Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Adult Classes

Fiddle Class for Adults (From "Scratch")

Teaching a group of adults to play the fiddle from scratch can be a lot of fun. The ideal group is 4-6 players, enough that they can see different speeds and levels of learning but not so many that you won’t be able to answer lots and lots of questions from each student. I set up all of my classes in a circle sitting down. Check the chairs to make sure they’re comfortable - some chairs stack safely for taller players. A class from scratch can go a lot like a private lesson with scales, discussion of a technical issue, reviewing old tunes, and teaching a new tune.

Slow Jam

A slow jam is a great thing to have in a community for beginners on all instruments. A slow jam is a group of people coming together to play tunes at slow tempos. It seems to help if there are refreshments. There is no teaching - it’s a jam and not a class. You can have the group pick out tunes that everyone or most people know or you can just have a leader who picks a mix of old and new tunes.

A slow jam works especially well if you have more than one experienced musician to share the burden of leading tunes. Having others help lead can also give you an opportunity to work on a new instrument. When I lead a slow jam I usually play the tune once at a medium tempo and then three to four more times at a slow tempo. Fast learners or experienced musicians will have often have the tune by the end, and everyone will have picked up a little part of it even if it was brand new.

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