Welcome to Fiddling for Older Folks

Fiddling for Older Folks is my blog about learning to play the fiddle as a senior citizen, well almost! I picked up the fiddle in February 2019, a month before my 63rd birthday. You can read my original post below to see what motivated me to start this journey. I decided to create this blog because I wanted an easily accessible place to serve as a chronicle of my experience, a place to keep my thoughts and the knowledge I learn along the way that I can easily refer back to when needed. I also created it for other “older folks” who may be setting off on this experience and would like to share their experience, so we can support one another. So, if this is you, I invite you to join me and my new friends at Fiddling for Older Folks.

I hope you enjoy!
Jim, a.k.a. MoonShadows

Fiddling for Older Folks

Am I too Old to Learn How to Play the Fiddle?

Originally posted on January 30, 2019

I have loved Old Time fiddle music for as long as I can remember. And, for just about all that time, I’ve dreamed of playing the fiddle, but never did. The desire to learn was there, but the drive and determination lagged far behind. As the years passed, I would flirt over and over again with the idea but never acted on it. Now, that I am an older folk, about to turn 63 years old, I am finally going to learn to play the fiddle. What has changed you may ask?

A couple of weeks ago, I happened onto a YouTube video entitled Front Porch Music in West Virginia, and my ear was drawn to the fiddles as they played Soldier’s Joy, one of most-played old time fiddle tunes.

Appalachian music played on the front porch of Miller’s Inn in North River Mills, Hampshire County, WVa.

I played the video a second time, and after that I started looking for more front porch and Saturday night fiddle music, each time being drawn to the fiddlers. Once again, the desire to learn the fiddle was rekindled, but I thought I am now too old to learn the fiddle…or am I?

What I learned over the next few days was not only am I not too old to learn, but being older has it’s advantages when it comes to learning the fiddle. I read tidbits and stories of folks who never picked up a fiddle until they were adults or senior citizens, even up into their 80’s and 90’s, and how much satisfaction and enjoyment the fiddle has brought them. I read that an older beginner often has more determination and dedication than a younger beginner, and these characteristics, more than talent, are key to learning any new skill.

Pickers and step dancers from near and far gathered to celebrate the 23rd Annual North River Mills/Ice Mtn Day in North River Mills, WV on May 12, 2018.

I began to think, “What the heck am I waiting for?” Once that thought occurred to me, I made up my mind. There is no time like the present, and I finally started on the road to becoming a fiddler. I began researching learning methods while I searched for my first fiddle. Interested in what I found? Then, welcome to Fiddling for Older Folks.

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