The Jink & Diddle School of Scottish Fiddling

Traditional Scottish Fiddle Music

Topic Classes

— Class Descriptions —


Topic Classes                                                                              Click here to download a description list from the Document Library

Tuesdays & Thursdays, 8:15 - 9:15 p.m. [EDT]

Fridays, 7:00 - 8:00 p.m. [EDT]


Special Topic Classes


These classes are your chance to learn about different aspects of the Scottish music tradition that our faculty is particularly passionate about!  Each session will delve into diverse topics and give you insight into some important (and awesome!) tools and ideas you can use to expand your understanding of Scottish fiddling.  Here are the topics being offered this year:


Tuesday, 7/28:  Mari Black teaches “Building Great MSR Sets

Come dive into the nuts and bolts of creating a classic Scottish performance set, the famed "MSR" -- perfect for solo performance, competition, or simply showcasing the most beloved and characteristic tune types of Scottish music.  We’ll look at how to build interesting and engaging MSRs, discover how to capture the stylistic essence of each tune, and learn how to polish the whole thing up for a great performance.   We’ll also address important areas such as stage presence, repertoire selection, and how to create a cohesive story line through the whole set.  Our goal is to bring clarity and comfort to your Scottish performing, whether you are new to MSRs or a seasoned performer looking to achieve greater mastery.  (NOTE: This is a great class to attend if you’re thinking about playing in the Practice Competition on 8/3.)


Thursday, 7/30:  Maura Shawn Scanlin teaches  "The Bow"

A class to improve bow control, tone control, improve flexibility in the bow hand & arm - all while playing some good tunes!


Friday, 7/31:  Joanna Johnson teaches "Interpreting Airs"

In this class we will look at simple tools to translate the notes on the page into a heartfelt story. We’ll explore tone, phrasing, ornaments, shape, and how to put your “personal spin” on your favorite slow air.


Tuesday, 8/4:  Tim MacDonald teaches “Shetland-Style Fiddling

I am a fiddler ta my trade,

An aa da world weel know it,

I screw my pins and plink my strings

An rub my bow wi roset.

Long winter nights on cold North Sea islands are perfect fuel for some fiery fiddling and dancing, and Shetland has a formidable fiddling tradition that—like the archipelago itself—sits partway between mainland Scotland and Norway. In this special topic class we'll learn a few popular Shetland tunes, work on our Shetland style, and see what that teaches us about playing tunes from the mainland too!


Thursday, 8/6:  Rachel Barton Pine teaches “What To Do at a Jam if You Don’t Know the Tune” 

Anticipating the day when we’ll be able to gather again for jams!


Friday, 8/7:  Zach Lemhouse teaches “DIY Violin Maintenance and Repair

While you are quarantined at home it is important that you and your violin remain healthy and in good working order. However, due to the COVID-19 pandemic it may be difficult to take your violin to the local music shop for regular checkups. In this Special Topics class you will learn preventative measures to keep your violin in good working order as well as basic maintenance that you can do at home! 


Tune Time


All six sessions:  Dr John Turner  w. Ralph Gordon


John Turner - a 10-time National Scottish Fiddle Champion and founder/artistic director of Jink & Diddle - is renowned for his encyclopaedic knowledge of and passion for 18th century Scottish traditional fiddle music, as well as the stories behind it.  Three nights each week, Dr. Turner will explore the following provided collections:

      1. the John Macglashan Collection (1796), the eighteenth century music source for Jink 2020
      2. the Jink Book o’ Tunes 2020, a contemporary collection of tunes composed by Jinkers and instructors
      3. Jink’s collection of Rally Music, filled with favourite traditional tunes.

Dr John will undoubtedly share gems of related Scottish history and impart wisdom from his many years dedicated to the preservation of Scottish music.  Come play along and immerse yourself in some tunes and tales with one of the greats from the rich Scottish fiddling tradition!

                                                                                  Click here to download a description list from the Document Library

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