Viola da Gamba and Voice Lessons

Musica Matrix Online

Viola da Gamba Lessons with Pat O’Scannell

Private Lessons via Skype

Work on fundamentals of technique or develop a customized program.

All lessons are one hour long.

Cost per class: $60 / Voices and Viols (V&V) $75*
Sliding scale is available upon request.

Contact: call: 541 482-9757 or email »

The following three lessons are offered via Skype.

1. Mapping the Bow

How to achieve a great sound by creating a specific game plan for the bow, using exercises derived from the music itself.

Offered on a class-by-class basis. Each class is one hour long and can be scheduled as you go.


  • Learn to use your bow in a way that best supports the music by addressing the specifics of how much bow to use and when.
  • Which part of the bow to use and why.
  • We will do this through the repertoire itself. Each piece will provide a template to create exercises that lead us to the music.

Pieces familiar to or chosen by student in collaboration with teacher will be used as a template for study, allowing the freedom to choose from a wide range of repertoire.

The chosen works will be selected on the basis of content. Several contrasting sections are preferable, providing the student with ample musical motifs for which to create appropriate bowings.

The teacher will create a series of exercises leading up to the execution of these contrasting sections focusing on how to use the bow most judiciously and expressively. The exercises will come directly from the music and will include specific bowings and other related issues.

Bowing issues will include:

  • mapping the use of all three areas of the bow
  • tying length of bowing used to length of note
  • staying flexible and relaxed in the arm, hand and wrist
  • executing well balanced changes in bow direction
  • speed vs. weight
  • sticking to the strings and a bow grip that supports this

We will play through each exercise, building to the corresponding section of music.

Finally, we will play the piece in its entirety and enjoy the depth of sound we can now achieve in the familiar sections. We will fine-tune the details already in place for more expressive playing and add skills to our musician’s toolbox.

The experience of doing this work slowly and deliberately with guidance from a teacher will help build the player’s confidence in approaching music in this way and thereby greatly enriching their enjoyment of the gamba.

2. Magical Mystery Tour

Renaissance Music in 4 Stops

Offered as a four week class: one class per week. Each class is an hour long.


  • Play 16th Century repertoire with a variety of national origins
  • Familiarize yourself with the best-known sources of music from this period and place
  • Come to know some of the composers
  • Learn about styles and approaches to playing based on national distinctions
  • Learn about approaches to ornamentation/divisions

Student and teacher will play repertoire selected by teacher to reflect the student’s level of ability by providing a balance of challenge and enjoyment.

The student may choose 4 nationalities from the list provided. Repertoire will be selected for each week’s class that focuses on one country of origin.

  • Italy: Marenzio; Bassano; Merulo; Ganassi
  • Spain: Ortiz; Morales; del Encina
  • France: Janequin; Sermisy; Gombert; Compère
  • Germany: Senfl; Isaac; Praetorius
  • England: Morley; Lupo; Coperario; Byrd
  • Franco-Flemish: Ockeghem; Josquin Agricola; Obrecht and Van Ghizeghem. (Odhecaton, 1501)*

Explore Spanish repertoire from sources such as:

  • La Casa de Medinaceli
  • La Música en la Corte de los Reyes Católicos
  • Trattado de Glossas
  • Cancionero musical de palacio
  • Cancionero de Upsala

Enjoy having an opportunity to luxuriate in a repertoire and focus on music from one of Europe’s main musical centers.

You may have as much input about repertoire as you like to shape an experience that is unique to you.

3. Music of the CELTS

Traditional Music of Ireland and Scotland

Overview: Teacher possesses particular depth in the traditional music of the Celtic World. Tunes will be adapted from Turlough O’Carolan’s original 17th Century collection of tunes and odes or ‘planxtys’.

Explore the sweeping and stunning melodies coming from a composer whose works were never written down in his own lifetime. His melodies span the worlds of the Irish countryside and French Court. They are both timeless and unforgettable.

For more advanced students:

  • Play jigs, reels and hornpipes
  • Learn about the many dance forms
  • Interpret and play an air
  • Learn about rolls, cuts, cranns, grace notes and other forms of ornamentation
  • Study sean nos (traditional style)

The Voices & Viols version of this class can include some Gaelic, upon request.

*All of the above lessons are offered also in ‘Voices and Viols’ format. V&V cost per class: $75
Student must play a viol in their vocal range.
Coaching on pronunciation of early languages and vocal style will be offered when appropriate.

Appropriate materials will be sent out in advance of class for student’s convenience.

Sliding scale available upon request.

Pat O’Scannell
mezzo soprano and tenor viol

Ms. O’Scannell is a multi-instrumentalist and singer.
She performed at and directed music for the Oregon Shakespeare Festival from 1980-2007.
Her group the Terra Nova Consort made over 15 recordings, toured internationally and throughout the U.S.
She has appeared on NPR worldwide, and performed in Regensburg in 2000 & 2003.
Radio appearances include: St. Paul Sunday (MN), Harmonia (IN), In the Mode (CA), West Coast Live (CA)
Reviews: San Francisco Chronicle, Washington Post, Chicago Tribune, Smithsonian Review & others
Founding director of Musica Matrix, 501.C.3 organization supporting the performance of Renaissance and Medieval music since 2006 in Ashland Oregon.

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