Oona Grady began her teaching career as a teenager when she co-organized and taught an Irish music camp for her cousins and siblings one summer.  It was a grand experiment not without it's pitfalls (imagine trying to teach seven unruly students who you're related to!), but she learned a lot and ultimately deemed it a success.  Since that auspicious beginning, she has always considered teaching to be part of her work as a musician.

While studying music at college in Ireland, she taught group classes for the Midleton and Douglas Comhaltas Ceoltóirí Éireann (CCÉ) branches, as well as private lessons.  Once back in Ithaca, she had the opportunity to study the Suzuki Method of teaching violin with Carrie Reuning-Hummel, and began applying the philosophical and theoretical concepts of Suzuki to all of her teaching.

During her five years post-college back in Ithaca, she developed a private violin/fiddle lesson studio, where she specialized both in Suzuki violin and Irish traditional music.  Relocated to Saratoga Springs in 2015, she runs an ever evolving private lesson, group class, and workshop studio (online lessons are available over Zoom, Skype and FaceTime), is one of the founding faculty of the Caffe Lena School of Music, and is in demand both as a Suzuki teacher and an Irish music specialist.

Whatever the type of music she is teaching, she goes about it with a positive and infectious style, with the goal of instilling a love of music in all of her students.


private lessons WITH OONA

Join Oona's Lesson Studio

private lessons + recitals

Oona draws on her extensive experience studying fiddle music and absorbing the philosophies of the Suzuki Method to create a peronolized curriculum for each student.

While studying Irish tunes and/or classical repertoire, we will also explore technique & posture, practice skills, and more.

2021-2022 classes take place on Zoom or in-person following covid protocols.

The program includes weekly private lessons and recitals throughout the year.

Please get in touch for rates and availability.

Caffe Lena School of music

small group learning for young people

online + in-person options

"Rooted in folk tradition we learn and play in small, friendly groups, master a repertoire of enduring folk songs, and write some new classics too. With a focus on learning to play by ear rather than reading sheets of music, we hope playing music will become your go to social pass time because when you learn to play an instrument, you have a companion for life."

Fiddle Tunes Online, with Oona Grady

Weekly online class for students 11+

TUESDAYS 5:15-6:00 PM ET on Zoom - tune in from Anywhere! 

10 weeks: Jan 4 - March 15 (No class on Feb 22) 

This class focuses on building dance tune repertoire and technique for youth fiddle players. Taught via Zoom, Oona breaks the melodies down phrase-by-phrase, offering a number of repetitions.  Students are invited to learn at their own pace while on mute and also invited to take turns unmuting to play for each other.  In addition to learning and playing, students spend class time listening to recordings of fiddle players and discuss how to learn by ear and notate melodies. Plus there will be ample time for questions.  

The workshop will be taught on the Zoom internet platform. Headphones or earbuds will be really helpful. Instructions for signing on will be sent to registrants when they enroll.

Folk Ensemble, with Oona Grady + James Gascoyne

Weekly in-person classes for students 7-14

WEDNESDAYS 3:45-4:30 //or// 4:35-5:20 PM ET at Caffe Lena in Saratoga Springs, NY

10 weeks: Jan 5 - March 16 (No class on Feb 23)


Folk Ensemble is an exciting and unique way of teaching real world music skills. From the first lesson, students experience the power of making music together and hear how interdependent each note and strum is as they learn to play.  

Focus on repertoire:  

--Learn classic tunes from the American folk tradition as well as favorite contemporary songs 

Explore string instruments, learning basic skills:  

--Opportunities to focus on Violin/Fiddle, Guitar, Ukulele, Banjo, Mandolin, and Bass 

Learn music fundamentals:  

--Develop strong and steady sense of rhythm 
--Learn how to listen and hear musically  
--Explore singing with your own authentic voice 

Learning valuable life skills: 

--Working in a group setting  
--Creative contribution and compromise  
--Being part of a team and playing your part  
--Building friendships

Please choose the time slot that works best (and let us know if you are flexible!) or join us for both.

All levels welcome, including beginners.  Each class meeting will feature a combination of breakout groups focusing on skill building and repertoire, as well as larger group ensemble time.

QUESTIONS about the Caffe Lena School of Music can be directed to musicschool@caffelena.org


In the summer of 2020 the Saratoga Performing Arts Center (SPAC) launched their Online Learning Library, a treasure trove of video lessons and activities designed to help everyone stay creative at home.  One section of their offerings is called Instrument Beginnings, and they invited Oona to create a series of videos to introduce the basic skills and techniques needed to play the violin and viola.  Check them out below!