J a z z F i d d l e W
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WHAT PEOPLE SAY:
Bill Falkowski's son Edek has used my materials since he attended Strings Without Boundaries in Pittsburgh a couple of years ago. This is a quote from an email from Bill dated 1/11/11 (used by permission). See video of Edek here :
So thanks so much for all your long distance help. Your books and email responses have really pulled a lot together for Edek.
The following was sent to me on August 5th, 2010 by a student after an audition for the Berklee College of Music (used by permission):
Hey Dr. Norgaard,
So I just want to say thank you so much for the help you gave me before the audition. It went soooo well! I don't think I've ever had an audition like that one and I'm still in shock from it. All in all, it was awesome and I owe a lot of it to you and I thank you for that.
Randy Sabien is using Jazz Fiddle Wizard with his college students at McNally Smith College of Music. He sent me this in an email on 1/27/2010 (used by permission):
"We are working through the book and it's just great. Perfect for my college students."
I was the featured clinician and artist at the Jazz String Fest, 2009 at Kaukauna High school in Wisconsin. The director send me this quote:
“ Martin Norgaard is not only an astonishing jazz violinist but a top notch
educator. In five hours he moved a high school orchestra group through improv
exercises on major scales, blues scales and on to “I Got Rhythm” changes- and
everyone took a solo in each format! I would highly recommend him to any school
string director as a clinician.”
The following is an excerpt from an email I received
from Lisa Lindvall on November 11,
2007 concerning her 7 year old daughter Hannah (used by permission):
I received this email from Georgina Ellul in Australia on May 14, 2007 (used by permission):
I am writing to you from Australia and I teach Violin and Viola. Your Fiddle
Wizard Books have been a source of great enjoyment in my teaching
Dr. Jennifer Morgo of Sayville Schools, New York, attended my workshops at the IAJE Teacher Training Institute in Park City Utah, June 2006. Click the link to read her report. Make sure you scroll down to the bottom of the page to see the pictures: http://www.liviolinshop.com/IAJE.htm
The following is an excerpt from an email I received from Renee Sutin on January 5th, 2007 (used by permission):
My son's teacher introduced him to your Jazz Fiddle Wizard series a couple of years ago when he seemed to be losing interest in violin and it really sparked a passion for him. He is currently studying jazz with John Blake, Jr. in Phil. in a very serious way. So, thank you for your excellent publication.
Here are a sample of comments from participants at the 2006 Pittsburgh Jazz and Fiddling Camp collected in anonymous feedback forms.
§ He not only presents the exact information novice jazzers need, but has excellent verbal skills to deliver his message and has done a tremendous job of breaking this down to make sense.
§ I have the highest respect for Martin and his teaching; he’s a master teachers.
§ I wish I had more time to pick his brains.
§ Keep this; it has helped me to have a clearer understanding of the “mechanics of jazz.”
§ Very encouraging! I am excited now and I used to be petrified.
§ I liked the way he taught.
§ I improved my jazz skills dramatically with communications with other players during jazz pieces. He has great understanding of pedagogy for jazz.
§ I loved that we learned about jazz theory some to help us with improvising, but I’m not good at theory, so I felt lost a bit.
§ Made a comfortable atmosphere for new/inexperienced jazz musicians.
§ Really fun, I learned a lot.
§ Fabulous teaching style, clear creative and inspires as he teachers – most of all he makes you feel at ease and wants you to know “you too can play jazz!”
§ I really enjoy the pieces in his book.
§ I learned the most about improv/jazz in Mr. Norgaard’s classes; he was always thorough and made difficult concepts clear.
I received this email from Zach Silver on Jan 22nd, 2006 (used by permission):
Here is part of an email I received from string teacher Muriel Orcutt who participated in the Pittsburgh Jazz and Fiddling Camp August 2005 (used by permission):
It has been a very busy September. My students are enjoying playing "Swing on the String" very much and we are progressing slowing on improvising. I have introduced my sixth graders to your book series and we are ordering books because they just love doing it. We have worked with the CD to #12. They want to play with the CD at home!
I just started with 5th graders so they have not been exposed to this yet
but I have the feeling that they will want the book too. Thank
String teacher Jan Farrar-Royce posted the following to the Fiddle-L list after the first Pittsburgh Jazz and Fiddling camp August 2005:
This is from a string teacher that took my classes at the IAJE Teacher Training Institute 2004:
I had the pleasure of teaching the International Association for Jazz Education's Teacher Training Institute in Kansas City in June, 2002. Here is an email I got from one of the string participants, ASTA with NSOA president David Littrell. Used by permission.
