The Art of Bowing
Online Video Series

– Build your musical foundation
– Grow as a fiddler
– Play exciting tunes
– Enjoy learning alongside an experienced mentor

Fiddle student practicing with laptop showing instructional video
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Whether you are itching to get started with your first fiddle lesson, or have been at it for decades and hit a wall in your progress, I can get you started on a path to more rhythmic playing and way more fun jamming!

5 years into my fiddling, I still had no clue that I was supposed to be paying attention to my right hand. I never knew if my bow would end up on the up stroke or the down stroke. It just didn’t sound good to me. When somebody finally brought my attention to bowing it changed EVERYTHING about my fiddling and I went from struggling to confident in no time.

It motivated me to create the teaching program that I wish people would have offered me when I picked up the fiddle 20 years ago.

My unique teaching approach focuses on using memory aid techniques, the language of bowing, and an understanding of how humans learn best, to teach the foundational rhythms that make old- time music so energetic and exciting.

My approach – which includes bow rhythms, mnemonics, breaking things down into smaller steps – makes it easier for people to learn and retain bow rhythms, melodies, whole tunes, and understand the old-time genre.

“Michael’s classes and lessons have been life-changing for me. He introduced me to old-time fiddling and broke down the intricate rhythmic bowing patterns which are so essential to getting the correct sound. It provided me with the foundation I needed to be able to jam. He makes it very easy to learn!” – Julie

Art of Bowing Instructional Video Series

This full, step-by-step course of 40 fiddle video lessons will guide you through the richness and complexity of old time bowing.

If private lessons are not realistic for you yet, this video series is exactly what you need. You can go at your own pace and watch lessons again and again.

With these video lessons, you can avoid the guesswork of learning tunes from recordings or performance videos. From close-up views of the exact notes I’m playing to demos of techniques that’ll improve your fiddling, I’ll show you step by step how each tune is put together and how you can make it sound great.

Bowing is at the center of these lessons… and of Old Time Music. Bowing and rhythm are what set Old Time Music apart from all other styles. If you are new to Old Time fiddle, or new to fiddling entirely, then bowing is THE perfect place to start.

Here’s the best part: These videos aren’t just about how to imitate me. They’ll also give you the tools to understand, learn, and play any old-time fiddle tune—from old field recordings, from modern performers, from archival footage of old fiddlers, and even from peers at jams.

How to get access:

  • You can purchase the videos in lesson packs of 5 videos each.
  • Our All Access Pass gets you lifetime access to all current and future instructional fiddle lesson videos—our best value.
  • When you sign up for a private lesson, the associated video is included at no additional charge.

Dive in today!

All Access Pass

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Fiddle Video Options

The Art of Bowing:
An Instructional Video Series with Michael Ismerio

All Access Pass

$19999one time fee
  • All 40 Current Lessons
  • All Future Lessons
  • Lifetime Access
  • Access to Exclusive Facebook Student Group
  • 1 Free Private Lesson

Lesson Packs

  • Packs of 5 Lessons
  • Lifetime Access
  • Access to Exclusive Facebook Student Group


“Wonderful fiddle teacher! His approach to the complexities of bowing Appalachian Old Time tunes makes it simple, accessible, and easy to learn. Very highly recommended!” – Cliff

“He is an excellent teacher with many years of experience…so glad he is online!! What a treasure!” – Jean

“I have just completed all 5 fiddle tunes from your Basics of Bowing Series. I want to thank you for being the first fiddler I’ve met who can actually teach what they know. your lessons have helped me sound like a fiddler. I am a clawhammer banjo player, but the fiddle has always been a love of mine. Unfortunately, I’ve never gotten the fiddle sound. While I have had great musicians as teachers, they couldn’t do what you can do. Learning the rhythm, bowing pattern, and the actual tune have all helped me feel like a fiddler.” – Jim from Missouri

“I’ve just done the second lesson. I think it’s a miracle that you’ve figured out how to break this music down into its essential components, teach left hand and bow arm independence without it seeming like a big deal, show how to put it all back together, and then deliver it all, effectively, online no less. Thank you! It’s so different than reading music, hurray! I don’t have an opportunity to learn ‘knee to knee’ as you put it. I’m so happy to have a chance to approximate that experience, on a screen.” – Diana

Welcome to my instructional videos! They represent over 15 years of teaching and analyzing how my students learn.

These videos are organized intentionally. Starting with the foundational rhythms of old time fiddle music, they slowly build in complexity, weaving in more and more essential techniques to enhance your fiddling.

My use of mnemonics, or memory aids, sets these videos apart. Learning mnemonics will help you remember complex bowing patterns, and each tune will “stick” more easily in your mind.

These videos are stand-alone teaching aids that make fiddling accessible to everyone. You can use them to learn tunes, technique, and bow rhythms even without a private teacher.

If you want more guidance or support, the videos work incredibly well combined with online private lessons with me. You can start your learning process with the videos, and then, in a one-on-one lesson, we’ll problem-solve, fine-tune, and answer your questions.

