Fiddle, Irish, levels 2/3

Instructor(s): Liz Knowles

Through the lens of both new and familiar tunes, we will explore Irish fiddle music– the various tune types, the wide world of bowings and ornamentation, an introduction to different fiddle styles, ways to explore and expand your tone as well as an understanding of the tone of well-known players, practice methods for increasing speed and an overall sense of pulse and rhythm. We will be doing a lot of playing and listening! Please bring a recorder and your questions!

Liz Knowles


This class is designed for intermediate and advanced players. “Intermediate” means a working knowledge of the instrument, bowing and fingering, an ability to hear and fix intonation, an ability to play in more than 5 keys, and that you have heard or know Irish music in some capacity. If you are a classical player of more than 8 years and are relatively new to Irish music OR are a traditional player who knows a lot of tunes and have had no formal training, you are both welcome! We will be learning only by ear in this class. Any written music with be given out for demonstration purposes or as a takeaway after the class. If you have never tried learning by ear, this class may be a challenge but it also might be a good one for you. My method of teaching is about exploration and therefore tends to go slowly enough to accommodate new “by ear” learners as long as you can accept that some things in the class will move faster to accommodate more advanced players. 

About Liz Knowles

Liz Knowles’ fascination with music has always been rooted in how one can arrive, land, and leave a note. Though arriving to music through the language of classical music, it is her more than thirty-year journey through Irish music that has defined her musical style. She established herself as a dynamic performer and recording artist as soloist on the soundtrack for Michael Collins, fiddler with Riverdance, Broadway’s The Pirate Queen and The Green Bird, soloist with the New York Pops, the National Symphony and other orchestras and as featured artist for the Ireland 100 Festival at the Kennedy Center. She was music director and producer for several large-scale stage shows and recording projects that toured Europe, Asia and South America. Her compositions and arrangements of tunes and songs have been recorded by John Whelan, Flook, Chicago’s Metropolis Symphony Orchestra, Liz Carroll, Beolach, Bachue, J.P. Cormier, Michael Black, John Doyle, and Ensemble Galilei.

Liz has composed and produced music for two exhibits featuring Irish art at the Art Institute in Chicago and at Notre Dame’s Snite Museum. She is a member of The String Sisters, The Martin Hayes Quartet, and Open the Door for Three and produces an ongoing podcast with fiddler Liz Carroll called “The Lizzes”. 


Liz is well-known as an active and engaging teacher at camps in the US and abroad and is on faculty at the New England Conservatory in Boston. We’re delighted to have her join us for the

first time at Walker Creek!