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Introducing FIddling to School String Orchestra

Posted by fiddlerdi on Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Yesterday there was a request on the Fiddle-L list for ideas to help a young teacher introduce fiddling styles to her string orchestra. As a classically trained person who was longing for some portal to fiddling as a kid I was wondering what some of your opinions might be about how you would approach this topic, so I will post it on the forum. The ideas from Fiddle-L ranged from using Bob Phillips, Fiddlers Harmonic, to why waste time trying to give kids a taste of fiddling when that wouldn't be the "real thing" usinig an arrangement.  Alternative Styles playing has become a very accepted and exciting teaching concept for some of the school programs. All the strings, violins, violas, cellos and basses must be included to some extent while undertaking this approach.

My opinion is that any exposure to hearing a violin used in a setting other than classical is a step in the right direction. I can honestly say that during the course of my early grade school and junior high school, my only exposure was some watery arrangements from a broadway musical or soup music. Of course, it was here in Kansas and I am pretty sure that it might have been better elsewhere.  As average as it was, I couldn't wait to play that music over classical.  I know there are kids sitting in orchestra out there right now feeling the same way. A lot is beinng done but we could do a lot more for those kids.

3 comments on “Introducing FIddling to School String Orchestra”

OTJunky Says:
Tuesday, September 11, 2007 @5:00:18 PM

What level are the kids at - Grade School, Jr. High or High School?


fiddlerdi Says:
Tuesday, September 11, 2007 @5:03:36 PM

Grade School and Jr High, 5th, 6th, 7th and 8th graders.

ladymuse Says:
Tuesday, September 11, 2007 @7:29:39 PM

Perfect age! - and there are, with CDS, melbay's fiddling for cellos, and violas. Bass, well, they gotta learn to plunk! But even bowing, an arrangement could be written, although simpler to incorporate the lower instruments speed factor -

Check out amazon or Melbay - (+the different instruments)
I just saw these last night -

Give a concert at the end as a bit of a choreographed hoedown -
there are probably drama/dancers there, too
What a great opportunity!


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