Connie O'Connell

Connie O'Connell is a renowned fiddle player and composer from Cill na Matra in County Cork. We are privileged to have him lead our December workshop and teach us a few of his favourite tunes.

You can read a lovely biography and listen to some of Connie's playing here on the UCC Website.

Connie has generously made a book with recordings of his compositions available free of charge. Here is the link for this fantastic project.


Bridgie Con Mattie,s Polka.pdf
The Cliffs of Moher Jig .pdf

Aoife Ni Chaoimh

Aoife taught us some gorgeous tunes from the playing of Julia Clifford. The Cliffs of Moher has a twist at the end that will turn heads when you play it.

Her duo album with Paudie is the quintessential Sliabh Luachra album and I recommend you listen to it on repeat!"Didn't She Dance and Dance"

Aoife is available for private lessons and can be contacted at: aoifenichaoimh@gmail.com

The password for workshop videos is shared on the monthly newsletter. Sign up for access here!

The Frisco Hornpipe.pdf


Paudie O'Connor

Paudi is a stalwart of Sliabh Luachra Music. His workshop is full of wonderful tunes and words of wisdom. "Didn't She Dance and Dance" is a fantastic album to listen to. Paudi and Aoife make a lovely duet.

Check out Paudi's website, where you can purchase their music and inquire about private tuition.

Cuckoo’s Nest Hpipe.pdf
POK JIG AND SLIDE.pdf


Anniversary Polka:Daybreak:Kerry Bar.pdf
Anniversary Polka:Daybreak:Kerry Bar (wb).pdf

Matt Cranitch

Matt Cranitch is renowned as a fiddle-player and teacher, both at home in Ireland and abroad. He has performed extensively at concerts and festivals, on radio and television, and has presented lectures, master-classes and workshops on various aspects of Irish music. He has won All-Ireland Fleadh Cheoil titles, as well as The Fiddler of Dooney and Oireachtas Crotty Cup. Author of The Irish Fiddle Book, first published in 1988 and now in its fourth edition, he has also contributed to other books on Irish traditional music. He has made various albums, including those with Na Filí, Any Old Time and Sliabh Notes, in addition to Éistigh Seal which consists entirely of slow airs. With Jackie Daly, he has recorded The Living Stream and most recently Rolling On. He is an authority on the music of Sliabh Luachra, and received a PhD from the University of Limerick for his study on the fiddle-playing tradition of this region. He has taught a number of courses in Irish traditional music during various years at University College Cork. A long-time consultant for the Geantraí series on TG4 (Irish-language TV), he is a former adviser to the Irish Arts Council scheme for the traditional arts, and has served on the board of the Irish Traditional Music Archive. In recognition of his contribution to Irish traditional music, he has received various accolades, including: University College Cork Hall of Fame Award in 2003; M.J. Quill Irish Cultural Center NY Award in 2014; Patrick O’Keeffe Traditional Music Festival Award in 2017. We are privileged to have Matt as our teacher for the September workshop!

John Byrne

John is a wonderful piper, flute player and custodian of North Cork music. We are fortunate to have him lead our final workshop before the summer break where he will teach a few tunes from the North Cork tradition.

Boss Murphy Jigs.pdf
Michael Relihan's Reel.pdf
Breeches Mary Key of D.pdf
Breeches Mary Key of G.pdf

Brendan Mulholland

Brendan is a magical flute player. We are so fortunate to learn from him today. He has shared links to his own online flute school here and the ABC notation of his tunes for today is linked below!

FARQUAHAR and HETTIES WALTZ.docx
Barrel Rafferty's Jig.docx

Diarmuid O'Brien

Diarmuid O'Brien is a fantastic West Limerick fiddler. He has shared ABC notation of tunes he will teach today below for those who would like to use it:

Diarmuid's two albums are available on Bandcamp at the link below. I can't recommend them highly enough!

The video of Diarmuid's workshop is embedded here under the password shared in the monthly newsletter. I had some internet connection issues so apologies for the low sound quality. The tunes are clear and the instruction is clear- and most importantly, the craic is clear!


Thanks for a wonderful workshop, Diarmuid!

