Sonoma County has a rich musical community with lots of places for fiddlers of all levels to play and find community. But the violin can be a challenging instrument to learn. A good teacher can help you improve your playing quickly so you can participate fully in the music scene and find others to play with. Music is meant to be shared and the better your skills are, the more you will be able to fully participate and be welcomed to local gatherings.
I LOVE the Suzuki method for violin beginners because teachers are trained to be able to break down technique into easily mastered blocks of skills. As your skills build, you become a very solid musician with a great tone and real mastery of your instrument.
It's also a great technique for beginning fiddlers since it emphasizes learning by ear using the "Mother Tongue" method. You can find out more about the method at the Suzuki Association of the America's website.
For more advanced fiddlers, I usually start with tunes they already love. Irish fiddlers have many techniques they have developed over generations, passed from older to younger fiddlers (formally or informally). I can help you develop a good ear for this style of music and teach you the techniques I have learned from my teacher, Kevin Burke, and from the many fiddlers who have been my mentors in the Bay area and Ireland .