We like to hear from our students about their goals and what they want to learn. Everyone has a unique learning style and we do our best to work with people the way they learn best. We also want it to be fun! So whenever possible, choosing the right songs or repertoire that students are excited about is important. Every song or tune inherently has techniques and skills. We like to see what our students want to play and work accordingly to help them achieve their goals.
Matt Shipman has been been a music instructor for over 12 years now, and enjoys working with students of all ages and abilities. He enjoys sharing his love of music with people, helping them have fun with music and reach their personal goals. Matt plays and teaches the guitar, mandolin, bouzouki and clawhammer banjo. Matt has earned a Bachelor of Arts Degree from Vermont College in 2004, majoring in Traditional Music Studies. During his time there, he toured through Nova Scotia, North Carolina and Maine compiling songs and stories from people he met, which later culminated as a radio documentary about traditional music in the 21st Century. Performing throughout the U.S. and Canada for many years now, Matt can be heard playing with Darlin’ Corey, Erica Brown & The Bluegrass Connection, Side By Each and most recently, Josephine County. Matt has put out 2 of his own recordings as well as with High Range, Darlin' Corey and most recently East to the West with Josephine County.
Erica Brown has been teaching fiddle to young and old alike for more than 12 years. She has helped bring music into several elementary schools by holding workshops and personally performing. She has a strong desire to share her knowledge with anyone who has an interest in music and the fiddle. Erica is currently on staff at Bates College teaching private lessons.
Erica developed an interest in music at an early age. At the age of seven, she was competing in fiddle contests with kids twice her age. At age nine, she was traveling throughout New England, Canada, and even Louisiana with the Maine French Fiddlers. Currently, she has her own bluegrass band, Erica Brown & The Bluegrass Connection, which performs all over New England and Canada. Erica is also a member of Darlin’ Corey, Josephine County and Side By Each. She has competed in and won numerous fiddle contests throughout New England and Canada. In 2003 she was awarded Junior Female Entertainer Of The Year by the Maine Country Music Association and in 2006 she received the Harold Carter Memorial Award from the Down East Country Music Association and was a recipient of a 2006 Maine Arts Commission Traditional Arts Apprenticeship Award and was recognized as a Master Artist by the Maine Arts Commission that same year.
Performance highlights include opening for Grammy award winning country music superstar Dwight Yoakam, as well as Grammy award winning bluegrass performer Ricky Skaggs and Kentucky Thunder. Erica has produced and released 6 solo CD's.