Play by Ear Level 1 Online Intensive
Play by Ear - Level 1 is a week long Ear Training Intensive workshop for string players who want to be able to play off the page. Together we will unlock the mystery of how to hear music and translate it to a string instrument without having to look at music notation.
Developing this new skill will allow you to pick out tunes at jam sessions, learn in workshops with your favorite fiddler or play tunes by ear at home. It will help you when friends ask you to "sit in" with your fiddle or when you want to pick out a string part in your favorite pop song.
Being able to play by ear helps with picking up musical languages and nuances that are passed down aurally and can't be notated. It is also foundational for musical improvisation and composition.
By the end of the week you will be able to learn a tune by ear without simply having to guess at notes. You will understand the direction of the notes, how to hear intervals and how to play them on your instrument
Monday May 21- Saturday May 27
- Each day you will get a short "lesson" video to watch (around 10 mins long) on your own time.
- Get your day started with MUSIC FIRST: Join live practice sessions from 7:30-7:50 am Monday- Friday to practice the skills learned in the lessons (replays available).
- You will have a challenge to complete every day to solidify the skill we are working on for that day. Post about your challenge inside the community page to earn badges!
- The intensive includes one 20 minute private session scheduled with Laurel, flexibly scheduled, where we will cover any questions, weak spots, or just practice together where YOU are at.
- On Saturday May 27th from 10:30-11:30 am CST we will have an hour long online class where we will learn an entire tune by ear using the skills we developed throughout the week.
- Each student who completes all challenges will receive a graduation certificate and will be eligible to sign up for Level 2 (TBA later this summer).
Reserve Your Spot!
Want to up-level what you thought was possible with your playing in just one week? If you are ready to learn brand new skills that will transform the way you relate to music then sign up now! Class size is limited due to the one-on-one element of the intensive.Enroll!
Laurel Morgan Parks
Crossover violinist Laurel Morgan Parks has been following her musical path since the young age of 4 when her dad brought home a banged up fiddle with a bow that lacked most of its hairs - it was love at first listen! As a professional musician Parks has performed with acts such as the Eagles, Sarah McLachlan, Amy Grant, Evanescence, Josh Grobin and Disturbed, but also with her own projects - The Wires String Duo, Of Tree, and In the Pines. She has traveled throughout Asia, Europe and the United States, playing with her own bands, the Mantovani Orchestra and the Des Moines Symphony. Parks is currently the founder/instructor of Drunken Fiddles - a fiddle workshop for adults who want to learn to play stringed instruments from the absolute beginning while incorporating fiddle styles and outside-the-box techniques along the way. When not performing or teaching Parks can be heard on the NPR affiliate radio station 91.9 Classical KC as the co-host of Sound Currents - a show dedicated to championing New Music.
Sascha Groschang, cellist, is an active recitalist, having concertized across the United States and Asia. As an Artists International Special Presentation Winner, she gave her solo debut recital at Carnegie Hall’s Weill Recital Hall in February of 2009. She has appeared at Lincoln Center and Carnegie Hall many times as a chamber and orchestral musician, including as a featured soloist with country artist Clay Walker, and as associate principal of the National Youth Symphony. She has shared the stage with artists such as Yo-Yo Ma, Itzhak Perlman, Nadia Salerno-Sonnenburg, Johnathon Biss, Robert Levin, Sharon Isben, Vladimir Feltsman and Pepe Ramero. She has been a soloist with the Grammy-Award-winning Kansas City Chorale, The Bach-Aria Soloists, and has been a featured performer for Congressman Emmanuel Cleaver (MO), Governor Bob Holden (MO) and the United States Department of Labor.
I have to tell you how impressed I am with these online lessons. I just love them! I love how you present everything listening and watching you play, and I really look forward to practicing everyday. I was a little skepticalabout taking the online classes but they're working out really well. Fewer and fewer squeeks every day, lol. I've always wanted to play the violin, I'm 62 years old and this has been a real treat. Excited to try an in person workshop again. Thank you so much!!
You are wonderful, Laurel, both in person and online. What a giving spirit you have! There are natural teachers and you are one. This is such a gift for me since me my stroke and concussions. A good stretch.
These videos are great and this website and its usability is fantastic. Nicely done!
Learn anywhere at your own pace!
Absolute Beginner Level
Never played before? Not a problem! We will teach you proper technique so that you will have a solid foundation to play any type of music your heart desires.
Dust off your instrument, choose your favorite genre and jump right in. We teach tunes by practicing WITH you rather than showing you quickly and expecting you to figure it out.
All the tools and guidance to start playing tunes right away!
Have you ever wanted to learn how to fiddle? We specialize in teaching two types of adults: Absolute Beginners and Intermediate Players who are ready to dust off their instruments.
There's no need to read music or memorize it. You don't even have to know how to hold a bow! We take the time to make sure you learn and progress with confidence.
What type of students do best in your program?
What if I have never played an instrument before?
Where do I get an instrument?
What instruments are taught?
What if I don't read music?
Why the name "Drunken Fiddles?"
In addition to teaching, Laurel Parks and Sascha Groschang make up the Wires - an original modern string duo that composes music inspired by a variety of world styles. Both instructors collaborate on course material. Make sure you check out the Wires to hear styles and techniques headed your way!Listen to The Wires
Tune Cheat Sheets
Don’t worry, you don’t need to learn how to read music. I will teach you a combination of learning by ear plus using a cheat sheet so you don’t have to memorize anything.