Scott Hopkins became interested in bluegrass and banjo music by listening to recordings of Flatt & Scruggs and The Stanley Brothers that his dad played while he was growing up. At 15 years old, Scott started taking private banjo lessons and joined the school band on the tuba to fully immerse himself in the study of music.
As a tubist, Scott received a bachelors of music education degree from the Crane School of Music at SUNY Potsdam and a masters degree of music education from the University of Connecticut. He won the Crane Concerto Competition on the tuba in 1995, but kept his banjo nearby at all times. Since his college days, he has played banjo with a number of bands in New York State and Vermont over the years. In 2013, Scott released an acclaimed solo banjo recording, using his skills as player, composer, arranger, producer and engineer.
He currently teaches 5-12 Band at Duanesburg Central School District just west of Albany, NY, performs with The McKrells throughout the year, the Upstate Bluegrass Band at the Saratoga Race Track during summer months, teaches Wernick Method Bluegrass Jam Camps, teaches at Music Camps North, conducts the Empire State Youth Orchestra's Concertino Brass Ensemble, and has a studio of private in-person and virtual banjo students. Scott joined the Caffe Lena School of Music as a banjo instructor in the fall of 2022 and has a number of dates with his new group The Scott Hopkins Jazz Trio in 2023!
“Scott quickly assessed my abilities and goals as a player. He takes the time to understand how people learn and provides lessons that are relevant, challenging and fun. My playing has improved significantly as a result. I would recommend him to anyone looking to really play banjo.”
— Betsy Engelhardt, West Groves, PA
“After taking lessons with Scott for a year, my playing has greatly improved. He's taught me bluegrass standards while also leaving the door open to whatever songs or genres I want to play. He's even assisted me with my own songwriting. If you want to become a serious banjo player, call Scott Hopkins.”
— Ben Gorman, Troy, NY