Michelle Younger

Michelle Y.

Rochester, NY
Teaching Locations:
Teaching Locations:
Levels taught:
Beginner, Intermediate, Advanced
-fundamentals of classical guitar technique and playing
-reading music
-fundamentals of music theory and how it applies to what you're playing
-focus on getting the best sound from your instrument
-history of classical guitar music and pieces
-how to give a solo performance
-how to play cleanly with as little effort as possible
-increasing and developing your repertoire
-injury-free playing
-much more!

About Michelle Y.

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!


Write a Review
35 Reviews
Profile-location-online Online

Great to be back!! Lots of fun :)

Posted Sep 1, 2020
Rita O.
Profile-location-online Online

Michelle is the most patient teacher!! She helps me through all my issues and bad habits with my banjo playing. I have learned a lot from her. She is the best!! RO

Posted Apr 27, 2020
Ric Bowen
Profile-location-online Online

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

Michelle is a wonderful instructor who gives attention to details, and she knows her stuff. She is very patient and helps you reach your goals no matter your skill level.

Posted Mar 19, 2020
Profile-location-online Online

Just had my first lesson with Michelle. I am very impressed - I like the way she made the basics of improvisation very doable. Am definitely looking forward to working with her again!

Posted Feb 15, 2020
Josh M.
Profile-location-online Online

Michelle is great instructor!

Posted Jan 30, 2020
Profile-location-online Online

Posted Jan 21, 2020
Profile-location-studio Teacher's Studio

Michelle not only knows music but based on my 50+ years in education, she also is has a very good grasp in the mechanics of education. The lesson was excellent!

Posted Jan 13, 2020
Rita O.

Michelle makes my banjo playing easier and easier. I am feeling very comfortable. She points out all the bad habits I should not do, that is good for later down the road.

Posted Jan 6, 2020
Kevin Golembeski
Profile-location-studio Teacher's Studio

Absolutely wonderful first lesson. Michelle is a true professional. I am looking forward to my future lessons.

Posted Dec 3, 2019
Rita O.
Profile-location-online Online

Michelle was very patient with me. I am 67 years old, not too coordinated, and rusty at most things. She explained everything and answered all my questions! Look forward to my next lesson.

Posted Nov 25, 2019
Chele F.
Profile-location-online Online

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

Posted Nov 6, 2019
Chele F.
Profile-location-online Online

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

Posted Oct 16, 2019
Profile-location-online Online

Posted Oct 13, 2019
Profile-location-online 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.

Posted Sep 27, 2019
Profile-location-online Online

Posted Sep 12, 2019
John B.
Profile-location-studio Teacher's 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.

Posted Sep 9, 2019
Profile-location-online Online

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

Posted Sep 6, 2019
Josh M.
Profile-location-online Online

A great first lesson. Thanks!!!

Posted Sep 6, 2019
John S.
Profile-location-online Online

Posted Aug 8, 2019
Profile-location-online 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.

Posted Jul 5, 2019
Anne Papinchak
Profile-location-online Online

Great first lesson - good rapport and informative!

Posted Jul 3, 2019
Profile-location-online Online

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

Posted Jul 2, 2019
Bryan H.
Profile-location-online Online

Posted Jun 19, 2019
Profile-location-studio Teacher's 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!!!

Posted Mar 30, 2019
Profile-location-home Student's Home

Excellent technical knowledge for classical guitarists.

Posted Mar 11, 2019
Profile-location-studio Teacher's 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!

Posted Mar 9, 2019
Profile-location-online 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.

Posted Mar 9, 2019
Profile-location-home Student's 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!

Posted Mar 5, 2019
John S.
Profile-location-online Online

Posted Jan 21, 2019
Michael B.
Profile-location-online 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

Posted Nov 20, 2018
Bryan H.
Profile-location-online Online

Posted Nov 20, 2018
Profile-location-studio Teacher's 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.

Posted Oct 24, 2018
Brad C.
Profile-location-home Student's Home

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

Posted Oct 9, 2018
Profile-location-home Student's 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!

Posted Oct 7, 2018

Photos & Videos

10 Photos & Videos


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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