ceol, cultúr, craic – the celtic music club

“ceol, cultúr, craic” – the Celtic Music club

Tuesday evenings … new schedule beginning in May, 2022
– slow-tempo class & session: 6:30 – 7:20 pm
– intermediate & advanced class & session: 7:30 – 9:30

New location, beginning Tuesday, 03 May 2022:

Catonsville Clubhouse

10 St Timothy’s Lane
Catonsville, MD, 21228

If you’d like to enroll for a monthly membership, please follow this link:
Catonsville Clubhouse, Classes & Events

About the Celtic Music Club

The Celtic Music Club is a small group of musicians, dedicated to celebrating the music and culture from the celtic nations, most notably, Ireland and Scotland.

Our main activity is a weekly gathering, during which we play instrumental dance tunes, on traditional instruments, including violin (fiddle), mandolin, guitar, flute, tin whistle, concertina, accordion, cittern (aka bouzouki), and bodhran (Irish drum). Other stringed and/or treble instruments, such as cello, are included – and welcome.

Beginning in May, 2022, each Tuesday evening, you can join a moderately-paced, celtic-tunes session, and learn celtic instrumental dance tunes – reels, jigs, hornpipes, marches, polkas and more.


  • To hold regular gatherings – sessions – during which every musician plays every tune;
  • To promote friendships among musicians;
  • To musically explore new tunes, new techniques, and new ideas;
  • To play a variety of tune types within the genre;
  • To improve musicianship; and …
  • To share what we know about celtic culture, music history, and music theory – as the music often prompts related questions.

You’ll benefit from all of the goals, plus … you’ll have access to a large archive of sheet music, including individual tunes, tunes-in-sets, tune books, and  a few more things!

We Use Sheet Music (we even provide it!)

We use sheet music so that every musician can play every tune.

Unlike open sessions that you might encounter in pubs or at festivals, we are very much a learn-as-you-go club.  In that sense, SHEET MUSIC and TUNE BOOKS are very welcome.  While some of our members have many, many tunes memorized, others do not.  We don’t mind.  And we have a great time every week!

For those musicians who seek to memorize tunes and become proficient enough to play, spontaneously, in sessions all over the world, using sheet music will help achieve that goal more quickly.

For those musicians who simply enjoy playing, and for whom memorization isn’t a key to musical enjoyment, using sheet music enables them to participate instantly and completely.

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 – all around the world, truly.

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 – except for ours!

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 about our weekly session with the Celtic Music Club

Many, many years ago, when we began this session, it was a special, super-slow session, focusing primarily on the instrumental dance music of Ireland. The goal of this session was 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.

These days, the members of the club have advanced quite a bit, and so, we offer two sessions each Tuesday: slow-tempo for beginners, 6:30-7:20, and the intermediate & advanced session, 7:30-9:30.

Beginner or beyond ?

No experience whatsoever: If you are an absolute beginner, maybe you don’t play at all or you’ve only recently started, contact us and we’ll help you find a teacher, for private lessons, to help you get going and get playing!

Beginner: you are a beginning musician if you can play and maybe even sight read, mostly, but you have to go very slowly … that’s what we’ll be doing during this time!

Intermediate & Advanced: you are an intermediate or advanced musician if you are proficient on your instrument and you can sight-read simple melodies in the basic position of your instrument, such as first position on violin.

What Can You Expect?

We try to give everyone a space to play with other musicians, and so, we try play at an accommodating pace (tempo) in each session.  And, our members play from select books and sheet music, and we also coach each other through the memorization process. We even learn some tunes the traditional way – strictly by ear.

During each session, we play through a variety of tunes, slowly building a repertoire of the most popular and commonly played tunes. We learn the tunes by ear; by reading music; and by listening to others play. For most of the tunes, we use sheet music as part of the session.

As a bonus, we also socialize a fair bit, and we share what we know 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.

So, join us for ceol, cultúr, agus craic.