Lifetime access to the videos can be purchased in lesson packs of 5, or via our All Access Pass. Note that the All Access Pass is the best value, and includes all current and FUTURE videos.

All Access Pass

If you’re excited to learn old-time fiddle and you like the way I teach, the All Access Pass is the way to go. It’s the most economical way to access my videos… and with more videos already in the works, the value will keep getting better.

The All Access Pass includes all current and future videos. I will continue to add more content to the site and you will be able to see it all.

Purchasing the All Access Pass also gets you a free 30-minute Zoom lesson with me. You can schedule your free lesson right away or reach out when you’re ready.

Get All Access Pass
Fiddle instructor teaching a young student outdoors

Lesson Packs

If you’re not ready to commit to the full All Access Pass, you can enroll in Lesson Packs of 5 videos each.

The series starts with the foundational rhythms of old time music and increases in complexity. You can move at any pace you like, but I highly recommend going in order, since later videos build upon techniques taught in earlier ones.

If you’ve got any questions, don’t hesitate to drop me a note at

Lesson Packs are listed below…

Lesson Packs are listed below…

Detailed Listings and Additional Content

Each lesson page contains much more than just an instructional video. I’ll also introduce you to the people who played this music and the environment from which they came.

Along with each tune I include:

  • Stories about the original fiddler
  • Fiddle techniques used in the tune
  • The tune’s history
  • Videos of the fiddler or related fiddlers

Click on the green links below to view each lesson’s additional content.

Lesson Pack 1

Lesson pack #1 starts with what I consider the 5 foundational rhythms that are heard over and over again in Old Time music.  The tunes are all in cross G tuning which is more beginner friendly than standard tuning.

Get Lesson Pack #1

Lesson Pack 2

Lesson pack #2 continues in cross G tuning.  We now delve into the wide world of fiddle tunes by mixing and matching the foundational rhythms in different orders depending on the melody.  We also get into the 3rd dimension of fiddling by learning Ornaments and Circles to add additional rhythym to the melodies.

Get Lesson Pack #2

Lesson Pack 3

Lesson pack #3 continues working with circles to increase rhythm and then moves on to foot tapping, and switching rhythms on the fly.

Get Lesson Pack #3

Lesson Pack 4

Lesson pack #4 takes us to Standard Tuning to explore another way of playing in the key of G

Get Lesson Pack #4

Lesson Pack 5

Lesson pack #5 takes us to High Bass tuning (ADae) in order to have some fun with the key of D before returning to Standard Tuning to play a C tune.

Get Lesson Pack #5

Tunes included in Lesson Pack 5 include…

#21 – Step Around Johnny (included in the Free Sample Course)

#22 –Lady of the Lake

#23 – Hawks and Eagles

#24 – Sally Ann

#25 – Altamont

Lesson Pack 6

Lesson pack #6 continues in the Key of C and then explores the alternate tunings of GDad (key of G) and AEac# (Key of A)

Get Lesson Pack #6

Tunes included in Lesson Pack 6 include…

#26 –Indian Ate The Woodchuck

#27 – Saturday Night Breakdown

#28 – Got A Little Home To Go To

#29 – Saddle up the Gray

#30 – Bear Creek Sally Goodin

Lesson Pack 7

Lesson pack #7 takes us back to Cross G tuning (GDgd) to explore some intermediate tunes.

Get Lesson Pack #7

Tunes included in Lesson Pack 7 include…

#31 – Happy Hollow

#32 – Cat on a Leash

#33 –  Old Blue Tick

#34 – George Gann/Fire On The Mountain

#35 – Trouble on my Mind

Lesson Pack 8

Lesson pack #8 wraps up the current version of this course with some complex rhythm patterns in cross G and standard tunings.

Get Lesson Pack #8

Tunes included in Lesson Pack 8 include…

#36 – Kansas City Reel

#37 – Pretty Betty Martin

#38 – Jenny get around

#39 – Johnny Come Along

#40 – Ora Lee (included in Free Sample Course)

Old Time Music Fans
Check Out My Video Encyclopedia of Old Geezer Fiddlers

Watch Them Play

Private Student Facebook Group

Learn with peers — Build community — Share the joy of music

Becoming a musician doesn’t have to be a solitary journey! How much more fun will fiddling be when you can celebrate successes and navigate roadblocks with others who are walking the same path?

When you enroll in my online programs or sign up for private lessons, you gain access to an exclusive online group for my Art of Bowing fiddle students.

In this private Facebook group, you can ask questions, post videos of yourself playing, engage with other students, and share your progress and challenges in a safe and supportive environment.

This group allows me to answer individuals’ questions in a forum where everyone can benefit from the answers. You’ll also get input and encouragement from your fellow learners… and you may see chances to support someone else’s learning journey.

If you want to experience the ease and connection of joining a community of budding musicians—and to feel the excitement of realizing you’ve progressed far enough to help others—then try a lesson or check out some videos  to find out how peer support can help you take your learning to the next level.