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    • #63386
      margaret Olscamp

      Well I just completed Level 1.6 and I am also working on 1.7 and 1.8. I didn’t plan it that way but I guess music is a bit like life in general- a step or so forward, a step or so back – then drag yourself up try to keep going.

      Hmmm is that why Jason talks about the journey in some lesson I’ve been through? Maybe so. It really does seem to be a journey. Yes, a few times I’ve been feeling a bit train-sick and thought of getting off at the next station. Then, what do you know. something interesting happens. Sometimes it’s what Jason or Joselyn says. Or, it might be that my ears pick up a few notes of such pure joy that the journey becomes one I don’t wish to abandon just yet.

      I am not super organized in my practice. I do, however, devote a lot of time most days when things are going well. Even on slump days I try to squeeze in at least twenty minutes. I have a hard time convincing myself to work on a tune I dislike when there are so many that I prefer.

      Looking back a few years when I first started with the fiddle I realize I’ve come a long way. Thank goodness I was able to read sheet music because my ears couldn’t tell if a note was higher or lower. They just didn’t work as well as my eyes.

      My only regret might be that if I had begun this when I was younger I would have had so many more years of being a musician rather than an audience, however much I appreciate all the wonderful musicians I’ve heard in the past.

    • #63389

      Isn’t it funny that our brains work in different ways!
      I really wanted to play the violin when I was 10 years old. I’d had 4 fun lessons playing by ear until the “teacher” told me very strictly that I had to “learn all the notes”. This terrified me because I knew I couldn’t do it.This led to a tragic road accident where my violin was smashed and I was nearly killed. I didn’t touch a fiddle for over 50 years because I thought you had to be able to read music to play.

      When I was 54 I discovered that I suffer from dyscalcula. About the same time I went to see Riddell Fiddles, a learners group in Scotland who play a good deal by ear. It dawned on me then that I could learn by ear too!

      I saw an old violin in the window of a charity shop. It was in a battered old case and had one cat gut string hanging from it. It cost £40.

      It wasn’t until November 2021 that I discovered Jason and embarked on my FiddleHED journey.It’s one of the best things I’ve ever done.

      Last night I made my debut at my local folk club, playing Tennessee Waltz and Lovers Waltz (two slow safe ones!) Ive been wanting to perform for ages, but have been too scared to do it. However I practiced a lot and it went well. There was a lot of applause and congratulations by some young people who seemed surprised that a 70 year old granny could actually learn from scratch!

      I’m slowly starting to learn to read music through lots of repetition.

      Thanks Jason.🎻❤️😊

    • #63527
      margaret Olscamp

      Now I’m working on level 1.9. Along the way I’ve learned some things I didn’t know – quite a few actually. After practicing tunes I wasn’t too sure about at first I discovered some were growing on me, especially Soldier’s Joy. I seem to keep returning to that one every day, not sure why. Today I think I’ll get back to the Old Grey Cat. Those two should be good for today.
      While I really love Irish music and they were the reason I took up fiddle in the first place, I realistically don’t expect to ever be able to play most jigs and reels. My brain can’t move fast enough to coordinate my two hands is what I’ve discovered. For some reason I find hornpipes easier and more fun to practice.

    • #63564
      margaret Olscamp

      I never did get back to the Old Grey Cat or Soldier’s Joy. These are on my agenda for today.

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