I'm not sure I want my child to fiddle...
Why not? It's a lot of fun! Your child will be able to explore all the swing and
drive of a Celtic music session, the intricate rhythms of Nordic dances, and,
through Classical Fiddle, be able to play in an orchestra or chamber group.
I've heard that fiddle players have terrible technique and can't play
classical music at all.
It is true that some fiddlers display very convoluted technique which can get in
the way of being fully able to explore all that the instrument has to offer. This is
one of the reasons that I decided to develop the Classical Fiddle method. I will
make sure that you or your child do not develop bad, and therefore limiting,
How does the Classical Fiddle Method work?
I teach how to play the instrument through the Suzuki Classical Violin Method
and its American cousin, the O'Connor Violin Method. Once a certain level of
technical expertise is reached, I then add in a healthy dose of Celtic and Nordic
tunes from my own playing. The result is a very competent violin player who is
equally at home in a fiddling session as they are in a chamber music quartet, as
comfortable playing in an orchestra as playing with a traditional group for a
I've heard Suzuki students are competent but unexciting players.
I can assure you that learning to play through the Classical Fiddle method will
have you or your child playing with passion!
How long does it take to gain the necessary expertise to start fiddling?
Everyone is different so it is impossible to say for certain how long this might
take. What I can say for certain is that anyone can develop these skills.
Really, won't "fiddling" interfere with me or my child wanting to play in
NO! Classical Fiddle will give your child all the technical skills and musical
understanding to play in classical music ensembles. Remember that the
backbone of the method--the Suzuki Method--is a classical music-based method.
Why should someone study Classical Fiddle over classical violin?
Your child will gain more musical skills through Classical Fiddle. Classical
Fiddle gives the student the tools to explore both the classical and traditional
sides of the instrument. Classical violin only is only classical violin.
What can I or my child play learning Classical Fiddle?
Students in the Classical Fiddle method will be comfortable playing traditional
Celtic, Scandinavian, and classical music. Classical Fiddle students will have the
technical and artistic tools to explore almost any other style they choose.
Will you teach how to read music?
Yes, the ability to read music is a vital skill for the complete fiddler.
What styles do you play?
I play classical violin and Celtic and Nordic fiddle. Within the Celtic tradition, I
specialize in Irish fiddle. Within the Nordic tradition, I specialize in Swedish
What is the difference between a fiddle and a violin?
The best definition that I can come up with is an analogy: a fiddle is to a violin as
a car is to an automobile. Not much difference, it really boils down to what kind
of music you play. The instrument is called a "violin" in a classical music setting
and is called a "fiddle" in a traditional music setting. For instance, you would
never talk about "Bach's Concerto in D Minor for Two Fiddles", nor would you
talk about "Traditional Irish violining."
What's with the Ben Stein quote?
I'll tell you at the first lesson!
"Excellent playing, really excellent playing."
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