Student, guest and instructor-led workshops are an important part of our music camp targeting your musical interests such as learning tips, arranging tunes, music theory, sound production and much more. See our camp SCHEDULE for the times and days of these workshops.
Anything BUT Jigs and Reels – Clare Cason
This workshop is about expanding our repertoire to include some tunes from less well-known Irish tune types– slides, polkas, mazurkas, marches, etc. We’ll try new tunes slowly and play them a few times, and record them for home learning. Students are welcome to bring less common tune types they’d like to share, as well!
Bodhrán Friendly Session – Cara Wildman
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 bodhrán at a session. This is your chance to enjoy 60 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 Cara will available for guidance and assistance when needed.
Can You Play That Part Again? – Learning Tunes By Ear – Tess Hartis
This workshop is intended for players of any instrument and any level who want to enhance their ability to learn tunes without sheet music or other music notation. Students will learn ways to practice ear-training, what to listen for in tunes, and come away with various tools and resources to help them learn tunes faster and more efficiently.
Creative Practice for Melody Instruments – Margaret Keefe
This is a workshop designed to assist students in finding joy and inspiration in learning and playing traditional music on melody instruments. If you have ever felt stuck in a rut with your musical and creative practice, you are not alone! We all get there from time to time. It can be helpful to have some fresh practice ideas to help you shift your perspective and take on new challenges. Topics will include activities and ideas for improving your rhythm, learning by ear, playing in sessions, how to use technology, listening, ABC notation, creating variations, finding your sound, and more. The goal is to supply you with tools to design your own creative practice. Bring questions!
Creativity within Traditional Irish Music – Pádraig Rynne
Traditional Irish music is open to taking any form that the musician wants it to take. It is a music of the folk and we will take that approach when looking at creative processes which can be applied to traditional Irish music. The workshop will focus on arrangements with voice and instruments. A piece of music and/or song will be fully arranged through adding harmony, rhythms, and unconventional approaches to the music. The wider the variety of instruments, the more creative it will be. You will be shown the tools that can be used for arranging music and which can easily be applied to your music long after the workshop itself. It will give each person the opportunity to explore the music as they would like to hear it rather than in a singular. As part of the workshop, we will look at some of the more successful musicians in recent times and question what made their music so unique.
Feel & Groove – Nicolle Fig
“Feel & Groove” will introduce exercises to improve coordination and timing. Nicolle will dive deep into the concept of “being connected to properly disconnect.” She will give an overview as to how to sense the rhythm and groove in various tune types. She will discuss identifying tune types, finding the beat, “hooks,” phrasing, and overall feeling of tunes. This class is recommended for those who wish to improve their timing or sense or rhythm, phrasing, tune recognition, or for those who feel stuck playing tune types rather than individual tunes.
Fiddle Physics – James Rix
The class will discuss the principles of the physics behind the Celtic sound and tone production on the violin without going into the math. We’ll cover the techniques for producing a traditional Celtic sound. We will explore the science behind why violins sound different from each other and how the violin has evolved to what it is today
Harp Circle – Therese Honey
Essentially, a session for harpists that focuses on melodies that are commonly played in the Irish music tradition on harp.
How to Arrange Irish Tunes into Sets – Mike Dugger
We will talk about the arrangement of tunes into playable and energetic medleys. We will discuss how to use different types of Irish tunes of different meters and key signatures to enhance the beauty or power a set of tunes can provide. There will also be be discussion about mixing musical idioms such as French tunes into Irish tunes. There will be a focus on the importance of key changes, and a how a broader repertoire will make you a better set builder.
How to Lead Tunes in a Session – Janice Frillmann
This workshop is designed to help players break out of their “shells” to be bold to lead tunes in a session. We’ll discuss how to set tempos and how to communicate with non-lead instruments.
How to Practice – David McKindley-Ward
If you have ever struggled with what to practice, how to practice, or even when to practice, welcome to the club. You would be surprised how many advanced musicians and performers struggle with maintaining a practice schedule, so this workshop will discuss tips and tricks on how to have effective, efficient and most importantly, fun and encouraging practice sessions.
