I started playing piano when I was six, and after a year I surprised my parents by requesting to switch to the fiddle.  Since then I've continued playing piano, worked on guitar and mandolin, fell in love with cello for several years, explored ukulele and penny whistle, a dabbled with a few other instruments, however, fiddle has always brought the most joy to my heart.

 

As there was not a fiddle teacher in my wonderful but tiny town of 600 people, my family got creative and I grew up attending camps and workshops and taking the occasional lesson from a variety of far flung fiddlers.  As a result, I love playing a variety of styles, and occasionally Irish ornamentation leaks into my Bluegrass licks.

I moved to the Pioneer Valley in 2009 where I studied Education and Psychology and played as much fiddle as possible in my spare time.  After graduating I taught Kindergarten, 1st, 3rd, and 4th grades before turning my attention more fully to music and private lessons. I draw heavily on my experience as a classroom teacher in teaching fiddle and differentiate my instruction to meet the needs of my students.

In addition to teaching private lessons to students of all ages, I am also a Director of the Fiddle Orchestra of Western Massachusetts and regularly play with a variety of bands throughout the valley.  When I'm not playing or teaching fiddle I am most likely knitting, skiing, wishing it was snowing, or chasing my backyard chickens.

Her fiddle playing is a vibrant blend of delicacy, power, lightness, gravity, love of tradition, and irrepressible mischief.
- David Kaynor
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Annika Amstutz