Services : Lessons & Workshops

Our lessons program is the School of Musical Traditions, located in Takoma Park, MD.

SMT has now relocated to a new location called Takoma SPARK at 7112 Willow Ave (behind Willow Street Yoga). This space includes more lessons rooms in a single-story, handicapped-accessible building, and a larger event/workshop space. Parking is available, and it's just 2 blocks from the Takoma Metro.  



Virtual private lessons (via Zoom) are also offered. Contact SMT directly for more information about scheduling private lessons, or to sign up for the group workshops listed below.

School of Musical Traditions has a staff of expert teachers offering one-to-one and duo lessons on the following instruments:

- guitar (acoustic and electric)
- voice 
- piano
- 5-string banjo
- mandolin
- ukulele

- violin/fiddle

- viola 
- cello

- bass (upright & bass guitar)
- flute
- clarinet
- saxophone
- accordion
- recorder / early music
- harp (lever & pedal)
- topics such as theory, songwriting, composition, recording & arranging

We teach all ages and a variety of styles, including folk, rock, blues, pop, jazz, and classical. Lessons are also available for composition, film scoring, music theory, jazz theory & improv, songwriting and recording.

If you don't see the instrument you want to study listed above, please contact SMT. We maintain a network of other area teachers and can provide referrals for instruments such as trumpet, dulcimer (hammered & lap), harp, harmonica, didgeridoo, drums/percussion and more.

Lessons start at $40 per half hour (45 and 60 minute lessons are also available, and various options to register by month, term, or by-lesson are offered). More information on fees and registration can be found on SMT's website

To register for lessons and for more information, please call 240-690-1910 or email . You can also visit to fill out an inquiry form online.

SMT also offers group classes and workshops. Visit their website to view the current schedule & register online.

Upcoming SMT Group Classes, Workshops & Events:

Unless otherwise specified, all listed below are held at SMT's Takoma Spark location: 7112 Willow Ave, Takoma Park, MD.

FREE Biweekly Bluegrass Slow Jam:
Held on 2nd & 4th Thursdays, 7-9pm.
Free (with tipping for the leaders welcome), but pre-registration is required as attendance is limited. Led by the Cherry Blossom Special band, this is a learner-friendly jam open to all levels. They will lead standard tunes from the old-time repertoire and help you out if you get lost in the chords. Jammers should know at least the basics of their instrument so they can play along with the group. 

Get Your Lonesome On: 4th Mondays, 7-9:30pm
A Bluegrass jam hosted by Ira Gitlin & Mary Naden. All levels welcome. Recommended donation of $5.

FREE Open Mic:
Held every Tuesday, 7pm (usually until 9:30 or so; depends on # of performers). Hosted by Rob Hinkal & co-sponsored by Institute of Musical Traditions. Signup begins at 6pm. Slots are 2 songs/10 minutes, all genres/poetry welcome. No amps or drum kits. The evening is also live-streamed on IMT's Facebook & YouTube. Follow Rob's Open Mics on Facebook for more info and updates to weekly events. Attendees are welcome to bring their own food & non-alcoholic drinks.

Click here to view all upcoming Jams & Open Mics.

Click here to view all upcoming concerts at School of Musical Traditions.

Registrants for these events can receive 10% off a related instrument purchase from our store! Consignments excluded; discount is good for 30 days after workshop date.

Click here to view SMT's upcoming workshops & group classes. 

Here is SMT's complete calendar of events: