Our Teachers

  Duane Whitcomb   

Principal instructor, violin

Duane Whitcomb is the founder and principal instructor of Creekside Strings. He has been teaching for 18 years and has built a strong fiddling community in the Rogue Valley. Parents appreciate his ability to inspire kids to practice and develop their skills while keeping his approach to music light-hearted and social. He brings together a background in classical music and fiddle music that allows for students to gain confidence in all musical styles.


Duane is also the founder and CEO of FiddleQuest, an online curriculum used by students and teachers around the world.

Duane's studio is in Ashland.

Tuition: $145/mo. (shared lesson, $75)

Contact:  ​541.640.5408, duane@fiddlequest.com

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 Rachel Buklad 

Instructor, violin

Rachel Buklad is a life-long musician accomplished in many instruments including the banjo, guitar, ukulele and fiddle. Rachel is adept at playing any song with any musician, in any musical setting. She specializes in teaching young children. Rachel's studio is in Talent.

Tuition: $85/mo

Contact: 541.535.3086, bukladr@yahoo.com

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 Jessie Monter 

Instructor, violin

Jessie Monter started playing the violin at age 5 and has extensive training in both classical and fiddle styles.  She has a BA from Southern Oregon University with a minor in music.  Jessie’s passion is to work with kids, honoring each child’s uniqueness and helping them to find joy and a sense of self-accomplishment in whatever task is at hand. Jessie joined the Creekside team in the Summer of 2015. Jessie's studio is in Ashland.

Tuition: $95/mo

Contact: 541.301.0354, jessielmonter@gmail.com

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Instructor, violin

Monika MacDougall began playing the violin soon after her daughter started learning in 2017 and developed a real interest in teaching young children and playing with others. Monika is remarkably creative and patient with young children (and parents!) as they start the journey of learning the violin. Monika's studio is in Ashland.

Tuition: $75/mo

Contact: 530.925.9368, monika.olszynska@gmail.com

Monika MacDougall