Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Are you a fiddler?

I can almost recall... was it registering for something or paying to get into a festival? Something involving standing in line with my fiddle slung over my shoulder. I've got a hard shell case with an old brief case strap hooked to it. The person dealing with me asked if I was a fiddler. I stammered something to the effect that I was trying to fiddle. Liz said of course I was a fiddler. She pointed out how much time and effort I'd put into fiddling. But, I lacked the confidence to cross over from student to fiddler. And, from time to time the same question would come up. What an encouraging moment to answer back, 'Yeah, I'm a fiddler." A change from what one does to what one is. Instead of not much response (because I said basically that I didn't know how to fiddle), now I get questions about what sort of music do I play, what's the difference between a fiddle and a violin, or information about folks in the area who play similar music.

I'm thinking that most any adult can direct their own learning. It is helpful to be able to state your goals and method. So, if you still think of yourself as a student, do you think about what steps you need to take to move yourself to the next level? If you think of yourself as a fiddler or (insert your instrument's name here:_________) player, what sorts of things are you doing to keep always learning something new?

Groups of musicians are very helpful in this regard. When you play with others, you can observe new techniques up close and personal. Asking questions will help you to learn new ways of talking about the steps that you're learning to take.

1 comment:

Bob Nation said...

Am I a fiddler? You bet! Don't ask me if I'm a good fiddler because I'm not really good. (but, I ain't as bad as I was!)

the goal I have ser for myself is to improve. It is a goal that always leaves room.