teaching

Flynn taught classes in Music theory, history, and performance for many years at Keene State College. He is presently on the faculty of the Brattleboro Music Center (VT) as the mandolin instructor. His teaching resume also includes Visiting Lecturer at Bridgewater State College University and Northern Essex Community College; guitar instructor at Augusta Heritage Center (WV), Swannanoa Gathering (NC), The Ashokan Center (NY), Brian Wicklund's Fiddle Pal Camp (MN, WI, MA), guitar and mandolin instructor at the Music Emporium (MA), and major bluegrass and folk music festivals in the Northeastern US.

Flynn is a former student of John Renbourn, Davey Graham, Scott Nygaard, Kevin Richards, and Bill Titley (steel-string guitar); Stephen Gordon and Paul Binkley (classical guitar & mandolin); and Agustín Fernandez, Frank Denyer, Alvin Curran, Pauline Oliveros, and Allaudin Mathieu (composition). 

Private lessons also available in western MA and southern VT: general acoustic guitar and mandolin, folk, bluegrass, Irish traditional music, beginning classical guitar, composition and theory.

please email for rates and availability.

 

STUDENT TESTIMONIAL (from John in Boston, MA) 

"Flynn is a treasure. He is a superb musician on both guitar and mandolin, and he is incredibly well grounded in music theory as well. He’s studied with music legends I’ve admired for decades and plays with top of the line musicians on a regular basis. He’s creative and will experiment with new teaching methods to try to get a point or technique across if an existing approach isn’t effective. And he’s patient, accessible, and encouraging. It’s a combination that makes Flynn a wonderful teacher.  

I’ve been Flynn’s bluegrass mandolin student for three years, starting as a raw beginner. His initial focus was two-pronged, getting me playing melodies as quickly as possible while assigning me a basic music theory textbook to read. Three years later, we still reference concepts from the music theory book while learning new ways to navigate the fingerboard. Getting up to speed quickly playing melodies prevented the tedium that can easily set in by doing only musical exercises with the promise that “someday this will all pay off.” Critically, we concentrated on tone and form early on.  

Because of the music tradition I chose, we focused on ear training to learn new melodies. But I know some of his other students who chose to learn classical mandolin, and their focus is on reading music. Flynn can play both styles and teach both styles easily. For bluegrass and fiddle tunes, he encourages listening to different musicians and learning their solos as a way to develop your own style. That you develop your own style is important to him in that we already have Adam Steffeys, Chris Thiles, and Dan Tyminskis and they do a fine job playing their own styles.  

I love having Flynn as my teacher. I always look forward to our lessons and always come away having learned something. Practice is never a chore, and I’ve often come home from a lesson and promptly headed for my practice area because I immediately wanted to try something I learned that day. I hope to continue with him as my teacher for many years."