Join Sarah Hotchkiss, fiddler and teacher with Woodbury Strings, Young Tradition Vermont and the Northeast Heritage Music Camp for a fun and skill development packed introduction to playing music iwth others in a full folk band setting.  This five week fiddle class is for advanced beginners and early intermediate adults students who can play a one octave D scale and a two octave G scale and at least a handful of simple tunes in those keys.
​Fiddles, violas, cellos, guitars, mandolins, and banjos will all be a good fit for this class!​
  We'll explore rhythm, timing, harmony, intonation, tone quality, expression, ensemble playing and stylistic elements of traditional Welsh
​ fiddle​
tunes. Participants will be given one or more tunes to work on in advance of the
​session in order to prepare for the first class if they wish (but not required).  Participants are not required to be able to read music to participate in this class, but sheet music will be provided for those who feel more comfortable with that way of learning.  We'll do much of the work by ear with sheet music as a backup for those who need it. Each class will be progressive from the prior class with additional tunes to learn as we go along.  The final session will include a family gathering
​and ​
an informal sharing of the group
s progress, followed by a pot luck weather permitting
​ (A rain alternative will be indoors followed by a potluck).  I
f you have questions about whether this class if a fit for you, contact Sarah Hotchkiss.

CLASS ONE, June 14th 2018 7:30 - 8:30 pm.  Joined by John Mowad for guitar assistance.

This class will focus on "finding our sound" which will include playing some scales to get in tune with good tone.  Participants, including chord players, will be encouraged to identify the notes they are playing and play all the individual notes and arpeggios of the D scale, and possibly the G scale if all goes well.  A chord progression will be added.  Following this we'll "slow jam" the tune for the evening, "The Minstrel's Strain" starting with the melody.  Those who read standard notation are encouraged to try to play by ear, though the use of sheet music will be fine for those who feel more comfortable (a music stand and pencil will be handy!). Tablature and recordings are provided below.  We'll also explore the use of a harmony written by A. Peekstok.

Recording of Sarah Hotchkiss (fiddle) and John Mowad (guitar): Minstrel's Strain Fiddle and Guitar mp3

Recording of Minstrel's Strain melody:  Minstrel's Strain Fiddle Melody

Recording of Minstrel's Strain Simplified:   Minstrel's Strain Simplified

Sheet Music with chords and tablature

Simplified Sheet Music and Tab




CLASS TWO, June 28 2018 7:30 - 8:30 pm  Joined by John Mowad for guitar assistance.

During class two we will begin to explore the basics of theory (if we haven't already started during the first class) using the chord charts above so that we can begin to understand how to construct some harmony and understand how to play with basic I - IV -V chords and communicate with chord players in a session or rehearsal setting.  We will build on this each class.  We will also review the Minstrel's Strain and begin to rehearse a second tune that will be provided shortly after the first class that will include more parts.  These will be made available here as soon as they are ready.

CLASS THREE, July 12 2018 7:30 - 8:30 pm

During class three we will begin to talk about Welsh music and some of the nuances of the genre in addition to continuing with the skills that we are developing and music that we are learning from class one and two.  Below are some of my favorite and most accessible tunes that I enjoy teaching that we will begin to explore.  Class participants are encouraged to download these and begin listening and learning any or all of these tunes on their own during the session in order to begin to appreciate these beautiful Welsh melodies as well as prepare them for possible jamming on our last event.

Disclamer:  These tunes were recorded in the studio for students and have imperfections in the recording such as someone humming and a text message notice, for example.  Please keep this in mind! These are for class participant educational use only! Thanks!

Black as Coal

Ffidl Ffadl in G

Harlech's Cry

Huw Puw's Barge

Pwt Ar Y Bis

Queen's Marsh

The Cuckoo

The best tune book to get started on learning to play Welsh tunes is by Sian Phillips and can be purchased at the Burlington Violin Shop or on Amazon.

CLASS FOUR, July 26 2018 7:30 - 8:30 pm

Topic to be announced. In this class we'll also prepare what we have learned for our "sharing" that will take place with friends and family on August 5th.


AUGUST 5th 4:30 - pm7 (roughly)

This will be a sharing of our work with friends and family followed by a Welsh jam session (plus any other tunes participants would enjoy jamming on) followed by a potluck at the Ethan Allen Homestead Picnic Shelter in Burlington Vermont.  Please check out this page for more information about Welsh Music plus links to tunes and music sites....