The Scottish Fiddlers Workshop, a student-created association, is open to all students beginning Oct. 1 every Thursday from 8-9 p.m. in the Eliza R. Snow Center for the Performing Arts 102.
The association welcomes all those who play viola, cello, bass and acoustic guitar as well anyone who can play, and has access to a bodhran or a tarbuka, according to the BYU-Idaho Scottish Fiddling Workshop event page.
Clayton Nehring, a sophomore studying history education, started the workshop in Spring Semester 2015.
Nehring said the workshop is a place where people can learn about and experience Celtic music.
Nehring said he began playing the cello 11 years ago and that he has been fiddling ever since. He said he loves the freedom and improvisation that fiddling allows.
Nehring said he created the fiddling group as a place for students of all skill levels who love music and would like to learn the techniques that accompany fiddling, as opposed to classical violin.
Nehring said that the Scottish Fiddling Workshop provides a low-stress environment for students to really learn the style instead of just preparing for a competition.
Nehring said the fiddling group enjoyed playing in the Mountain Music Festival and a BYU-I dance, where traditional southern-style dance was taught spring semester.
Fiddling did not start out as a respected activity in medieval times, according to the Fiddling Around the World website. Instead, it was often held in low regard in Scotland up until 1661, when King Charles II took the English throne, according to the website.
King Charles II presented a band of 24 fiddlers to his court and quickly turned fiddling into an art, according to the Fiddling Around the World website.
The enjoyment of fiddling continues to modestly spread and infect the hearts of eager and willing musicians in all parts of the world, according to the Fiddling Around the World website.
Marisa Black, a BYU-I alumna, said she has fiddled for 18 years — Scottish fiddling for nine.
Black said she noticed a lot of the fiddling music she was drawn to was Scottish fiddling, and she started to participate more in that realm of fiddling.
Black said she saw the workshop on the BYU-I calendar this past spring and immediately jumped at the opportunity. She said she has an enormous passion for fiddling and playing for other people.
“If you play fiddle for somebody, they’ll stomp their feet,” Black said. “They’ll want to dance. Everybody loves it.”
Black and Nehring played in the “Got Talent” show in the Oscar A. Kirkham Auditorium, Thursday, Sept. 24.
Black said that when it comes to the Scottish Fiddling Workshop, she especially loves the fun and encouraging atmosphere of the group and watching the members grow.
Black said the Scotting Fiddling Workshop is open for any string player of any skill level.
“It’s interesting because a lot of the techniques in Celtic fiddling are not able to be portrayed in sheet music,” Black said. “It’s cool to teach others how that feels.”
Nehring and Black said they often modify pieces to fit different skill levels. Black said many of the attendees are classically trained on the violin.
“Everybody should fiddle,” Black said. “It’s my theory that everyone loves fiddle music. They just don’t know it.”