Two levels of fiddle instruction are available on a weekly basis at Pleasantview Community Hall, 10860-57 Avenue. Classes begin at 7:00 pm and run for approximately one hour at a cost of $5.00 per week. Non-members are welcome to try out a class for a week or two, and to become members of the Wild Rose Old Tyme Fiddlers Association if they wish to continue lessons.
This class is suited to people with some familiarity with music, although it is not necessary to read music. Students will acquire fiddle fundamentals of bowing, fingering, scales and arpeggios while learning old time music tunes in a group setting.
This hour long class is for beginners of any age who can play at least one simple tune on the fiddle, showing some knowledge of the strings and the bow. Teaching tunes is mainly done by ear, with sheet music provided as a reference, and students are encouraged to bring a recording device to class to use as further reference in practicing between lessons. The music selection is commonly played music, such as Log Driver’s Waltz or Redwing, with a set list of tunes to work through in class between September and June. Newcomers can join at any time, although will find it easier if they start in the fall, and will be provided with copies of the set list.
Beginners who want to supplement their group instruction with a private lesson immediately following the class are welcome to discuss arrangements for this at the class with the instructor, Laura Wallbank or phone her ahead at 780-973-5120.
Tunes Workshop (Intermediate level)
Intermediate players as well as “advanced beginners” looking to build their repertoire of old time tunes through a more “slow pitch” approach will enjoy this class. A booklet of 10-15 common tunes is provided to group members in September [or to new members who can join the group at any time through the season].
The class includes a few minutes of review of bowing patterns, scales and arpeggios, fingering patterns, reviews tunes from previous classes and works on the next new tune in the repertoire, building toward playing up to the actual tempo of the song. Instruction is both by ear and sheet music, with recording device recommended to help with practicing new tunes. Classes generally occur weekly from September to the end of June.
The instructor, Troy Gates, also leads monthly gigs at seniors’ facilities in the City of Edmonton. The gig group is fluid in membership, drawn from workshop students who are available and who have become reasonably proficient playing up to speed on tunes from a set list of songs.