Christmas Eve is coming a bit early… we’re learning the reel today at our class! Monday 12th December 2019

Irish merry christmasHello! I hope everyone is gearing up for the coming festivities, and I’m not talking about the General Election!

We’re in the Robert Gillow in Lancaster today at 2.00 pm for our weekly Irish tunes class and slow session. All are welcome to join us, whether you’ve been to the class before or not.

Today we’re going to learn the reel ‘The Christmas Eve’, which is a tune I taught at the class a couple of years ago, but in a very democratic show of hands last week it was determined that no one could remember it (and some were not with us back then anyway). Therefore in a determined effort to be festive we’re doing it this week!

The cost to take part is £5.00 per participant. You will learn the tune between 2.00 – 3.00, following which we will play tunes together at a slow and steady pace in our session between 3.00 – 4.00. Come prepared to play your own favourite tunes, and we will be happy to join in as long as we know it!

Next Monday – 16th December – will be our last class/session of 2019 and also our special Christmas party event.  I will be asking that people book in advance for this so that I can organise catering. I will post more about it shortly, so watch this space.

Some general notes for the benefit of new members: teaching is nominally ‘by ear’, but there are plenty of resources available at the class to support this, including ABC ‘cheat sheets’ and sheet music (although the latter comes with my usual caveat: the dots provided do not always 100% match the versions taught but are usually the closest I can find on internet sources – usually thesession.org). I will also play the tune we are learning slowly for you at the class, to record on your phone or other recording device so you can practice along to it afterwards.

Our class and session is free for listeners, who are more than welcome to come along, have a pint or a cup of the Gillow’s lovely coffee, and enjoy the music.

I hope to see you there!

Monthly revisit of previous tunes – Christmas edition! Monday 2nd December 2019

celtic christmas treeHello! We’re in the Robert Gillow in Lancaster today at 2.00 pm for our weekly tunes class and slow session. All are welcome to join us, whether you’ve been to the class before or not.

It’s the first session of the month, which means we’re revisiting tunes that have been taught previously. As we’re in December we’re going to revisit some of the Christmas-themed tunes we’ve done in the past: The Holly Bush, Christmas Eve, and Piper Through the Meadow Straying.

The cost to take part is £5.00 per participant. You will learn/revisit tunes between 2.00 – 3.00, following which we will play tunes together at a slow and steady pace in our session between 3.00 – 4.00. Come prepared to play your own favourite tunes, and we will be happy to join in as long as we know it!

We’ll be back as usual with a new tune next Monday. Then, the Monday after next – 16th December – we will have our last session of the year at our special Christmas party event.  I will be asking that people book in advance for this so that I can organise catering. I will post more about it shortly, so watch this space.

Some general notes for the benefit of new members: teaching is nominally ‘by ear’, but there are plenty of resources available at the class to support this, including ABC ‘cheat sheets’ and sheet music (although the latter comes with my usual caveat: the dots provided do not always 100% match the versions taught but are usually the closest I can find on internet sources – usually thesession.org). I will also play the tune we are learning slowly for you at the class, to record on your phone or other recording device so you can practice along to it afterwards.

Our class and session is free for listeners, who are more than welcome to come along, have a pint or a cup of the Gillow’s lovely coffee, and enjoy the music.

I hope to see you there!

Lancaster Irish Tunes Class and Slow Session – meeting today (Monday 25th November 2019)

copperplateHi to all! We’re back again in the Robert Gillow in Lancaster today at 2.00 pm for our weekly tunes class and slow session. All are welcome to join us, whether you’ve been to the class before or not.

The cost is £5.00 per participant. You will learn a tune between 2.00 – 3.00, following which we will play tunes together at a slow and steady pace in our session between 3.00 – 4.00. Come prepared to play your own favourite tunes, and we will be happy to join in as long as we know it!

Last week we learned one of O’Carolan’s less well-known compositions: O’Carolan’s Quarrel with the Landlady.

Some general notes for the benefit of new members: teaching is nominally ‘by ear’, but there are plenty of resources available at the class to support this, including ABC ‘cheat sheets’ and sheet music (although the latter comes with my usual caveat: the dots provided do not always 100% match the versions taught but are usually the closest I can find on internet sources – usually thesession.org). I will also play the tune we are learning slowly for you at the class, to record on your phone or other recording device so you can practice along to it afterwards.

Our class and session is free for listeners, who are more than welcome to come along, have a pint or a cup of the Gillow’s lovely coffee, and enjoy the music.

I hope to see you there!

Come to our Irish tunes class and slow session in Lancaster today! Monday 18th November 2019

TurloughHi to all! We’re meeting as usual in the Robert Gillow in Lancaster today at 2.00 pm for our weekly tunes class and slow session. All are welcome to join us, whether you’ve been to the class before or not.

