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The Virtual String Studio

Clarkston, GA 30021 (map)

Lessons Offered

Cello, Double Bass, Fiddle, Music Theory, Viola, Violin

Where are Lessons Offered

Virtual / Online

About Me

A native of New York’s Adirondack Mountains, Joel Perkins is a fifth generation violinist and fiddler since 1991. He received his music education degree in orchestral teaching from the Crane School of Music, SUNY Potsdam, NY, and is currently pursuing a Master of Music in Music Education degree at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro. After receiving his bachelor's degree, he taught elementary general music and orchestra, middle and high school band and chorus, and has directed the Adirondack Youth Mezzo strings and woodwinds ensemble of the Adirondack Youth Orchestra Association. He currently teaches high school orchestra and instrumental techniques at Martha Ellen Stilwell School of the Arts in Jonesboro, GA and maintains a successful studio of private students online via The Virtual String Studio. Having over 16 years of private studio instruction experience and over 9 years of classroom teaching experience, Joel brings expertise in differentiated instruction, teaching students of all ages with a wide array of musical tastes and abilities. 

He has recorded and produced five albums to his name and most recently, a family anthology of eighty-six tunes over three CD's spanning five generations of Perkins Family music. Joel has had the opportunity to tour nationally with the band Jacks and Heroes as well as performing at the Great American Irish Festival in Utica, NY with his former band, Inisheer. One of his most memorable moments was performing for president George W. Bush and U.S Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas while in his office. Joel's current pursuits outside of teaching include his new band, .jpeg with bandmate and colleague Eric Gregory, composing original Celtic/Electronic musical and visual works which focus on music as a language.

My Musical Education Background

Bacherlor of Music in Music Education (K-12) in Orchestra, State University of New York at Potsdam, Crane School of Music, Cum Laude

Master of Music in Music Education, University of North Carolina at Greensboro (persuing)

Genres and Subjects Taught

Areas of concentration:

  • classical violin
  • fiddle (bluegrass, celtic, traditional styles)
  • viola
  • cello
  • Extensive background in sound engineering studies, technology in music, music theory, and aural skills. 

Q: What is the difference between a violin and fiddle? 

A: Absolutely nothing, except for how you play it! Really, the most successful fiddlers and violinists first learn streamlined ways of holding that pile of wood and strings that hangs from your neck that some call a fiddle and some call a violin. The content is what changes. In other words, what you play changes. Call it what you want.....there are OK ways to hold your instrument, then there are better ways to hold your instrument, and there are the best ways to hold your instrument. I set you up so you are able to play the content that you wish - be it "classical" or "fiddle." 

Students interested in composition and music theory are of special interest and I would be happy to help your musical ideas come to life.  

Lesson Rates

Individual Lesson Rates

  • 30 Minutes - $43
  • 45 Minutes - $63
  • 60 Minutes - $83

I also offer multi-student discounts for students in the same family. Please contact me for details.

Ages / Skill Levels Taught

I have both extensive private and classroom experience with elementary, middle, and high school students as well over 14 years of experience working with adults and those who have taken the plunge to make music a part of their retirement. All ages are welcome.

My Certifications and Awards


  • State of Georgia Educator Certificate (Standard Professional Teaching Certificate)
  • State of NY Educator Certificate (previous)
  • Engaging Minds (Math & the Arts Integration)
  • ArtsNow Foundational
  • Crayola Creative Leadership


  • 2021-22 Magnet School Teacher of the Year (Clayton County Public Schools)


  • Active Member NAfME (National Association for Music Education)
  • Active Member GMEA (Georgia Music Educators Association)
  • Active Member ASTA (American String Teachers Association)

My Musical Influences

Just to name a few (and in no particular order!): 

  • Itzhak Perlman
  • Issak Stern 
  • Mozart
  • Solas
  • Goitse
  • Inisheer (!!!!)
  • Dave Mason
  • Little Feat
  • MGMT
  • The Killers
  • Kurt Vile
  • Billy Joel
  • Morten Lauridsen

Service Area

Student Reviews

Plattsburgh, NY

I took his music theory class and loved his teaching style. He is really knowledgable and professional. Best teacher ever!

Morrisonville, NY

Joel's teaching style is a perfect match for both of my sons. He is a gifted professional and teacher who is knowledgeable and patient.

Pound Ridge, NY

I was Joel's sponsor teacher when he student taught and then his colleague when the district hired him. he brought much to the table and the kids loved him! He has an enthusiasm for music that is clearly evident to his students and he is always bringing his innovative ideas to his teaching...He adjusts and adapts to a myriad of abilities and learning styles and leaves no child behind!!! He is a wonderful teacher with a kind heart! Do NOT miss a chance to work with him!

Morrisonville, NY

My son attends Seton Catholic and has had Joel as his music teacher for the past 2 years. My younger daughter takes private cello lessons from Joel. He's great!! He is very talented and enthusiastic about teaching music. My daughter is about to perform her first NYSSMA solo, and I definitely feel she has been well prepared.

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