Class Descriptions

These 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.

Banjo/Mandolin Classes Bodhran Classes Button Accordion Class Child Song
Concertina Class Fiddle Classes Guitar Accompaniment for Irish Tunes Guitar Classes
Harp Classes Irish Flute Classes Piano Accompaniment Class Piano Accordion Class
Traditional Singing Class Uilleann Pipes Classes Whistle Classes

Harp Classes

  (All Levels)
Maggie Michael TBA

For all class levels, the focus will be on learning Irish traditional music and the techniques for playing it. The whole school learns the same tunes by ear, so you will be able to play with others. In addition to class, there are different bands that you are invited to join (no additional fee) at 12:30pm. Going to band will allow you to practice the tunes outside of class with people playing other instruments.

Absolute Beginner Harp:
This class is for students who are brand new to the harp, or with little experience. The focus of this class will be getting familiar with the harp, technique, and learning simple Irish tunes to create a good foundation.

Beginner Harp:
This class is for students who have taken Absolute Beginner Harp, and are fairly comfortable with the basics. We will work on school tunes, some harp tune repertoire, ornamentation and variation, while continuing to work on good technique.

Intermediate/Advanced Harp:
This class is for students who are comfortable with technique and tune playing, and are ready for more challenging tunes. We will also work on accompaniment and tune arranging.

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