The cost is £5.00 per participant. You will learn a tune between 2.00 – 3.00, following which we will play tunes together at a slow and steady pace in our session between 3.00 – 4.00. Come prepared to play your own favourite tunes, and we will be happy to join in as long as we know it!

Some general notes for the benefit of new members: teaching is nominally ‘by ear’, but there are plenty of resources available at the class to support this, including ABC ‘cheat sheets’ and sheet music (although the latter comes with my usual caveat: the dots provided do not always 100% match the versions taught but are usually the closest I can find on internet sources – usually thesession.org). I will also play the tune we are learning slowly for you at the class, to record on your phone or other recording device so you can practice along to it afterwards.

Our class and session is free for listeners, who are more than welcome to come along, have a pint or a cup of the Gillow’s lovely coffee, and enjoy the music.

I hope to see you there!

The Sailor’s Bonnet: our reel of the day – Monday 11th November 2019

irish-decca-78-michael-coleman-irish_1_21e59b8d940ccceaf0b817dcedc941ddHi to all! We’re meeting as usual in the Robert Gillow in Lancaster today at 2.00 pm for our weekly tunes class and slow session. All are welcome to join us, whether you’ve been to the class before or not.

The cost is £5.00 per participant. You will learn a tune between 2.00 – 3.00, following which we will play tunes together at a slow and steady pace in our session between 3.00 – 4.00. Come prepared to play your own favourite tunes, and we will be happy to join in as long as we know it!

This week we’ll be learning the third reel in the Tarbolton Set: The Sailor’s Bonnet.

The three tunes in the Tarbolton set (The Tarbolton, The Longford Collector and The Sailor’s Bonnet) were originally recorded by Michael Coleman in the 1930s. You can hear the recording here:

The notation for The Sailor’s Bonnet can be found at The Session website here (version 1 is very close to the notes that I’ll be teaching):

Some general notes for the benefit of new members: teaching is nominally ‘by ear’, but there are plenty of resources available at the class to support this, including ABC ‘cheat sheets’ and sheet music (although the latter comes with my usual caveat: the dots provided do not always 100% match the versions taught but are usually the closest I can find on internet sources). I will also play the tune we are learning slowly for you at the class, to record on your phone or other recording device so you can practice along to it afterwards.

Our class and session is free for listeners, who are more than welcome to come along, have a pint or a cup of the Gillow’s lovely coffee, and enjoy the music.

I hope to see you there!

Today’s tune – revisiting ‘Tell Her I Am’ – Monday 4th November 2019

michael colemanHello everyone! We’re meeting in the Robert Gillow in Lancaster today at 2.00 pm for our weekly tunes class and slow session. All are welcome to join us, whether you’ve been to the class before or not.

The cost is £5.00 per participant. You will learn a tune between 2.00 – 3.00, following which we will play tunes together at a slow and steady pace in our session between 3.00 – 4.00. Come prepared to play your own favourite tunes, and we will be happy to join in as long as we know it!

This week we’ll be having the first of our new once-a-month ‘revision’ sessions, where I will go through a tune originally taught some time ago. This is to enable our newer members to learn tunes they missed and also to enable the rest of us to remember tunes we may not have played for a while and look at how we can apply ornaments and variations to make them more interesting to play.

Today’s tune will be a three-part jig which we learned in the first year of our class: Tell Her I Am’. We used to play this in a set with another three-part jig, ‘The Battering Ram’ so if time allows we will revisit that tune as well.

Incidentally, ‘Tell Her I Am’ was recorded by Michael Coleman in the 1930s, so this fits in with our theme of music recorded by Irish emigrants in the early 20th century. You can hear the recording at this link (great fiddle playing, extremely dodgy piano backing!):

https://www.itma.ie/digital-library/sound/tell-her-i-am-richard-brennans-michael-coleman

Some general notes for the benefit of new members: teaching is nominally ‘by ear’, but there are plenty of resources available at the class to support this, including ABC ‘cheat sheets’ and sheet music (although the latter comes with my usual caveat: the dots provided do not always 100% match the versions taught but are usually the closest I can find on internet sources). I will also play the tune we are learning slowly for you at the class, to record on your phone or other recording device so you can practice along to it afterwards.

Our class and session is free for listeners, who are more than welcome to come along, have a pint or a cup of the Gillow’s lovely coffee, and enjoy the music.

I hope to see you there!

Irish music class and slow session today in Lancaster! Monday 21st October 2019

robert gillow2Hello everyone! We’re meeting as usual in the Robert Gillow in Lancaster today at 2.00 pm for our weekly tunes class and slow session. All are welcome to join us, whether you’ve been to the class before or not.

