Teaching Philosophy: Ellen’s approach to fiddle instruction draws from her long experience as a fiddler and a Suzuki Method violin teacher. She uses the cornerstones of Suzuki, such as learning by ear and parental involvement, as well as a positive attitude and playfulness to inspire learning good technique and having fun with fiddling. She believes wholeheartedly that “every child can!”
Musical influences: Dudley Laughman. In my late teens I used to go to a Dudley dance nearly every night of the week. Liz Carroll, fabulous fiery Irish fiddler from Chicago.
When I’m not teaching: I’m working on the farm.
Current Projects: Ladies of the Lake, Gawler Family, Pineland Fiddlers, playing and calling for contra dances and of course, teaching.
Favorite Place in Maine: North Haven Island
Ellen Gawler first picked up the fiddle at age 7. She’s conversant in many styles, including Irish, Maritime, Quebecois, Shetland, and New England.
She has been a member of the Maine Country Dance Orchestra, Old Grey Goose, Trillium, Borovchani, Pine Hill Band, Village Harmony, Childsplay, and Ladies of the Lake. She also tours with her husband and 3 daughters as the Gawler Family. Ellen has been awarded the Maine Arts Commission Master Artist/Apprenticeship Grant, to teach traditional Maine fiddling.
As Co-founder of the Pineland Suzuki School, she directs the Pineland Fiddlers, an aspiring youth fiddle group who is dedicated to the traditional music of Maine. Ellen is a Suzuki violin/fiddle teacher of 25 years, and continues to teach at the Pineland Suzuki School, fiddle workshops, music camps and institutes and at her home in Belgrade.