Biography

I began playing the violin at eight years old after being introduced to string instruments through my school’s music program. I studied classically for 15 years, eight with James Grasso – an excellent musician and gifted teacher who played with the Stamford Symphony Orchestra. While I was in high school I was accepted into the Westchester Youth Symphony, and performed with them in Carnegie Hall. As an undergrad I studied violin at Oswego State University and performed in a variety of ensembles and orchestras.

I’ve been playing and recording fiddle and folk music with the Contra Banditos throughout New England for the last 10 years, performing fiddle, vocals, and most recently bass guitar. We play music from a variety of fiddle traditions including Celtic, Old Time, Bluegrass and Cajun. Head over to the Performances page of my site for more information on shows and our CD.

Most recently I have joined the Fitchburg State University Community Orchestra, and will be performing with them for the 2018 season.

Philosophy on teaching and playing violin:

Although I am familiar with the Suzuki method, I teach in the classical European style of Joachim and Auer. No matter what style of music a student wants to play on the violin/fiddle I believe they should start with a classical background. The fundamentals of classical playing will help every musician get the best sound from their instrument, thereby increasing their enjoyment of playing. It will also give them the skills to master any genre of music. My students can expect to work with a base of classical training in addition to any other style of music they play.

I strongly believe that music should be taught and played with passion and joy, and I work to help students of all ages find passion in their playing regardless of what type of music they play.

To schedule a lesson in Fitchburg, visit Fitchburg State University’s Community Lesson Program page and scroll to the bottom to register (you do NOT need to be a student at Fitchburg State to take lessons). Be sure to request me specifically as a teacher to ensure you get signed up as my student.

To schedule a lesson in Littleton, contact the Minor Chord at 978.486.0112.

If you wish to get in touch with me directly, you can reach me at 978.855.3109 or  cynthia@withywindlenature.com.

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I also work as a naturalist, teaching about natural history, ecology and the environment throughout Massachusetts. If you’d like to learn more you can visit my site at www.WithywindleNature.com