Our experiences are critical to why Fretless Fringes is different from the rest of the string education community. The vast majority of the music education community comes from the perspective of the teacher or performer. We think that’s too narrow. Our founder, Charlie Shafer, has run concerts and workshop series for years, has consulted for young artists, and in general understands the business side of the musical career like few others.
As a presenter of concerts, Charlie founded and has run the Fire In The Kitchen Concerts and Workshops series since it’s inception 20 years ago. Grammy winners and celebrated, world-traveling performers have all been featured performers and workshop leaders.
As a mentor to young professional musicians, he has helped them establish a personalized business model that works, combining the many facets of musicianship from performing to teaching. Most importantly, he has helped many learn how to establish a sense of community around them, which serves to build loyalty and dedication in an audience, as well as a purpose to their music.
As a teacher/group leader, he runs the Skunk Misery Ramblers fiddle club, which is an all-ages/all-abilities “folk” performance group. The concept is to build community and creativity by going as leader-less as possible, with everyone in the group having some degree of input. Material, arrangements, solos; everyone has a voice. Yes, it means sometimes it’s a happy mess, but when it comes to creativity, experience is a better teacher than defined roles.