Photo by Holly Conners

Hey y’all, I’m Hannah — born and raised in Charlotte, North Carolina and now living in northern Michigan!  I’ve been playing the violin since I was five years old, but when my first teacher introduced me to Irish fiddle tunes a few years later I was hooked. Eventually I shifted my focus completely to traditional Irish music, yet to this day I continue to incorporate my classical violin techniques into maintaining an advanced level of playing. My music is constantly surprising me, uprooting me from my comfort zone, and taking me places that I never dreamed would have such an impact on my life. The more I do it, the more I want to write about my experiences and share them with you! Hence the motivation to start this blog.

I’ve lived in North Carolina, Georgia, and South Carolina, but took a completely different turn in fall 2016 when I moved to Cork, Ireland for a year to pursue a Masters Degree in Ethnomusicology. Having graduated from Furman University with two Bachelor Degrees in Music and Anthropology, the next logical step was to combine them — and why not study in a place where I could immerse myself in the very music that I have grown to love so much? My time in Cork was so much more than a degree; it was a time where I grew into a person who I am proud to be, and I learned more about myself than I ever thought possible.

While this website is an overview of my professional music profile, a large part of it is the blog, Fiddle Forays. Back when I was traveling more, I blogged here and there about my different experiences, but it was mostly a way for me to tell my story for anyone who was interested in following along. Fiddle Forays still covers some of that, particularly in the “My Musical Journey” section, but I want it to be more than just about me. One of my favorite things to do is to answer questions from aspiring fiddlers, anthropologists, and travelers headed to Ireland — so I wanted to create this blog as a resource for people who find my experiences helpful in some way.

Here are a few things you can expect to find on the blog:

  • Fiddling tips: from beginner pointers to swapping advanced practicing strategies to how to take care of yourself as a musician, these will be geared toward all levels of fiddlers/other musicians!
  • Ethnomusicology Info: just what is it anyway, and why do I think it’s a great academic option for music students?
  • Music Travels: where I reflect on trips taken, the best ways to travel with an instrument, and any experiences that come up that I think are worth sharing!
  • My Musical Journey: where I go deep and discuss the where, the why, and the how of who I am today. This is my unique story that I’m sharing with you in hopes that it inspires you to live your best life. This is also where you can go if you’d like to know more about me!

Thank you for following along with me! As always, if you have any questions or any tips of your own to share, please feel free to reach out!

N.B. If you’re wondering what the “ceol” means in my username, it’s the term for “music” in the Irish language!