To begin, I grew up as a Suzuki violinist from the age of 2 and was fortunate to learn to jam and perform from the age of 10 in the bluegrass circles of southeast Iowa and Missouri.
Knowing music was my calling, I went to music school at the Interlochen Arts Academy and pursued an active classical music career on the east coast. This is just what I thought a musician was supposed to do. Things are starting to change, but music school at that time was very classical.
After years of recitals, auditions and academic music study, I was left feeling like the world of jamming and creating music in the moment by ear was the skill that allowed me to not only enjoy music to it’s fullest extent, but was what even the great composers had done when they were writing all of these classical pieces. Even more interestingly, more often than not, it was reading chords and playing by ear that allowed me to actually make a living as a musician.
Catch me on the road this season, touring with my band, The Savage Hearts and teaching fiddlers how to jam across the states and Canada!
Total World Domination through small vibrating wooden boxes!
Following 12 years of performing while teaching public school orchestra and working with pre-service teachers, I realized that had to be a way to bring all of these skills to my students and that they too might be well served by this regardless of whether they enjoyed making music or were conservatory bound professionals. I call this combination of playing by ear first, learning to read next and jamming with others the whole time the Savage Fiddler Method. I think that it will serve any string player well to be aware of these skills that are offered here and hope you enjoy your journey as much as I have mine.