Rosie Newton and Richie Stearns held workshops at the VFW pavilion on August 15, 2020, a great setting and a lot of fun with such prominent musicians who thrive on being able to present to folks in person. They drove from Ithaca to provide us with some much-needed musical fun, and we were able to do this in a safe manner: outdoors, wearing masks, with a limited number of people, socially distanced. As Rosie explained, musicians live off the interaction with other folks, getting feedback in one form or another.
Due to Covid, most musicians have not had the opportunity to be with people vs. performing/ teaching online. At the workshops, both musicians broke a tune into phrases and taught participants how to play the tunes and then how to add enhancements to make the tunes more like fiddle tunes. Rosie taught special approaches for bowing, while Ritchie explained how, by playing by ear, one can find the melody notes on the fingerboard and fill them in with embellishments.
Richie taught two tunes by ear, phrase-by-phrase, with repetition, John Brown’s Dream and You Ain’t Seen No Trouble. Rosie in her workshop taught Lonesome Girl. Many think teaching and learning by ear is THE way to go, and we were so proud of those in attendance for not being afraid to try. Traditionally this is the way fiddle tunes were passed on to others.
We hope to have Rosie and Ritchie back in the future for more fun and educational workshops hosted by the Fiddlers of the Genesee.