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FIDIL TUTOR BOOK AND ACCOMPANYING CD BY KATHLEEN NESBITT T.T.C.T.,HONS.ADV., MULTIPLE AWARDED FIDDLE PLAYER, EDUCATOR, AND LECTURER ON T.T.C.T. AT CÚLTURLANN NA h’ÉIREANN, SCOIL ÉIGSE AT FLEADH CEOIL NA h’ÉIREANN, FESTIVAL INTERCELTIQUE DE LORIENT, BRITTANY.
“.…the pupil will learn smartly, not by automated dull ‘practice’ but by playing! Which would you rather do?!….”
Now then! Hands up those who started your own musical journey without the assistance of a teacher…. Hands up those who wished they had a teacher from the beginning….
In the circles in which we mix, there is a perennial debate about the merits or otherwise of being formally taught Irish Music. No matter what side of the fence you sit on, there is an agreement that the teacher of the music occupies a special place in the tradition. There is an element of “imparting” in the teacher/pupil relationship. The teacher’s role is one of coaching, mentoring, inspiring confidence and fostering the player’s individuality.
Of course when it comes to tutorial books, much of the latter element is impossible to convey- but Nesbitt’s publication comes the closest!
Kathleen Nesbitt, originally from Roscomman / South Sligo / Leitrim triangle, is now living in Tipperary. She is known worldwide as a player, a tutor, assessor and lecturer. She and her husband John, another great musician and educator, are producers of offspring that are all fine musicians in their own right!
The scope of her tutorial is vast. Assuming no prior knowledge of the fiddle, Nesbitt’s “curriculum” starts at square one-an introduction to the fiddle itself before summarizing in the space of a few pages succinctly and clearly- the basics of reading music. After a brief skim through scales, Nesbitt introduces us to a few simple tunes.
From this point on she leads us through the basic elements of ornamentation- grace notes, triplets, long and short rolls- illustrating their use via a variety of tunes in all the key meters, each becoming subtly harder. All this in the space of just over 40 pages!
When we have mastered all that, she gives us a selection of well over 100 tunes, from slow airs, through to jigs, polkas, hornpipes, set dances and O’Carolan pieces. Ample opportunity to consolidate the knowledge we have gleaned, to perfect our technique and develop our own style. The accompanying 41 track CD illustrates the variety of techniques in the context of tunes and is a great listen in it’s own right!
The beauty of Nesbitt’s book is that by building organically and gradually in the way it does, it allows the student to begin to play tunes as opposed to academic, dusty and uninspiring scales and exercises, from the earliest opportunity. It makes it’s points unobtrusively and gently. It makes the assumption that the reason for buying this book is to enable the learner to make better music from the word go!
So the pupil will learn smartly, not by dull automated “practice” but by playing! Which would you rather do?!
Signed by Kathleen and Máiréad exclusively for Máiréad’s site.GO BACK