The who, what, where...
Fiddle Jam for teachers
Fiddle Jam for parents
 

"Experience the real deal... Live with Geoff at your school!"


"FJ Clinic / Buffalo, NY"

Have Geoff come to your school or organization to teach the jamming ways directly! We have a variety of programs and residencies to fit your scheduling and budgetary needs!

"There's nothing like the ear to ear smile on a kid jamming the Blues for the first time!"

Who is a Fiddle Jam Clinic for?

Ultimately, ANYONE interested in the joys of the jam! Geoff has been known to be able to get someone who's never even played the violin before to jam the Blues with less than 2 minutes of instruction!!

Though any particular proficiency is NOT a requirement to get started with improvisation in general, Fiddle Jam works optimally when the student knows at least their first 3 open string-based major scales (G, D, & A for violin, and C, G, & D for Viola/Cello). This usually is achieved well within the first year of instruction.

Fiddle Jam Clinic programs are completely flexible and can be designed to precisely fit the needs of your organization. Most usually Geoff is called to work with an elementary or middle school string orchestra of 20-50 students, though he has worked with groups as large as 250 at a 4-school combined string orchestra festival! Sometimes the group has learned one of Geoff's string orchestra compositions ahead of time (which always feature improvisation of course!) and then perform it in an evening concert with Geoff as a guest artist. (Contact us for more info on that).

Over the years, Geoff has developed special techniques to help coax even the most improv-phobic into jamming with glee, like:

  • "Call & Answer" - The whole group tries their hand at copying Geoff in unison, one E-Z riff at a time (to a hip drum beat). This helps develop student's "ears" & introduces them to the stylistic possibilities with some fun "alternative" techniques like slides & the "chop!"
  • "Chaos Theory" - Everybody improv's at once!… a fun gentle "low impact" way to get young players used to the idea of creating something of their own without any peer pressure.
  • "One Note Improv" - Fun! Everybody jams on the same note but gets to choose the rhythm themselves, releasing the common myth that your improvisation has to be an "amazing" flurry of notes to be "great." Most are surprised at how non-chaotic & good this sounds!
  • "Small Group Improv" - 3 or 4 at a time simultaneously, going around the orchestra to a cool accompaniment, gives everybody a chance to improvise while still minimizing the "scary-factor"!
  • "Break-Out Solo Line" the more adventuresome volunteers get to come out in front of the orchestra and take a solo chorus each!
All of these (and other) methods greatly help to crack open the door to the truly creative side of music making!

Also typically covered in a Fiddle Jam Clinic:

  • Electric violin demonstrations: Learn about plugging in and rocking out! Pick-ups, amps, electronic effects (like distortion and wha-wha pedals!) and info on how to DIY electric instruments if your budget is tight!
  • Appropriate stories from Geoff's 35-year career experience about the in's and out's, and up's and down's, of being a professional musician.
  • Also thrown in, where appropriate, are philosophical reminders about what music is for and why we should play it for life... Answer: Goosebumps!

"Life-changing stuff!"


Recently a "20-something" came up to Geoff after a Babik concert and said that he had "changed the whole trajectory of his life" after Geoff had done a Fiddle Jam Clinic for his elementary school! How cool is that!?!

Contact us for prices and availability.

Not part of a group or school? Check out the Fiddle Jam Institute to learn the jamming ways directly!

 

Have Geoff or an associate come to your school or organization to teach you
the fiddle jammin’ ways directly!  For booking information write

gfitzhughp@fiddlejam.com

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