Madison Bailey and Thomas Few are two of 32 kids in Brandywine’s Fiddle Club, which meets every Tuesday and Thursday after school. Daily Star photo/CRAIG HAUPERT

Archived Story

Fiddlin’ around at Brandywine

Published 5:39pm Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Megan Wieger can’t play many songs on the violin yet. She’s just in third grade after all.

But Wieger has picked up at least one song during her first year in Brandywine Fiddle Club.

“I like “Mary Had a Little Lamb”,” Wieger said. “It’s my favorite.”

Wieger is one of 32 students in music teacher Kathleen Kelly’s after school fiddle club, which meets Tuesdays and Thursdays at Brandywine Elementary School.

It’s for students in third through eighth grade and encompasses all string instruments, from violins, to cellos, to violas.

Third-grader Sequoia McClurken joined the club this year because her sister was in it last year.

“I would watch her practice and think ‘I want to do that,’” said McClurken, who flipped through the music book Tuesday afternoon, explaining lessons start off easy, but get more difficult as they move on.

“I like going through and trying it on my own,” McClurken said.

Kelly started the club six years ago as a way to give students a taste of string music.

“I love teaching elementary music, and I thought it would be fun to have an orchestra program at Brandywine, too,” said Kelly, who has been playing violin since the fifth grade.

The club is for string players of all levels. The first- and second-year students meet on Tuesday, while the advanced class meets Thursday.

“We start from day one with how to open up the case and go all the way up to students who are doing scales, pieces and more advanced techniques,” Kelly said.

There are many benefits, Kelly said, to learning a string instrument.

“It helps kids with reading and math skills,and helps kids how to learn to work as a team,” she said. “I personally loved being in an orchestra and being part of something bigger.”

Wieger seems to be enjoying it.

“It makes me want to take lessons in the summer, too,” she said.

For more information about the Brandywine Fiddle Club, email Kelly at kkelly@brandywinebobcats.org.

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