What is Fiddleheads?

Fiddleheads is a program of Young Tradition Vermont, hosted by Vermont Violins and the Burlington Violin Shop. It is dedicated to bringing kids together to learn and enjoy traditional music in all its forms in a low-key, non-competitive, session. Kids of all levels are invited to join a monthly play-together, led by a master fiddler or musician recruited from the professional traditional music community of Vermont and her neighbors.

The full session runs about 2 1/2 hours monthly on Saturday mornings. Depending on attendance, the group is split into two mini-sessions, one designed for younger or more beginners the other is a bit more advanced. Kids often come for either, some come for both! There is a nominal charge of $5 per session.

During the session, a leader will teach a few tunes by ear….they take it very slow! If you’ve never learned a tune by ear (that is, without sheet music) you’ll find this a great way to start learning. Often, the leader will send sheet music out to participants after the session too. Tunes are selected from a range of genres: Quebecois, Cape Breton, Irish, Scottish or anyplace where fiddle is featured.

Kids can come as they please…they don’t need to commit to coming for any term or semester. Tunes may be repeated to develop mastery, but each time can be a first time too!

For the long-term Fiddleheads participant, Young Tradition Vermont offers programs for more advanced players too. High Schooler's can participate in the Young Tradition Touring Group in which kids take tunes, often learned in Fiddleheads, and brings them to a performance level. The Touring Group offers travel opportunities that bring the players into contact with kids around the world who share the love of traditional music!

Want to try it out first? No Problem! If you child is interested, but nervous, s/he is welcome to come and attend Fiddleheads as a listener. Almost all who do this wish they brought their violin and return next month with huge enthusiasm.

Vermont Violins and the Burlington Violin Shop have hosted Fiddleheads for close to twenty years and it has brought countless young fiddlers into the world of traditional music. We have been thrilled to join Young Tradition Vermont in the goal of keeping the traditions alive and passing them on to the next generation. For more information, please check out the Young Tradition Vermont webpage: https://youngtraditionvermont.org/2012/06/fiddleheads/

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