Music Resources

Music Resources in the District 15 Area


District 15 encompasses all of Jefferson and Clallam counties. We are always looking for ways to help old and new musicians improve their musical abilities. Below are some instructors in the area. This information is posted as a service and does not endorse or guarantee the quality of the referrals.

Instructor: Cliff Self
City: Port Townsend
Phone: 360-379-8134
Website: The Music Studio of Cliff Self    
Other: : Cliff Self has a simple philosophy about music lessons.  They should be easy, safe, and fun.  He puts a great deal of thought and preparation into each lesson, crafting an individualized plan for every student, taking into account their goals, abilities, and learning styles.  He is able to help students to advance no matter what their challenges, having successfully taught people with learning disabilities, mental illness, Parkinson’s Disease, severe hand injuries, and even tone deafness.

Cliff is also noted for his patience, flexibility, gentleness, and memory.   After studying violin and viola at Stetson university Cliff moved to New York City where he took lessons from concert soloist Ruben Varga.

Cliff then went on to perform with such luminaries as Johnny Mathis, Andy Williams, Pat Boone, George Benson, and the Mantovani Orchestra.  Cliff has lived in Port Townsend since 1997 where he teaches not only fiddle, violin, and viola, but also mandolin, guitar, and dulcimer. 

In addition to his private studio he has taught at Peninsula college, The Calvert School, Jefferson Community School, the Out-of-the-Box Arts camp, the YMCA, and for WOTFA. 

Instructor: Kristin Smith
City: Port Townsend
Phone: 360-301-5128
Instrument: Beginning, Intermediate and Advanced Fiddle for all ages.
Other: BFA in Music 1969, University of Montana, Missoula.

I have played 55 years, professionally for 43 and taught actively for 30. Some of my favorite styles are New England, Canadian prairie,  Cape Breton and Quebecois, Scandinavian and British Isles, Klezmer, Balkan, blues and swing fiddle, Southwest and Latin American styles.  Recently composed Northwest fiddle tunes are great too.    

Kristin played violin from an early age earning a degree in music performance from the University of Montana, Missoula, 1969. After 8 years in the Edmonton Symphony Orchestra she came to Port Townsend to build a boat.

Port Townsend in the late 70s was abuzz with newly hatched fiddlers inspired by the recent inception of the Centrum Fiddle Tunes Festival. It was a perfect time to branch out from concert violin style and begin learning the ways of the fiddler.

The Olympic Peninsula supplied a wonderful boat, a music education, many opportunities to teach and play and a fine husband and eventually family. The children are grown now but Kristin is still teaching private students, school string classes at the Chimacum Pi Program, Port Townsend OCEAN program and Swan School. She holds the position of second violin section leader in the Port Angeles Symphony and Chamber Orchestras, Concertmaster in the Port Townsend Orchestra and plays in the Port Townsend String Quartet that has been active for over 30 years. She and her husband Otto perform as Homemade Music for contradances and community celebrations.

Kristin says, “If there is something that distinguishes my teaching it is the broad range of approaches to finding success with the instrument. There are many ways to pinpoint what is getting in the way of playing fluently and playfully. Whatever your ability level or musical goals we can build the skills and ease and awareness that result in beautiful exciting sound.”

Since the early 90s Kristin has taught at the Centrum Fiddle Festival and learned there from a host of fiddlers representing many traditions. She prioritizes a clear attractive sound, ease of body movements and familiarity with the harmonies that drive the tune. Her motto is Everyone is a Musician.
Instructor: Kate Powers
City: Sequim
Phone: 360-683-6070
I've been playing for 5 years and have taken up teaching relatively recently to expand my musical horizons and help other budding fiddlers in my area. I approach technique in a mostly classical way, so that students are aptly prepared for any technical challenges they may face in fiddle music; even though the technique is classical, I try to equip students with a 'fiddle' mindset in style, tune-learning, musical community, and attitude towards music. Practicing effectively and using patterns, chord progressions, and other deliberate methods to learn music is also a good-sized focus. I teach just about any style of music, including Old-time, Jazz, Klezmer, Romanian, Gypsy, Scottish, Celtic, Irish, Canadian, Gypsy Jazz, as well as focusing on reading chords, improvising, and writing your own tunes. Most of all, I try to help students find the fun in an art form that is so downright difficult!

Instructor: Kristina Gustafson
City: Sequim
Phone: 360-477-9373

Another good resource for information is on the State WOTFA web site. Clicking here will take you to their resource page.