Student or guest-led workshops are an important part of our music camp targeting your musical interests such as learning tips, arranging tunes, sound production and much more. See our camp SCHEDULE for the times and days of these workshops.
ABC Tune Notation and Tools
Presenter: John Liestman
ABC music notation has become the Internet standard for sharing Irish tunes around the world. Using ABC notation, Irish tunes can be represented in a few lines of text that anyone can type at computer keyboard. For those that don’t read music, it is often easier to learn than standard music notation. For those that do read music, software is readily available to print high quality sheet music from tunes in ABC format. In this workshop, students will learn how to read and write ABC notation, how to print sheet music from ABC notation,, how to play ABC tunes on your devices, and where and how to download Irish tunes from the Internet.
The Amazing Variety of Irish Song Traditions
Presenter: David Ingerson
I present the characteristics and historical context, with recordings, of seven types of Irish singing traditions: Ossianic Lays, Caoineadh na Marbh or Keening, Sean-nós, rhythmic Irish language songs, Anglo-Irish songs, Parlor songs, and pub songs. Although the format is lecture-demo, I encourage questions or comments throughout the workshop and often end up with lively discussions. I provide the outline of the workshop and links in a hand-out, both hard-copy and electronic.
Bodhrán Friendly Session
Presenter: Rick Holt
Yes, you read it right. We take session etiquette and toss it out the window (just for today). Bodhrán players are invited to gather together with a few well-miked melody players for a session without the normal constraints of multiple bodhráns at a session. This is your chance to enjoy 90 minutes of solid drumming, whether it is your main instrument or not come join us. Musicians of all flavors and levels are welcome as well for yet another chance to get in some session time during the retreat. All types of tunes will be played, and Rick will available for guidance and assistance when needed.
Presenter: Karen Ballew
Enjoy the ancient style of unaccompanied singing in the Irish language. There will be a brief overview of the Irish language (Gaelic) and its pronunciation rules, while the rest of the time will be spent learning and singing songs together!
Introduction to Sean-Nós Singing
Presenter: David Ingerson
David list and comment on the important characteristics of sean-nós (old style Irish) singing and play a number of examples of masters of the style. I then teach a moderately simple example of a song in the sean-nós style (but in English for ease of learning), based on a recording of one of the masters. In addition, I provide a handout which lists all the characteristics and includes commentary, a discography, and links (available shortly at this link: https://www.davidingersonmusic.com/workshops.
Presenter: Therese Honey
Join Therese Honey for melodies that are commonly played in the Irish music tradition on harp.
How to Find and Attend Sessions When Travelling
Presenter: Tom Purvis
While the presentation will be on traveling and finding sessions primarily in Ireland, the resources will also apply to travel elsewhere. We will discuss how you locate sessions, tunes to learn, expectations and behavior.
How to Run a (Friendly) Session
Presenter: Ian Varley
Do you know the secret to a good session? (No, it’s not giving all the banjo players the wrong address.) In this talk, veteran O’Flaherty’s presenter Ian Varley will cover the ins and outs of running a killer session, based on his experience running a popular session in Austin for several years. We’ll share specific techniques for how to make your session a FRIENDLY one: welcoming for newcomers, but without annoying the experienced players. We’ll cover the venue relationship, how to institute good policies and traditions, and how to (kindly) convey proper session etiquette when things aren’t going smoothly (i.e. when the guy with the spoons won’t stop). Whether you’ve already got a thriving session, or you’re looking to reinvigorate one or start something new, this talk will give you concrete takeaways on how to grow a world-class session that stands the test of time.
It’s Not the Same Tune… Or Is It? Understanding Patterns and Variations in Irish Music
Presenter: Ian Varley
We will explore a series of tunes to show the similarity between phrases and sections at various levels of abstraction via mathematical analysis and visualization, to understand how variation and familiarity works in Irish music. Bonus — there will be funny cat pictures.