Instrument Petting Zoo – John Liestman
Of all the O’Flaherty instruments, about the only ones you can find in music stores are fiddles and guitars. If you have ever thought that someday you might want to take up the pipes or the harp or the box or whatever, this is for you. Come to the Petting Zoo where skilled and friendly musicians will let you try out all the classic Irish traditional instruments and give you your first mini-lesson for free. Cuddle a concertina, befriend a button accordion, pet the pipes, flirt with a flute, beat a bodhran, wield a whistle, brandish a bouzouki, massage a mandolin, burst into banjo, and hug a harp today! This is your best opportunity to see what it feels like to play these things and get first hand advice on how to get started. If you are interested in purchasing a used instrument, we will host an O’Flaherty Fleadh Market during the same time and in the same area as the Instrument Petting Zoo. For details, go to MARKET.
Introduction to the Irish Language (An Ghaeilge) – Seán Mag Uidhir
This workshop will review the three major dialects and address word construction and pronunciation guidelines as well as discuss situations that cause changes to word spellings and pronunciations and comparisons between literal and meaningful translations. Students will also learn a few basic phrases to greet people and some helpful resources for learning Irish.
iPad Apps for Traditional Musicians – Kenny Tweedy
Are you still printing out sheet music and lyric sheets on paper? Would you like to use fewer trees? This workshop is for traditional Irish musicians and will show you how to use an iPad for all your music needs. This workshop will cover the TuneBook and SongBook apps for ABC sheet music and lyric sheets. TuneBook is a free app which allows you to manage multiple tune books. You can collect and edit ABC tune books on your computer and then share them with your iPad. SongBook is a free app which allows you to use song lyric sheets with chords. It supports chord transposition, if you want to change the key or use a capo. This workshop will also cover integration with Google Drive and show you how to easily share tune books and lyric sheets between Mac/PC and iPad, or share your files with a friend.
Learning and Using ABC Notation – John Liestman
ABC music notation has become the internet standard for sharing Irish tunes around the world but ABC notation can be used for so much more. ABC notation uses simple text editing to capture music, from simple to complex, in a way that is easier to learn than standard music notation. All you need are the keys on a standard keyboard, no special paper or drawing notes! Once captured, the tunes can be easily edited, shared, used for publishing sheet music, assembled into sets, used to create incipits (cheat sheets shwoing the few few measures as a memory aid), edited to capture variations and playing tips, and more. The software covered in this workshop is all free and simple to use. ABC notation is probably the best system for capturing what you learn in music workshops like O’Flaherty so you retain what you learned.
Phrasing Produces the Lilt – Cliff Moses
This workshop looks at the playing of Irish music through the lens of poetry as an aid to understanding how the duration of individual notes and the internal phrasing produce the unique feel of Irish music. A poet chooses words carefully to provide a natural rhythm when the poem is spoken. Some words take longer to say than others; these words/syllables provide the pulse of the poem. Additionally, the wording produces internal phrasing that enhances the rhythm. Similarly, it is the relative duration of notes combined with the internal phrasing that provide the rhythm as well as the lilt to playing Irish music. This approach helps the musician to internalize the feel of Irish music which, in turn, aids in learning and playing Irish music whether from listening or print.
Playing Irish Harmonica & Irish Harmonica Session – Paul Dryer
Harmonica has a long history in traditional Irish music. 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.
Pub Songs Sing-Along – 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 – John Liestman & Kenny Tweedy
Each year, a number of common session tunes are designated as “Retreat Tunes” and published well in advance of the retreat. Two times during the weekend, an instructor will lead students in the playing of these tunes at a slower tempo, so that all players can participate and get the experience of playing with a bunch of other musicians. The tunes are arranged into sets, so that you have a full set of tunes to play at your local session or at O’Flaherty’s. For this year’s tunes, go to RETREAT TUNES.
Supercharge Your Tune Learning – Ian Varley
Do you wish you could learn more tunes, faster? In this workshop, we’ll explore ways to organize and learn tunes that’ll boost your learning speed and retention. A few basic building blocks for finding tunes and organizing your list, combined with cutting-edge modern memory research and apps, will have you spouting off tunes by the hundreds in no time. Learn more tunes, have more fun!
Vocal Health for Singers – 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 class 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.