I am now based in Vancouver where I am offering 12-lesson courses in North Vancouverand in Kitsilano
For further information, or to arrange an introductory lesson, please phone me on 604 505 2677

Or email hazelfairbairn@googlemail.com


I have been teaching the fiddle for over twenty years. During this time I have developed a method founded on the basic principle of learning by ear.

Combining learning by ear with the Kato Havas New Approach*, I work hard to make sure that students get a good sound right from the start.

The fiddle is notorious for being a difficult instrument, especially at the elementary stage. I have found that by learning the basic techniques through the careful listening, imagination & reproduction of sound, rather than from notated exercises, the student plays with good tone, tuning and rhythm from the outset and forms an individual and creative relationship with the instrument.

Learning Technique is focused on achieving total balance and comfort in playing and is based on the teaching of Kato Havas, founder of the 'New Approach' to violin playing. The 'New Approach' is renowned world wide as a therapeutic teaching method for unlocking tension and anxiety and has helped many professional musicians who have developed RSI, Carpal Tunnel Syndrome or any of the other tension based complaints.

Using traditional tunes, modal scales & riffs and short rhythmic cycles familiarity with the instrument comes with repetition. Learning a new musical style is a bit like learning a language, acquiring a basic vocabulary of riffs and melodic fragments and understanding how these can be combined in a meaningful way in that style. Starting from the variation of simple phrases and tunes, individual creative expression and improvisation is explored.

My teaching is based on my own learning processes & musical experiences & above all I am concerned for the individual's enjoyment of playing music. Whilst I specialise in European & North American folk styles, I am happy to work from any musical style & you are welcome to bring your own requests for tunes to learn. Beginners of any age are welcome as are more advanced players. Classically trained musicians particularly find that this approach helps to relax their style and generate greater energy and lift when playing traditional music.
Lessons are supplemented with recorded practice material.

For many people and for all beginners, weekly lessons are advisable, some adults find that a fortnightly session is sufficient.

* Kato Havas New Approach : www.katohavas.com