Four musical approaches…

When I first walked down this path of using strings to create sound, I was unaware how versatile it could be, or how the same instrument could make me comfortable in a huge variety of settings. I have inserted my voice into all kinds of situations – sometimes projects involving many hours of rehearsal, and…

reflections on playing for a wedding

This weekend, I played for a wedding.   While I normally don’t deal with a lot of pre-performance anxiety (most of the time, I can usually talk or gentle breathe myself into knowing I’ll do ok and then feel fine), I did wake up with just a small amount of fear, mostly because I knew it…

two fiddlers, many ways of music learning

  My first exposure to how wonderful and exciting the sounds emulating from a box with four strings could be was with a bluegrass band at an amusement park. My four or five year old self was completely captivated, and that moment started a musical journey for me from which I’ve never looked back. In…

Why making music matters

As I write this, in the summer of 2014, it feels almost impossible to keep track of all the different places on earth in which hatred, cycles of violence, and poverty are causing so much suffering. Sometimes, the injustices of the world feel so big, I feel pushed to the limit wanting to do something….

How to play freely…as part of your daily practice

As I discussed briefly in my previous post, I believe spontaneous improvisation to be a vitally important part of reaching musical maturity. I further think that it’s possible to grow in and practice, and so should become a part of regular music practice. In this new video, I explain how I do it, and what…

play nice with others (and keep your [musical] hands to yourself)

In my development as a musician and violinist, I  was deeply fortunate to be mentored and encouraged by a number of great teachers who nurtured creativity and encouraged improvisation.  At violin/fiddle summer camps in particular, I interacted with several amazing teachers who were directing sessions intended to unleash our creativity, break rules, and one time,…