We have 7 different class levels for learning fiddle. See the individual class descriptions for information on what the levels aim to cover during the year.

We have expanded to 7 levels this year to help smooth the transition between classes.
All fiddle groups are on the same night, with the expectation that students will move up or down within the first few weeks of term as they find the level which suits them best.

Be prepared for your tutor to move you to a different class at the start of term and discuss with them if you’re not sure what level is right for you.

Classes will rotate tutors for one night in week 7 of Term 1 to give students and tutors the chance to feed back and share different experiences of teaching and learning.


Fiddle 1

For complete beginners, or those who would like to go back to basics. Everything will be explained assuming no prior knowledge. You should have a fiddle to bring to the class. Suitable for people who have never played fiddle/violin before.

Topics covered during the year:

  • Holding the instrument and bow
  • Tuning your instrument
  • Playing all the open strings
  • Basic fingering and bowing technique
  • Getting a good sound
  • Learning what the notes are
  • Some basic music theory
  • Playing some simple traditional tunes in easy keys
  • Starting to learn to play by ear

Three continuous terms from Sept 2016.

Times: Thursday at 7-9pm Boroughmuir School
Room: 2.03
Tutor: Rachel Walker

Fiddle 1a

This class starts in January 2017 and is a new intake class for absolute beginners. 

For complete beginners, or those who would like to go back to basics. Everything will be explained assuming no prior knowledge. You should have a fiddle to bring to the class. Suitable for people who have never played fiddle/violin before.

Topics covered during two terms:

  • Holding the instrument and bow
  • Tuning your instrument
  • Playing all the open strings
  • Basic fingering and bowing technique
  • Getting a good sound
  • Learning what the notes are
  • Some basic music theory
  • Playing some simple traditional tunes in easy keys
  • Starting to learn to play by ear

Two continuous terms from January 2017.

Times: Thursday at 7-9pm Boroughmuir School
Room: 2.02
Tutor: Darragh Quinn

Fiddle 2

For people who were in Fiddle 1 last year – improving beginners.  For people who have played for up to a year already. Gain more confidence in playing and start to build your repertoire of tunes and tune types. The class will cover:

  • Playing tunes slowly
  • Learning tunes in different rhythms
  • Phrasing
  • Beginning to join tunes together into sets

Three continuous terms from Sept 2016.

Times: Thursday at 7-9pm Boroughmuir School
Room: 2.05
Tutor: Sally Simpson

Fiddle 3

For improving beginners who have played for around 2-3 years already. Building on basic skills, this class will focus on: – becoming comfortable playing in different keys – using bowing patterns to develop style and rhythm – improving tone and technique.

Specifically we will look at:

  • Beginning to join tunes together into sets
  • Learning basic scales and arpeggios
  • Phrasing (using slurs)
  • Playing tunes slowly, working towards increasing tempo throughout the term/year.
  • Learning tunes in different, simple rhythms
  • Learning and playing tunes by ear
  • Improving posture/stance
  • Improving intonation through short, simple exercises
  • Incorporating dynamics into tunes

Three continuous terms from Sept 2016.

Times: Thursday at 7-9pm Boroughmuir School
Room: 2.07
Tutor: Claire Campbell

Fiddle 4

Lower Intermediate.

Strengthen what you have learned and progress to different types of tunes, new bowing styles, ornamentation and tunes in more difficult keys.

Players should be confident at playing tunes in G major, using C natural on the A string and G natural on the E string. Ideally, players will have started:

  • playing tunes in F major, using Bb on the A string and F natural on the E string
  • using the fourth finger to play B on the E string

Three continuous terms from Sept 2016.

Times: Thursday at 7-9pm Boroughmuir School
Room: 2.08
Tutor: Carly Blain

Fiddle 5

Upper Intermediate.

The class will focus on improving technique, including intonation, tone and bowing, and building confidence in your playing.

  • Playing in a range of keys, including more challenging keys
  • Using ornamentation and different bowing styles
  • Learning more quickly by ear
  • Playing up to speed

Three continuous terms from Sept 2016.

Times: Thursday at 7-9pm Boroughmuir School
Room: 2.06
Tutor: Becky Leach

Fiddle 6

Lower Advanced.

For people who have been playing for around 5 years or more and are confident learning quickly by ear.

The class aims to build on your repertoire, learning how tunes can be used (e.g. playing for dancing) and focusing on more complex keys and positions and unusual tunes. We will work on advanced technique, bowing and ornamentation, the understanding of regional styles and the development of your own style. Learn a range of traditional and more contemporary tunes commonly heard in traditional music sessions around Scotland.

Three continuous terms from Sept 2016.

Times: Thursday at 7-9pm Boroughmuir School
Room: 2.09
Tutor: Michael Muir

Fiddle 7

Upper Advanced.

This class will focus on learning and arranging repertoire towards performing in public. During the year the class will give a few local performances and will work towards these by learning and arranging repertoire, thinking about how to present the music to the public and put together a varied programme to make an interesting concert.

Some of the tunes taught will be based on the set music in the traditional fiddle grade exams with the RCS Scottish Music Graded Exams and Trinity Music, which will provide an opportunity for anyone who feels like sitting an exam to learn some of the music used (please note this is completely optional).

Over the course students will:

  • Continue to develop technique and playing posture
  • Play in different positions
  • Learn more about ornamentation and bowing patterns
  • Learn more unusual tunes
  • Begin to take a key role in coming up with arrangements and harmonies

Three continuous terms from Sept 2016.

Times: Thursday at 7-9pm Boroughmuir School
Room: 2.04
Tutor: Eilidh Steel