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December 2020

Frosty & Happy Greetings, Fiddlers & Friends! 🎻

As Winter moves into our lives, our Full Circle Musical Sanctuary community continues to bring us all joy, continuity, laughter, friendship & support, fun – and more and more to look forward to in 2021. We’ll have a few special workshops, our continuing Traditional Music Session, a re-designed UpLevel-with-Duets Class, and our newest class: Tunes with a Side of Technique (LOL). At this time all classes are full through mid-February.

Many years ago, when we lost our Angel Band guitarist and leader David Behm, I was devastated. I was lovingly gifted an engraved stone plaque by a very close friend. It simply says...

It has sustained me greatly.

We can all know this about Our Music, from our first encounter as children, to our adult relationship with music; through our instruments, fellow students and musicians, and our every note played and heard and felt. It’s all still here, and we are one with this beautiful energizing and healing Source. We are blessed :)

Happy & Peaceful Holidays to All,
Cayt & Pico

Play it Again, with Feeling
In the classical music world, feeling or “expression” is a thing to be learned. In the traditional music world, feeling​ just is t​he music. Although this is a simplistic reduction, it is true!

For the adult fiddle/violin student, understanding this basic difference in music-style requirements can help you choose your balance between classical and traditional (non-classical) in your learning plan.

In its compositional design and​ expected p​erformance style, classical music requires a technical skill-set​ to create the sounds and nuanced effects which are the core of the classical music sound. There are many subsets of style under the term "classical." The player creates the expression of the music, which can change from one moment to the next, and can require pyrotechnical gymnastics and high-precision control.

Fortunately, there is a huge wealth of “classical” music accessible to the beginner/intermediate student which requires only a few technical skills, and this is where most adult learners are happy and satisfied. To go significantly further may require an exponential effort, which is a several-years-long commitment.

In traditional music, tunes – jigs, reels, polkas, waltzes, and so on – are the forms of this style rather than the symphonies, sonatas, concertos etc. of classical music. 

To get an idea of this, check out ​​. Most are dance tunes. As such, they are usually learned in a rigid and predictable tempo and pulse/groove. There is a defined phrasing for each type of tune which all good trad players respect.

The “expression” of a trad tune is built into the way it is designed. A player fits/merges into a tune and has very little to create musically because it is​ already there.

For traditional forms with slower tempos, such as aires and waltzes, a simple approach always sounds good but expression may be more personal and skillful.

With traditional music, the (bow) sound quality can be intense or gentle, but a “curated” or nuanced sound is not required. Players evolve with their own unique sound – and also left hand technique – which is not based on advanced technical skills. Trad tune difficulty ranges from absolutely elementary to borderline pyrotechnical, and there are dozens – even hundreds – of tunes at every skill level.

All music yearns to be expressed with feeling. Knowing the unique routes that classical and traditional music take to that destination can help every player choose the path that best suits their inner musician.

Give the Gift of Music
A Full Circle Gift Certificate is the perfect gift for anyone who's expressed interest in starting violin or fiddle lessons, or getting back to them after a detour in life. 

If you know someone who fits that description, purchase a gift certificate yourself – or spread the word. "Oh, you say your wife [husband, son, daughter, niece, retired father] wants to learn to fiddle [play violin]? You should get a gift certificate from my teacher!"

Full Circle Gift Certificates cost $125 and include a package of three 45-minute lessons for any new, adult student. Email or call Cayt ( or 603-312-2647).

P.S. Gift certificates are available year round, not just during the holidays!
This Months' Car-toon
Thanks to Robin Hebert who sent in this cartoon to share.
Paula's Happy Hour
Talk about Essential Workers! With so many of us sending presents instead of traveling this Christmas, we salute Paula, who's helping make sure all your packages arrive on time.

"My happy hour of choice after my back busting work day." That's how Paula describes her weekly lesson.  

Whether you want a package OR a catchy tune delivered to you, count on Paula!
Yuletide Live-Stream with Jordan T-W
Last month's newsletter featured a photo of Cayt next to local fiddler Jordan Tirrell-Wysocki. If you're looking for a dose of holiday fiddle-cheer (aren't we all????) tune in to the free house concert Jordan's doing, from his own home to yours on Sunday, December 20th at 1:00pm. Alone and with some special family guests, he'll feature "favorite Yuletide music, ranging from classics you'll know to some old gems from the British Isles that may be new to you."

The concert is free; donations welcome. Just go to Jordan's Facebook page at 1:00pm on December 20th, and the link to Facebook Live should be the top post.
Inspiring Quote
The earth has music for those who listen. -- William Shakespeare
And to All a Good (Silent) Night!
These two kids would fire up the holiday spirit in anyone, even the grinch!
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You're a student or a friend of Full Circle.

Our mailing address is:
Rollinsford Lower Mill, suite 401, 402, 406
3 Front Street
Rollinsford, NH 03869

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