Julie Henigan

Julie H.

Springfield, MO
Teaching Locations:
Profile-location-online Online
Profile-location-studio Teacher's Studio
Teaching Locations:
Profile-location-online Online
Profile-location-studio Teacher's Studio
Levels taught:
Beginner, Intermediate
I taught myself to play lap dulcimer, basing my approach on the Eastern Kentucky styles associated with Jean Ritchie, Barbara Edwards, and Anne MacFie—that is, primarily using a small dowel stick or noter to sound the melody, and playing counter-melodies for song accompaniments. However, I can also help students who want to play predominantly using chords, as well as those who wish to learn about the music theory involved in playing this special modal instrument.

About Julie H.

Note: If you do not find the availability you are looking for on my calendar, I may still be able to accommodate you; don't hesitate to suggest a time that works better for you.

I am a professional musician, specializing in traditional American and Irish music and song; I can, however, also teach classical guitar and beginning-intermediate violin. My CD, "American Stranger," has received critical acclaim and I have authored two books on DADGAD guitar for Mel Bay Publications.

I taught myself guitar at the age of thirteen, but took three years of lessons at Washington University, where I also studied English and French. As an adult I became interested in fingerstyle guitar in open tunings, especially DADGAD. I am, however, happy to teach in standard tuning--including basic guitar proficiency, classical guitar, and "folk" guitar.

I have played violin since I was eleven, taking lessons until the age of sixteen and playing in both high school orchestra and the local youth symphony. I later learned to suspend much of my classical technique in order to play both old-time and traditional Irish fiddle as authentically as possible; but I still retain my initial training and apply good basic violin technique to my fiddle and (of course) her violin teaching, while tailoring it to the musical idioms of each of students.

I have also studied voice, which again, however, I have never allowed to interfere with my performance of traditional songs--largely because I had developed a traditional approach to the singing of both American southern mountain repertory and traditional Irish song many years before receiving any formal instruction. This training, however, has given me greater insight into how to get the most out of your voice for almost any style.

I also taught myself to play lap dulcimer, basing my approach on the Eastern Kentucky styles associated with Jean Ritchie, Barbara Edwards, and Anne MacFie—that is, primarily using a small dowel stick or noter to sound the melody, and playing counter-melodies for song accompaniments.

My clawhammer banjo-playing is influenced by various Appalachian instrumentalists and accompanists (including Dock Boggs, Clarence Ashley, Hobart Smith, and Lily May Ledford), but my style is also influenced by years of playing with midwestern and southern-style fiddlers.

I welcome students ages 10 or above, and have learned to adapt my teaching style to the individual student, helping each one to make the most of his or her talents and enthusiasms, while emphasizing sound technique and good practice habits.

I also teach academic subjects, especially English (in which I hold a Ph.D.) and French (in which I hold a B.A.). In English, I emphasize good grammar and solid composition skills and try to get my students as excited as I am about everything from sentence structure to Shakespeare.

I also hold a Master's in Folklore from the University of North Carolina. I have conducted field research on traditional music, song, and culture primarily in the Ozarks, the Appalachians, and throughout Ireland.


Write a Review
12 Reviews
Profile-location-online Online

Julie is a very talented musician and can play several instruments. I enjoyed learning the Appalachian clawhammer style and learning to polish my technique with Julie’s help. I now have confidence that I can play any of theses songs with lots of practice!

Posted Jun 5, 2020
Profile-location-online Online

Very knowledgeable

Posted Mar 26, 2020
Carol M.
Profile-location-online Online

Great teacher, very interested in customizing lessons to what you want. I look forward to learning much from her! Thanks, Julie!!!

Posted Nov 19, 2019
Profile-location-studio Teacher's Studio

Julie is a versatile teacher, having experience in several styles and instruments. She's patient and eager to adapt herself to the student's desired guitar style. Give her a try!

Posted Nov 2, 2019
Profile-location-online Online

We had some trouble with the audio on her end, but once we got going, it went well. I spoke and understood a lot of French in my first hour! Julie is going to help me with singing in French. I'm so excited.

