Learn Violin with Linda

Old Time Tunes

Linda L.
TakeLessons Live Instructor
Live-clock-goldClass length: 60 Min
Level: Intermediate

About this class

This class is for intermediate and advanced violinists who want to learn to fiddle. We'll look at bowings, ornaments, double-stops, and rhythms that give fiddle tunes that "fiddley" sound. Any violinist can become a fiddler!

For the next class, on June 9, you'll learn several well-known old time tunes.

The class will be co-taught by Linda L. and her music partner, Karen H. Both are members of the award-winning band, Simple Gifts and frequently perform on fiddle as well as other folk instruments.

About Linda L.

I'm a professional performer who's played music since age 7, led musicians' workshops and camps since 1998, and has taught private lessons for almost 10 years. My teaching is focused on helping adult musicians improve and enjoy their playing. My basic philosophy is that music is not a competition, that music is best when played with others, and that you're never too old to start. We'll aim for both good technique and enjoyment of playing, but if we had to choose one, enjoying your instrument is the top priority. I try to make your lessons fun, to challenge you without giving you more than you can handle, and to be absolutely responsive to what you want to learn. Years ago, I had an amazing voice teacher. She never asked me to do anything I found difficult, and my singing kept improving anyhow. That's the kind of teacher I aspire to be. I want you to get better on your instrument without it being difficult or frustrating.

MY BAND: When I'm not teaching, I tour professionally with the folk/world music duo, Simple Gifts, where I play fiddle, hammered dulcimer, old-time banjo, bowed psaltery, and recorders. Before Covid, we toured in a 10-state area, played about 100 concerts per year, and performed at major venues such as the Smithsonian, National Theater, Regina Quick Center, and Riviera Theater. Our repertoire includes a huge variety of genres: old time, bluegrass, country, Irish, Scottish, French Canadian, Klezmer, Greek, Romanian, Bulgarian, Ukrainian, Scandinavian, and more. You can see a video sampler of our concerts below.

MY MUSIC CAMPS: About 25 years ago, I established two weekend-long musicians' camps: Folk College and Greenwood Furnace Folk Gathering. These events, programmed and overseen by me, have included internationally-known musicians such as John McCutcheon, Rory Block, April Verch, and Bruce Molsky. I've taught workshops such as How to Jam, Hearing Chord Changes, Klezmer Tunes, Simplified Versions of Common Tunes, Tunes That are Cooler Than Hard, Backing Up a Singer, and How to Play Tunes You Don't Know. My reason for starting these music camps is the amount of competitiveness I've seen at other events. I wanted to create an event that would be friendly, nurturing, and encouraging, with all instruments playing together.

MY RECORDINGS: I've recorded six CDs with my band, Simple Gifts. The most recent, "Journeys: Music of Many Lands" won a Global Music Award. Our previous album, "Crossing Borders," won an award from Indie Acoustic, and the one before that, "Time and Again," won a Crossroads Music Award.

MY TEACHING STYLE: I'm very open to teaching you whatever you want to learn, but am also ready to guide you if you aren't sure. I don't follow a specific teaching method. Everyone gets taught differently, a combination of what you need and what you want. I only teach adults, so my teaching style is focused on the way adults learn. I especially enjoy teaching older adults. I believe in learning by ear, rather than reading sheet music, because that way you use your ears, rather than your eyes, to learn. But I understand some people need sheet music, and I'm ok with it. I think everyone that plays should understand the music theory behind it, but I've seen many eyes glaze over when I've started talking about theory, so I'm sensitive to that and introduce it in small bites that relate directly to whatever you're playing. And again, above all, my top priority is that you learn to love your instrument and get great joy and satisfaction from playing it.