Relaxed and informal fiddle lessons for all from beginners to advanced players, individually face to face or online, and in groups or workshops. I'm based in East Lancashire and cater for ages from 6 to 96!
DBS - Enhanced certificate no. 001514494616 issued 4th. January 2016.
If you are set on playing an instrument but arenít quite sure which one or perhaps you are interested to know a little more about the fiddle and it's music before you make a decision. Contact me and all new students can enjoy a free Ĺ hour 'taster' session. Youíll learn lots of interesting facts about the instrument and the different repertoires and youíll get to play one too. I'll provide one for the occasion.
As a beginner I'll take you through the best ways to warm up and how to hold the fiddle and bow. I'll introduce you to the notes and keys commonly used in first position for simple dance tunes and give you a background into folk and traditional music too. You'll learn some simple dance rhythms and tunes like jigs, polkas or a waltz and I'll use the phrasing and rhythms as a basis for exercises to practice at home.
Remember:- Practice makes permanent!
Lessons can also be a great introduction to traditional fiddle music for those who already play the violin but who have a desire to explore some of our fun repertoire or gain a greater understanding of why traditional music is growing fast in popularity. Or if you used to play, perhaps as a child at school, hereís the opportunity to re-kindle that experience but with a refreshing, indigenous and infectious repertoire.
Sharing lessons with a friend or partner with similar interests and abilitiy is an ideal way to reduce your tution costs.
I teach by ear, using notation as an aide-memoire, music from the various fiddle styles found around Britain and Ireland and well as from Scandinavia, western Europe, Canada and the USA. I have a special interest in the rich repertoire of home grown folk tunes from Lancashire and northwest England in general. You will learn ornamentation skills and finger and bowing techniques for a variety of tune of tune forms such as: jigs, polkas, waltzes, marches, hornpipes, slow airs, reels, and slip jigs. Once the basics of rhythm, phrasing, bowing and ornamentation are understood, we will be able to explore, expand and experiment with the repertoire using variation and improvisation as you prepare pieces for solo or ensemble performance or just playing for fun, perhaps in a pub session. I will demonstrate and give advice and assistance in interpreting the 'dots' into a particular style or dance form and I can tailor lessons to suit your needs or desires. Please contact me if you have something specific in mind.
Once you have gained some experience you might like to join the Palatine Fiddlers to increase your repertoire in a friendly and social environment whilst continuing your private lessons as you learn more advanced technique.
For the lessons you'll need to bring your instrument, a pencil and notebook and a recording device. Most mobile phones these days come with an integral voice recorder so here's a chance to use it! There are several more specialist recording apps available for smart phones along with compatible microphones too if required.
I am an advanced user of Sibelius notation software and would be pleased to give tutorials for this as required.
If you would like to book some lessons for yourself, or as a birthday gift perhaps but aren't sure if you or they will take to it. Then I can also provide instruments for hire so you can 'try before you buy' at a very affordable rate and delay the cost of instrument purchase.
Why not give fiddle lessons as a birthday present and take advantage of some quantity discount too?
There is no difference here other than there is an additional fee to cover my expenses in travelling to you. This ensures the duration of the lesson is unaffected. Let me know where you are based and I'll be pleased to confirm a price.
If you aren't able to travel to me and don't want to pay me to get to you, I can teach you online. You'll need a speedy broadband connection and a good quality web-camera with a microphone and the latest version of Skype installed on your PC. I use a high definition camera and a professional mirophone so it will be just like I'm in your front room. It will also contribute in a small way to helping the environment too. The prices for online tuition are the same as for lessons at my home. I accept payment by cash, online transfer or Paypal. Please contact me if you need more information or technical advice.
I will be pleased to quote for teaching your group or leading a workshop whether as a one-off or a series. I am degree qualified and specialise in traditional and folk music played on the fiddle but can also lead a ceilidh band, string band or mixed instrument folk ensemble. Just let me know the number of people in the group and their experience, the duration and your location and Iíll be pleased to submit my quotation.
If you haven't already invested in an instrument you can hire one from me for only £4.00 per week. I have new stock of 'Stentor Student II' violins, in quality cases, which I recommend as the ideal instrument to start with. They are fitted with Thomastik Dominant strings and include a shoulder rest, a block of quality rosin and a cotton duster to help keep the instrument looking good. Combine this with a series of lessons and you have a great birthday gift?
The following lesson fees (based on the guidelines agreed by the Musician's Union) are for teaching at my home with your payment made by cash or online transfer. They are effective from September 2020.
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Discounted rates are available for block bookings of 5 hours or more. Please enquire for details. If it's more convenient for me to visit you, Let me have your post code and I'll let you know my fee. Please contact for more information.
A series of lessons are an ideal gift for a birthday or other occasion. You'll be able to choose the number of individual 1:1 lessons to be given either in person or online and you'll receive an attractive named Gift Certificate to present to the lucky person. All new students can also take advantage of my free Ĺ hour 'taster' session. I accept payments by cash, online transfer or Paypal.
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