Musical Collaborations Using Acapella on iPads/iPhones
Presenter: Kenny Tweedy
Over the past two years many musicians have been finding new ways to interact with other musicians online and to collaborate using the latest technology. You may have seen some video collages of musicians that appear to be playing together. One of the easiest ways to create these collages is using the iOS App Acapella.
In this workshop Kenny Tweedy will present a tutorial on how to get started collaborating with Acapella. How to use a basic set-up with ear buds. For sound purists, Kenny will also show how to set up a quality microphone and earphones to you iPhone or iPad. A few sample video collaborations will be presented. Also, a system for using Google docs to administer collaborations will be presented.
The North Wind
Presenter: Angela Botzer
We will explore the music and musicians of of the north of Ireland: Counties Donegal, Tyrone, Antrim, Derry, and Down, and include traditional musical styles such as fiddle bowing, piping styles, and singing styles. We will discuss Northern Irish repertoire including strathspeys, barn dances, airs, highlands, Germans, and mazurkas. The proximity of the north of Ireland to Scotland has a strong and long influence through trade, and the “Scottish snap” is often heard in this vast repertoire of Northern Irish traditional tunes, especially in the Glencolumbkille area in Donegal. We will listen to examples from influential musicians in the Northern style such as James Byrne, Johnny Doherty (from a family of northern Irish Travellers), Mairéad Ní Mhaonaigh, Tommy Peoples, and much, much more.
Playing for Dancers
Presenter: Angelika Eleni
Music and dance are made for each other and in no case is that more true than in the Irish tradition. Session and gig expertise is what many players work toward, leaving a whole area of collaboration and play that is left unexplored! Playing for dancers is a rewarding creative experience that will inevitably come up in a musician’s path and this workshop is here to prepare you for it. Whether it’s for a ceili or for a fellow session-goer that may want to pull out a step, this class will walk you through what to expect with tunes, tempo, rhythm, and good practice. There will be a mix of demonstration, presentation, and prompted practice that will prepare you to use your new skills then and there.. at O’Flaherty!
Playing Irish Music on Harmonica
Presenter: Paul Dryer
Harmonica has a long history in traditional Irish music. Though not as common in session play as other traditional instruments, harmonica is gaining in popularity. Like the penny whistle, harmonicas are generally inexpensive and a pure joy to play! This workshop will introduce you to the various types of instruments, and how to get started. Jig, reel, polka and waltz playing styles will be demonstrated along with ornamentation techniques. Feel free to bring your harmonica — keys of D and G are suggested. Also, a session just for harmonica players will be held at a separate time.may want to pull out a step, this class will walk you through what to expect with tunes, tempo, rhythm, and good practice. There will be a mix of demonstration, presentation, and prompted practice that will prepare you to use your new skills then and there.. at O’Flaherty!
Pub Songs Sing-Along
Presenter: Joseph Beckey
Pub songs are raucous, tuneful, and above all, fun! Gather to sing popular Irish pub songs, and maybe learn a few new ones. Great for singers and accompanists. Lyrics and chords provided.
Retreat Tunes Played Slowly
Presenter: John Liestman and Kenny Tweedy
Each year, a number of tunes are designated as “Retreat Tunes” and published in advance of the retreat. One per week, a designated leader will lead students in the playing of these tunes at a slower tempo. For a complete listing of all of our tune books and yearly retreat tunes, go to RESOURCES.
So You Want to Play Celtic Fiddle?
Presenter: Janice Frillmann
A serious/comical look at the differences between being a classically trained violinist studying to become a Celtic fiddler.
Vocal Health for Singers
Presenter: Janis Deane
Singing is an athletic activity and many singers lack true understanding of how their instrument works and how to care for it. This workshop will focus on the anatomy and physiology of the voice, voice function during speech and singing, and proper care of the singing voice including toning and flexibility exercises, warm-up and cool down of the voice, and when to seek medical care for voice problems.