Foundational Ideas of FiddleQuest

Exploring off the trail with the violin

I love to explore. When I visit a new city, I enjoy walking around without consulting a guidebook. The chance that I will stumble upon a great coffee shop or music store or magic shop or other unexpected treat greatly outweighs the risk that I’ll get lost or waste my time.

Some exploration is about being the first to find or discover something. I love exploration for the simple joy of surprise.

Kids are natural explorers. Some will look far and wide and others stay a little closer to the trail.

One of the strongest indicators of my student’s interest is their desire to explore. All of my students are on the same educational trail. But some students insist upon exploring off that trail. They look at songs above their level in the curriculum or songs they hear on Spotify or YouTube.

When they come to the lesson and tell me they didn’t work on the song I gave them, but they found another song they love, I calmly tell them, “That’s cool. Let’s work on that.” Inside, I’m thrilled and wanting to high five the student’s parent. (Part of the joy of exploration is that there is a little bit of rule-breaking going on. I try not to sound too excited lest they not get to enjoy that pleasure of going against expectations.)

Wandering off the musical trail has given me so much joy and confidence over the years that it has become my goal is to provide my students the skills and curiosity to do the same.