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Finding an instructor/tutor
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Amateur
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March 11, 2019 - 9:18 pm
Member Since: August 29, 2017
Forum Posts: 84
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How do I go about finding a fiddle teacher? I live in a rural area quite a distance from any major city. Even the closest violin shop is in another state. Perusing what I could, it seems the few violin instructors around concentrate on preparing children for orchestral careers.

I'm looking for an instructor that could help me learn to become a halfway decent fiddler, with concentration in the old-time, celtic, bluegrass, folk, country genres though I'm open to learning other genres.

I've thought about posting on craigslist but I'm not sure if any instructors would be perusing it. The local guitar shop is of no help. Not really sure where to look but I'm feeling that I'm really plateauing with self-instruction.

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cid
March 11, 2019 - 9:49 pm
Member Since: December 26, 2018
Forum Posts: 1378
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@Amateur In reading your situation, and I can somewhat relate, I think maybe this might help.

If your area has a local newspaper, even a local newspaper app, try putting an ad in the classifieds stating you are lookimg for someone to teach you fiddle. There could be someone out in a driveable distance from you who knows how to play and would want to teach it. I would not go too far for this because you don’t exactly know who this person is. I would also not go to the first few by myself. I would also make sure others knew the name address and phone number of the person you and your friend are going to. Might be extreme, but that is me. Maybe you could have a friend go everytime anyway because that person could help you remember what was taught, and be able to understand the hold and bowing to make sure you have it right. That is one avenue.

Here is another avenue. Is there a local college nearby? Maybe you could put an ad on their bulletin board. Maybe (s)he could even arrange with the college to be able to use an empty room?  I actually have a college student for my cello instructor. He is through the music store and I go there. He is really good. Pays attention to my playing form and intonation and does not just sit there playing with me.

Personally, I would not use Craigslist. 

I don’t know how far along you are, but Essential Elements for Strings is a great series and you could do it without a teacher. Suzuki is not as good and really needs a Suzuki trained instructor. 

I have Essential Elements for Strings for my violin, viola and cello. It advances nicely. Not sure if you would want to start with book 1 or book 2, because I don’t know how far along you are. The third book is a technique book and is really advanced. Following this series, you would be moving forward with an organized learning process and advance on when you are ready, But, what is really cool is that they are online interactive. You get a code on the inside of each book cover. You create an account and register your book or books. All the violin, fiddle, would be one account. If you later took up viola and used that series, you would create an account for that instrument. Oodles of info is available there, you can have it play each song and exercise, and you can play along. You can choose an accompaniment instrument if you want. I think you can change the default tempo of the song, you can record yourself(I have not done that). It is a nice series that has a lot of instruction. 

Hope all of this helps.

They call me, “Mellow Cello” 

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damfino
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March 12, 2019 - 11:05 am
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I agree with checking with a local college. There might be a music student looking to earn $$ on the side, or even a teacher there that will take on adults.

In my area, there are a number of routes to take, colleges, music shops with fiddle teachers willing to take on adults. I did the music shop route to start with, and had a good teacher. Just the past month I made a switch after not having lessons for a year. I found someone via instagram that was starting to offer lessons on skype. (she was someone I followed already and knew I enjoyed her fiddling style). I decided to give that a go, and I rather like it. I do think hands on is good in the beginning, but if that option isn't available, skype is a good way to go, and it opens up your options to so many different fiddlers. 
 
Now, you did mention that the few teachers in the area seem to focus on young kids getting them ready for orchestra, etc. Have you reached out to them at all? Maybe you could have a one-off lesson to get yourself going, and then move on to skype? Or perhaps they would surprise you and be a good fit for what you are looking for.

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Fiddlerman
Fort Lauderdale
March 12, 2019 - 11:27 am
Member Since: September 26, 2010
Forum Posts: 14747

Exactly. Remembering from when I went to school, both my friends and I were happy to give lessons. It's a great way to get better as a performer as well. We analyze our students and learn by correcting their mistakes and giving tips.

"The richest person is not the one who has the most,
but the one who needs the least."

