Preferred method of communication:Email
I have taught Irish fiddle off and on for 23 years. Raised in Lynchburg with deep roots in Halifax County, I fell in love with Irish fiddle as a teenager and spent a great deal of time in Ireland (including doing an MA in ethnomusicology from the University of Limerick). I co-founded the Blue Ridge Irish Music School in Charlottesville, and then went to NYU to get a Ph.D. in music with a dissertation on gender in Irish traditional music. My book, Trad Nation: Gender, Sexuality, and Race in Irish Traditional Music, was published by Wesleyan University Press in early 2020. As a player, I specialize in the style and repertoire of Sliabh Luachra--and as a teacher, I focus on giving students the basics for any Irish style. I also won a 2nd place medal in slow airs at the Fleadh Cheoil na hÉireann (All-Ireland) in 2001 and was a member of the band Roaring Mary, which was active from about 1998-2001. I taught music at Beloit College from 2012-2019, and directed the North Atlantic Music Ensemble, which became a vibrant community for a surprising number of Beloit students.
Because American students often do not have the nuances of Irish style in our heads when we begin playing, I help students focus on techniques that will help them learn the style as well as the tunes. I believe in the adages "practice makes better" and "slow and steady wins the race"--patiently working with students to help them get tunes sounding good and "lift-y" when played slowly, and working up to session speed. For me, success means that a student (1) finds joy in the music and/or its community; (2) plays with solid, danceable rhythm; (3) reduces the chance of pain from repetitive strain injuries or tension; and (4) cultivates a generosity of spirit in sharing tunes, time, and help with others.
Although I have taught students as young as 6, I am more adept at teaching students 10 and up.
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Some Supplies You Might Need
Fiddle (violin) and a way to record and play back mp3s and videos.
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