"Dakota's class was well-organized and fun, but it was most notable for giving me a better understanding of how chords mesh with the fiddle tunes and how the fiddler can steer the chords of the rhythm players by choosing drones and double-stops. It was the best explanation that I've heard of chords in the context of fiddle tunes. I would take her class again." - Casey M.  (Augusta Heritage Center | October Old Time Retreat 2024)

"Dakota is an amazing fiddle instructor.  In her intermediate class at Augusta Heritage Center’s October Old-Time retreat, Dakota provided a good mix of technique, theory, and learning new tunes.  She was well-prepared with specific learning objectives and also accommodated the students’ goals.  She followed through, keeping us “on task” so that we could accomplish these goals.  Dakota’s instruction was highly interactive; she frequently asked for the students’ observations and welcomed questions.  I especially appreciated Dakota’s lessons on bowing techniques, chord theory, and starting tunes with “potatoes.” " - Elizabeth R. (Augusta Heritage Center | October Old Time Retreat 2024)


Since the onset of Covid-19 in the US, I have been finding creative ways to share my music from afar. Through Patreon, I have created a budget way for you to learn to play the fiddle. For a $4 per month subscription you have access to a well organized archive of 60+ of my pre-recorded classes, videos and folk tales to get you on your way. Besides this I am continually adding new, exclusive content. This also gives you a direct avenue to send me messages, ask questions and get feedback on things you are learning.


A life long student of the fiddler herself, one of Dakota's greatest joys is teaching and sharing what she knows. In 2017 after moving home to West Virginia from Baltimore, MD, Dakota decided to dedicate herself to full time teaching. Her student base continued to grow until it was more than her little living room could hold. In 2019 Dakota built and opened her own traditional roots music school called 'The Cat and The Fiddle' in Capon Bridge, WV. There she continues teaching and pouring out her understanding of old-time fiddle to students of all ages.  

As a student of both old-time music and classical violin, Dakota likes to bring the best of both worlds, by teaching the techniques and posture of classical violin, but to the tunes and themes of old-time music, to help create a more well rounded musician. In accordance with the style of old-time music, most of her teaching is done in the oral tradition through learning by ear. She does include some music theory and reading music in her curriculum as students progress. All ages 7+. 

To find out more, or setup a lesson you can email: dakotakarper@gmail.com