Bainbridge Island Banjo Teachers
I teach the music I have loved all my life. That is, traditional or “old-time” fiddle music. I have been fortunate to have met and learned firsthand from a number of masters of this age-old art, fiddlers here in the Pacific Northwest who themselves learned from long lineages of fiddlers and who played for dances in the rural Southern, Midwestern and Northwestern states as well as Western Canada. I have made a careful study of their details of style, repertoire, and rhythmic approach. I have also worked to document this rich tradition through productions and events with Northwest Folklife, Voyager Records and the Washington Old Time Fiddlers Association. I enjoy playing for square and contra dances and other community events. In my spare time, I tend to my garden and serve at the beck and call of my two cats. In a former life, I studied biology and worked in a lab studying blood platelet function.
My Teaching Background
I have been teaching music full time now for 20 years: private lessons, group classes and workshops at camps and festivals around the Northwest. My students have been my best teachers as far as letting me know what works and what doesn’t. I also spent several years as an academic tutor working under some excellent teachers and garnered a lot of ideas that I apply to teach music, particularly around targeting diverse learning styles.
My Teaching Philosophy
First off, fiddling is darn good fun and if we’re not having fun then, well, not much learning will take place! I try to draw on the best of the old-time fiddlers’ intuitive and “by ear” approach while guiding the students toward a comfortable technique appropriate to fiddling. I enjoy helping students find their own voice and sense of style within the broader fiddle tradition, delving into a variety of stylistic nuances and repertoire based on our regional tradition. I host jam sessions for the students and help facilitate performance opportunities at the appropriate level. I integrate applied music theory and ear training into the learning experience and teach reading standard notation as an adjunct skill rather than the primary mode of learning. I try to explore, respect and make use of differences in learning modes and styles as well.
Randy has been teaching at the Island Music Guild for the last 15 years. He got his first guitar in 1969 after seeing Jimi Hendrix on the Dick Cavett show. Over the years he picked up and learned to play the mandolin, banjo,and bass guitar. Randy studied music at Central Washington University in the early 90s, with a focus on classical guitar ,voice, the Renaissance Lute . After his college days Randy owned and ran a small music store in Ellensburg Washington. At this time he had a harp built for him and started composing his own music ..Over the next decade he traveled and performed on the harp.. In 2004 he moved to Bainbridge Island and started to teach at the Island Music Guild. Randy has found his calling in teaching music to people of all ages and skill level ‘ s he especially finds great joy and satisfaction in helping children find and develop their talents