Friday, April 01, 2011

The One Who Started It All...

This man is the reason my daughter is fiddling. When Haley was 4yo, we were in the library one day and I happened to notice a poster on the events board advertising a local concert with Kevin Burke and Cal Scott. I thought it would be nice to introduce Haley to a different kind of "violin" music and for her to hear live music.

We went to the concert and sat in the very front row. She was enthralled...sitting in rapt attention, tapping her feet, clapping her hands. At the intermission, we walked over to the table where there were CDs and a How to Play Celtic Fiddle DVD. She begged me to buy that DVD. The lady selling the items told her it was something for older people but I bought it anyway. We also bought a CD and we listened to it all the way home.

The next day, I put the DVD on, handed Haley her fiddle, and went to catch up on email. She came in a few minutes later playing a tune. The next day I did the same thing and she learned another tune.

A couple weeks later we were attending a Suzuki Institute and one day Haley and I were the first in the room for masterclass so she was fooling around with her fiddle tunes. A mother and daughter walked in and the little girl said she knew the tune so she and Haley began playing it together. The mother told me that her daughter's Suzuki teacher does fiddling with her group class once a month. That sparked the idea to find Haley a fiddle teacher.

When we got home, I found the local Irish society on the internet and someone gave me the name of a local fiddle happened to be the lady selling the CDs and DVDs that night at the concert. She wasn't sure about starting a child so young but after we met her and she heard Haley playing her Kevin Burke tunes, all her doubts were resolved and she taught Haley until about a year ago. She is also one of the leaders for the Next Generation kids Irish session so we still see her fairly regularly.

We attend every concert within driving distance if Kevin is playing...actually any live concert we are able to get to no matter who's playing. Haley learned every tune on his CDs and on youtube videos, she emails him now and then and we also attended a summer Celtic music camp so she could have workshops with him. This week he and his guitarist (also a songwriter/composer whose music I could listen to all day), Cal Scott, gave workshops Wednesday and a concert Thursday with a local string quartet so they could perform their Irish Session Suite. It was lovely to hear it much different than a CD.

At the workshop, Kevin told Haley he "hates" to have her in his workshops because she knows all his tunes and he always teaches something she knows already especially this time because there were a number of people there who'd never played Irish music and it had to be something fairly easy to grasp. At the end of the workshop when someone asked him to play something he had written he asked Haley to play Across the Black River with him and she was thrilled. 

Cal had only two adult guitarists and Dylan in his class. He said Dylan helped him teach the class and was very positive about the advances in Dylan's playing in the part year. He went to dinner with us and a couple other families and sat next to Dylan talking guitar. Haley had a blast playing with the other kids who will all be going to the Fleadh this weekend and are now fast friends.

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