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Learn English, Irish, Scottish and other fiddle tunes by ear, exploring their core rhythms, bowing patterns and left-hand techniques, at the same time developing your aural skills and muscle memory to play them confidently, and in traditional style, by heart.  


Resident: £320 Non-Resident: £232 (25% off for under 27s) Code: 21/259

Booking for Members opens at 9am on Monday 11 January 2021. 

Non-Member and online booking opens at 9am on Monday 8 February 2021. 

For details on how to become a Member to take advantage of early booking, see here.

What is the course about?

Learning by ear and playing by heart, while standard practice in the folk world, may seem daunting if you have only ever played from written music. How do fiddle players remember tunes? Is muscle memory really a thing? Can we develop an internal model of the tune that provides as exact and reliable a playing guide as notation? And what is meant by ‘groove’? Pete Cooper welcomes newcomers and old hands alike to the rich world of traditional fiddle music and will explore scales, dance rhythms, bowing patterns and left-hand ornamentation as part and parcel of each tune, be it a jig, hornpipe, strathspey, reel, polka or slow air. Feel free to record tunes on your phone.

Tutor website: www.petecooper.com

What will we cover?

Fiddle tunes, mainly from Britain and Ireland, e.g., polkas, jigs, reels. Effective ways of learning them. Relevant style and playing techniques. 

What will we accomplish? By the end of this course you will be able to…

You will be able to play half a dozen traditional fiddle tunes by heart.

What level is the course and do I need any particular skills?

No prior knowledge of folk styles essential, though welcome. Ability to listen to notes and to find them, with help, on your instrument.  

Standard: Improver, Confident

How will the course be taught, and will any preparation be required?

No specific preparation required by participants. Tunes are learned by the whole group together, with space for individual and/or small-group practice. Gentle, yoga-based warm-ups encourage the free, subtle movement and strength needed for tuneful, rhythmic playing. 

Will music be provided in advance of the course?

No. Participants may record tunes. Notation will be available at the end of the course.

Is there anything I need to bring?

Comfortable clothes, an open mind. Recording device, e.g. mobile phone (optional). 

What previous participants said about this course…

“Pete Cooper is a very good tutor. The sessions were fairly demanding, but not stressful. This is my 3rd fiddle course, and I have gained a lot of confidence from all of them.”

“Challenging but very rewarding.”