North East Fiddle School has now completed a whole year and 10th January 2019 is our first birthday! And what a wonderful year it has been. The support from the participants has been outstanding – their commitment and good will are vital to the success of the project. We’ve also benefited from the work of some great tutors: Grace Smith threw her energies into helping us get started, Sophy Ball has been a guest tutor on a couple of occasions, Jim Boyle joined us for a 5-week session and now we have the wonderful Melissa Whitehead who is proving to be such a popular and effective tutor. A special thank you to Ali Say who has put in a tremendous amount of work to help me set up and maintain NEFS, and who continues to throw her considerable energies at the project to ensure the smooth running of the school from week to week and term to term.
For the next block we will be running Level 2 and Level 3 classes. Melissa will be taking some simple tunes and showing Level 2 how the design of the fiddle allows us easily to play them in different keys. I will support that by showing how “hand frames” help us to play in tune and access many different keys. For Level 3, I will be looking at what happens to tunes with 3 beats in the bar (triple-time tunes) when they are played with swing and Melissa will help you find the best way to achieve that swing with the bow.