Leah Sawyer ~ Fiddle Teacher
Take lessons from a world champion fiddler.
Leah loves teaching others how to do one of her favorite things, fiddling! If you are interested in taking lessons from Leah, scroll down to the contact form and put "fiddle lessons" in the subject blank. Via Skype or in person, Leah could be exactly what you or your youngster need to start your fiddling career or get to the next level in your journey as a musician.
The Fiddle Practice Pyramid
A revolution in the art of fiddling. A word from Leah...
In my junior year of high school, I took an AP Psychology class. In the course, I learned about Abraham Maslow’s hierarchy of needs and the pyramid he developed with basic psychological needs such as food and rest at the bottom and complex psychological needs at the top, such as self actualization. The idea is that the basic needs on the bottom must be attained before one can achieve the more complex needs. If you are literally starving, you won’t be too concerned about discovering your full potential. While working with my fiddle students, I discovered that the same concept can be applied to practicing fiddle.
I developed “The Fiddle Practice Pyramid”. The fundamental, technical needs are at the bottom and the complex needs required for mastery of a fiddle tune are at the top. “Notes and bows” are listed as the most basic need. In order to get “rhythm and timing” you must know the notes and bows. If you are working on your intonation, you should look at the pyramid and make sure that you have accomplished everything up to the intonation point. Once you have worked your way to the top of the pyramid in the order listed, it is safe to say that you have mastered the tune that you are working on.
The highest level of the pyramid is “authenticity”. You can be doing everything technically and stylistically perfect, but if you haven’t listened to great fiddlers, you won’t sound authentic and the tune you are working on will not be mastered. In order to completely master a tune, you must have an authentic sound. This requires studying fiddle music at a very deep level. This is the most challenging element of mastering a fiddle tune and the most complex, which is why it is at the top of the pyramid.
I believe that my pyramid can be a useful tool to many great fiddlers and eventually musicians of all instruments. I feel that it is important that WT knows about my pyramid because I think that this will be a big part of my career as a professional musician and could be ground breaking for up and coming fiddlers. I have included the fiddle practice pyramid below.