel her positive energy, she makes you feel at ease. She is also knowledgeable and professional.
My 12 years old had a great first lesson and looking forward to the next one!

Posted Aug 24, 2020
Profile-location-online Online

Holly is patient, energetic and knowledgeable. My son has already improved after a couple of lessons. We both recommend her for lessons.

Posted Jul 22, 2020
Profile-location-online Online

My daughter loved Holly and can not wait for her next lesson.

Posted Jul 21, 2020
Profile-location-online Online

Holly was great with my 12 year old son. He doesn't often come out of his shell right away but he was very comfortable with Holly and had a great first lesson.

Posted Jun 30, 2020
Danny S.
Profile-location-online Online

Holly is very supportive and always cheerful. My son always looks forward to his lessons with her.

Posted Jun 22, 2020
Zoie W.
Profile-location-online Online

Holly is absolutely amazing with my 10 year old daughter. My daughter can be very shy but Holly has this amazing spirit about her that helps my daughter come out of her shell and shine with confidence in playing the trombone.

Posted Jun 4, 2020
Profile-location-online Online

Holly's energy was so positive and encouraging. Our ten-year old has never been more excited to play the trumpet. We're excited to see him develop, and we couldn't recommend Holly more.

Posted May 29, 2020
Emmie C.
Profile-location-online Online

Holly did a great job and was very friendly and cheerful with my daughter.

Posted May 1, 2020
Profile-location-studio Teacher's Studio

Holly knows how to motivate her students and lays out clear goals and practice routines that her students can easily follow. I can count with one hand the number of days my son took home his trumpet for practice during the past two years. This changed dramatically when he started taking lessons from Holly. He has been practicing trumpet every day since, even during our drive to the Tanglewood concert! Three lessons in, I feel that he has already accomplished more in 15 days than what he has achieved in the past two years in his middle school band. The only regret that I have is that we did not start this sooner!

Posted Jul 16, 2019
Profile-location-online Online

Holly was very encouraging and very enthusiastic for my son's first lesson. We look forward to seeing how far he is able to go under her guidance.

Posted Jun 28, 2019
Profile-location-online Online

First lesson, lots of good info, energetic teacher. This is awesome!

Posted Jun 13, 2019
Profile-location-online Online

first lesson was great. Holly is gracious and she is already challenging my daughter to the next level.

Posted May 21, 2019
Profile-location-online Online

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

Posted May 6, 2019
Profile-location-online 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!

Posted Apr 7, 2019
Robert B.
Profile-location-online Online

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

Posted Mar 12, 2019
Jen S.
Profile-location-online 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.

Posted Oct 11, 2018
Clare M.
Profile-location-online 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.

Posted Mar 7, 2018
Profile-location-online 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.

Posted Jan 29, 2018
Katrina M.
Profile-location-online Online

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

Posted Jan 20, 2018
Guy G.
Profile-location-online Online

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

Posted Jan 8, 2018
Blake B.
Profile-location-online 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.

Posted Jan 8, 2018
Jen S.
Profile-location-online Online

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

Posted Dec 8, 2017
Misha D.
Profile-location-online Online

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

Posted Dec 4, 2017
Profile-location-online 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!

Posted Nov 8, 2017
Brett S.
Profile-location-online 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.

Posted Sep 25, 2017
Profile-location-studio Teacher's Studio

Very enthusiastic and knowledgeable!

Posted Sep 11, 2017
Profile-location-online 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.

Posted Jul 25, 2017
Profile-location-home Student's 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.

Posted Jun 19, 2017
Profile-location-studio Teacher's 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

Posted Mar 21, 2017
Profile-location-studio Teacher's 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.

Posted Mar 11, 2017
Mary C.
Profile-location-online Online

Posted Jun 20, 2017


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*.

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

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