Music at My House: Fiddling with Kids

One of Jay's and my summer {Little Projects} is fiddling together.  If your kids take music lessons you know that it can be a challenge to keep up with their practicing during the summer months.  As a kid, my violin teacher kept our interest by declaring summer months the time for fiddling around-literally!

For those of you wondering what the difference between a violin and a fiddle is...well, there isn't any difference. A fiddle is a violin and a violin is a fiddle. It's all a matter of the style of music and playing you do.

One of my favorite artists that I've bumped into lately is Aaron Ashton. His style is a like the title of his album, "About That Place between Violin and Fiddle" His website lets you listen to a bunch of songs from his newest album

I just downloaded his album here:

I have fond memories of our Fiddle Fests that I did as a kid at the end of the summer where all the student's families brought picnic blankets and joined us at a park to hear all we had learned to fiddle that summer.  There was always food and friends and fiddling.  It's a great combination!

Jay is finishing up the first Suzuki book and I was probably looking forward to fiddling more than he was-I've missed it! 

I'm too lazy to put a video up of what we've been doing-sorry just a photo!  But this little guy is kinda similar to where Jay was with his his fiddling at the beginning of the summer.

"Orange Blossom Special" is just classic fiddling tune and it's fun to see a child playing it!

In case you are interested in violin and/or fiddling, I'll share the books we're using right now. 
 If you have had a child learn violin and/or fiddling and have suggestions for fun music, please share!

This is the first book we started with.  Jay listens to the CD each night when he goes to bed but we don't follow strictly Suzuki.  I found that using only the music in this book did not keep Jay's interest well enough.  There is much to be said about the Suzuki method though and we do follow the theory of the Suzuki method, we just don't strictly keep to just this book-which I think is very much in the spirit of what Suzuki had in mind when he created his method, actually.

I picked this one up for me!  It comes with a CD of the tunes that are sure to inspire!  Irish and American fiddling are different and wonderful in their own ways!  I was an Irish Step Dancer for many years so this is very fun for me.

Duets are a fun way to encourage practicing and Jay and I are having fun with these.  They are simple tunes and simple duets.

Jay just started using this book.  He has loved it.  Until this summer he has worked entirely by rote (listening, not reading music).  This book is great for introducing both basic rhythms and beginning note reading for the violin.

This book starts out with Twinkle on double stops.  It's automatic fiddle sound and a great place to start.  I think we will be able to use this book now and for future fiddle summers.

This book also comes with a CD.  It is a great companion to the Suzuki method and can be helpful for parents too.  Kay loves to listen to the CD but I've been surprised at how little we've used it.  I would say that's it's not because it isn't great that we haven't used it.  I think I just need to get it out more maybe.

I got this book to accompany the I Can Read Music Book above.  It has short exercises with fun pictures that kids would like.  We haven't started it yet, but I can see it being good for us soon.

This is an example of Irish fiddling.  I love the feel and sound of Irish fiddling too!

Fiddling has been a really fun {Little Project}.  Since I teach Jay the violin/fiddle myself for now we will probably just invite a few friends over and have our own Fiddle Fest in a few weeks!

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