Since retiring from full-time touring with Gaelic Storm in 2012, Jessie has been focusing on teaching. She teaches individual and group lessons in the Boulder, Colorado area and also works remotely using Skype. She also teaches at various fiddle workshops and camps around the country.
Jessie has been playing music since the age of six and as a student has experienced many different teaching styles. She attained Grade Eight Distinctions on piano and violin in the English Associated Board Music Exams as a teenager, and took lessons from age six to eighteen. She has competed musically at a county level, played in and toured internationally with high-level youth orchestras from the age of eleven and has attended numerous camps and workshops in both the classical and folk genres. With Gaelic Storm, Jessie spent six years recording and touring over 200 days a year internationally, performing to audiences of 25,000 strong at festivals as well as sit down audiences in Performing Arts Centers nationwide. She has shared the stage with many of the great folk musicians of the day and has learned much about performance, recording and the business of music along the way.
Jessie’s students range in age and ability from 5-year old beginners to very accomplished players, many of whom have playing for decades. Lessons are designed and adapted around the needs of each student. Jessie uses her classical foundation to teach students technique, to read music, basic music theory and to help to establish a practice discipline. She combines this with her folk background to teach learning by ear, improvisation, tune building, composition, arranging and session playing. Lessons for younger players also include general musicianship, rhythm games, pitch practice and fun exercises to help youngsters gain confidence and joy through music. The most important thing to Jessie is that through all the ups and downs of learning a new instrument, students of all ages and abilities feel positive about themselves and their musical progress while they are learning to fiddle.
Jessie Burns is a very well trained musician, who is highly knowledgeable in most aspects of the study of fiddle/violin, and music theory. Additionally, she is also a skilled and experienced performer who can play in just about any style, and genre of music, be it Irish, Bluegrass, Old Timey or Classical.
However, Jessie’s greatest skill, without a doubt, is her ability and commitment to teach others. She is someone who has a deep well of knowledge who knows how to deliver it in ways that continue, over time, to bring out the best in each of her students, no matter how old, or what level they are.
As someone who has played the fiddle for 12yrs, and studied with Jessie for the last 10, I can say with absolute honesty that her teaching methods and encouragement have had a profound effect on my knowledge of the instrument, and the steady improvement of my playing.
I couldn’t give a higher endorsement for Jessie Burns. Anyone, from beginner to advanced, will benefit greatly from her tutelage and encouraging attitude.
Our five year old daughter Luci started taking lessons with Jessie in September 2013, and has learned so much! Jessie knows how to connect with children and teach them in a way that is fun and engaging. She is also very easy to work with. We love Jessie and highly recommend her!
Jessie is an amazing teacher! She has taken my daughter’s fledging interest in Celtic Fiddle and developed it into what will be a lifelong passion. Jessie’s commitment to her students was obvious when, even after she was displaced from her home during the flooding of 2013, she went out of her way to make sure my daughter had a much needed lesson the week before a Scottish Fiddle Competition (where she took 1st after only 4 lessons with Jessie!). My teenager, after seeing the work her sister had done and hearing about her lessons, requested lessons with Jessie as well! And THAT is saying something!
I was fortunate enough to attend a fiddle workshop at which Jessie was the instructor. She very quickly had the lot of us, a group from various musical backgrounds, fiddling together as a cohesive group. We all loved her. I didn’t know what a roll, a cut, a slide, or for that matter, an ornament was prior to that week. I came out of the week able to add my own ornamentation to tunes, as if I had been for years. It is not an exaggeration to say that the week-long workshop taught by Jessie was the most significant musical experience of my life.