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Effaeye Aawenyn

Fiddle, Violin


Known for her creativity, performance artistry and patience, Effaeye Aawenyn has worked as a violin and fiddle instructor for 23 years. She's a very experienced teacher of young children and beginners of all ages, and is also a longtime dance teacher. For intermediate through advanced students she offers expertise in nuanced bowing techniques, tone production, rhythm, phrasing, and stage presence. Her individualised teaching style brings out every student's potential for playing with artistry and musicality, no matter what age or level of study.

Effaeye's original fiddle compositions, recorded under her former name Susan Hope Hoffman, were featured in her performances at Johnny D’s Uptown Restaurant & Music Club and on four albums (@fiddledancemusic). Reviewer William Cutlip notes she “plays a fine, rhythmically charged fiddle informed by time spent with Don Roy and other Maine fiddle monsters.” Master fiddler Greg Boardman describes her composing and playing as “proud of its rural past, relishing the present … inviting, warm, energized and straight ahead, with a bit of mischief thrown in.”

Reviews of her work as a fiddler and singer, in a country duet with newgrass (Breakfast Special and Skyline) songwriter Jim Tolles, praise “sweet playing from two experienced pros" (Tom Rota, managing director of One Longfellow Square) and "a powerful performance … marked by front-porch informality and graced with superior musicianship" (Will Gottlieb, Coastal Journal).

She taught at Maine Fiddle Camp in the early 2000s, earned two professional training certificates from the Bates Dance Festival, and collaborated on small-scale dance/music performances with musicians including Moira Smiley and Michael Zerang. Since 2003 she's led workshops and group classes at schools, libraries and children's museums featuring her original curriculum of fiddle music and creative movement.

Effaeye studied classical violin with Dr. Joseph Conte (concertmaster of the Rhode Island Philharmonic) in the 1980s, and her BA in English writing includes honors in Cultural Anthropology and a minor in Theater Dance. She began earning her MPhil in Performance Practice online at University of Exeter in 2019, and in 2023 was offered a place in the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland’s online MEd in Learning and Teaching in the Arts.

Effaeye's current projects include recording a new album of compositions, teaching private students throughout the Madison area, and working as an instructor at UW's Odyssey Junior Music Program, Music con Brio, and the UW-Madison Summer Music Clinic.

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