This style of fiddle music is unique throughout the world, in all Celtic circles. Classes offered in Cape Breton Fiddle will focus on techniques such as bowing, grace notes, tempos and the swing that is so reminiscent of the Cape Breton style of music; a style rooted in the Gaelic language of Cape Breton Island and Nova Scotia. Time will be spent discussing and learning some of the various types of tunes including airs, jigs, marches, strathspeys, and reels. Sheet music will be used in class, but time will also be spent teaching music by ear, as this is a common method of learning for many Cape Breton musicians. The traditional Gaelic language, music and culture of Cape Breton Island and Nova Scotia are based on oral transmission.
The very basics of fiddle will be taught at this level. Fundamentals include how to hold the fiddle, how to hold the bow, what the strings are on the fiddle, as well as your first notes will be covered. A basic tune with a simple melody will be taught in this class. Sheet music will be used and ear-training techniques will also be employed. Prerequisite: No prior experience necessary.
In this class students will learn two or more of the following: strathspey, march, jig, reel, air. Sheet music will be used and ear-training techniques will also be employed. Prerequisite: Able to play 2 -3 tunes at a slow to moderate pace.
In this class, students will continue to develop their bowing techniques, they will build upon their existing repertoire of tunes (in at least 3 keys). A strong emphasis will be placed on timing. Sheet music will be used and ear-training techniques will also be employed. Prerequisite: Have a good knowledge of marches, strathspeys, reels, and jigs in the common major and minor keys. Be able to play tunes at a moderate pace.
At the advanced level of instruction, time will be spent looking at the very intricate components of this Gaelic style of fiddle playing. Grace notes, slurs, cuts, doublings and more of the detailed embellishments that define the style will be the focus of this class. Additionally, emphasis will be placed on developing timing. All types of tunes representative of this style, in many different keys, will be taught. Sheet music will be used and ear-training techniques will also be employed. Prerequisites: Have the ability to read music quite well. Be able to play all tunes at full tempo.