All Students are expected to bring their own instrument. Please note that class sizes are LIMITED
Elke’s integrated approach to teaching builds technique, style, and repertoire; she teaches by ear as well as from written music. Students can expect to spend some time exploring different types of tunes in Scottish repertoire: slow airs, marches, jigs, strathspeys, and reels; hornpipes, scots measures, slip jigs, and other forms may also be included. We’ll learn bowing techniques and left-hand ornamentation to build Scottish style. Elke is experienced at teaching multiple levels, from seasoned beginners to advanced players.
Players can participate in evening jam sessions (including slow jams) to build repertoire. Morning class sessions will focus on technique and style; afternoon sessions will include repertoire and a variety of lecture/demo/participation classes. Some potential class topics include: focus on the details of how to get the most out of each type of tune; the history of Scottish music and fiddle composers in their cultural context; how to play for dancing; chords, accompaniment, harmonies, and improvisation within the context of Scottish fiddling; related styles. Students are encouraged to bring their questions to the workshop to help us decide where to focus our attention.
About our 2024 Fiddle Instructor
Please Note: Instructor(s) are subject to change based on enrollment
U.S. National Scottish Fiddle Champion Elke Baker‘s distinctive, dance-driven fiddle style has made her one of the most sought-after Scottish fiddlers of our time. Performing solo and with Ken Kolodner, Robin Bullock, bands Terpsichore, Sugar Beat, and others, Elke has both a range and depth of skill surpassed by very few. She has performed at the Kennedy Center, the Birchmere, Honolulu Academy of Arts, in most of the fifty States, and on four continents. She is world-renowned as a Scottish country dance musician, bandleader, and arranger, and recently headlined the RSCDS International Branch Event in Italy. A scholar of Scottish music, Elke taught for many years at the Washington Conservatory of Music, as Artist-in-Residence at Montgomery College, and as a panelist at Harvard University. Elke directs the Potomac Valley Scottish Fiddle Club, a non-profit Scottish music educational organization now in its 30th year. She has recorded nine albums, including recent releases On a Cold Winter’s Day with Ken Kolodner and Wait ’til You Hear This One! with Sugar Beat, and a world-premiere single, The Fingerlock, an ancient fiddle pibroch. Elke’s new release Better Days features waltzes, tangos, and other couple dances from around the world played with four of her ensembles. www.elkebaker.com