Michelle Younger

Michelle Y.

Rochester, NY
Available Locations:
Online Online
Studio Studio

Get to know me a little better by watching my intro video below, or click on the "Ask Michelle A Question" button right next to my picture!

Hi! My name is Michelle. I’m a professional guitar and banjo player, and music teacher! I teach all levels of classical guitar, acoustic guitar, bluegrass and folk guitar. I also specialize in all levels of clawhammer banjo, but also offer 3-finger Scruggs-style bluegrass banjo lessons. I also teach all styles and levels of ukulele from basic strumming patterns to fingerpicking chord melodies.

I cater my lessons to each individual student. I love teaching all levels, so don’t worry if you’ve never picked up an instrument in your life…there’s no such thing as a hopeless case!! I work on building a strong foundation of form and technique in all of my students regardless of level, whether you’re just starting out or are a more experienced player with some bad habits to break or looking to add to your musical toolbox!

My formal training is classical, I have a Bachelor’s degree from Oberlin Conservatory and a Master’s degree from Eastman School of Music, both in classical guitar performance. That being said, I’m a little different than most classically trained teachers, in that I have traveled outside of the classical world to the folk traditions of old-time and bluegrass music, and I am very passionate about this music. I also tour regularly with a folk/Americana trio called Harpeth Rising, which combines both classical and folk traditions into original music (but don't worry, it won't interfere much with teaching!)

My teaching style reflects my combination of influences. My style is fluid, and I work with each student’s individual strengths and weaknesses create a learning environment that is comfortable, relaxed, and ultimately very effective. I also expect my students to schedule regular practicing into their daily routines, which is something I also help my students with.

Thanks for visiting my page!

**Availability notice: As I am a touring musician, my availability is flexible. For online lessons, I may need to reschedule times while I'm on tour. For in person lessons, we may need to reschedule missed lesson while I'm on tour. This will happen infrequently, but I thought I'd give fair warning!

*** Travel Equipment ***
I provide my own instrument, and I expect my students to have an instrument of their own. If you need help purchasing an instrument I have 8 years of experience and knowledge of fretted stringed instruments, so I am happy to help advise you once you purchase lessons!

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  • Background Checked
  • Bachelor of Music in Classical Guitar Performance from Oberlin Conservatory of Music
  • Teaches Beginner, Intermediate, Advanced

Reviews (24)

Write a Review
Chele F. Nov 6, 2019
Banjo · Online

I'm continuing to learn so much and having fun along the way :-)

Chele F. Oct 16, 2019
Banjo · Online

I am very inspired and excited! Michelle is fantastic :-)

Sarah Oct 13, 2019
Banjo · Online

Terry Sep 27, 2019
Banjo · Online

Just had my first lesson. Have never played an instrument. Michelle was so patient and positive I can tell this is going to work out well for me.

Jeffrey Sep 12, 2019
Guitar · Online

John B. Sep 9, 2019
Banjo · In studio

Banjo instructors are very uncommon. If you are looking for one, look no further. I had Michele for 6 months. She is awesome and extremely attentive on how you wish to learn. Unlike my previous two banjo instructors I had several years ago. With them, they didn't really know Blue Grass genre like Michele does. Due to circumstances in my personal life and time, I have to step away. Nonetheless he taught me things well especially I have not played in 15 years. I highly recommend her to anyone.

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Chelsea Sep 6, 2019
Ukulele · Online

Good advice and good assignments. Looking forward to next week.

Josh M. Sep 6, 2019
Banjo · Online

A great first lesson. Thanks!!!

John S. Aug 8, 2019
Banjo · Online

Malia Jul 5, 2019
Ukulele · Online

Very positive reaction from my 13 year old daughter on her first lesson with Michelle. Michelle very patient with great interaction and instruction. Turned out to be a really good fit so far.

Anne Papinchak Jul 3, 2019
Banjo · Online

Great first lesson - good rapport and informative!

Jeannette Jul 2, 2019
Acoustic Guitar · Online

Michelle is very knowledgeable and personable. I am looking forward to my next lesson!

Bryan H. Jun 19, 2019
Banjo · Online

Laurie Mar 30, 2019
Banjo · In studio

Michelle has been a patient and supportive Banjo instructor! As an adult learner with absolutely no experience with stringed instruments, my learning curve has been steep! Michelle is an expert musician! She is encouraging and makes lessons fun. I highly recommend Michelle! I consider myself so fortunate to have found her!!!

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Dan Mar 11, 2019
Guitar · In home

Excellent technical knowledge for classical guitarists.

Nicole Mar 9, 2019
Guitar · In studio

Michelle is a great instructor! Starting lessons as an adult I thought would be difficult, however she is very accommodating and helpful. She takes the time to figure out your strengths, as well as see what you can work on. Every suggestion she makes is helpful and beneficial. I’m excited to see where the lessons with her will go!

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anna Mar 9, 2019
Banjo · Online

Michelle has been a great teacher. She is patient , positive, and does a wonderful job of explaining things to me. I would highly recommend her.

Brad Mar 5, 2019
Banjo · In home

Michelle is an amazing musician and instructor! She was great at assessing my skill level and meeting me where I was at in my musical journey. She turned me into a lifetime banjo player and lover of Old Time music and other folk traditions. She is down to earth and fun to work with!

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John S. Jan 21, 2019
Banjo · Online

Michael B. Nov 20, 2018
Banjo · Online

Michelle Younger is a GREAT banjo teacher!!
Her musical knowledge is very deep, yet she knows how to convey it at just the right speed for the individuals ability. She is extremely perceptive, and can offer valuable suggestions after watching you play through once, whatever it is you are working on. She has me believing I can actually do this! I look forward to each lesson, because she is a delightful person to work with, has keen skills, a good sense of humor, and a whole lot of patience!
~ Michael Branden

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Bryan H. Nov 20, 2018
Banjo · Online

Jim Oct 24, 2018
Banjo · In studio

Michelle is a great teacher who has the knowledge, experience (and patience) to help me become comfortable playing the banjo. I look forward to my next lesson.

Brad C. Oct 9, 2018
Guitar · In home

Michelle is kind, caring and a wonderful instructor. Always on time and works well with children.

Jordana Oct 7, 2018
Guitar · In home

Michelle is a wonderful teacher who explains things with both expertise and patience. I left my very first lesson inspired to practice and looking forward to the next one. I never thought I could learn to play guitar but recently gave my first performance. I highly recommend Michelle!

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Lesson Details


Levels Taught:
Beginner, Intermediate, Advanced

-clawhammer technique
-arranging tunes in your own style
-learn to play with other musicians
-learn how to participate in a jam session
-learn to play and pick up tunes by ear or with tablature
-advanced melodic clawhammer arranging
-learn to accompany yourself while singing
-writing and arranging tunes
-history of the banjo and of Appalachian old-time fiddle music, and history of each specific tune
-basics of three-finger style



Banjo/Guitar Player, Vocals
Feb 2016 - Present

Harpeth Rising

Music Teacher
Jan 2003 - Present


Private lessons in guitar (all styles), banjo, ukulele, mandolin and fiddle


Master of Music in Classical Guitar Performance
Aug 2007 - Jun 2009

Eastman School of Music

Bachelor of Music in Classical Guitar Performance
Aug 2003 - Jun 2007

Oberlin Conservatory of Music



Fluent / Native Proficiency

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