US-based fiddler earns Level 3 LSMD certificate

Monday, December 7, 2020

Tom Prevost, based in Chattanooga, Tennessee, is a student of The Leinster School of Music and Drama's Irish Traditional Music Exam Programme.

Tom started learning to play the fiddle a couple of years ago and was fortunate to discover LSMD outreach teacher Tom Morley, also based in Chatanooga, who introduced him to Irish traditional fiddling. Tom started his fiddling lessons with Morley over a year and a half ago and was awarded a Level 3 Certificate in the Irish Traditional Fiddling by the LSMD earlier this year.

Irish fiddling exam

In the video at right, you can watch Tom playing along to a video of one of our youngest LSMD students, Abi Snell, also based in Chatanooga, who is playing the tune ‘Lucy Farr's Barndance’.

Tom took his Irish Fiddling exam via video, and it was graded by LSMD examiner Catriona Grimes in Ireland. The online examinations, which were launched in 2016, enable students all over the world to develop their skills in Irish traditional music. The team at the LSMD developed the exciting collaboration with well-known American fiddler and traditional Irish music teacher, Tom Morley.

Fiddle workshops in America

Morley, who has over 20 years of experience teaching classes in his own private studio as well as instructing at Irish Fiddle Workshops across colleges and universities in the US, led the introduction of the LSMD online exams stateside. Speaking of Tom’s success with his fiddle lessons and recent Level 3 award, Morley said

"Over the past twenty years or so I've had as many adult beginners in my studio as there have been children. And the adults have been of every age and decade. Tom Prevost is one of the older beginners I've worked with but he took such an immediate interest in the world of Irish traditional fiddling that he had progressed a great deal in a short amount of time! I can take some credit for introducing him to that world, but his practice ethic has been so strong; he practices regularly and even makes sure he has an instrument with him on vacations and business trips so that he doesn't miss a day. I'm certainly proud of his accomplishments, earning his LSMD level 3 certificate, but he certainly has put in the time and effort like few students I've had of any age!".

Speaking about the LSMD Irish Traditional music exams, Morley said

"If there was ever a perfect time for string teachers to encourage their students to work towards entering videos for the LSMD Irish Traditional music exams, it would be now. The Covid-19 pandemic has had its bad effects on many things, but in this new world of almost 100% long-distance online learning, the LSMD video exam program has been tailor-made as a great opportunity to motivate students who are playing Irish Traditional tunes and are looking for an outlet to show their skills in a non-competitive yet rewarding way."

Congratulations to Tom from all at LSMD and Griffith College!

Learn more about the LSMD.