Ian Lee

Violin, Guitar Teacher

Ian Lee

SAA Member


Wimberley, TX
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I started on the violin when I was about 8 years old. I began with classical music, studying in the Suzuki method. I loved my time in the Suzuki method; I wasn’t always the best student; however, in hindsight, I am incredibly grateful for the experience with my teacher, the method, and the strong foundation the system gave me. I was 15 when I pulled back from Suzuki and began to focus on playing the guitar, singing, and writing songs. I studied with an amazing teacher in my hometown, Grant Mazak, as well as taught myself. At 19, I really began to explore improvisation more; I had dabbled and done a little, but it was all guesswork and felt like grasping at straws; it was here when I began investing time and energy into what would lead me to a strong desire to learn Western Swing and Jazz.

Around the age of 21 or 22, I began the amazing journey of playing and studying Jazz and Western Swing on violin and guitar. I joyfully see no end in sight. I’ve had the great pleasure of studying and playing with some excellent musicians for guitar and violin. Including Darol Anger, Bruce Molsky, Carolyn Kendrick, Erik Hokkanen, Whit Smith, Billy Contreras, Paul Anastasio (an excellent violinist in his own right who studied with the great Joe Venuti!) JD Pendley, Alex Hargreaves, and many more.

I am currently furthering my Jazz studies with Howard Rees, a protege of Barry Harris and a fantastic pedagogue for his method. I am continuing my classical education with my original teacher, the esteemed Paula Bird. Paula has been teaching for over 40 years, holds 4th chair in 1st violin for the Austin Symphony, and is a recently retired professor from Texas State University. I recently completed a teacher training for book one of Suzuki with Mark Mutter and I am in the middle of completing training with Charles Krigbaum, Kirsten Wartberg, and Daina Volodka Skaggs.

In teaching, I meet each student where they are. I do my best to listen and bring humility to each lesson. Teaching is a strange phenomenon; it would appear the teacher knows all; however, the more I teach, the more I learn. I am always and forever a student of music. As the french moralist and essayist Joseph Joubert once said, “to teach is to learn twice.”

P.S. I also love to play the mandolin and clawhammer banjo