Noah Kelly

INSTRUCTOR

Born in Quito, Ecuador, Noah was adopted by his family and was raised in Boston, Massachusetts. He began his violin studies at the age of 6 through Project STEP and New England Conservatory Preparatory School, and later at Walnut Hill School for the Arts. Noah graduated and received a Bachelor of Music in Contemporary Improvisation from New England Conservatory of Music in 2022, having studied with Hankus Netsky and Eden Macadam-Somer, and will receive his Master of Arts from the University of Limerick in Irish Traditional Music Performance this coming January. As a trained classical violinist, Noah has enjoyed his involvement in diverse musical landscapes. Over the past several years, he has primarily been playing Irish traditional music as a fiddle player. He was nominated to compete in the All Ireland Fleadh Cheoil in 2019 in Drogheda, Ireland. Since 2019, Noah has been freelancing, mainly learning Irish music sessions around the Boston area. Over the pandemic, Noah had the chance to teach virtually at Four Strings Academy, a music camp based in Arlington, MA, led by his former violin teacher/mentor, Mariana Green-Hill. It was there in which he discovered his passion for teaching violin and improvisation skills to a wide array of students with different musical interests. Since 2020, Noah has taught aspiring violinists, fiddlers and improvisors throughout the Boston area and in Ireland. 

Birthday: October 1st.

Born/Grew Up: I was born in Ecuador, but grew up in Boston, MA. 

Schools Attended: Project STEP, NEC Prep, Walnut Hill School for the Arts, New England Conservatory of Music (BM in Contemporary Improvisation), University of Limerick (MA in Irish Traditional Music Performance).

Instruments you Teach: Violin and Piano (various styles).

Favorite Music to Perform: While I have grown up playing classical throughout my youth, I am primarily an Irish fiddle player, and I enjoy performing around Boston/New England in music sessions, set dances and contradances.

Favorite Music to Listen To: I love to listen to a wide variety of music! I love listening to bebop, Bulgarian folk music, Irish traditional dance music, rock, pop and hip-hop. In my spare time recently, I have been very interested in Jazz/Rock fusion music from Japan and Brazil. 

Other hobbies & interests: Over the pandemic, I have taken a liking for going on long bike rides with my friends and family. In the wintertime, I love downhill skiing and snow shoeing in the White Mountains of New Hampshire. 

Fun fact: I am currently learning the Irish language (Gaeilge) in my spare time!

Heroes: For musical heroes, I have a lot! Miles Davis, Bill Evans, Oscar Peterson, Freddie Hubbard, Martin Hayes, Tommy Peoples, Jenna Moynihan, Ryan Young, Nathan Gourley to name a few. As for heroes outside of music, there’s Ernest Hemingway, JK Rowling and Steve Jobs to name a few. It certainly goes without saying that my family, and my partner are amazing heroes of mine too!

Practice Tips:

  1. Practice slowly, especially if the piece is new material. In this time it is essential to give your mind the chance to internalize it first, as it can be difficult to relearn it later on if you happened to have picked up some wrong notes or rhythms.
  2. Keep a simple journal of your progress and what you are proud of and what you feel like you need to work on. Remember to look at the positives as much as possible, as it is important to be kind to yourself in the process of learning an instrument. 
  3. Make sure to always practice efficiently, with the metronome, scales, with a tuner if necessary. 30 minutes of attentive practice will have a greater impact than 2 hours of inefficient practice.
  4. Always aim for your best sound, even if you aren’t around anyone.