Choro Instruments





Instruments that are most often
played in a "roda de choro" are:


Woodwinds:  Flute, Clarinet, Saxophone, Oboe

Brass:  Trumpet, Trombone

Percussion:  Pandeiro (please see video), Shakers, Tamborim

Guitars - 6 string and 7 string

Cavaquinho - a Brazilian Ukulele (please see video)

Mandolin (an easy double for Violin)

Other Instruments: Violin

Private lessons available too: 
   30 min - $39.00 per lesson
   45 min - $58.50 per lesson
   60 min - $78.00 per lesson 
visit our Registration page for more information 


What level do I have to be to participate?

Guitar and Cavaquinho:  Students should be able to read chord symbols.  Beginners through advanced players.

Pandeiro:  Beginners with no experience to advanced percussionists can participate.

Mandolin:  Students should be able to read chords and sheet music, and play the mandolin at an average to advanced level.

Woodwinds, Brass, Violin:  As this class is open to various melody instruments, it is important that the choro student can already play his or her instrument at an average to advanced level and read sheet music.

Questions about the Choro program? email Julie Koidin for details

Choro Music


The pandeiro may look like a tambourine, but it is played differently (see video).  The pandeiro is an essential instrument to not only choro but to samba as well.   To play the pandeiro is like having a complete drumset in your hands.  With both bass and treble sounds, it offers a wide range of creative possibilities for the percussionist.

The pandeiro is at the heart of choro's "swing."  In Brazil, budding musicians as young as 2 have started learning on pandeiro!  Their instruments are custom made, of course, to fit into very small hands. 

How to get the Pandeiro

We recommend you visit to purchase a reasonably priced pandeiro.




This instrument is similar in size and proportions to a ukulele, and also has four strings. There are a few central differences - the strings on a cavaquinho are steel and are nylon on a ukulele.  The cavaquinho is also tuned differently and played with a pick. 

In Brazil many musicians started their musical pursuits very early (5 or 6 years old) playing cavaquinho because of its size and ease of playing.   In the U.S. cavaquinhos are fairly rare and not sold in local music stores - at least not yet - until choro becomes a craze(!)  For students interested in learning this instrument - which is used for accompaniment and can also play melodies - they will need to do a little research.

How to get the Cavaquinho

Our teacher, John Beard, recommended the following instruments which you may locate on Ebay:  Giannini cavaquinho  (approximately $140), Marques cavaquinho (approximately $250), and the Rozini (approximately $350).   Be certain not to purchase a Portuguese cavaco.  If you have any questions about your future purchase, please do not hesitate to contact the Musical Offering and we will put you in touch with John Beard.