Helen Butler-Ceppaglia is known in the Buffalo area for her versatility as both a musician and teacher. A “jack of all trades”, she performs many diverse styles of music in various locations in Western New York, ranging from the concert hall to various Buffalo pubs. Although her main instruments are violin and five-string electric fiddle, she is also a talented violist and cellist. In her decade as a teacher, she has taught large classes in schools, and private students aged five to ninety-five. In the past few years she has begun composing and arranging music for both the music classroom and as a personal creative outlet.
Helen’s musical training began with childhood piano lessons. In love with the sound of the violin, she joined her school’s orchestra as a teenager. It was at this time she began to develop a passion for a hobby that would later influence her career choices. She received her Associate of Science Degree in Music from Niagara County Community College. She continued her studies at the State University of New York at Fredonia, where she was awarded Master of Music and Bachelor of Music degrees in Music Education. She holds a New York State Permanent Certification in Music for grades K-12.
During Helen’s formal education, she grew as a performer in both classical and traditional folk genres. An enthusiast for classical music, she continues to be an active performer playing violin for the Cheektowaga Community Symphony Orchestra, the Southern Tier Symphony, and the Buffalo State College Philharmonia. At weddings and other venues, she also performs classical music in smaller string ensembles and as a soloist. In the genres of folk, old time fiddle, and rock and roll, Helen performs with and provides studio tracks for local musicians. Most notably, for the last five years she has performed with the local rock band “McCarthyizm”, whose members were honored to be inducted into the Buffalo Music Hall of Fame in 2009.
Helen has teaching experience as varied as the music she performs. During her time of service with AmeriCorps, Helen used her musical education and skill to volunteer as an instrumental and general music tutor at Summer’s County Middle School in West Virginia, and with the Steel Drum Ensemble of the Peasely Neighborhood Center in Cincinnati, Ohio. She has been a music teacher with Buffalo Public Schools since 2003, where she has taught general/vocal music at various grade levels. Helen currently holds the position of Director of Orchestras at The Buffalo Academy of Visual and Performing Arts, an arts magnet school for students in grades five through twelve. In this position, Helen directs three string orchestras, teaches instrumental technique, and Music Theory.
Since college, Helen has taught private lessons at locations including Twin Village Music, Buffalo Music School. An entrepreneur, she runs two businesses offering sales of musical instruments and supplies and music education services. Helen M. Butler Music Studios and The Fiddler on the Web Her private instruction has included lessons for students of violin, viola, cello, bass, piano, and Music Theory.Back to Main Bio