OFCRI Sponsored Novice Fiddle Classes

The Old Fiddler’s Club of Rhode Island has  sponsored many novice fiddle classes in the interest of getting people interested in the joy of playing the fiddle.  These classes are designed primarily for beginners, but those who have had previous experience playing the violin may find these classes useful. By the way, there’s really no difference between a fiddle and a violin, only in the manor or “style” the instrument is played. The saying goes: “A violin sings, but the fiddle dances”.

Basic information such as tuning, how to hold the fiddle and bow will be taught. Keep in mind there’s more latitude on these subjects when playing a fiddle compared to what you may have been taught when taking classical violin instruction. Considerable time will be spent on learning basic finger position and a few scales. Then we’ll move into the fun part of learning simple fiddle tunes.

Keep in mind many fiddlers learn tunes “by ear”. But, even though this is strongly encouraged we will provide very basic information on learning to read conventional sheet music.  This year we plan on meeting 7:00 to 8:30 pm on Tuesday evenings.

2023 classes will meet 7:00 – 8:30 PM at this location


Church of the Later Day Saints

525 Ashford Center Rd. (Route 44), Ashford, CT


You must have a fiddle to attend  classes!

If you are unsure of the condition of your fiddle PLEASE have it checked over by one of the repair people listed at the bottom of this page.

Classes are limited to 15 adults, 16 years or older.

Those interested should contact:

Missy Joyal


email: joyal40@yahoo.com

2012 Fiddle Class

2013 Fiddle Class

2017 Fiddle Class


YouTube is a great resource for novice to advanced fiddlers alike.  Literally thousands of videos on fiddling are available but, as someone learning to play for the first time you may want to use YouTube to help you set up and tune your fiddle before coming to our first class. Later, when you become more familiar with the basics, it may be difficult deciding which of all those videos best suits your needs. For those who already know something about fiddling there are huge collections of fiddle tunes available.


Instruction Books

Some folks previously attending the novice fiddle classes have found You Can Teach Yourself Fiddling, by Craig Duncan a helpful adjunct to learning. You can purchase new copies from Amazon for around  $15.99 plus shipping. Used copies at variable reduced prices are also available from Amazon. To find out more click Here



Class # 1 – October 3, 2023  Class 1 (Click on red text to preview subjects covered)

 Class # 2 – October 10, 2023 Class 2

Class # 3 – October 17, 2023  Class 3

Class # 4 – October 24, 2023 Class 4

No class – October 31, 1923 – Halloween 

Class # 5 – November 7, 2023 Class 5

Class #6 – November 14, 2023 


Fiddle Sale, Rental & Repair

Violin Sales & Rental

Music & Arts, 903 Hartford Turnpike (Rt. 85), Waterford, CT – 860-442-8884

Dennis McCarten, Pawtucket, RI – 201- 312-4258
Song-A-Day Music, Coventry, CT – 860- 742-6878

Violin Repair
David Cockerline, Killingly, CT – 860- 933-4464
Dennis McCarten, Pawtucket, RI – 201- 312-4258
Michael Lyons Violins, Foster, RI – 401- 647-4747


Violin Teachers

Tim St.Jean, Putnam, CT – 860- 928-3075
Jim Hammett, Song-A-Day Music, Coventry CT – 860- 742-6878
Killingly School of Music, Danielson, CT – 860- 774-2830
UCONN Community School of the Arts, Storrs, CT – 860- 486-1073