The cost is £5.00 per participant, and is free for listeners (who are more than welcome to come along). You will learn a tune between 2.00 – 3.00, following which we will play tunes together at a slow and steady pace in our session between 3.00 – 4.00. Come prepared to play your own favourite tunes, and we will be happy to join in as long as we know it!

For the benefit of new members: teaching is nominally ‘by ear’, but there will be plenty of resources available at the class to support this, including ABC ‘cheat sheets’ and sheet music (although the latter comes with my usual caveat: the dots provided do not always 100% match the versions taught but are usually the closest I can find on internet sources). I will also play the tune slowly for you at the class, to record on your phone or other recording device so you can practice along to it afterwards.

I hope to see you there!

Irish tunes class and music session today at 2.00 pm in the Robert Gillow

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Bev leading a slow session at Lancaster Music Festival 2019 (Photo credit – Lancaster Folk Singaround)

Hello everyone! We’re back in the Robert Gillow in Lancaster today at 2.00 pm, some of us slightly (!) tired and emotional after Lancaster Music Festival, with our weekly tunes class and slow session. All are welcome to join us, whether you’ve been to the class before or not.

The cost is £5.00 per participant, and is free for listeners (who are more than welcome to come along). You will learn a tune between 2.00 – 3.00, following which we will play tunes together at a slow and steady pace in our session between 3.00 – 4.00. Come prepared to play your own favourite tunes, and we will be happy to join in as long as we know it!

For the benefit of new members: teaching is nominally ‘by ear’, but there will be plenty of resources available at the class to support this, including ABC ‘cheat sheets’ and sheet music (although the latter comes with my usual caveat: the dots provided do not always 100% match the versions taught but are usually the closest I can find on internet sources). I will also play the tune slowly for you at the class, to record on your phone or other recording device so you can practice along to it afterwards.

I hope to see you there!

Lancaster Music Festival 2019 – folk workshops and sessions (11th – 14th October)

IMG-20191004-WA0001On 11th – 14th October 2019 Lancaster Music Festival returns, and this year (in addition to performances and events throughout the entire city of Lancaster) there will be a number of folk music workshops and sessions in our regular venue, the upstairs room at The Robert Gillow. I will be leading some of these, and others will be run by prolific local teacher and performer of folk music, Ben Farmer.

The two main workshops during the festival are supported by Folkus (the Folk Arts Network of the North West).

Ben will kick off the workshops with a ukelele class on Friday 11th October, immediately followed by a free and easy folk session at which all folk music styles and repertoire are welcome. Then, on Saturday, I will be teaching a flute and whistle workshop, and this will be followed immediately afterward by a slow and steady tunes session for all instruments.

After all of that excitement, on Monday 12th October our regular class and slow session will take place as usual between 2.00 – 4.00 pm, for hardy survivors of the festival!

Click on the relevant links below for more information.

Friday 11th October – The Robert Gillow

2.00 – 4.30 pm: Folkus Ukelele Workshop – taught by Ben Farmer

4.30 – 5.30 pm: Music session, all folk music styles welcome – led by Ben Farmer

Saturday 12th October – The Robert Gillow

2.00 – 4.30 pm: Folkus Flute & Whistle Workshop – taught by Bev Whelan

4.30 – 5.30 pm: Slow and steady tunes session – led by Bev Whelan

Monday 14th October – The Robert Gillow

2.00 – 4.00 pm: Regular weekly Irish music class and slow session – led by Bev Whelan

Join us today for our Irish music class and slow session! – Monday 7th October

Paddy KilloranThanks to everyone who came last week to learn the latest tune in our series of music from Irish emigrants to America recorded in the 1930s onward. Last week we learned ‘Down the Broom’, a reel recorded by Paddy Killoran on the Decca label in New York in 1937. The recording can be heard at the Irish Traditional Music Archive at this link.

Today we’re going to learn the second reel on the Paddy Killoran recording: The Gatehouse Maid.

All are welcome to join us, whether you’ve been to the class before or not. The cost is £5.00 per participant, and is free for listeners (who are more than welcome to join us). You will learn a tune between 2.00 – 3.00, following which we will play tunes together at a slow and steady pace in our session between 3.00 – 4.00. Come prepared to play your own favourite tunes, and we will be happy to join in as long as we know it!

For the benefit of new members: teaching is nominally ‘by ear’, but there will be plenty of resources available at the class to support this, including ABC ‘cheat sheets’ and sheet music (although the latter comes with my usual caveat: the dots provided do not always 100% match the versions taught but are usually the closest I can find on internet sources). I will also play the tune slowly for you at the class, to record on your phone or other recording device so you can practice along to it afterwards.

I hope to see you there!