Class Description - Traditional Singing Class

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.

Traditional Singing Class

Class Teacher Time Email
Traditional Singing
  (All levels)
Kathy Schneider 11:00
Traditional Singing II
Kathy Schneider 11:00

This class is about traditional sean nos, literally "old style", Irish singing. We will talk about the origins of the songs chosen for each quarter. We will learn to listen for what makes this type of singing different from that with which most of us were raised here in the States. Most songs will be in English, but we will try to learn at least one simple song in Irish. We will also look at the rhyming structure of different songs. Although most songs in this tradition are sung unaccompanied and solo, no one will be compelled to sing alone. We will work on building repertoire and confidence, phrasing and ornamentation. Lyrics will be distributed and simple renditions of each song will be sent to the students within the first week of the quarter. Recording devices are welcome, as well. For those who are self-conscious about their singing, keep in mind that this is the telling of a story. Your voice is a vehicle for someone's story. The song is not so much about showcasing your vocal abilities. Who knows? Maybe you will be inspired to tell your own story. This class is suitable for adults as well as children.

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