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Peter Macfarlane:

Peter Macfarlane: fiddler

Fiddle Lessons

I offer instruction in playing the fiddle in Celtic styles for youth and adult, raw beginner to advanced player, whether you read music or wish to learn by ear.

Lessons are typically one hour long at my home in Addison, VT, and include instruction in technique, relevant theory, and musicality consistent with the style being played. Students can expect a welcoming, non-intimidating atmosphere in which mistakes are accepted as part of the process.

I teach techniques in the context of tunes, and use primarily tunes from the Scottish fiddle tradition as my teaching material. Techniques learned can then be applied to whatever style of fiddling you choose to pursue.

If you do not own a fiddle, and are leery of committing to a purchase, it is possible to rent one from the Burlington Violin Shop. As you grow in size or improve, upgrading to a larger or better model is possible.

Fiddle Workshops

I have extensive experience of teaching workshops in both the UK and the USA, including the Hands-on-Music series in England, Pinewoods Camp in Massachusetts, the Flurry Festival in Saratoga NY, the Northern New Jersey Folk Project, New Hampshire Highlands, and at Middlebury College in Vermont, to mention a few. Each workshop usually follows a specific theme, and I am happy to tailor this to the needs of the musicians. Whilst aimed primarily at fiddlers, other musicians can usually derive benefit from attending one of my workshops.

Please contact me to see if I can offer what you're looking for.


"With anyone else I would have dropped out in frustration, you are very kind and patient and not threatening, (not to mention, a really great teacher)." [JVO, Middlebury, VT]
"She had so much fun and it is doing great things for her confidence as a fiddler, and as a person in general. We are so very grateful. You are a great teacher!" [CW, S. Burlington, VT]
"Thanks for a very valuable lesson - now to put what I learned in practice!" [TW, NEK, VT]
"I love the way you can break skills down into minuscule increments that are teeny baby steps. It is a rare skill." [JVO, Middlebury, VT]


"Your music class was a big hit too, the work on jigs ‐ much needed, and your handout was top notch" [RL, New Hampshire Highlands]
"You have a wonderful teaching style and connected so well with the group." [DD, Celtic Harp Group, VT]
"Thanks for the excellent workshop on jigs! It was enjoyable and instructive." [MH, Flurry Festival]
"Thanks again for contributing to our school. Folks really appreciated your technical pointers and musicality." [BH, VT Bellowspipe & Fiddle School]

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