Dusty Fiddle began studying the violin in 2004 under Annette Schulz, a former music instructor in the public schools. She was (and is) a skilled teacher as well as accomplished musician. The Suzuki violin series books were used, however not the Suzuki method. He continues to love to play the violin and practices to continue to improve his skills. He initially learned fiddle tunes on his own while studying classical music under Schulz. Fortunately, he could read music through vocal and piano work previously.
Dusty likes to play in outdoor environments whenever possible to associate his playing with nature. This has resulted in his playing the violin at the Garden of the Gods in Colorado Springs, a beach in Monterrey California, river in Tennessee, the Arenal volcano in Costa Rica, at Niagra Falls in Canada, along the waterfront in Seward, Alaska, on a Boeing 737 (five times in the air [most recently on a flight to Hawaii] and once on the ground...a Mile High Violinist), on the Alaska ferry between Juneau and Sitka, several other beaches in Hawaii (Maui, Oahu, and the Big Island), the Mississippi and Rock rivers in the Iowa/Illinois Quad cities area as well as Woodhull, Illinois, Mendenhall Glacier and Nugget waterfall in Juneau, Alaska, the Totem Cedar forest in Sitka, a jungle in Sumatra (near Lake Toba), on top the Haleakala volcano in Maui, the Polynesian Resort at Disney's/Lake Buena Vista, Florida, on the waterfront in Santa Catalina island, and on top a mountain in Colorado. He has also experimented with serenading wildlife to test their reaction to his playing. This has included slow and fast (fiddle) music played to moose, geese, ducks, sea lions, bald eagles, and a bear in the wild, and a captive audience of muskox and caribou at the large animal research facility in Fairbanks, Alaska. Most recently he seranaded a pelican on a rock at Catalina island in California. So far none have been impressed. They have never approached closer (to hear it better?... or to investigate why he was apparently in pain?), run away, or attacked him while playing. The pelican was particularly notable for his (or her?) reaction. It fell asleep while he was playing. Just ten feet away yet it communicated most effectively that it was not at all impressed. Sleep problems anyone? Dusty Fiddle may be able to help you!
His playing has continued in several other countries since the violin is his most constant companion. He has played in Canada, Costa Rica, Indonesia, Korea,Taiwan, Russia, Sweden, and Mexico.
Public performances have included Folk Festivals, several recitals, funeral/memorial services, in churches and at the Pohai Nani senior home in Kaneohe, Oahu (Hawaii). He has played with a local group in Anchorage and performed with them at a state prison. It was a great relief to discover that they let him back out after the performance.
His work requires lots of travel and he takes the violin with him everywhere. In addition to Alaska he has enjoyed playing in Arizona, California, Colorado, Florida, Hawaii, Iowa, Illinois, Nevada, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, Oregon, Rhode Island, Texas and Washington. So far no airlines have ever refused to allow him to take the instrument on board. Of course, now that several employees of the airlines have heard him play that could change in the future.
In his experience playing the violin is not just something you do. It cecomes a part of who you are.