Students start off being able to play a tune (or duet) right from day one, progressing to learning tunes from a variety of styles including old-time fiddle, bluegrass, Celtic, jazz, and classical. The O’Connor Method along with FiddleQuest provide a great selection of repertoire, and students are encouraged to figure out their favorite songs on their own by ear.
I emphasize learning how to hear and “think music” the way we “think language.” Once a student has a good grasp on what different rhythm, chord, and melody patterns sound like, I introduce reading using the innovative, research-based Music Learning Theory approach in conjunction with the Sassmannshaus String Method.
Ensemble classes are a big part of my program because playing with others and being part of a community is highly motivating. In addition to hosting monthly workshops, I encourage students to learn and play at fiddle festivals, jams, and music camps across Southern California.
For my youngest students (3-7), I use a variety of songs, games, and activities to build a strong foundation in music and introduce violin playing gradually, starting with simple duets.
Public performance is never a requirement, but there will be opportunities to perform at local community events, fiddle contests, and more.