Fiddle Faculty

Alyssa Rodriguez

Fiddle, Suzuki fiddle, Suzuki violin, Suzuki viola

Alyssa Rodriguez is a classically trained violinist gone fiddle player who holds a degree in Music Composition from Ithaca College. She discovered her love of fiddle music in Ithaca’s vibrant Contra dance and Irish music scene, and discovered Ball Folk and other European fiddle music while studying abroad in Vienna, Austria. She has studied Irish fiddle with Tim Ball and Scandinavian fiddle with Laurie Hart of Ithaca, NY, and enjoys performing for live dance events. She plays a myriad of European fiddle styles, and is passionate about teaching fiddle and about all things violin. She also studied Suzuki pedagogy with Carrie Reuning-Hummel.

Daphne Kanack-Pickens

Violin, Fiddle, Chamber Music

Daphne Pickens received her bachelor’s degree in violin performance at the Oberlin Conservatory of Music, where she studied with Marilyn McDonald. She recently completed a masters degree in music education at the Eastman School of Music, where she studied with Juliana Athayde. Having begun her musical studies and career at the Kanack School of Musical Artistry, Daphne has over 10 years of teaching experience. With strong roots in folk and classical styles, she currently performs with The Crooked North and Birch Trio. She has released one folk album to date with her best friend and bandmate, Casey Murray, titled To Zamir (2013). In addition to her roles as performer and teacher, Daphne is also an avid composer, arranger, and visual artist. In 2016, Daphne collaborated with the Great Bear Trio, composing and recording string parts for their album, Magic Fantasy Dream Dance. Her drawings are featured in Book 2 of the Creative Ability Development Series, Basslines and Fantasies (2014), by Alice Kanack. In her free time, Daphne enjoys spending quality time with her friends and family, playing board games, knitting, attending contra and blues dances, and creating art out of broken, unusable musical instruments.


Tim Ball

Fiddle, Suzuki fiddle, Suzuki violin

Tim Ball grew up playing both classical violin and fiddle music, and holds a Bachelor’s degree in Violin Performance from Ithaca College, where he studied with Susan Waterbury. While there, Tim dove headfirst into the contra dance and Irish music scenes, and is fortunate to have been mentored by David Kaynor, Ed McGowan, and many others. He has also studied Suzuki teaching with Carrie Reuning-Hummel. Tim has performed at numerous contra dances and festivals throughout the Northeast with his band Tunescape, and plays around central New York with the contra dance band Tempest, the Irish band Traonach, and many others. Passionate about introducing authentic fiddle music to classical musicians, Tim has taught at camps including the Ithaca Suzuki Institute and the Kanack School’s fiddle camp. Tim’s schedule and recordings are available at his website,

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