About John Blasquez

Private Lessons • Workshops • Performances


Philosophy Some thoughts about teaching methods and goals.

Endorsements Comments from students and parents regarding John

Fiddle Notes on John's fiddling experience.

Guitar A description of some of the guitar styles taught at Singingwood. 

Mandolin An introduction to a truly wonderful instrument: the first cousin to the violin.

Violin Information about classical violin lessons.

Bodhran / Rhythm Studies A personal account of learning the Irish drum.

Improvisation A few words about a skill that's easy to learn, but not often taught.

How to Get to Carnagie Hall Several Practice Tips.

Workshops Group classes and special presentations at Singingwood Music.



Singingwood Music is the music studio and music business of John Blasquez, located in Walnut Creek, California (in the San Francisco Bay Area).

If this is your first visit to this web site, please look around. You'll find many valuable resources and information about local events.

Teaching Experience

John Blasquez has over four decades of experience playing and teaching fiddle, classical violin, ukulele, guitar, and mandolin to children and adults in private lessons.

Although John directs most of his energy to teaching private lessons, he also teaches workshops, group classes, and coaches musical groups, including his own ongoing workshops:

     Music Connection for Kids
     The Horizon Workshop
     Fiddling for Violinists
     Acoustic Instruments 101

Occasionally he teaches on staff at summer music camps including:

Fiddlekids (11 years: 1999–2004, 2009–2013)
RiverTunes (2012, 2013)
California Coast Music Camp (1995, 2006)
Lark Camp (Lark in the Morning) (2009, 2010)
CSOTFA Youth Workshops (2001, 2002, 2003)

He's led workshops at festivals such as the:

     The CBS's Father's Day Bluegrass Festival
     Strawberry Music Festival

... as well as workshops for the San Francisco's Cooley-Keegan Branch of the Comhaltas Ceoltóirí Éireann. He's also taught for the Contra Costa chapter of the Suzuki Violin Foundation, teaching fiddle for their Spring concerts.

And in 2008 he launched his music education web site: www.TheoreticallyCorrect.com


Click to see Endorsements from parents and students.

If you've ever watched John coach a student or lead a workshop, or if you've seen the careful materials that he creates for his students, you understand his passion for teaching.

Patient, encouraging, understanding, humorous, supportive, motivating, and creative, he knows how to boost students out of a rut, slow them from an overly rapid assent, and steer them out of a downward spiral. He's able to explain and guide at any level. And he always strives to get students to use their practice time efficiently.


Performing Experience

An award winning instrumentalist, John has performed since age twelve. From his mid-twenties through mid-thirties he performed extensively, usually three to five times a week. John still performs, but less often now — mostly now at private events such as parties and celebrations.

Music Lessons for Children and Adults

John is especially skilled at teaching young children. He easily establishes a friendly, encouraging, respectful rapport with kids, no matter if they're shy or energetic. He teaches then how to structure their practice, switching between activities anytime they feel bored or frustrated.

John likes working with students of different levels and backgrounds, often take beginning adult students who have had no prior experience playing music.

Practice Coach

In addition to teaching technique and repertoire, John teaches many aspects of musicianship—most importantly practice and study skills.
Click here for some Practice Tips


John has created an extensive collection of teaching materials. They are of the highest quality. Professionally prepared, they equal or surpass the music books sold by large music publishers. You can view some of those materials online at singingwood.com and at MuseScore.com

His lesson materials include:

  • Recordings and interactive scores that support practice and self-guided study
  • Rhythm studies
  • Clear introductory explanations
  • Warm-ups and exercises that concise are effective
  • Standard music notation — treble and bass clef.
  • Tablature — a simplified form of music notation.
  • Worksheets, music theory charts, and games.
  • Music for group participation
  • Practice Guides — lists of study skills and goals

He has created guides on subjects such as:

  • Accelerated learning
  • Learn music by ear
  • How to quickly memorize music
  • Improvisation
  • Recommended Accessories (available online)

In his lessons, John uses certain violin exercise books and various pieces from the standard violin repertoire. But his students are particularly enthusiastic about his own arrangements and the supporting exercises that he's designed to accompany them. Nevertheless, when repertoire is well taught, few exercises are required—each piece has all that is needed within.

John has self-published much of his work. In 2001 he launched his professional publishing career by writing an article for the August-September 2001 issue of Strings Magazine entitled "Start a Home Studio."

Classically Creative

John is particularly fond of the music of the Baroque era. He has created numerous arrangements of baroque compositions, including: transpositions, abridgments, reductions, duets, trios and quartets, and arrangements for solo performance.

For instance, John has created several abridged arrangements of the beautiful and popular Kanon in D by Johann Pachelbel. One of these arrangements has been performed locally by the Young Performer's String Orchestra. Pachelbel's Kanon is a well-loved piece. And it works quite well as an introductory material for the violin. Beginning students usually start working on it within two to four weeks.

John has created many arrangements for smaller groups: three violins with piano or guitar accompaniment; and an arrangement for solo violin and piano or guitar.

John is a great fan of Johann Sebastian Bach, and so he's created numerous publications of Bach's work, including Bach's keyboard partitas, the Well-Tempered Clavier, the French Suites, the Italian Suites, and the organ Trio Sonatas.

He's reworked selected movements from Bach's Sonatas and Partitas for Solo Violin, making them playable as violin duets. He's transposed several movements to easier keys; he's also transposed several movements from Bach's Cello Suites for solo violin.

And he created adaptations of works by other composers, such as Handel's and Corelli's Concerto Grossi … various Chopin waltzes arranged for guitar and violin. Haydn baryton duets for two violins. Terrega's famous guitar solo, Recuerdos de Alhambra, arranged for guitar and mandolin, or for two guitars.

John uses some of his own compositions for study and performance, including his series of "Two String Concertos." These are beautiful pieces, written specifically for young and beginning students. Here is his Two String Concerto No. 1. Each Two String Concerto is particularly easy for beginning violinists, because the entire melody is played on the violin's A and E strings.

Other Styles

John teaches many different styles of music besides classical, including American fiddle, Celtic music from Ireland, Scotland and Brittany. Folk music, Blues, Swing, Jazz, Ragtime. And international music: Latin, Greek, and Balkan music, the list goes on.


Private Lessons
Workshops • Performances

© John Blasquez 1999

•  Singingwood Home Page  •



Fiddle, Guitar, Violin, Mandolin & Bodhran
Private music lessons, Group Instruction,
Workshops & Introductory Classes.

In Walnut Creek, California.

Near Danville, Alamo, Blackhawk, Lafayette, Orinda, Moraga, Pleasant Hill, Martinez, Concord, Clayton, Brentwood, San Ramon, Dublin, Pleasanton, Oakland, Piedmont, Alameda, Castro Valley, Hayward, Fremont, San Leandro, Berkeley, Albany, Emeryville, El Cerrito, El Sobrante, Kensington, Pinole, Hercules, Crockett, Benicia, Napa, Novato, Vallejo, Vacaville, Livermore, Stockton, Modesto, and San Francisco.

Serving the San Francisco Bay Area,
Contra Costa County and Alameda County, CA