Sunday, August 26, 2012

Fiddle Camp: Day 1

The coffee is brewing and the campers are outside behind the barn, a happy tent city. There are people at this event from North Carolina, Virginia, Vermont, Mass, New York, PA, and Ohio. Last night the ones who were staying here in tents, sat around a roaring campfire with guitars, banjos, and our stories. It was a happyy scene if there ever was one. Ajay sang ballads of the Burger Den and Evil Thor (one of my aggressive roosters) and folks sipped cider and Guinness in lawn chairs under the stars. Everyone seemed happy, and everyone seemed tired.

Our first day of Fiddle Camp turned out to be, in actuality, Fiddle Boot Camp. And I mean that in the way that the day was long and hot, and we did not stop lessons and practice sessions for six hours straight. But I can say this: people came here not sure how to rosin a bow and ended the day learning their first scale, song, and performing in front of other campers. When a quiet camper named Sarah stood up at the end of the day and perfectly played her first tune, Ida Red. Her husband Clay (driver and moral support) told me later he never thought people could pick it up in one day. He was happy to see his girl so very happy, and I was proud of her and everyone who arrived.

People do learn at their own paces, but I've learned from this event that even the person who struggled the most was keeping up. One woman came to me, confused, and pointed to a pile of tabulator in the book asking a frantic question. She talked about her confusion while showing me the finger positions on the fretboard and talking about the string and notes and I wanted to hug her. She didn't get my happy look because she was trying to solve a puzzle, but all I could think of was that 5 hours ago she had no idea what a scale, fretboard, or finger positions was and now she was tuning her own fiddle and learning a song. Even in their fray of frustration and determination there is so much already learned!

I'm heading out to help with coffee, but I will update with more later! So far this camp has been an amazing success and everyone is eager and doing well. Music is in the air and spirits are high!


Anonymous nytesong said...

It must be so wonderful to see people learning to make music.

I really, really, really hope to one day be able to attend one of your workshops. I've been a long time blog (and book!) reader and I admire you very much.

August 26, 2012 at 8:33 AM  
Blogger Tiffany said...

Rock on! Sounds like day one was a complete success! So wish I was there-one day, I will get there for a workshop.

August 26, 2012 at 8:49 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I love reading this. I've been taking lessons from a great local musician and teacher for about 2 months. Sometimes I struggle, sometimes not. I like reading about other beginners and how different the experiences are. Lately, I've been getting a little disheartened by playing - ONLY because I've been busy with life and do not have a lot of time to practice. This has given me some motivation to find more time. Good luck to everyone!!! It's a fun instrument.:)

August 26, 2012 at 9:23 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I admire your ability (in every way) to make good, interesting things happen in your life.

August 26, 2012 at 10:20 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

A violin has a fingerboard. Does a fiddle have a fretboard? Hmm, as a classically trained violinist I haven't come across that term. But then again I have never fiddled!

Glad to see folks learning and loving music. Keep up the good work!

Heather in PA

August 26, 2012 at 10:47 PM  

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