About Us

First Chair Fiddlers was first started in 2002, by Rachel Gaither Vaughan, who is the owner and head instructor for the studio. Rachel plays and teaches a variety of instruments, and works with all ages and skill levels.

We offer opportunities to perform throughout the year, including two recitals and a summertime open mic where students have the opportunity to perform their own compositions and to showcase other talents, as well as their work with our studio.

First Chair Fiddlers offers not only violin, viola, mandolin, cello, and guitar lessons and singing lessons, but also teaches online video lessons to expand accessibility to students who otherwise may not have the option of one-on-one music instruction. We have lessons available any time after 11 am, including Lunch Time Lessons, where we can come to you, wherever you are, on your lunch hour for a 30-minute lesson once a week! Day and afternoon times available, as well as evenings on weekdays.

We also are excited to provide a group music learning series exclusively for home school students, called Music Makers. See our Home School Groups page for more information!

Lessons and recitals are held out of our local studio locations, and Rachel is available for online distance learning, as well! For more information, or to schedule a trial lesson, please call us at 816.305.5320, or you can email us through our Contact page.

About Our Instructor

Rachel Gaither Vaughan, Owner/Head Instructor

Violin, Mandolin, Viola, Cello, Voice, Guitar, Piano

Teaching since 2001, Rachel grew up in the music programs of the Lees Summit school district, just outside Kansas City, Missouri, and has been singing in choirs and vocal ensembles from a young age. She began playing violin in 1990, began teaching herself guitar and songwriting in 1996, and played cello with the Lee’s Summit High School Concert Orchestra. While earning her Bachelor’s in Violin Performance, Rachel studied 4 years of piano music and theory, as well as singing lessons, chamber choir, and vocal pedagogy at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. Over the years, she has performed in a wide variety of venues--from Carnegie Hall to dive bars, and from festivals to house concerts--and has performed on tours of the East Coast, Ireland, and Scotland. She has performed as a singer, violinist, and songwriter with groups from country bands to rock, from classical ensembles to studio recording work, and has sung and played violin as a proud member of the Kansas City-grown Celtic group, Tullamore, since 2005. Second only to her love of performing, coaching and teaching are Rachel’s passions.

Rachel also performs in the Hampton Roads area as a member of the Hampton Roads Philharmonic. A working musician, she also freelances as a violinist, vocalist, and guitarist/songwriter for studio recordings, ensemble concerts, and private events. Contact us for more information about booking or where to see Rachel play!


Until the spring of 2014, First Chair Fiddlers offered music lessons exclusively for much of the Greater Kansas City Area. We still offer lessons to students in the Kansas City area via Skype or other online live video methods, as well as occasional visits to the area that allow for opportunities for in-person instruction. Beginning in the spring of 2014, we are primarily based in the Hampton Roads area, serving military families and the community through our home studio in Hampton, as well as our partner studio, The Music Post in Yorktown. We are always available to anyone outside of those areas through our online video lessons.

For more information on our studio or tuition, or to schedule a trial lesson, please contact us.