After reading a recent discussion about a currently debated fiddle/improv method, I thought I'd add a couple of options to the list, since there really are many different excellent methods to use with students these days :) :). My students have been loving Martin Norgaard's "Jazz Fiddle Wizard" series. I think it is probably most appropriate for middle school aged students at the Suzuki book 4/5 level. The books really take them through some ways of thinking about improvising and then give them ample opportunities to use their new skills. A couple of my Suzuki-raised students are incredible improvisers - especially good at hearing the chord changes and creating rhythmic variety in their improvs.
Another series I have fallen in love with is "The American Fiddle Method" by Brian Wicklund. Full of classic standards, these books follow a very Suzuki Friendly sequence, include the background and words that come with each tune, chord changes, a CD with a professional level bluegrass band playing the tunes, and plenty of ways to teach students the extras (like chopping, etc). My students LOVE these books. And so do I :)
Previous entries: November 2013
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