An Education and fiddling (Classical)

An Education and fiddling (Classical)

Does anybody know of any good conservatories, colleges, or universities with traditional/folk/fiddling programs as well as a very good classical program? A classical violist/fiddler (me) is thinking ahead and looking for options for after her transfer of arts degree with music performance focus. Preferably they should be in the United States. I did hear there were some Canadian ones; anybody know anything about them? Expensive? High-quality (read: really hard to get into)?

Many thanks for assistance!

Re: An Education and fiddling (Classical)

Another option: find the right conservatory, and take lessons/play in sessions while you’re there. Not all knowledge is gained in school.

Re: An Education and fiddling (Classical)

i would agree. you wont find a good fiddling program as far as i am aware. you may find a good teacher, who happens to teach cassical, but that’s not the same as having a good program.

if you’re strapped in finding a good teacher, i would recommend having online lessons with james kelly. http://www.jameskellymusic.com/ (the link is on the right). heck, even if you do find a teacher near you, take a lesson or two with james online. you wont find a better teacher than james, and you will only find a few that are as talented musicians and as talented teachers (martin hayes comes to mind as one).

if you dont know who he is, it’s hard to describe how awesome it is that he gives online lessons. i’m sure face to face is better, but i’ll just say that james’ instruction is invaluable, and has changed the way i approach and listen to music forever. i dont even play the fiddle, i play the concertina—he teaches me how to play music. i have had 3 or 4 lessons over the last year, and let me tell you that i am still working on stuff he taught me the first lesson.

he is also very academic with his treatment of playing, which is even better, because you are looking for an academic perspective. for our lessons, he listens to my playing ahead of time, takes notes, and completely deconstructs what i am doing, explains to me how to approach the music, how to approach the instrument (keep in mind he is not a concertina player!), how to approach thinking about it and counting and more.

i cant recommend lessons with him enough. if you are serious about irish music, contact james.

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Re: An Education and fiddling (Classical)

You might want to check out Anne Lederman at the Royal Conservatory in Toronto. She is eclectic, to say the least: http://www.annelederman.com/teaching.htm. I know of one other violinist with the Royal Conservatory who is keen on ‘fiddling’; there may well be more.

Re: An Education and fiddling (Classical)

Thanks for all help!

I have a good teacher currently for fiddle, with classical training (also a viola teacher who knows traditional), but as I will have to leave both of them behind when I leave, I’d like to find a way to keep up with my fiddle. I’m not sure how able I’ll be to find good sessions or other players—as I’ve no doubt that the classical training will be rigorous—so if the college itself has a program, I can be sure to find people to play with and learn from.

Thanks for all the suggestions. I’ll look into the royal conservatory.

Re: An Education and fiddling (Classical)

looking at the toronto link, i’m weary of anything that is described as celtic. listen to the sound samples (and look the instructor up on youtube). if that’s the kind of thing you’re after, it may be worth a shot.

you might be better off going to a school in an area where there is an active scene. just having a program does not mean there is an active community. boston… new york… chicago… these all have great music colleges and great irish music scenes. call me old fashioned, but i’d rather be a bus transfer away from a session than a minute’s walk from an academic program!

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Re: An Education and fiddling (Classical)

What makes you suggest that there is not an ‘active scene’ in Toronto? I’m not saying there is; I’m just curious …

Re: An Education and fiddling (Classical)

i dont know. have you ever heard of the scene in toronto? i guess when i say active, i mean "overwhelmingly active." in the cities i mentioned, there are hundreds of musicians who play all the time, and at least several dozen who play professionally or at least could.

in my experience, cities like toronto have a small core of talented musicians who you can have a lot of fun with, but sadly have jobs like the rest of us, or touring schedules, and are not available to play with you ever day of the week like in the "more active" scenes. if i was going to move to a town for the music, i would move to a town where i could spend several years playing at sessions and always be meeting someone new.

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