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Information About Martha Polly - Cambridge teacher -

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This is how 2 referees rated Martha Polly:





Instruments Taught


Hourly Fee
Beginner £30.00
Intermediate £30.00
Casual £30.00

Banjo (5 string)

Hourly Fee
Beginner £30.00
Casual £30.00

Map Location

Personal Description:

Polly first picked up the mandolin as a child and has been touring internationally in various line ups on mandolin, Irish bouzouki, 5-string banjo and vocals since her teens. Polly is endorsed by Eastman™ and plays an MD815-SB.

“Polly's highly original and unexpected tune-writing and a take-no-prisoners right hand makes for killer music. ”
— Luke Plumb, Shooglenifty.

With a unique style that can only be described as ‘effervescent’ (Sunday Times), she has established herself as one of the most up-and-coming personalities on the UK scene as part of progressive acoustic trio Stillhouse and all-female contemporary folk quartet The Magpies. Hailed as a pioneer of ‘folk with finesse’ (Daily Mail), Polly has an innovative approach to writing and arranging. She is influenced by a wide range of musical styles and instruments from across the globe including the American bluegrass and old time tradition, Celtic folk, Eastern European folk, Middle Eastern traditional music, Indian classical music, and metal and progressive rock.

Polly is known as a powerful performer with a charismatic stage presence and passionate live delivery. She has performed at festivals including Glastonbury, Shambala, Wilderness, Boomtown Fair, Deer Shed, Larmer Tree, Festa do Avante (Portugal), Musicport, Towersey and Warwick, and has supported artists including Molly Tuttle, John Smith, Tcha Limberger & Mozes Rosenberg, LAU and The Hot Club of Cowtown.

“She makes the tune come alive. Her playing is fantastic, positive and gutsy. Put simply, traditional players don't come any better than Polly.”
— Simon Mayor.

Tutoring Experience:

Polly is in high demand as a tutor of mandolin, clawhammer banjo and Irish bouzouki. She teaches students of all levels from beginners to advanced. As well as her online classes, she is a tutor at York St John University, UK and has regular one to one sessions with students of all ages in the UK. She has run workshops at festivals including Towersey (UK) and **Contact Detail Removed** Del Folk (Portugal), and was the guest tutor at Simon Mayor’s Mandolin Retreat at Kenwood Hall in Sheffield.

What her students say -

"Polly is great. She honed in quickly to point out a fundamental issue with my left hand technique. She's professional and easy going. I really enjoyed the lesson. Looking forward to the next one." Bunmi

"I really enjoyed having Polly as a teacher! As a beginner I was slightly nervous but she made me feel completely at ease and was very clear and patient. Highly recommend!" Lydia

"Only had one lesson so far but Polly my tutor is great. I have already learnt so much from her, I can't wait to develop my mandolin playing." Malcolm

"Polly is a consummate professional. Lessons are organised, well paced and diverse in content. Polly’s approach is perfect if you want to take your mandolin playing to the next level. Polly also provides audiovisual material for homework purposes - invaluable practice material! The technical exercises, improvisation techniques and repertoire that she teaches will ensure you develop even more enthusiasm for the mandolin and the multiple musical possibilities it possess! Lessons are stimulating, challenging and enjoyable. Polly is an excellent teacher and a phenomenal mandolin player - I heartily recommend her lessons!" Ben

Tutoring Approach:

"I love tailoring lessons to suit individual requirements and interests. It's all about your own personal musical goals. We’ll learn loads of brilliant tunes by ear, mainly from the old time, bluegrass and celtic folk tradition. We’ll be covering fundamentals of technique, including tone production and left & right hand dexterity, as well as areas such as improvisation, chord and rhythm work, having confidence and attitude in your delivery, arranging traditional tunes and composing original melodies on the mandolin. I provide audio recordings, tablature and notation of all the material that we cover so you can practice in your preferred way." - Polly.

Tutor Resources: (free to download)

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Native Language: English (British)
Availability: Weekends / Weekdays (all times)
References Available: Yes (✔ On File)


  • Goldsmiths, University of London (2012) - First Class Honours; Theatre & Performance (Bachelors) (✘ Not On File)

Tags: Cambridge Mandolin teacher, Cambridge Banjo (5 string) teacher, Cambridge Beginner Mandolin teacher, Cambridge Intermediate Mandolin teacher, Cambridge Casual Mandolin teacher, Cambridge Beginner Banjo (5 string) teacher, Cambridge Casual Banjo (5 string) teacher