Francis O'Connor

Francis O'Connor's mastery of West Limerick flute playing was a joy to listen to during today's workshop. He taught us three tunes: They Didn't Come Home Until Morning, Turn Hill, Johnjoe Hartnett & Moss Murphy's Slide.

The ABC notation has been shared below, and the video is on the left for those who missed the workshop.

Francis produced a fine album with his wife Áine on fiddle, backed by Brian Mooney on Bouzouki. The album contains some of the most beautiful sets from the famed fiddle duet of Connie O'Connell and Denis McMahon, along with others from the playing of another legendary duo: Jon Joe Harnett (flute) and Moss Murphy (fiddle). I can't recommend this music highly enough. It is available here on bandcamp:

Password shared on the www.irishfiddlessons.com monthly newsletter .

Hugh Healy

Hugh taught us three lovely tunes, The Gypsy Princess, The Bloom of Youth and The Cabin Hunter. The ABC notation is pasted below and the video of Hugh going through the tunes is embedded here on the left.

Hugh recently released his CD, Ceolaire, which is a fantastic listen for all concertina and music lovers. It's available on Bandcamp and well worth a download!


Thank you, Hugh, for a great class!

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Bríd Harper

Bríd taught us a lovely jig, popularised by the great travelling fiddle teacher, Johnny Doherty. She recommended the documentary, "The Fiddler on the Road" which is embedded below.

Bríd passed on some great tips while teaching us the jig, such as playing E with the fourth finger to allow for smoother playing at speed, and adopting the mantra, "less is more" when ornamenting busy tunes such as The Policeman's Holiday.

We're ever grateful to Bríd for giving of her time and effort to teach us wonderful tunes. She forwarded videos of the three tunes she introduced us to and they are available to watch on Vimeo. Please enter the password shared on the monthly newsletter to view the videos.

Bríd is available for private lessons and can be contacted at: bridharper@hotmail.co.uk and you can purchase her solo CD and music with her group, Uaine, at her website linked below.

Password shared on the www.irishfiddlessons.com monthly newsletter .

Anton Zille

Anton taught us how to use some ABC notation software, and gave great tips for learning Irish music abroad, which often means learning tunes in isolation:

  • Switch off completely, change your surroundings and immerse yourself in the music.

  • See every tune as special. Associate your tunes with particular people and particular places, and really enjoy them.

  • Get the tune in your head before you start playing it.

  • Learn slow AND learn fast. Playing tunes at session speeds can be almost like learning a different tune.

  • When practicing in a small room, tune down a half step and you will find the resonance much more pleasant.

Anton went on to explain about recorders and "slower downers", sharing many resources with us here on this spreadsheet.

Here are links to John Walsh tunes, transcribed by Anton and approved by John himself.

Be sure to check out the video opposite to hear the full workshop and check out the Polca and Rí Bandcamp page for great music from Anton and friends.

Password shared on the www.irishfiddlessons.com monthly newsletter .

Top Tips from Today:

  • Warm up with simple exercises and tunes before attempting more difficult tunes, to avoid frustration. Focus on tone and tuning.

  • Every violin has a slightly different position for the bow, where it sounds best. Experiment.

  • Strip the tune way back to the basics. Compare it to talking: "50% of the words we say are not necessary to get our meaning across." "Cut the hedge"

  • Try a hang-over note, Ben Lennon style. (See video)

  • Try the lazy 4th finger, Paddy Canny style. (See video)

  • "Pretend your in a freezer" and try some vibrato.

  • Try out some middle a or high e rolls. Make your second finger agree with the open string above.

  • You can do much more with your voice than you can ever do with your fiddle. Lilt the tune and see what you'd like to try. Then try it slowly.

  • Experiment with the major arpeggio notes of the key to add double stops, where a backer might do something interesting.

Aidan Connolly (Stripping Back Tunes)

Aidan gave a master class in stripping back tunes to the bare bones, or "cutting the hedge" to streamline tunes, allowing players to then experiment with tunes to bring in their own creativity and style. No "laws are being broken" when we do this, so long as we stick with the heart of the tune. We don't need to be "kept in a box" by adhering strictly to a version we have seen written down.

