2017 Fiddle Class

All Students are expected to bring their own instrument.

Scottish Fiddle Class will focus heavily on the rhythm, tempo, accents and ornamentation that make that fiddle “sound.”  Emerald’s aim is to demystify the process and open your mind to fundamentals that will stick with you and guide you through your fiddling life. We will learn some classic tunes and discuss how to go about adding “the dirt”, how to make tunes danceable and how to build your repertoire. The music learned in this class will be primarily by ear, which involves quite a bit of listening, so bringing a recording device is highly recommended. If you are new to learning by ear, this course will provide an in depth step-by-step process for absorbing tunes. Sheet music will be provided also at the end of the week. Expand your horizons and discover how to “think like a fiddler”. Emerald believes strongly that confidence building is key to reaching your full potential. Her approach is fluid and improvisational, allowing you to grasp key concepts, gain confidence and develop your style quickly and easily.  All burning questions welcome here!

Repertoire covered will include strathspeys, reels, jigs and aires. Emerald will build a set (or medley) of tunes that can be brought home, refined, and performed for years to come. Whether you are are destined to become a professional fiddler, or are branching into fiddling as a compliment to your classical playing, you will learn a lot this week. Emerald will also provide an overview of the history of Scottish music in general, and fiddling in particular, and give insight into how the style has developed as it traveled to Cape Breton and throughout the rest of North America.


About our 2017 Fiddle Instructor

Emerald Rae – Fiddle
Photo by Louise Bichan

Known for her powerhouse dance tunes and technical prowess, Emerald Rae is an adept and masterfully soulful fiddler. Growing up in a musical family where performance was encouraged from a young age, Emerald fell in love with Scottish fiddle music and never looked back.
As skilled performer, a champion fiddler, and an avid historian, Emerald is deeply passionate, experienced and knowledgeable about presenting the tradition in an engaging way. She studied with Barbara McOwen, Boston’s leading Scottish music historian and co-author of “The Glengarry Collection”, and travelled all over the US, Canada and Scotland to take workshops and soak up the culture. Her accolades include the New England Scottish Fiddle Championship at age 16, the US National Championship at 18, and was recently made an official Scottish FIRE judge. Emerald graduated from Berklee College of Music with a degree in Film Scoring at 20, and spent a year living in Glasgow studying early 18th century fiddle manuscripts. She teaches workshops and lectures in Fiddle, Crwth and Stepdance.