Music Program

When the Riley School of Irish Music started in January of 1996, the students received sheet music to help learn the tunes. We initially thought that the students would learn a tune a week from the sheet music. Because learning the tunes was slower than expected, the school adopted a new method of teaching. Instead of sheet music, students receive a recording of the tunes that will be taught during the quarter. With this method, the students have become successful in learning one tune per week and at the same time are not becoming dependent on the sheet music to learn the tunes. Instead, the students are developing their ears.

We recommend students bring some kind of recording device to class. This can be anything from a small dictating machine, to an MP3 recorder or a cell phone. Instructors will give you tunes to record and listen to at home as you practice.

We strongly encourage you to train your ear by listening to the music. It's much easier to learn to play a tune if you already have it in your head. So spend at least some of your practice time just listening to a tune over and over, until you can sing/whistle the notes along with the recording.

The Common Core tunes are meant to provide a set of tunes that everyone knows and can play with other Riley School students. Please make it a point to learn these tunes, so you can join in at community sessions.

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