This workshop is dripping with food for thought and practice. We are ever endebted to Aidan for his time today and wish him the very best of luck with his stunning new album, The Portland Bow. We hope to have Aidan back for workshops in the future.

Check out Aidan's site below, where you can purchase all of his recordings. Aidan is also happy to be contacted with quesitons or about fiddle lessons at: aidanconnolly2@gmail.com

Password shared on the www.irishfiddlessons.com monthly newsletter .

Din Tarrant's (The Lonesome Polka).pdf
20211006_201511.pdf

Emma Ní Laoire

Emma taught us some lovely polkas from her album, "Mo Cheantar Féin" (My Home Place). It was so lovely to hear some background on the tunes and pick up some tips for playing in the Sliabh Luachra style.

Emma is also available for private lessons and can be contacted via email here: emmaoleary@hotmail.com

20211006_200904.pdf

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Andrea Palandri

Andrea taught us how to read the manuscripts of Pádraig O’Keefe which are available here on the ITMA website.

Here is a clip of Paddy Cronin talking about Padraig O'Keeffe's notation.

Below is a presentation Andrea gave for ITMA.

Password shared on the www.irishfiddlessons.com monthly newsletter .

The Railway Station PDF.pdf

Alan Finn

Alan Finn taught us interesting versions of popular tunes from the Boss Murphy’s manuscripts on August 14th. Notes of arrangements used by Alan and his powerful Ceili Band, The Shandrum, have been generously provided for us below, and the CD can be purchased at http://theshandrum.com/shop/.

The lesson can be viewed in full by entering the password in the Vimeo box on the left. (Password shared on www.irishfiddlessons.com monthly newsletter.

Alan is available for private online lessons and can be contacted on facebook or email at:

Listen to The Shandrum Céilí Band on Spotify:Alan Finn taught us interesting versions of popular tunes from the Boss Murphy’s manuscripts on August 14th. Notes of arrangements used by Alan and his powerful Ceili Band, The Shandrum, have been generously provided for us below, and the CD can be purchased at http://theshandrum.com/shop/.

The lesson can be viewed in full by entering the password in the Vimeo box on the left. (Password shared on www.irishfiddlessons.com monthly newsletter.

Alan is available for private online lessons and can be contacted on facebook or email at:

https://www.facebook.com/alan.finn.5

nalaniff@gmail.com

Listen to The Shandrum Céilí Band on Spotify:

Alan Finn taught us interesting versions of popular tunes from the Boss Murphy’s manuscripts on August 14th. Notes of arrangements used by Alan and his powerful Ceili Band, The Shandrum, have been generously provided for us below, and the CD can be purchased at http://theshandrum.com/shop/.

The lesson can be viewed in full by entering the password in the Vimeo box on the left. (Password shared on www.irishfiddlessons.com monthly newsletter.

Alan is available for private online lessons and can be contacted on facebook or email at:

https://www.facebook.com/alan.finn.5

nalaniff@gmail.com

Listen to The Shandrum Céilí Band on Spotify:


The Pigeon on the Gate PDF.pdf
The_Woodland_Waltz-Melody PDF.pdf
Untitled Polka No 168 PDF.pdf
Bonapartes_Grand_March_G major.pdf
The Peacock Quadrille No 3 pdf.pdf
The_Venetian_Schottische PDF.pdf
The Rising of the Sun PDF.pdf
Grand_March_of_Norway PDF .pdf
Bonpartes March PDF.pdf

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Gerry Harrington

Gerry taught us five beautiful airs including "The Green Linnet" and shared a wealth of knowledge and stories with the class. We were treated to a demonstration and discussion of the Stroh Fiddle at the end of the class which was also very interesting. It was an absolute treat to have Gerry with us for the July workshop and we look forward to inviting him back again in the future.

In the meantime, Gerry is available for private online lessons and can be contacted at: gerrymharrington@gmail.com

Gerry is a prolific preservationist of traditional music from Sliabh Luachra and has recorded many wonderful albums. His discography is available here on bandcamp:

Password has been shared on the www.irishfiddlessons.com monthly newsletter (After April 10)

Áine O'Connor

Áine taught us all about her father's (Connie O'Connell's) book of compositions, Bóithrín na Smaointe (Memory Lane), which can be found in full here on the UCC website: http://epu.ucc.ie/connieoconnell/

Tunes can be listened to in MP3 format, with Connie and Áine playing them beautifully accompanied by piano. There are many great tunes in this collection.

