The Jink & Diddle School of Scottish Fiddling

Traditional Scottish Fiddle Music

Focus Classes 8/6

— Class Descriptions —

  

Focus Classes

Thursday 8/6, 7:00 - 8:00 p.m.

 

Two nights each week, you’ll meet in your Focus Classes.  These classes will be the heart of Online Jink and they will give you a chance to hone your Scottish Fiddling skills by exploring different types of traditional tunes (i.e. jigs, reels, strathspeys, airs, marches, etc.), learning characteristic Scottish bowing and ornamentation styles, developing groove and dance feel, discovering fun new tunes, and more!  The Focus Classes will be divided by level or interest and there will be a class to excite and challenge everyone.  Class attendance will be by self-selection (i.e. YOU choose what’s right for YOU) and students will be welcome to switch freely among focus groups during the online sessions.  Choose from the following:

 

Beginner — Instructor:  Zach Lemhouse

This class is for less-experienced players who are just starting to find their way around the instrument but who really want to get fiddling!  Using a repertoire of fun Scottish tunes, you will learn about hand shapes and finger patterns, basic bowing techniques, form and patterning in traditional Scottish music, as well as many other skills that will help you start to develop ease and comfort in your fiddling.  To get the most out of this class, we recommend that students already be able to play at least three tunes on your instrument — any style / genre / tempo is great.

 

Each of the four Beginner class sessions will focus on learning basic Scottish session tunes that every Scottish fiddle player should know.  You will explore basic techniques to help you play each tune in the Scottish style.  Each day will center on a specific key and will also include instruction on basic music theory.

 

Intermediate — Instructor:  Tim MacDonald

This class is for fiddlers who are excited to start developing their “authentic Scottish fiddle accent.”  You will learn about the distinctive Scottish tune types (i.e. strathspeys, jigs, reels, airs) and discover how to start dressing them up with characteristic bowings and ornamentation.  You will also work on some foundational techniques such as good sound production and left hand positioning that can help you find more ease and comfort on your instrument.  Participants taking this class will find it useful to have a basic fluency with getting around the fiddle (i.e. finding notes and basic bowing gestures) but the class will move at a relaxed pace so that everyone has time to feel successful. Prior experience with Scottish fiddling specifically is great, but by no means required to have a good time.

 

Each Intermediate class will focus on a “tune type”:

      Today's topic -  

                  Tune type: Jigs

                  Still have questions?  Tim will field them in a closing Q&A session.

 

Advanced — Instructor:  Maura Shawn Scanlin

This class is for more experienced fiddlers who are excited to dive into the essence of traditional Scottish fiddling.  We’ll examine different tune types in detail, work on honing your stylistic bowing and ornamentation choices and explore lots of repertoire!  We will also pay special attention to developing tempo and groove” in each tune feel and work on more advanced aspects of technique like nuanced phrasing and dynamics and expressive tone choices. Since we will cover quite a lot of material (this is a faster-paced class), we recommend that students already have comfort and fluency moving around the instrument, as well as some prior experience with Scottish fiddling specifically.

 

Each Advanced class will focus on a “theme tune type” and an “artistic topic”:

      Today's topic is -

                  Theme tune type: Lyrical Tunes (Airs, marches, slow strathspeys)

                  Artistic topic: Tone, phrasing & expression

 

Fiddling for Classical Players — Instructor:  Rachel Barton Pine

This class is specially designed for experienced Classical players who have always wanted to explore the world of fiddling.  We will discover how to harness the technical facility and musical knowledge you already have and use it to inject an authentic “Scottish fiddle sound” into your playing.  We’ll work on how to shape your tone, ornament your left-hand, and pattern your bowing in a traditional Scottish manner — and, of course, learn some wonderful tunes central to the Scottish fiddle repertoire.  Tunes will be taught from sheet music, so we’ll also be working on how to stylistically interpret the written instructions of the great Scottish fiddle composers from the 18th century onwards.  This class is designed for experienced violinists who have no trouble navigating their instrument, but requires no prior experience with any kind of fiddling.  Come in curious, leave ready to “jam” with the fiddlers!

 

Accompaniment — Instructor:  Ralph Gordon w. Dr. John Turner

This class is for non-fiddlers who want to learn how to accompany traditional Scottish music.  ‘Cellists, bassists, guitarists, pianists, etc., this is your place to learn about the chords, forms and rhythmic patterns you’ll need to accompany melody players in a stylistic - and stylish! - manner.  We’ll work  especially on ensemble skills, as well as developing your groove and time feel so you can make your melody players sound great and your dancers feel awesome.


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