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Bachelor Degree: New England Conservatory of Music
I teach traditional Appalachian/Old Time and Irish fiddle in a fun, learn-by-ear style that's pretty accessible to anyone beginning or more advanced. As a lifetime fiddler player and music historian, I provide a cultural and and musicological background to a wide array of folk traditions in the U.S. and throughout the world. I have a flexible approach to teaching, and can work with classical notation and sheet music, in addition to playing by ear and improvising. I can also teach theory from the fundamentals to advanced, and can provide tutoring in preparation for the AP music theory exam, and other preparatory exams required for students wishing to enter a college or university music program.
Born in Washington D.C., I trained on violin in the Arlington area, starting with Suzuki and moving to more traditional classical studies, eventually composing and playing my own compositions starting in my early teens. I attended H.B. Woodlawn Secondary Program where I played in orchestras and numerous string ensembles, including [three?] years with the D.C. Youth Orchestra. At age 5 I took up fiddle, working with expert players from Vermont and North Carolina in jam sessions in the Blue Ridge Mountains. I took up busking in high school, playing with friends throughout the D.C. area, and spent two summers in Canada at the Kingston Music Festival playing in bands. I am a recent graduate of the New England Conservatory of Music, and hold a Bachelor’s of Music in Composition.
When teaching fiddle I teach students starting on simple tunes that we learn by ear and memorize. With a few standard well known tunes down I use those to demonstrate more of the nuances of fiddle performance. The process of learning fiddle is a simultaneous process of learning how to pick up tunes quickly by ear and play them idiomatically so there is not much in the way of text that I use in the actual lessons however I will recommend readings depending on how much the student is interested in that, otherwise we mostly have a fun time playing fiddle
Music Theory I teach using the standard AP music theory text and the Kostka Tonal harmony book or other textbooks that the student is using from their classes. If not coming for theory tutoring then I begin with Vidal keyboard harmony practice and then progress with 16th and 18th century counterpoint Composition lessons are based on scores or recordings the composition student brings in that they have written or are interested in. We discuss the composition and the students goals in writing the music and I recommend scores to look at as well as articles, book, and journals that are relevant to the students particular interests. I also discuss various tools to use to achieve the effects the student is looking for. Samuel Adler's Orchestration and Elaine Gould's Behind Bars are my main reference guides.
My primary goal is for people to have fun while learning music. I believe that you can never teach someone something they have no interest in learning and I'm most committed to making sure that students at all levels are excited about what they are doing. Especially with fiddle, my goal is to make the experience enjoyable and useful. Hopefully before too long you can get out to a session and strum along even if you are stone cold beginner. I encourage students to observe things and ask as many questions as possible, especially ones they've never thought to ask before, about the music all around them.
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