At this workshop, Áine taught us tunes in sets, as this is how she always learned music growing up. It makes a lot of sense to learn tunes this way.

Firstly, she taught us a slide set, "The Mouse in the House" and "Ben's Birthday". You can hear the stories of these tunes in the video of the workshop which has been uploaded to Viemo with Áine's permission. Following this set, she taught us a lively set of polkas, "The High Nellie and The Return of Youth".

Áine is available for private online lessons and can be contacted at: aineoconnor01@gmail.com

The four tunes from the workshop are shared below. We'll surely play them at the next monthly session- and all of them after that too! Thank you for a wonderful workshop Áine!

Áine produced a fine album with her husband Francis on Flute, backed by Brian Mooney on Bouzouki. The album contains some of the most beautiful sets from the famed fiddle duet of Connie O'Connell and Denis McMahon, along with others from the playing of another legendary duo: Jon Joe Harnett (flute) and Moss Murphy (fiddle). I can't recommend this music highly enough. It is available here on bandcamp:

Password has been shared on the www.irishfiddlessons.com monthly newsletter (After April 10)

Maire's working documents from when she made the Re Joyce album: "the gist of two hornpipes" (Track 4) from the collection -The Gypsy and My Fiddle

Máire O'Keeffe

Máire taught us great music she had picked up from Maurice O'Keeffe, Paddy O'Connell and Willie O'Connell. Máire generously shared a weallth of resources for the group to explore:


  • Two polkas which are transcribed on the Seamus Connolly Collection in Boston College. I don't know if people are aware of this amazing resource but its where Seamus gathered all his recordings that he had made over the years and also came over to Ireland and got lots of his musician friends to record tunes for him as well as musicians in the States who recorded for him also and this was all put into the Seamus Connolly Collection and published online by Boston College. It's a brilliant resource as you can download transcriptions of the tunes as well as listen to them being played. https://connollymusiccollection.bc.edu/



Máire can be reached at okeeffefiddle@gmail.com for private lessons. A huge thank you to Máire, who has been so generous with her time, resources and knowledge.

Maurice O'Keeffe's Polka.pdf
Roseanne's Polka .pdf

Teddy O'Neill's Jig also which I often play after Fannings Jig and which came from the manuscript of Padraig O'Keeffe where he had written down the tunes for Paddy and Willie O'Connell.

Password has been shared on the www.irishfiddlessons.com monthly newsletter (After April 10)

Frank Thornton's Highland.pdf
Mickey Chewing Bubblegum.pdf
Rhubarb and Ginger.pdf

Niamh Ní Charra

"A tune is like a Christmas tree. You have to make sure the ornament isn't too big for the tree. The ornament makes it nicer, but you don't want the ornament to be bigger than the tree. Keep your polkas and your slides nice an light."

Niamh passed on some valuable pearls of wisdom when it comes to playing in the Sliabh Luachra style and taught us lovely tunes from the great composer and musician, Terry "Cuz" Teahan. Niamh has a lot of experience in teaching students of multicultural backgrounds and is available for private lessons. She can be reached at niamhnicharra@gmail.com.

Her workshop today focused on her research and personal experience with Terry "Cuz" Teahan and her tribute album to Cuz is linked below. Niamh is also a prolific recording artist and the link to her latest album, Donnely's Arm, is also embedded. II recommend downloading her whole discography from Bandcamp- hours of great music!

Thank you Niamh for sharing your wonderful music!

I Made it to Winona.pdf
Coppermine Jig.pdf
Two Part Pour Polka.pdf

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Adrian McAuliffe

"You need to have rhythm in your music before anything else." Adrian taught a masterclass in phrasing and four very tasty tunes: Morrison's Geese in the Bog & Dinny Delaney's jig, Jacky Daly's reel and Denis Murphy's reel.