"Thank you again for such a lively and educational jazz strings workshop
Nina Trott teaches students ages 7 to 55 in Bath in the southwest of England. I am hard at work on book 2 and 3 in the Junior series to bridge the gap between Junior and the original Jazz Fiddle Wizard mentioned in her email. Used by permission.
"I've been using your "Jazz Fiddle Wizard Junior" book with
pretty much all my pupils with huge success. However, it's quite a jump
from "Junior" to the definitive Fiddle Wizard book, and as you say,
Junior is for players of one-three years' experience and Adult is for college
David Mills teaches improvisation to string players at The Neighborhood Music School in New Haven, Connecticut. Used by permission.
"I, myself, am having great success with a six-year-old who is using Fiddle Junior. You would love to hear her playing blues riffs on her 1/8-size violin."
Got this from a Classical violin student in Australia on January 20th, 2002. Thanks Luke for the nice feed back. Used by permission.
"Hi there, my name is Luke Moller. I'm from Brisbane Australia and recently purchased your book. I ordered the book online a few months back and was very lucky to receive it just as my summer holidays began in November. I have spent the last 2 months going through the book and was really surprised at how good it actually was. I'm currently starting my second year bachelor of music on violin at the Brisbane Conservatorium, so I am advanced in classical studies but had no clue when it came to jazz. The book has really given me a great start into jazz, because I did not know how to start. A lot of jazz students were saying "Scales learn your scales" I have found that after going through your book I can play more by ear then worrying about scales all the time. The cd is also a fantastic idea, I find myself playing along with it all the time, and my improvisation has REALLY improved by playing with it, although I have a long way to go until I'm really doing it properly.
Thanks so much for the great sessions you presented to Indiana string educators in January at the IMEA Convention in Indianapolis. Your sessions were filled with valuable information and materials which served to stimulate new approaches to string education and an understandable means of exploring the skills of improvisation. It was an exciting session and attendees were very interested in your materials. I look forward to seeing your upcoming publications and your continued impact in this evolving area of Jazz Education.
I have received much positive feedback from the convention and I wish to express my personal appreciation for your contributions to the total program. I hope that other states will utilize your expertise and should you need a referral for other conferences, let me know. We are most appreciative of Mel Bay's support in making your appearance in Indiana possible. Thanks again and I look forward to seeing you again in the future.
On August 14th, 2001, I conducted the In-service for Nashville Metro Strings Teachers in collaboration with bassist Andy Evans. A couple of days later I got this letter from participant Sara Johnson who also helped me correlate the workshop with their newly developed curriculum. The letter is reprinted by permission.
Your Workshop yesterday at our Metro Strings Teacher Inservice was wonderful - timely, informative, and interesting. Your matter-of-fact manner in presenting the material from your Jazz Fiddle Wizard book, and your insistence that we "knew more than we thought we did", helped us feel at ease for our first try at improvising.
It seems that the National Standards and our new Strings Curriculum are going to force us all to new areas in our teaching, such as improvisation, Blues, and Jazz. The Jazz Fiddle Wizard book is a great resource for teachers because it begins with very strict and narrow guidelines to ensure success. In just this short session, I picked up enough to make a start with my students. I think I can work through this book and keep at least one step ahead of them!
It was especially gratifying to see how well your presentation agreed with our new curriculum. You really made a strong effort to accomplish that, and I appreciate it. All of my colleagues were very pleased with the Workshop, and felt that, for once, an Inservice actually had meaningful content.
Thank you for all your efforts in our behalf. Best wishes for a good year at Belmont.
Got this email from jazz/rock violinist Cathy Morris who also organized the Indianapolis String Improv Conference 10/27-29, 2000:
Below is an email I got from Gene Lowinger. Gene played for Bill Monroe in the 60ies and is the author of Jazz Violin-Roots and Branches and Bluegrass Fiddle. His band AVALANCHE WITH GENE LOWINGER plays a mix of swing, bluegrass and progressive acoustic music. For more information about his band and lessons in the New York tri-state area contact Gene at firstname.lastname@example.org. The email is reprinted by permission.
Just as a way of introduction, I played fiddle with Bill Monroe in the '60's and have been playing bluegrass for a loooooooong time. I got your book and have been working with it. It's a wonderful methodology. I have learned so much from the techniques you talk about just in the first few lessons about how I can help my students learn to improvise. I do it so automatically that it's difficult to put into words for students to understand.
It's slow going at first, but i am an extremely tenacious, patient musician (learned that from Big Mon) so I'm looking forward to working with your book for a long time.
Here is the first part of an email I received from Melissa Allen, a string teacher in Knoxville, TN (used by permission):
"Dear Mr. Norgaard,
I got this from Ben Lively in Boulder, CO (used by permission):
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