teaching experience

Rachael's ability to teach in a fun, engaging and organized way is based upon her many years of teaching kids and adults in private and group settings and her professional experience as a violinist and violist.  She has had the privilege of learning basic and advanced teaching  methods from: April Gibson and George Corneanu in Chilliwack.B.C, Edmond Agopian and Dean O'Brien at the University of Calgary, Erika Eckert and Geraldine Walther at the University of Colorado in Boulder and William Starr in Aurora, Colorado.


  • 10 years Teaching Experience - Private Studio
  • 2009-2011 Teaching Assistantship at The University of Colorado in Boulder:

           Weekly coached undergraduate violists and organizing group repertoire classes.

  • 2011-2013 Group Strings Teacher at Sistema Saint John Centre in Saint John, N.B

          Taught group classes at an everyday, afterschool music program for grades 1-5.

  • 2013-2015 Violin Instructor at Bloor West Music Studio 
  • 2013-Current Violin Instructor at Forest Hill Music Academy

While the fiddle is actually the exact same instrument as the violin, learning the fiddle is a very different process than learning classical violin. In history, folk music has been taught and passed down from fiddler to fiddler 'by ear' rather than reading the notes on the music. Nowadays, mostly all of the fiddling techniques and styles from many countries have been written down, making it easier to remember and find the tune you are looking for! While it is very useful for each student to keep a collection of written music , Rachael still teaches fiddle predominantly 'by ear' to maintain old traditions and also to allow for a freedom which comes with playing without music. 


 Playing fiddle music or 'fiddling' refers to a large array of ethnic and folk music which originates from many different countries.  The styles which Mrs. Abramoff teaches are Appalachian fiddling, Bluegrass and Country style fiddling and Scottish and Irish fiddling (which she has an affinity with because of her Celtic heritage). 

  1. FIRST Establish a great instrument Set-Up. Learning a good Set-Up for the Fiddle is important for being able to play in tune and have relaxed arms for fast fiddling. It is not as important in fiddling to hold the instrument up high like in classical playing.
  • If the student is younger than 8 years of age, I start them on  a paper-mache instrument to teach them principals of respect and care for their instrument and a great set-up.
  • Learn the proper Bow Hold
  • Teach the three holding positions of the instrument (Rest, Ready and Playing)


    2.   SECONDLY Teach how to Learn by Ear and gradually teach Music Reading 

  • Clapping the beat
  • Singing Melodies and Ear Training 
  • Memory games and Playback
  • Creative Technique Games

 

3.  THIRDLY Progress in teaching Technique and Musicality

  • Establish a regular practice schedule and structure to each lesson
  • Make time for each student's individual input and creativity
  • Review previously learned songs


4.  Providing Opportunities to Showcase Learning 

  • Two recitals a year (Christmas and Early  Summer) 
  • Opportunities for Group Lessons (i.e Fiddle Group, Chamber Players etc...)

teaching approach

fiddle lessons

  • ​Create a  safe, goal-orientated, FUN environment for each student to learn
  • Focus is on inspiring intrinsic motivation in the student
  • 'Show by example' and patient teaching approach
  • While teaching children, I always use fun and easy to remember games and names for technique

Read more about my teaching approaches below along with the basis musical training you can expect to receive while learning to fiddle. 


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                          musician & tEACHER