How Adrian visualises rhythm is fascinating and you can certainly hear it coming through in the lovely lilt to his playing: "When I play, I see a beat in my head. I can actually see a sine wave, and every tune will have a distinctive beat."


You can purchase Adrian’s duo CD with guitarist, Cathal Flood, on Amazon, and it is available to stream on Apple Music and Spotify.

Adrian kindly shared the following resources from his workshop:

Adrian McAuliffe plays Morrison's Geese in the Bog and Dinny Delaney's Jig.mp4
Morrisons & Dinny Delaneys Jig Coloured.pdf
Adrian McAuliffe plays Jackie Daly's and Denis Murphy's Reel.mp4
Denis Murphys & Jackie Dayls Reel Coloured.pdf

Eoin Stan O'Sullivan

"The heart and soul of music is your own music that you play for yourself and your friends in the kitchen. That's the most important thing." Huge thanks to Eoin Stan O'Sullivan for his words of wisdom and beautiful tunes shared at the workshop on February 13th, 2021.


Eoin is a musician with over thirty years of playing experience and he is totally in love with Sliabh Luachra music. Promoting Sliabh Luachra music is a big part of his career especially in recent years.


Here are some links Eoin wanted to share:


Top tips on polka and slide playing: "You should look for the lyrical melody within the tune, there's often a lovely song hidden in the tunes, so play them slowly and enjoy them"

"Keep it light and feel the bounce in the tune."

"Don't lose the beauty by going for the high octane stuff".

Great tunes shared: John Crowley's and some other John Walsh tunes among them. Eoin has also generously shared a lot of resources on the irishfiddlessons padlet chat.


Dr. Aoife Granville

The Music of the Dingle Wren Tradition

Aoife Granville is from Dingle and has been playing both classical and traditional music since the age of 7. While in her teens she performed and toured with Kerry Chamber Orchestra, Dublin Youth Orchestra and Ceol Chiarraí amongst others. She went on to study Music in UCC where she was a member of fiddle group Fiddlesticks. Aoife was awarded with a Bene Merenti award from UCC for her contribution to traditional music and has won numerous prizes at Oireachtas and Fleadhanna Cheoil, including the prestigious Senior Flute title in 2003. She is currently the traditional flute tutor in UCC’s Music Department and is studying a research MPhil degree. Aoife released her debut album, Sráid Eoin Shuffle, in 2006.

Her second album, Saimhín Só, is available on apple music and in all good traditional music shops. The whole album is a treat for the ears, and she plays some gorgeous slides on it.

Aoife kindly agreed to share a recording of her workshop on this page for those who couldn't make it to the live event.

Aoife is a talented music teacher and is available for private online lessons. You can contact Aoife at: aoife.granville@gmail.com


Bryan O' Leary

The Repertoire of Denis Murphy

We had some of Sliabh Luachra's finest box playing on display today with Bryan teaching us some lesser known tunes from the repertoire of Denis Murphy. Bryan is a very talented musician and a teacher who knows how to get the best out of his students. He is available for private lessons via Skype and can be contacted at olearybryan93@gmail.com

Bryan kindly agreed to the recording of his lesson to share here for those who were not make it on the day.

Thank you Bryan! We hope to see you again soon!

Bryan's album with talented flute player Colm Guilfoyle is one of the best collections of Sliabh Luachra music available. The sets are carefully crafted and the music is just a joy to listen to. The album is available for download on Bandcamp and the physical CD is also available for order. I can't recommend this album highly enough.

Aidan Connolly (Bowing)

Bowing Masterclass

The wonderfully talented Aidan Connolly gave us a bowing masterclass on 08.08.2020 and kindly agreed to sharing it on the website for those who couldn't make it along on the day. Aidan gave us many tips and options for practicing bowing for polkas and jigs. Aidan is available for private lessons and can be contacted at aidanconnollymusic@gmail.com

Thank you Aidan! We hope to see you again soon!


Aidan's duo album with fiddler John Daly is a fabulous listen and you can hear the masterful bow control he demonstrated for us in this workshop across all of the tracks. A favourite of mine is track 4, The Land Lubber/ Quarrelsome Piper. The bowing is exquisite.