Otsfm logo

Teachers at the Old Town School

Colby Maddox

Mandolin, Fiddle

Music Styles - Bluegrass, Early Country, Swing

Colby encourages questions and enjoys working with students of all levels to pursue their goals. Grounded in 35 years of professional experience, Colby has helped countless students to play a current or traditional tune around the campfire, honor a request for a holiday melody, or join jam sessions and bands. His teaching methods include a mix of tablature, standard notation, ear training for chords and melodies, and comparative listening.

Originally from Northern California, Colby moved to the Midwest to attend Oberlin College and escape the tech boom. Immediately after college he traveled out to California for a summer to study with mandolin great David Grisman.

Colby moved to Chicago in 1995 to work and travel with The Special Consensus bluegrass band. He rubbed elbows and shared the stage with many of his heroes like Tim O’Brien, Scott Nygaard, Sally Van Meter, Laurie Lewis, Slavek Hanzlik, J.D. Crowe and John Hartford. Along the way Colby studied fiddle with Missouri State Champion Charlie Walden and played for a short time in a duo with young banjo wizard Noam Pikelny.

In 1999 Colby moved on to teaching at the Old Town School of Folk Music, and managing the Resource Center, Old Town's in-house library and archive in the basement of 4544 N. Lincoln Avenue. He enjoys teaching beginners and advanced students, is comfortable with many styles, and has a special focus on bluegrass, early country and swing.

Education: BA, Oberlin College

Started at the Old Town School in January of 1997