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Whether you are just starting out or are looking to take your Mandolin skills to the next level – Rancho Canyon Music Mandolin instructor Downs Thompson is ready to help get you there. Our highly experienced instructor offers private Mandolin lessons at convenient times!

Mandolin Instructor


Downs Thompson

Violin/viola/mandolin/guitar instructor Downs Thompson has pursued a lifelong career performing a variety of styles ranging from classical and jazz to celtic and bluegrass. As a teenager he studied with Ray Martin of the Baltimore Symphony then went on to earn a BA in music at Bucknell University where he was concertmaster of the symphony. While there he also performed with the Harrisburg Symphony and studied with Galamian alumnus Ray Page of the Allard quartet at Penn State. He continued his postgraduate studies with violinist and author Yong Ku Ahn of the Peabody Institute at Johns Hopkins. He has played professionally for over 40 years in the US and Europe doing concerts, recording and TV appearances.  Among the artists he has worked with are Grammy Award winners Charlie Daniels, Shelby Lynn, Charlie McCoy, Albert Lee and Brent Mason. Since 1996 he has been a member of the band with Nashville based multi-platinum recording artist Clay Walker.


Downs has developed a genuine passion for teaching. "I find that teaching and performing are really mutually enriching and now it's hard to imagine doing one without the other. Teaching forces you to analyze and pay attention to your own playing, which is a really good thing. I also value interacting with students of all ages to see what inspires them musically. While I feel it's really important to have classical training, music should reflect what moves you whether that be playing violin in an orchestra, fiddling The Devil Went Down to Georgia or playing electric violin with a rock band."

Downs' standard tuition rate is $40 per lesson - 1 lesson each week for 30 minutes

Please call us at (949) 589-7688 for availability and more specific tuition questions.

Located in Rancho Santa Margarita and near to Mission Viejo, Foothill Ranch, Dove Canyon, Coto de Caza, Ladera Ranch, Trabuco Canyon, and more. Come on by and start your private Mandolin instruction, today!

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