Class Description - Uilleann Pipes Classes

Kids at the Fleadh

The following general descriptions apply primarily to melody instruments. Traditional singing and accompanying instruments like bodhran, guitar, harp, and piano will have somewhat different descriptions.
Please see the individual descriptions for each class for more details.

Starter: Certain instruments (fiddle, harp) offer starter sections for those who are new to the instrument. These classes cover starting technique and care of the instrument and serve as an introduction to Irish music. Depending on skills recognized or obtained, students may move up to Beginner classes sometime during the quarter.

Beginner: These classes are for those who are new to the instrument or have limited skills. Note that some instruments will have "Starter" classes due to the nature of the instrument. Students will become familiar with their instruments and will learn to play simpler Irish tunes by ear at slower speeds; tunes that are taught may not be on the tune list for the quarter but may be in the Riley 'Common Core'. Students will learn about the different types of traditional Irish tunes.

Intermediate: Students should have previously been in a Beginner class (or the equivalent in outside private lessons) or have played the instrument for some time in Irish or related styles. Students will continue to learn tunes by ear, with a focus on the current quarter's tune list. Students will learn to play at faster tempos and begin to learn Irish ornamentation and style.

Advanced: These classes are for those who are quite familiar with their instrument and Irish music. Tunes will be taught with the goal of attaining playing them at 'Riley Speed', which can be heard by listening to the tunes on the website. There will be continued emphasis on ornamentation and style, using the current quarter's tune list.


Classes are offered based on instructor availability for the current quarter. Please see the current schedule for this quarter's classes, times and instructors.

Uilleann Pipes Classes

Class Teacher Time Email
Uilleann Pipes I/II
  (Beginner/Intermediate)

The Uilleann Pipes Classes will be held every other week, and each will meet for 2 hours.
The classes will overlap for one hour from 10:00 to 11:00.

Please contact if you have any questions before you register for this class.

Cathy Wilde 9:00
Contact the teacher for any virtual options.
Uilleann Pipes II/III
  (Adv Intermediate)

The Uilleann Pipes Classes will be held every other week, and each will meet for 2 hours.
The classes will overlap for one hour from 10:00 to 11:00.

Please contact if you have any questions before you register for this class.

Cathy Wilde 10:00
Contact the teacher for any virtual options.

The Uilleann piping classes will cover basic styles and discuss some important pipers. The Beginner class will cover managing the chanter, as well as the tradition of piping. The Intermediate class will focus more on developing proficiency with the quarter tunes.

Note that each class is 2 hours, every other week, but the classes will overlap by 1 hour so each can benefit from the content of both.

You should have your own pipes for this class. Unlike some of the other classes, the Riley School does not have pipes to sell or rent.

For additions or corrections to the website, please send email to