Learn Music and More at Irish Arts Center: Term begins April 4!

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The Irish Arts Center’s spring term starts this week– some spots remain for classes if you haven’t signed up yet. There are over 25 classes in music, dance and Irish language– at all levels.  There are adult classes and children’s classes, and apart from what you’ll learn it’s a great way to connect with other people who share your interests.  I take advanced fiddle, and after class there’s always a posse of us heading down to Dempsey’s Seisun.  The music and dance teachers are some of the best in the area! Click here for a complete schedule.  And if you take more than one there is a 25% price break for nonmembers (but you really should be a member of IAC!)– I really really want to take harp as well as advanced fiddle, but my hand is still healing from surgery in February, so it will have to wait.   Check out the master classes led by tin whistle/uillean piper/flutest Bill Ochs and modern step dancer  Darrah Carr. 
 Contact Rachael Gilkey by email or phone her at  212-757-3318 ext 209 to register!  

There are a few new classes too:  Galway native Dónall O Healai is teaching Irish Language in Prose and Song on Wednesday nights, and  will be an introduction to Irish poetry, traditional song (sean-nós) and drama.

But I’m really excited by the new music theory classes taught by fiddler Caitlin Warbelow and harper Marta Cook.  It’s on Tuesdays from 7-8 and answers all those questions you need to know that Irish musicians know, and don’t even know they know– things like how to put a set together, how to guess where a tune is going.  The first half, in April, is more basic (but it’s always good to review); and Marta teaches the May classes that build on those in April.  It sounds like a must for everyone who loves Irish music!  

Irish Music Toolbox I (Instructor: Caitlin Warbelow):  The first weeks of the class are about the most basic relationships between notes. Intervals, scales, modes, triads, and chords are some topics we will begin to explore, along with how they influence what we can hear, and what we can play. These basic practical tools can help us become more deeply aware of our experience of music, to create as a both a listener and a player. This class is for players of any instrument (including bodhranists and vocalists). No experience needed, however, students of previous music theory classes are welcome to take this seminar as a review.  Please bring your instrument, a notebook, and a pencil to class.

Irish Music Toolbox II (Instructor: Marta Cook):  The second half of the Irish Music Toolbox class explores the different ways in which our expectations about relationships in music create powerful experiences.  This seminar will provide practical tools to learn tunes more quickly, play them more beautifully, and appreciate hearing them more profoundly. In the process we’ll painlessly acquire a solid holistic understanding of concepts from more intermediate/advanced general music theory, as well as social and historical context that engages questions of tradition, innovation, and personal expression in Irish music from rare field recordings to modern commercial releases.

Extensive multimedia support–music, videos, readings–will be available both online and in hard copy. Open to anyone with an interest in Irish music.  If you have questions, contact Marta or Caitlin.


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