First Chair Fiddlers

Hampton, VA

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About this pro

If you are looking for a music teacher who is fun, effective, and encouraging, you are in the right place! My name is Rachel Vaughan, and I am the owner and Head Instructor for First Chair Fiddlers Music Studio. I offer many different types of music lessons at First Chair Fiddlers! For folks of all ages and abilities, I offer lessons in violin, viola, singing, and songwriting/theory, as well as beginner mandolin, guitar, and piano. I also offer lessons to students online via Skype or other video chat media--I have almost 15 students on Skype--adults and young people, about a third of my studio--and we love it!

Tuition is paid quarterly or monthly for weekly 30- or 60-minute lessons, and the flat-rate monthly tuition includes 5th weeks at no extra cost to you!

I've been playing violin since the age of 9, guitar since the age of 15, and have always found a home and a voice through music. On the heels of my violin performance degree from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln (where I was also trained in piano and vocal pedagogy), I played and sang with numerous groups, from symphonies to country bands to Celtic folk and rock. I've played at Carnegie Hall and on street corners.

The most rewarding thing I've found, though, is teaching students to be able to play, sing, and write things they never thought were possible before. My passion lies in connecting them to a level of expression they may not have known they had.

I offer at least two recital performance opportunities each year, as well as hosting the occasional studio open mic, where students have an opportunity to perform with other professional musicians for the public in a local coffeeshop or other family-friendly venue. For my online students, we work together to create performance opportunities with friends, family, and even public audiences!

I am trained in not only music and the instruments I teach, but I also have over 6 years of premiere training in life-coaching and training others. I have discovered a talent for seemingly endless patience with students, which makes it easy to work with students with learning disabilities or other challenges, including very successful experience with vets with PTSD. I've worked with students ages 4 to 65, and loved every one of them--half the joy of what I do is in discovering who my students are and what they want for themselves... The other half is watching them achieve it.

For more information about lessons and available days/times, please feel free to give me a call, or visit our website!

I look forward to making music with you!

-Rachel Gaither Vaughan
Owner, Head Instructor
First Chair Fiddlers


Hampton, VA 23666

Background check


Years in business


Times hired on Thumbtack



6 Reviews
  • Edee C. Oct 4, 2015
    Singing Lessons (for children or teenagers)
    Verified Review
    The professionalism of the instructor in getting with both parent and child.
  • Justin K. Aug 1, 2013
    Guitar Lessons
    Verified Review
    My teacher is Claire. She's awesome. My abilities have improved every lesson. She is energetic, accomodating, and easy to talk to. And, she is very flexible. I really enjoy my guitar lessons with Claire. I highly recommend her to anyone looking to learn to play guitar.
    Rachel G. Aug 13, 2014

    *For clarification, Claire Adams is a teacher who worked with my studio in Kansas City in 2013. She is now on her own, and is a wonderful teacher and advocate for young people! Check out her music at You can also see her with

  • Tanya H. Mar 26, 2013
    Piano Lessons
    Verified Review
    Rachel G. Aug 13, 2014

    Hi, Tanya! I'm glad to hear that your experience working with our piano teacher Kimi was positive. Please let me know if there is anything we can do to improve your experience or the experience of your girls!

  • Shahnoza S. Mar 4, 2013
    Guitar Lessons
    Verified Review
    I had my first bass guitar class today with Rachel. Rachel is a great music instructor! I had no musical experience in the past at all. So, I was confused and felt totally lost. But Rachel has a wonderful approach to her students. She explains interprets musical terms into simple everyday language. That helps so much! I would recommend her to anybody with different musical levels and experiences!!! Thank you, Rachel!
  • Jason B. Jan 13, 2013
    Guitar Lessons
    Verified Review
    Rachel Gaither and Claire Adams are outstanding teachers and wonderful people ,with lots of exsperiance under there belt, and are very patient with you ,also anything you need help in or want to learn they know what there talking about and will get you to where you want to be. Again thanks so much rachel & Claire. I highly recommend them to anyone who wants to be where they want to be in music.-Jay
  • Bobbie M. Dec 19, 2012
    Rachel has shown infinite patience with my 10 year old granddaughter who wants to explore her musical talents in guitar. Rachel encourages and waits for Melina to find her way with a note or fingering or her answers. She is very proficient, definitely a step up from the guitar playing band member Melina was taking from before. Rachel looks for excellence and is patient while Melina gets there and makes it fun along the way. Most importantly my granddaughter loves Rachel and going to her guitar lessons.
    Rachel G. Dec 19, 2012

    Thank you, Bobbie! I'm so glad to know she is enjoying herself! Merry Christmas... :)


What types of customers have you worked with?
I mostly teach violin, as it is my first instrument (about 85% of my students are learning violin). I teach individual lessons of all skill levels, as well as fiddling! I also teach online via Skype and Google video. (About 40% of my current roster is through online video lessons.) My next most popular lesson is beginner guitar. I've been playing myself for over 17 years, and regularly write music through guitar. The third most popular instrument is piano, followed by voice. I trained for both in college while earning my degree in music.
What advice would you give a customer looking to hire a provider in your area of work?
First, look for a teacher with training in their instrument, as well as one who regularly performs. A teacher who is regularly performing is likely one who is still working on their craft and can relate to the issues the student will face in their own performance. After that, you want to find someone you or your child enjoys as a teacher--or at least is motivated by: the interpersonal dynamics between teacher and student can make or break the student's personal motivation and joy in playing and working on the instrument.