Teaching Studio

My studio is located in Syracuse, NY. I teach Monday -Friday, mid afternoon into the early evenings. I’m available for fiddle and mandolin lessons and accept beginning through advanced students. All ages are welcome.

I teach several different fiddle styles including the various Celtic styles and bluegrass. I also teach rock, jazz, and blues improvisation. The violin can lead or accompany any style of music. My approach is to help students play whatever style of music they are interested in with emphasis on proper posture and technique.

I recommend that students study weekly. If that is the case, lessons are scheduled so that we meet the same day and time each week. Fiddling is an aural tradition. That being said, I teach mostly by ear. We’ll develope what I like to call “ear-hand coordination.”  I ask that you bring a recording device (smart phones work great) to every lesson. This enables me to record tunes and exercises for you. Bringing your recording device is almost as important as bringing your fiddle!

Speaking of fiddles, if you are a beginner, it is not important that you have a beautiful sounding or looking violin. What is crucial though, is that you have a violin that is set up properly. DON’T buy a $49.99 fiddle on eBay because chances are, it is junk. If you need to purchase a fiddle, I recommend Hosmer Violins in Syracuse or MacBlane Stringed Instruments in Preble. Expect to pay around $600 for an “outfit” which will consist of a fiddle, case, and bow. Another option is to rent a fiddle.

As for payment, I charge monthly. Lessons are prepaid in advance during the first week of the month via Venmo, check or cash. I offer make ups for missed lessons but have a 24 hour cancellation policy. Knowing 24 hours out that you will not make your lesson allows me to fill your spot. Not knowing does not. I will of course make up a lesson should I need to cancel.

I am available for workshops and camps. Feel free to contact me with any questions you may have.


“Joe has all the qualities of a great teacher including patience, ability to teach to the individual needs and abilities of his students, flexibility, a personal experience with performance and recording, and a sense of humor. In two years of taking lessons with Joe, having picked up the fiddle just a year previous to meeting Joe and having no experience with stringed instruments, we have gained the ability and confidence to add fiddle to our repertoire in our band, The Tug Hill Players.”

Patricia Ledden Chapman & Jay Chapman

“I don’t know if my words will even come close to expressing how grateful we are to Joe for the wonderful job he does teaching our boys. They are fortunate to be learning from such an incredibly talented and accomplished musician. He encourages, inspires and makes fiddling fun. Thank you Joe Davoli!”

Ron & Kathy Burlin

“In a word…EFFECTIVE! And in teaching that is the Bottom Line. As a educator myself, Joe earns an ‘A+.’ He brings skill, knowledge, patience and techniques to the classroom that foster an outstanding learning experience. At age 65 I am living proof that Joe can teach an Old Dog New Tricks!”

Dave Dubbelde

“My daughter Quinn is a fiddle and classical violin student of Joe Davoli’s. Joe is a very talented musician and a very good teacher. Quinn enjoys the variety of music that she is able to learn from Joe. He frequently works with her on the pieces that she is assigned by the Syracuse Youth Orchestra, but he is also open to teaching her any songs that she may want to learn to perform for fun or with a band. Learning fiddle music has helped her to become a more well rounded musician. It has helped her with her confidence and it’s fun! As a non-musical parent of a musician, I appreciate Joe’s down to earth nature and great communication skills.”

Sue Boyle

“I have been working with Joe for over 2 years and frankly, this is as good as it gets. He is an excellent musician and a terrific teacher. His lessons are flexible, fun, and his insights and practice strategies are invaluable. A very rewarding experience!”

Dick Bulger

“I am the mother of a 13 yr. old son- named Luke, who is on the Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) and has ADHD, and other learning disabilities. Luke choose to learn to play the violin, and has been taking private violin lessons from Joe Davoli for the last 2 years.  ASD / ADHD students have things that they will and will not do. When you encounter something that they’re not comfortable doing, you find ways around it. They also like routine and predictability.  It takes a special person to teach children with these myriad of challenges.

Joe Davoli has shown a commitment to teaching music with the philosophy that no matter what the child faces or is challenged by, that each is a unique and a special learner. Joe is a very gifted musician and teacher with profound patience and calmness in his approach, and shares his joy of music which is infectious.  Joe has taken time to learn about Luke, his strengths, weaknesses, gifts and ambitions, and developed a rapport and trust with him.  Joe has approached each violin lesson, consistently working within Luke’s varied dispositions, providing a pathway to better understanding of the violin , and a rewarding music experience.

Luke looks forward to each violin lesson, enjoys the process of making music, and is confidently growing and moving forward as a music student.  I as Luke’s mother can say that I am grateful for the rewarding and happy music experiences that my son has each week.  We count ourselves fortunate to be students of Joe Davoli’s Music School.”

Rita Boskovski