celtic tunes session


Monday evenings, 7:30 – 9:00 pm
Appalachian Bluegrass Music Shop

Each Monday evening, from 7:30 – 9:00 pm, you can join a slow, Celtic-tunes session, and learn Celtic instrumental dance tunes – reels, jigs, hornpipes, marches, polkas and more.

What are “sessions”?

“Sessions” are basically gatherings of people for the purpose of playing music together. This is a tradition in celtic music, still widely practiced.

While, in theory, all players are welcome at all sessions, the truth is that particular sessions tend to be for players of a certain level. If you’re not at that level, you may not get as much out of the session as you’d like.

Very generally speaking, sessions break down in to a two types – slow and fast. Yet, even the so-called “slow” sessions usually play a bit too fast for beginners, and all session participants expect that you’ll have the tunes memorized.

Each session will have a genre focus, such as Irish music or Scottish music. At some sessions, songs will be the focus; at most, however, the focus is on instrumental dance music (jigs, reels, horpipes, strathspeys, and so on).

What is the Celtic Tunes Session?

This is a special slow session, focusing primarily on the instrumental dance music of Ireland. The goal of this session is to bridge the gap between learning to play an instrument and getting to the point where you can go out and join in a public session.

At the Monday night Celtic Tunes Session, you’ll be able to play from select books and some sheet music (which I”ll provide), and I’ll also coach you through the memorization process. You’ll even learn some tunes strictly by ear.

During each session, you’ll play through a variety of tunes, slowly building a repertoire of the most popular and commonly played tunes (see the related article, “what tunes should I learn?“). You’ll learn the tunes by ear; by reading music; and by listening to others play. For many of the tunes, you’ll be provided with sheet music as part of the session.

Beginners, intermediate, and advanced players are all welcome to join.

If you’ve only been playing for a short time, or if you’ve been playing for many years, you’ll benefit from this session. I lead the sessions and provide you with some sheet music for the tunes, as well as instruction and guidance about how to play and/or accompany the tunes in an authentic, celtic style. I also offer you suggestions on memorization techniques, to move you from the sheet music to a more dynamic session.

From time to time, you’ll also learn about celtic culture, music history, and music theory – as the music often prompts related questions.

Most western folk instruments will fit in nicely at the session, with the most common instruments used in Celtic music being the fiddle, mandolin, guitar, 4-string tenor banjo, flute, accordion, tin whistle, cittern, and uilleann pipes.

Price: $10.00 per session, if you already take music lessons at Appalachian Bluegrass.
$15.00 per session for all others.