This workshop is intended for children of primary school age.
For the post-primary / youth project version, please click here.
Sounds Irish is a dynamic workshop designed to open participants’ ears to the rich tapestry that is our music, our history, and our heritage. The workshop begins with a brief performance and overview of Irish music – where it comes, from, how it is passed from generation to generation, its forms (jig, reel, hornpipe, etc.) and its instruments. We’ll introduce the fiddle, its history, its various parts and the names of its strings, and small groups will get to ‘try out’ fiddles provided for the workshop. Then we’ll introduce the bodhrán, its parts, its history and how it is played, and students will also get to try out bodhráns. Finally, while the rest of the workshop group beats out rhythms on their desks, groups of bodhrán and fiddle players will accompany the facilitators in a reel specially written for the workshop.
Sounds Irish is available on two levels. In level 2 (which requires that participants have taken the first workshop) children are taught the more complex rhythms of jig and hornpipe and about more notes of the scale (as they use more strings of the violin), while they continue their exploration of the forms and instruments of Irish music. In a single day, schools can avail of any combination of level 1 and level 2 workshops.
Teachers, who are asked to participate, will also be provided with suggested activities, dances, songs and games for classroom use.
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Comments from Teachers
'100% participation, simple and very effective techniques used. Facilitators were very supportive and encouraging throughout.'
– R. Moran, Scoil Bhríde GNS, Blanchardstown
'I liked the use of real instruments, the participatory element, the enthusiastic facilitators used to working with children. A fun workshop with no pressure on children (or teachers!) to perform.'
– C. Bourke, Our Lady of Victories GNS, Ballymun
'The enthusiasm of the facilitators really brought the instruments to life.'
– A. Bleheen, St. Eithne's GNS, Edenmore
'A wonderful, "hands-on" learning experience. A great insight into Irish musical instruments.'
– A. O'Connor, Scoil Bhríde GNS, Blanchardstown
Has your school or organisation taken this workshop? We would appreciate it if you could take a few moments to give us your feedback in a brief online questionnaire. Thank you.
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Workshop Options & Fees *
4 X 1-HOUR WORKSHOPS
- Overall length 4 ½ hours (with 30-minute break)
- Participants Up to 35 per workshop (140 in total)
- Fee €580 (additional fees apply to workshops outside the Dublin area)
- Discounted fee €527 (DEIS schools & registered charities)
- Approx. fee per student (35 per workshop) €4.14 | €3.76 (DEIS schools & charities)
3 X 1-HOUR WORKSHOPS
- Overall length 3 ½ hours (with 30-minute break)
- Participants Up to 35 per workshop (105 in total)
- Fee €480 (additional fees apply to workshops outside the Dublin area)
- Discounted fee €437 (DEIS schools & registered charities)
- Approx. fee per student (35 per workshop) €4.57 | €4.16 (DEIS schools & charities)
2 X 1-HOUR WORKSHOPS
- Overall length 2 hours
- Participants Up to 35 per workshop (70 in total)
- Fee €380 (additional fees apply to workshops outside the Dublin area)
- Discounted fee €347 (DEIS schools & registered charities)
- Approx. fee per student (35 per workshop) €5.43 | €4.96 (DEIS schools & charities)
* Because Sounds Irish workshops require a large amount of equipment, the workshop fees include an additional €50 charge for equipment transport.
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- Day By arrangement (please contact us)
- Facilities needed Large classroom or hall, CD player, whiteboard/markers or blackboard/chalk
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Sinéad Madden started playing the fiddle at the age of seven and went on to study both classical piano and violin, all the while playing numerous fleadhs and sessions nationwide. After moving to Dublin in 1994, she studied music at Trinity College, Dublin, graduating with a BA. During this time she began a performing career that has included collaborations and performances with such artists as Moya Brennan (Clannad), Jim McCann (The Dubliners) and Aoife ni Feartagh. Sinéad has guested with various artists such as ten-time All-Ireland champion Seamus Connolly and the Dublin City Orchestra and played support to the legendary Drifters frontman Ben E. King. Her most recent musical projects include her own album Honey Promises, The Beehive Suite with uilleann piper Darach De Brún, and Urbanethnic with the Dublin-based Rinka. Sinéad has toured extensively in Scandinavia, Asia, America and Europe and has taught fiddle both in Ireland and abroad. She teaches both group and individual fiddle classes at the New School, and fiddle in our In-School Music Programme.
A former student at the New School, Ian McTigue has worked as a professional musician and teacher, specializing in bodhrán, drum kit and percussion, for over fourteen years. He has shared a stage and recorded for television and radio with artists as diverse as Carlos Nuñez, Donal Lunny, Mairtín O’Connor, Michael McGoldrick and Camille O’Sullivan. For six years he toured the United States, Canada and Mexico with Riverdance, as percussionist and bodhrán soloist. In addition to the Sounds Irish workshop, Ian teaches bodhrán and drum kit at the New School and bodhrán in our In-School Music Programme.
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Booking & Enquiries
If you are interested in this workshop, please download and complete an Outreach Programme Booking & Enquiry Form (pdf format) and we will get in touch.
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