Since the invention of the violin, the music of its unschooled alter-ego, the fiddle, has excited people to dance, evoked the devil and the spiritual, echoed the human voice and heart. It is an instrument that has made its way into the core of many different traditions and it speaks a language understood worldwide. Fiddle Week for SGOnline celebrates that universality with classes in traditional and contemporary styles.
Those who love ‘northern’ fiddle styles will be treated to an array of genres from Canada, Scotland and Ireland, and ‘southern’ fiddle music lovers will be thrilled with the varied offerings in old-time and bluegrass. Classes in swing, improvisation, and blues round out an immersion experience that any fiddle player will love. The week also includes classes in guitar, focusing on accompaniment in various styles, and there are related offerings for the fiddle’s bigger siblings, the cello and bass. Certain classes are open to all instruments, allowing for a full class load for these instrumentalists. This inaugural online version of Fiddle Week will offer the intimacy of playing close up in a room through the magic of technology. Every student will be sitting in the front row of the class.
For the classes with levels indicated, students are asked to place themselves in the appropriate level. Most classes are taught at the intermediate or advanced level, but we continue to offer “Fiddle from Scratch” for students who want to gain confidence in learning and playing by ear, and for those who are new to the instrument. Intermediate classes are appropriate for advanced players who would like to explore a style that is new to them, or for experienced players who need to get more fluent playing by ear. The advanced classes are designed to build on previous experience in the style.
Fiddle Week runs concurrently with Mando & Banjo Week, and students may take classes in either program. Each evening, students and staff from both weeks will be able to play together as a community in staff-led jams of different styles. In addition, this year, folk legend Janis Ian will be offering her “Master Class in Artistry” during all five weeks of SGOnline.