Fretted Strings

education Links

Browse Instructors By Instrument Below

We call them "fretted strings." These are the backbone of much of the American roots repertoire: bluegrass, old-time, folk and country. Well...mostly. Let's just put the ukulele in a category of its own.

Whether you're looking to play in a band, at a jam, or just by yourself on the front porch, we've got an instructor for you.

Brendan Franklin

Brendan Franklin


While Brendan makes his living these days as a musician and educator, his musical beginnings stuttered before taking off with rocket boots. Initially setting his guitar aside out of frustration, power chords and the promises of youthful punk rebellion were enough to rope a young, teenage Brendan back in. Teaching himself was great, but his desire to learn more about music beyond what he and his friends could figure out led him to study music at Edgewood College. While there, studied classical guitar under Nathan Wysock and jazz under Daniel Wallach before receiving his BS in Music in 2012.

In his tenure as a music instructor since 2004, Brendan has helped his students graduate to milestones ranging from playing in first bands, writing first songs, to even successfully auditioning for the University of Wisconsin-Madison School of Music. Brendan welcomes students of all ages and skill levels. He believes in not merely teaching students notes and songs, but also how to learn and apply their musical knowledge they an grow more well-rounded as musicians. He also recognizes that no single teaching approach works for everyone or even every song/concept for a single student, so he teaches in and encourages an open, friendly, and flexible style that best suits each student.

Brendan currently plays with award-winning Irish rock band The Kissers and Chicago's Last False Hope.

Kevin Knapp

Kevin Knapp


Kevin Knapp is a freelance multi-instrumentalist, composer, and educator living in Madison, WI with over 30 years experience. Having grown up in a home full of educators and music, Kevin is passionate about music education. He focuses on keeping music fun and helping students explore music that excites them.

Kevin’s early accomplishments include acceptance to Interlochen Summer Arts Camp with an emphasis in composition and the Chopin Award for piano performance. Kevin graduated with a Bachelor of Music in Composition from University of Wisconsin, Madison. During his time at UW, he was awarded multiple scholarships, composed numerous pieces for performance by the UW Chior and UW Symphony Orchestra, and was awarded the UW Composition Prize.

These days, Kevin plays Hammond Organ and piano at multiple Madison area churches, provides dance accompaniment to the UW Dance Department, and teaches music privately. He also performs regularly with a variety of Madison-area ensembles with styles ranging from pop to classical.

Kyle Rightley

Kyle Rightley


Kyle Rightley is a Madison-based performer, songwriter, and educator. He has built a career out of a wide variety of genres spanning rock, folk, classical, jazz, and funk. His third acoustic solo release, Making Home, won the 2018 Madison Area Music Association Award (MAMA) for Country/Bluegrass Album of the Year. Isthmus described the album as “traditional Americana that resembles political forebears like Joan Baez or Willie Nelson.” Though his primary instruments are guitar, trombone, and euphonium, Kyle can also be heard playing ukulele, keyboards, mandolin, percussion, bass, and just about anything he can get his hands on. In addition to his solo exploits, he is a member of award-winning groups The Big Payback, Driveway Thriftdwellers, The Civil Engineers, Five Points Jazz Collective, Don’t Mess With Cupid, and other area ensembles. These groups have won various MAMA, Wisconsin Area Music Industry (WAMI), and other local awards in categories as diverse as pop/R&B, rock, jazz, country, and folk.

Kyle holds a Master of Music degree in euphonium performance from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and a Bachelor of Music from the University of Colorado-Boulder. As a music educator, Kyle strives to foster individual expression, collaboration, and communication through music. He has taught students from a large range of different backgrounds, ages, and skill levels. In addition to providing a solid foundation of fundamental playing techniques, Kyle focuses on music theory, improvisation, and composition in lessons.

Greyson Sztuczko

Greyson Sztuczko


Greyson Sztuczko is a multi-instrumentalist and composer originally from Appleton, WI. What excites him the most is musical exploration - whether playing in bands, writing music for video games, or getting nerdy about music theory. His favorite thing about teaching is being able to answer students' questions and follow the paths they present.

He graduated from Lawrence University in 2015 having studied guitar, trombone, and theory/composition. He has been teaching since then on a total of 8 instruments. He has taught students of all ages and experience levels, including students with special needs. He plays a total of 20 instruments.

He is excited to open the path on your musical journey by combining his teaching and education with his diverse experiences. His musical background spans 16 years across most genrest and kinds of ensembles you can think of (including recording/producing music in/for many of these groups). He has also worked behind the scenes for a number of professional touring bands; the most notable is having toured as an all-around instrument technician for Dennis DeYoung of Styx. He has toured the midwest with his own band, The Goat Wizard, and they have also self-recorded several albums/compilations (the newest to be released this year). The mobile video games he scored as Greyson JS have received high reviews with downloads into the thousands, on top of the one-man-band progressive rock songs and guitar-soundscapes he has created. He has also worked in music instrument shops in management, sales, repair, and instruction.

He takes all of this experience and education to craft a wholly musical approach for every student's unique path. He tailors for everyone their own combination of instrument technique, theory, reading (staff and/or tab), performance and practicing approaches, writing (if desired), learning valuable lessons from the students' favorite songs, and most importantly, an emphasis on overall musicianship.

Eric Winkelman

Eric Winkelman


Eric has been playing music his entire life, first learning to play the drums. By 13, his passion for learning new instruments drove him to pick up the piano, alto sax, guitar, bass, and later voice by age 18. He is an avid self-taught artist deeply interested in recording, composing and arranging. Over the years, he has independently taught lessons on piano, drums and guitar. He has been multitrack recording in his home studio since 13, and has gigged in several groups, playing blues, funk, soul, pop, jazz and theatre on the drums, percussion, electric bass, and keys/vocals.

His diversity has garnered a wide knowledge of music theory and styles that translates well to being an educator. He graduated from UW Madison with a Bachelor's degree in engineering, playing in several UW orchestras along the way. His passion for sharing his music knowledge has brought him great satisfaction as a dedicated instructor with skills in teaching not only the fundamentals, but also jazz theory, ear training and improvisation. Eric is interested in catering to each of his student's desires that brought them to take lessons in the first place, developing unique lessons to further drive their passions to pursue their instrument.

Eric's YouTube Channel