Posted Aug 29, 2019
Profile-location-online Online

Many people are talented as performers but not gifted as instructors - Julie is most definitely both. She uses her keen ear to let you know your strengths, and finds productive ways to help you improve weak points. She lives and breathes traditional music and it is always a true delight to learn from her.

Posted Aug 5, 2019
Profile-location-studio Teacher's Studio

I have been taking lessons in classical style guitar from Julie for about two years. She has patiently brought me through increasingly more difficult technique by choosing a wide variety of challenging but enjoyable pieces to practice. I am gradually working my way up the fret towards the 5th position. She has helped me with theory, including rhythm, the major and minor scales and chord building. Her empathy is a particular blessing for me because of my poor eyesight and the arthritis in my wrists, hands and fingers.”

Posted Jul 30, 2019
Profile-location-online Online

I felt like I learned more with just my first lesson with Julie than I did in multiple lessons with other instructors.

I am only interested in learning frailing/claw hammer and that is what Julie teaches, and teaches well. Other instructors which I have had in the past only give a nod to claw hammer and want to focus on Scruggs style picking which, while I love listening to it, holds no appeal to me for playing.

I finally have hope that I may actually learn to play banjo.

Posted Jul 26, 2019
Mindy M.
Profile-location-online Online

Very patient and experienced

Posted Feb 27, 2019
Tammy M.
Profile-location-home Student's Home

Thoroughly enjoyed the lesson. Julie is very talented, patient and easy to be with.
I am excited to learn from her.

Posted Feb 18, 2019
Profile-location-home Student's Home

I loved working with Julie. She considered what my goals were for playing and the playing style I was interested in. She then guided my lesson practice toward those goals, while at the same time making sure I was getting the underlying foundational principles to build upon. I'm off to a good strong start and I'm certain I will continue to build my skills and enjoy playing music for many years.

Posted Sep 4, 2018
Profile-location-studio Teacher's Studio

I'm very excited about my lessons.

Posted Jul 1, 2018

Photos & Videos

9 Photos & Videos


Substitute Teacher
Aug 2014 - Present

Springfield Catholic Schools

Substitute teaching K-12, though mostly secondary level. Subjects have included English (Language Arts), French, and Music.

Private tutor--English
Jun 2010 - Present

Private studio

I have taught students of both middle school and high school age, concentrating on grammar, literature, and composition (writing).

Private tutor--Music
Jun 2010 - Present

Private studio

Although I have taught occasional private lessons since the 1990s, I have become more active as a private music teacher since 2010, teaching especially classical and folk guitar, mountain dulcimer, 5-string banjo, violin, traditional Irish and old-time fiddle, and traditional Irish singing (the latter both individually and in workshops).

Grading and Teaching Assistant
Feb 2016 - Jun 2017

Missouri State University

Primarily commented on and graded Writing II papers (second-semester composition) and Folklore exams and essays. I also gave lectures for several classes.

Substitute Teacher
Jan 2010 - May 2012

Springfield Catholic Schools

Substitute taught K-12, though mostly secondary level. Subjects included English (Language Arts), French, and Music.

On-line Essay Tutor
Aug 2009 - May 2012

Smarthinking, Inc.

Evaluated and commented on student essays, mostly secondary and university level (8th grade through graduate theses).

Adjunct Instructor
Aug 2010 - May 2011

Drury University, English Department

I taught Fundamentals of Composition on the Drury University-Ava campus and The Nature of the English Language on the Springfield (main) campus.

Substitute Teacher
Oct 2008 - Jan 2010

Springfield (MO) R-12 district

Taught mostly on the secondary level, all subjects, but primarily English (Language Arts), French, and Music.

Substitute Teacher
Nov 1994 - May 1998

Springfield (MO) R-12 district

Taught mostly on the secondary level, all subjects, but primarily English (Language Arts) and French.


Ph.D. English
Aug 1999 - May 2009

Unveristy of Notre Dame

M.A., Folklore
Aug 1984 - May 1986

University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill



Fluent / Native Proficiency


Professional Proficiency

Irish Gaelic

Professional Proficiency


Missouri State Teacher's certification in High School English
Jul 2009

Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education

Certified via the Ph.D./Praxis route.

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