Teaching Background and Philosophy
Craig Judelman began playing the fiddle at the age of 4 and since then it has been a constant and integral part of his life. From his roots in classical and Jazz violin to his current focus on traditional popular fiddling styles, Craig has honed his craft in every possible method. He was Suzuki trained for over ten years, earned a degree in violin performance and composition from Bard College and then studied with masters of Old-Time Appalachian and Klezmer fiddling, as well as Jazz and Classical.
In addition to formal and informal training by his mentors, Craig has done extensive research on both the art of violin playing/fiddling and principles of music making and body use, to find a method of playing and teaching that strives to imbue each note with the most musicality and least physical strain.
Currently he plays and teaches mostly Old Time music, which is American folk music-not the virtuosic bluegrass fiddling full of solos and improvisation (though he does that too), but the older repertoire of fiddle tunes and songs that come from the Scots-Irish tradion's mixing with African and other European music in America - especially Appalachia. This music is great for learning the instrument and a good foundation in style and technique for any American music.
Craig also plays a lot of country and jazz music in addition to backing up songwriters and has a lot of experience coaching songwriters in arrangement and band leading and string players interested in working on getting better at accompanying guitarists' original music.
Craig is also an exponent of the Alexander Technique, a method of conscious relaxed use of the body that enhances any activity and profoundly influences his approach to both playing and teaching. He strives to integrate technichal development and joyful music making by using folk and/or classical music to teach skills while also focusing on building a repertoire of songs that the student enjoys and finds meaningful, making the process enjoyable and educational!
Craig has taught at the famous Jalopy Theater and School of Music in Brooklyn, as well as privately in New York and Washington state. He has also taught workshops on American fiddling at venues including the Freight and Salvage in San Francisco, the Chicago Old Town School of Folk and East Tennessee State University's traditional music program. He is experienced teaching both adults and children as young as 4 years old and can provide references upon request. Please email below to inquire about lessons, which are available both in person and via Skype.