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cid
March 12, 2019 - 12:14 pm
Member Since: December 26, 2018
Forum Posts: 1378
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Also, let family and friends know. Ask them to let you know if anyone they know plays vioin/fiddle. It does not necessarily have to be someone who plays fiddle music. The basics are the same. Word of mouth. 

Also, how about the loca school district music depatments? Call and ask to speak to the instructor. That instructor may know of someone. 

Do you do Facebook? I don’t, but if you do, put up a post and mention how far ypu are will to travel. One of your friends might know of someone.

They call me, “Mellow Cello” 

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HP
Trondheim, Norway
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March 12, 2019 - 12:40 pm
Member Since: October 11, 2012
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Could place a ad on a bulletin board where fiddlers frequently roam or perform. Or at a university that offer music degrees or college. I think that would be the best bet, although it wouldn't harm placing an ad on Craigslist, local news paper or on Facebook or other social media.

'Armed with theory, practice becomes meaningful. Through practice, theory becomes fulfilled.' - Egon von Neindorff.

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AndrewH
Sacramento, California
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March 12, 2019 - 5:26 pm
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cid said
@Amateur In reading your situation, and I can somewhat relate, I think maybe this might help.

If your area has a local newspaper, even a local newspaper app, try putting an ad in the classifieds stating you are lookimg for someone to teach you fiddle. There could be someone out in a driveable distance from you who knows how to play and would want to teach it. I would not go too far for this because you don’t exactly know who this person is. I would also not go to the first few by myself. I would also make sure others knew the name address and phone number of the person you and your friend are going to. Might be extreme, but that is me. Maybe you could have a friend go everytime anyway because that person could help you remember what was taught, and be able to understand the hold and bowing to make sure you have it right. That is one avenue.

Here is another avenue. Is there a local college nearby? Maybe you could put an ad on their bulletin board. Maybe (s)he could even arrange with the college to be able to use an empty room?  I actually have a college student for my cello instructor. He is through the music store and I go there. He is really good. Pays attention to my playing form and intonation and does not just sit there playing with me.

Personally, I would not use Craigslist. 

I don’t know how far along you are, but Essential Elements for Strings is a great series and you could do it without a teacher. Suzuki is not as good and really needs a Suzuki trained instructor. 

I have Essential Elements for Strings for my violin, viola and cello. It advances nicely. Not sure if you would want to start with book 1 or book 2, because I don’t know how far along you are. The third book is a technique book and is really advanced. Following this series, you would be moving forward with an organized learning process and advance on when you are ready, But, what is really cool is that they are online interactive. You get a code on the inside of each book cover. You create an account and register your book or books. All the violin, fiddle, would be one account. If you later took up viola and used that series, you would create an account for that instrument. Oodles of info is available there, you can have it play each song and exercise, and you can play along. You can choose an accompaniment instrument if you want. I think you can change the default tempo of the song, you can record yourself(I have not done that). It is a nice series that has a lot of instruction. 

Hope all of this helps.  

I agree about Essential Elements. I used a combination of Essential Elements for technical instruction and Suzuki for supplemental repertoire when I started out self-teaching.

The Doflein method is excellent, but moves too fast at the very beginning; consider switching to it after you're familiar with all the basic techniques.

Also, if you're stuck teaching yourself, seriously consider buying Simon Fischer's The Violin Lesson and/or Basics. They're not really method books, but they're excellent reference books that contain exercises and explanations for virtually every aspect of playing violin.

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GregW
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March 12, 2019 - 6:00 pm
Member Since: February 9, 2019
Forum Posts: 467
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You said you had teachers there that concentrate on preparing children for violin.  Id just use one of them if they were willing.  Im sure youve done this but search out online for string band associations.  Also, look for contra, square, barn dance kind of events even if they are an hour or more away.  Might be worth checking if any of the muscians live close to you and just travel to events.  Sometimes these string band groups meet in unlikely places like restaraunts.  Theres a group here several counties over that meet at an ihop...go figure.  Also check with your state parks..I know that one of our  local groups will meetup in them some as well.

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