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Austin Strings Teachers

Most of our teachers offer in person and Zoom lessons - go ahead and contact them directly for scheduling!

Click here to download our complete list of teachers; below is some more information about each of them. If you have any questions, feel free to give us a call at 512.918.1863. Our teachers set their own rates and do their own scheduling, but we can talk with you about who would be the best fit for you or your child.

Chris Abdo

Classical, Pop, Musical Theater, R&B, Country

Voice, Piano

Contact: 512-814-8932,

Mark Ramsey

rock, blues, jazz and country

Piano, Drums

Mark studied percussion with George Frock, head of percussion at UT Austin, while still in high school. He then went on to study Music Theory and Composition at UT Austin as a piano principle. As a result, Mark is able to offer both classical and contemporary improvisational instruction on piano. Mark has been teaching piano and drums since 1989 and guitar since 2000.

Contact: 512-736-3831,

Dolores Derksen


Violin, Viola

Dolores studied with the best teachers/performers of Russian Violin School in Texas: 10 years with Sergei Galperin (First Violin of Houston Symphony, student of Dorothy Delay at Juilliard) and 4 years with Emanuel Borok at SMU (Concertmaster of Dallas Symphony for 25 years: 1985-2010). Dolores was Concertmaster of AYO's Philharmonic and Symphony orchestras and the winner of 2014 Maurer Award. She holds BA Degree in Music from SMU (2018).

Randall Ward

rock, blues, folk, jazz

Acoustic & Electric Guitar

Randy has been teaching with Austin Strings since 2002. He has 25 years touring and performing experience and has been teaching guitar for the past 15 years. Students and parents give great feedback, saying they have never learned more in so little time. He specializes in Rock, Pop, Blues, acoustic finger-style and slide guitar.

Contact: 512-789-2244,

Katie Nott

Classical, Bluegrass, Old Time, Cajun, Irish, Blues and Jazz

Violin, Viola

Katie Nott has taught at Austin Strings since 2003. With over 20 years teaching and playing experience; she started on piano at age five and added violin at age ten. Katie graduated from Lake Forest College where she studied both violin performance and studio art. She completed her Master of Fine Arts at Savannah College of Art and Design. As a versatile freelance musician, Katie performs violin, fiddle, viola and improvisational styles with local bands and ensembles. She is a founding member of Lantana Strings, an Austin string quartet. This season also marks her tenth year with the Austin Civic Orchestra. Past orchestras include the Temple Symphony and in the first violin sections of the DeKalb Symphony of Georgia, the North Suburban Symphony of Lake Forest and the Hillsdale College Community Orchestra in Michigan. Growing up, she participated in the Ohio All-State and Region Orchestras and also the Fort Wayne Youth Symphony. 


For students ages 6 and over. Classical technique with some fun pieces to motivate a student's interest. Overall emphasis on note reading, intonation and how to get the most out of practicing in order to gain a skill that will last a lifetime.  A fall and spring recital are part of lessons. 

Contact: 512-587-5482,

Josh Stemper

rock, blues, jazz, funk, fingerstyle 

Acoustic Guitar, Electric Guitar, Electric Bass, Ukelele, Computer Recording

With over 20 years of experience both performing and teaching, Josh offers a wealth of musical knowledge. Specializing in Jazz, Rock, Blues, Improvisation, and Fingerstyle; he also caters to beginners.  He works with students of all ages and skill levels, and is continually helping his students achieve their musical goals. 

Josh is the owner of Whole Note Guitar School; You can find more info here:

Contact: 1 (262) 366-8706,

Brian Vose

Styles: Classical, Jazz, Blues, Rock, Fiddle

Ages 8-Adult

Beginning to Advanced – Electric and Upright Bass, Music Theory

Beginning to Intermediate-Violin (through Suzuki book 4), Viola, Guitar, Mandolin, Cello (through Suzuki book 5)

Violin, Viola, Double Bass, Cello, Guitar

Brian entered the world of music at a young age when he started playing both electric bass and guitar. He quickly gravitated to the upright bass and earned a bachelors degree in music education with emphasis on music theory and orchestral string instruments from Eastern Illinois University. His career and professional development continued as he taught elementary and middle school orchestras in Illinois and Missouri. After 5 years of teaching in the public school systems, Brian moved to Austin to teach independently, and has been doing so for 16 years. During his time in Austin, he has developed a number of diverse curricula and teaching styles to suit all ages, skill levels and aspirations. Brian believes that music is an important part of life, no matter the capacity. He enjoys teaching people of all ages and ability levels, including beginning adults.

Contact: 512-697-9503,

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