Fiddleheads with Dominique Dodge


Dominique Dodge leads Fiddleheads and her harp students for a residency on 4/13/19 and 6/1/19, teaching and rehearsing tunes that Fiddleheads and harp students will perform on 6/15/19 at the annual Carolan Festival in Worcester.

Dominique is a harper and singer originally from northern New Hampshire who now lives partly in Cape Breton, Nova Scotia and partly in Vermont. She earned a BA First Class Honors Degree in Scottish Music from the Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama (RSAMD), in Glasgow, Scotland, and earned her Masters degree at the World Academy of Irish Music and Dance at the University of Limerick in Ireland.

While in Scotland, Dominique studied with many renowned artists in the Scottish tradition, including some of the premier harp players in the field: Patsy Seddon, Wendy Stewart, Corrina Hewat, Catriona McKay, Mary MacMaster, Alison Kinnaird, and Ingrid Henderson. Dominique studied Scots song with Alison McMorland and Karine Polwart, and Gaelic song with Kenna Campbell and Mairi MacInnes.

Dominique has performed at Denmark’s Tønder Festival, the Celtic Connections Festival in Glasgow, the Edinburgh Harp Festival, and the Edinburgh Fiddle Festival as well as for HRH the Prince of Wales and at the opening of the Scottish Parliament Building. In the US, she has been the featured harper at the New Hampshire Highland Games, the New World Festival and dozens of concerts, festivals, schools and other events.

Dominique’s self-titled solo album features lively Scottish dance tunes and traditional songs, as well as her own compositions.

Teaching and sharing her knowledge and passion for traditional music is one of Dominique’s strengths. She enjoys working with children and adults, and has extensive experience in group and private lessons. She has taught at the Gaelic College in Nova Scotia, the Ohio Scottish Arts School, the Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama, and many others.

Pick the Fiddleheads group that matches you and your instrument…..

  • 9:30am to 10am for beginners: you’ve got an instrument and you’re taking lessons from someone, but you’re fairly new to playing tunes, Fiddleheads or learning in a group, you are just learning to play by ear, you are beginning to be able to hear and play a short sequence of notes you hear someone else plays slowly

  • 10:15am to 12 noon for *advanced beginners and **intermediates: for Dominique’s residency sessions, advanced beginners and intermediates will be combined

*Advanced beginners means you’ve learned to play some simple tunes by ear either at Fiddleheads or from someone else, you can hear a short sequence of notes played slowly by someone else and reproduce them on your instrument after a few attempts, you haven’t had a lot of experience learning in a group setting

**Intermediates mean you’re able to learn and remember tunes by ear, you are able to play tunes you have learned for others who are listening, you’ve had experience learning in a group setting, you can hear a bar or 2 of music played slowly and reproduce them on your instrument after one or two attempts

More info about Fiddleheads

The primary goal of Fiddleheads is the enjoyment of traditional music and playing that music with others. Regular participation is welcome but not required. Other than a $5 donation for rehearsal sessions there is no cost associated with being part of the group.

When do sessions start and end? Full sessions are about 2 1/2 hours. See above for the segments.  Players who feel confident in an early segment can stay for the next one if they feel they are learning easily and can keep up the pace.

What will you learn? One or two tunes are typically taught in each session. If the session is part of series by the same instructor, they may re-visit/re-teach tunes that have been taught previously. Sessions are also used to prepare repertoire for public appearances. The type of tunes learned depends on who the group leader is. Sometimes its music from Quebec, sometimes Ireland, sometimes Scotland….. typically from places and sources with an active fiddling tradition. Tunes are taught by ear. Sometimes sheet music is provided by the group leader, but not always. If provided, sheet music and recordings are most often sent via e-mail after the session is over.  If you’re new to the group and want those things, make sure we have your e-mail address before you leave.

All melody instruments welcome, not just fiddles. Fiddlers are in the majority at the sessions, but those who play harp, cello, banjo, mandolin, whistle, pipes and others have also been involved. Guitar, keyboard and other accompaniment-oriented players are welcome, but the teaching is mostly melody/tune-oriented.  Players of other instruments have participated and are most welcome, but they should be fairly comfortable with listening and being able to transfer notes they hear to their own instrument.  There won’t likely be anything like ‘put your 1st finger on the 2nd string’ as it applies to instruments other than the instructor’s instrument.

Where? The Burlington Violin Shop in Burlington

When? Most often there is a Fiddleheads session one Saturday a month, usually mid to late morning. E-mail notices sent in advance of each session. Write to to be put on that mailing list.

What to bring? Bring your instrument, a tuning device (if you use one) and a recording device as needed. Recordings of all tunes taught at each session are e-mailed after the session to those who attend.

What playing level? See the description of each section above.

What does it cost? $5 donation is suggested. First timers are welcome to observe without contributing. Checks should be made out to Young Tradition Vermont (or ‘YTV’). If that’s a hardship or you forget to bring money, no one is refused.

You can just show up if you want to, but there’s room for only a limited number of participants. It is helpful if you can RSVP with an e-mail to We also send messages about canceling if there’s not more than 4 or 5 confirmed for a session. Best to let us know if you’re planning on attending.

Additional information is available on the Fiddleheads Facebook page.