Fiddle, levels 2/3 (bluegrass)

Alisa Rose

In this course we’ll learn some classic Bill Monroe/Kenny Baker bluegrass tunes (Alisa will be in touch with students prior to camp about which tunes).  We'll work on using the bow both rhythmically and expressively to really make the melody sing with good tone, phrasing and timing, and playing in tune with relaxed and efficient left hand technique.  We'll also work on how to build a solo based on the melody of a song and bluegrass-ify it.  Students will come away with a couple new tunes (and how to back them up), ideas of how to add bluegrass embellishments to other tunes and songs, and how to play with a healthier technique.  

Prerequisites: Students should have a very good command of the instrument and should have four or more years of playing experience, including some experience playing music with others in jam sessions or in informal bands. Students should be able to play 10-20 fiddle tunes at a moderate and steady pace and have some ability to play simple melodies by ear. 

Bring a recording device of any kind, audio or video.

Feel free to email Alisa with any questions at

Alisa Rose appeared with the bluegrass band 49 Special at the 2009 Rockygrass Festival where they took first prize in the band competition in 2008. From 2008 to 2012  Alisa performed with and arranged pieces for Quartet San Francisco; their record QSF Plays Brubeck was nominated for a Grammy in 2009. As a member of the Real Vocal String Quartet, she performed and taught in Macedonia, Azerbaijan, and Macedonia as an Ambassador of the State Department.  RVSQ also appeared on Feist’s most recent album Metals, and on the Jay Leno Show.  Alisa has played with diverse artists including A.J. Roach and the Strange Pilgrims on PBS’s Song of the Mountains, with the Keisa Duo at Carnegie Hall, at TEDx Alcatraz with Bob Weir, and with Quartet San Francisco on NPR’s Weekend Edition. In May 2017 she released GRANA, an album of original tunes and improvisations on bluegrass and classical melodies with Tristan Scroggins, and can also be seen in the Lonely Bird Band with Jesse Appelman and Scott Nygaard.  

   Alisa received her Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in Chamber Music from the San Francisco Conservatory of Music. An experienced teacher, she enjoys teaching students of all ages at her private studio, and at the San Francisco Conservatory of Music preparatory department.  Alisa has also taught fiddle at the Nimblefingers Old-Time and Bluegrass workshop in Sorrento, B.C., San Francisco Conservatory of Music, Camp He Ho Ha put on by the Northern Bluegrass Association of Edmonton, Alberta, and at the Cougar String Camp in Pullman, Washington. We’re happy to have her join us at Walker Creek for the first time.


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