Group Fiddle Classes


UPDATED 12/28/2020
With the ongoing Coronavirus pandemic, Blackstone River Theatre must follow local, state and national guidelines and remain closed to in-person classes until further notice. 
We plan to offer ZOOM classes starting late-January. Watch this space for details!  The dates below are obviously not correct but kept in place for class descriptions.

Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays
starting May 18, 20, and 21 
with instructor Cathy Clasper-Torch

Note: All fiddle classes are now held on the upper level of Blackstone River Theatre.
Please enter building through front doors and walk upstairs to classroom on the right.
Look carefully at dates as they are not consecutive!

5-Week Total Beginner (Adult) Fiddle - Tuesdays at 5:30 PM
5-Week Continuing Beginner Fiddle - Tuesdays at 6:30 PM
5-Week Advanced Intermediate Fiddle - Tuesdays at 7:45 PM

5-Week Advanced Fiddle - Wednesdays at 6:30 PM
5-Week Advanced Fiddle - Wednesdays at 7:45 PM
5-Week Intermediate I Fiddle - Thursdays at 5:30 PM
5-Week Intermediate II Fiddle - Thursdays at 6:45 PM 

Classes are $ 80.00 per student per 5-week session. Minimum needed to hold each class is six. Students must bring: own fiddle and bow, a music stand, and a recording device. Both playing by ear and some sight reading will be included. Players will be placed in all classes by the instructor's evaluation of skill level. Prepayment necessary!

Tuesdays: May 18 (Monday), 26, June 2, 9, 16 
Wednesdays: May 20, 27, June 3, 10, 17
Thursdays: May 21, 28, June 4, 11, 18

Total Beginner Fiddle Classes 
This course is for true beginners just starting out on their fiddle journey! The beginner class includes: fundamentals of playing the fiddle (fingering and bowing technique), instrument care, tuning the strings with confidence, and learning simple tunes and exercises by both ear and notation. A recording device is recommended for each class along with a music stand. Students need to bring their fiddle and bow to first class! 

Continuing Beginner Fiddle Classes 
This class is the next level after you have completed a Beginner level class at Blackstone River Theatre (or elsewhere). Often times a student will take the beginner class twice before moving on. Placement at the discretion of the instructor.

Advanced Intermediate Fiddle Classes
This class (or classes) is for fiddlers who have played for two years or more, or by discretion of the instructor. General fiddle proficiency (intonation, bowing, fingering) as well as comfort with sight-reading or reading notation is needed. This class includes: learning a broad repertoire of fiddle music (American, Celtic and more), playing by ear, performance skills and comfort, beginning ornamentation of tunes, session and jam etiquette. A recording device and music stand are recommended for each class.

Advanced Level Fiddle Classes (two levels)
These classes are for independent fiddle players who are comfortable with notation/sight reading, and have a general mastery of their instrument. The advanced classes includes: ear training and memorization of tunes, as well as exploration of improvisation and harmony. Placement in this class level will be at the discretion of the instructor and there are two levels to allow us to place "like" levels together. Recording device and music stand are recommended for each class. Players at this level will, on occasion, also learn tunes/repertoire for performance at Blackstone River Theatre events such as the Blackstone River Theatre Craft Fair and the Summer Solstice Festival.

Intermediate I Fiddle Classes
This class is for those who have taken four or more 6-week sessions at Blackstone River Theatre, or have equivalent experience, and are continuing to build their fiddle skills and repertoire of fiddle tunes (American, Celtic and more).

Intermediate II Fiddle Classes
This class is for those who have taken two or more years of fiddle classes at Blackstone River Theatre, or have equivalent experience, and are continuing to build their fiddle skills and repertoire of fiddle tunes (American, Celtic and more).

Cathy Clasper Torch is a multi-instrumentalist whose primary focus is fiddle/violin and piano. She combines her early classical training with love of improvisation and music of all genres and cultures. Cathy records and performs in the area with numerous bands and musicians including the Atwater-Donnelly Trio, The Gnomes, and Shelley Katsh. She released her first solo CD in 2011. Visit

So we can be assured of meeting the minimum needed to hold any of our class offerings, BRT NEEDS PRE-PAYMENT AT LEAST 3 DAYS BEFORE THE START OF ANY CLASS (and hopefully sooner!) or we'll need to cancel at that time.
If you are interested in a fiddle class, please:
1. E-mail to pre-register and then,
2. Put a check payable to Blackstone River Theatre in the mail ASAP to: Blackstone River Theatre, 549 Broad Street, Cumberland, Rhode Island 02864