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Rancho Canyon Music's Violin & Mandolin Instructor

Downs Thompson

Downs Thompson - Violin, Guitar, Mandolin, Banjo and Viola

Violin/viola/mandolin/guitar/banjo instructor Downs Thompson has pursued a lifelong career performing and teaching a variety of musical styles ranging from classical and jazz to celtic and bluegrass. A graduate with a degree in music from Bucknell University, he studied classical violin with Galamian student Ray Page of the Allard Quartet and while in college performed with the Harrisburg Symphony and as concertmaster of the Bucknell University Orchestra. After college he continued studies with teacher and author Yong Ku Ahn of the Peabody Conservatory.

For the past 35 years he has worked professionally throughout Europe and the United States performing live concerts, recording and television. Among the artists he has performed with are Grammy Award winners Charlie Daniels, Shelby Lynn, Charlie McCoy and Albert Lee as well as fusion guitarist Larry Coryell and top Nashville session guitarist Brent Mason. For the past 20 years he has toured nationally with multiplatinum recording artist Clay Walker and appeared with Clay on Good Morning America, Fox and Friends, The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson and Lopez Tonight.

Aside from performing, Downs has developed a genuine passion for teaching. “I find that teaching and performing are mutually enriching and now it’s hard to imagine doing one without doing the other. Teaching really forces you to analyze and critically focus on your own playing which is a really good thing, while performance forces you to just go for it and apply it. I enjoy working with students of all ages and backgrounds and seeing what inspires them musically.

While I feel it’s really important to have a solid classically grounded technique, music should be enjoyable and there are a huge variety of styles to choose from. What I aim to do is structure my instruction to meet student’s goals, whether that’s playing in an orchestra, fiddling, playing a guitar solo, or electric violin with a rock band.”

Downs joined the Rancho Canyon Music staff in 2005.

Downs' standard tuition rate is $35 per lesson - 1 lesson each week for 30 minutes.
Please call us at (949) 589-7688 for availability and more specific tuition questions.



Rancho Canyon Music features Violin and Mandolin lessons for students age 4 - up, Violin and Mandolin lessons in all styles, all levels, from beginner to advanced. We serve Violin and Mandolin lesson students in Rancho Santa Margarita, Trabuco Canyon, Coto de Caza, Dove Canyon, Mission Viejo, Foothill Ranch, Ladera Ranch, Portola Hills, Lake Forest and communities in the surrounding areas including zip codes 92688, 92679, 92630, 92610, 92672, 92673, 92675, 92677, 92678, 92691, 92692, 92694

All tuition rates are subject to change without notice.

Rancho Canyon Music