Create – Perform – Respond – Connect.
Create: At Fiddles In The Forest students learn new melodies along with multi-level harmony and rhythm parts. The music is arranged and developed with the group in preparation for a final sharing performance at the end of the workshop. Important musical concepts such as melody, harmony, pitch, tonality, rhythm, phrasing, breathing, etc, are introduced. In keeping with many folk music traditions the music is taught aurally (by ear), but sheet music can be made available. Learning by ear is beneficial for all aspiring musicians as it strengthens one’s capacity for listening and supports good intonation, rhythm and ensemble playing.
Respond: Responding and reflecting on new material and experiences are key elements of Fiddles in the Forest. Throughout the workshop students are encouraged to reflect and share their experiences through guided conversation. Much of the deepening and integration of learning happens through this reflection process. Students benefit greatly by hearing the experiences of their peers and sharing their own ideas with the group. From the satisfaction of meeting new challenges and learning new skills, to the joys of being surrounded by art, nature and a supportive community, there is much to share.
Perform: Children are invited to play and speak before an audience of their peers. By modeling inclusive, safe performance spaces we work to build positive associations around being one stage. Performing can be a tool of positive personal, social and artistic development that lifts people up and invites them out of their shells.
Connect: Fostering an integrated, safe social space is one of the most important and transformative aspects of Fiddles in the Forest. Through integrated learning activities such as folk dancing, harmony singing and team building activities, strong bonds of friendship and trust are formed. Historical aspects of the music and location are highlighted throughout the weekend, building connections between past, present and future. We ask students to unplug from their devices and phones during the majority of the weekend to help them connect more deeply with each other and the experience as a whole.