Group Course for Beginners
'Tis long since, long since, since I heard
A tin-whistle played,
And heard the tunes, the ha'penny tunes
That nobody made!
– Padraic Colum
Waltons New School of Music also offers one-hour Tin Whistle Taster classes for visitors to Ireland.
See Irish Music for Visitors for more information.
A simple tube of metal with six finger-holes, the whistle has an expressive range that can encompass everything from the speed and excitement of dance music to the haunting and emotionally-charged expression of slow airs. Wooden and bird-bone whistles a thousand years old have been found in excavations of Viking Dublin, and today’s tin whistle is only the most recent in a long line of whistles in Ireland.
Designed for absolute beginners, Waltons New School of Music's Introducing Tin Whistle course teaches the basics of whistle-playing, covering such aspects as tonguing, vibrato and slurring, and including some ornamentation and variation. Students will concentrate on slow airs, jigs and polkas, but other forms may be touched on as well. Also covered are some aspects of the history of the instrument and the music played on it.
Students will need to have a standard ‘D’ tin whistle before the start of the course. Whistles are available from Waltons music shops and can also be purchased together with the course (see Course + Instrument Package below).
What happens after the course has finished?
Two weeks before the end of each Introducing… course, you will be given options for continuing your tuition at the school. Although a continuation ‘Improvers’ course cannot generally be scheduled on the same day/time as the Introducing course, one can be arranged if enough students would like to continue and your teacher has timetable availability. Students can also continue their tuition with either private (one-to-one) or small group lessons with other class members (see Private, Partner & Small Group Lessons). We are happy to discuss these options with you.
A demonstration of some basic techniques covered in the course:
Introducing Tin Whistle is one of our group courses for beginners. Private (one-to-one), partner, small group and one-off 'intensive' tin whistle and low whistle lessons are also available for students at all levels, from beginner to advanced. Go to Departments & Faculty – Traditional & Folk Instruments for more information.
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Course + Instrument Package
In association with Waltons music shops, the New School also offers a discounted Course + Instrument Package that provides students entering this course who don’t already have instruments with everything they’ll need. You can take the course plus have a high-quality Waltons Brass D Tin Whistle (regular price €4.99), available to pick up from the school office on the day of your first class, for a total cost of €173.
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Comments from Students
'Excellent teaching, and easy learning techniques.'
– T. Carroll
'Harry is a great teacher, with a passion for Irish music that is infectious.'
– K. Murphy
'Harry's teaching methods are excellent, and I could see my own skills improving each week. Great atmosphere in the classroom.'
– M. O'Donoghue
'I really enjoyed learning step-by-step from a master of the instrument, in a relaxed atmosphere.'
– G. McManus
'I would highly recommend Harry Long to anyone wanting to take up tin whistle. He is a patient and encouraging tutor….'
– V. Ní Dhomhnaill
'You can teach an old dog new tricks!'
– J. McCollum
'A great teacher!'
– G. McCarthy
Have you taken – or are you taking – this course? We would appreciate it if you could take a few moments to give us your feedback in a brief questionnaire. Each term all feedback questionnaires are entered in a draw for a €50 gift token, which can be used either towards additional tuition at the school or for instruments, sheet music or accessories at Waltons Music shops.
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Harry Long, Teacher
Author of The Waltons Guide to Irish Music and the Leaving Cert. Music coursebook Soundscapes: Irish Music & Aural Awareness, Harry has devoted a lifetime to the study and teaching of Irish history and traditional music, in all its forms. He has played tin and low whistles for over three decades and performed with the Irish National Folk Company at St. Enda's National Historic Park, in international music and dance festivals and throughout Ireland both solo and in sessions, and he currently performs with the trad/folk band Coscán. As a teacher he has guided hundreds of students at both private and national schools in Dublin and County Wicklow. Harry has composed and recorded music for RTÉ radio and television documentaries, including Head Waters (1991), on the area where Turlough O’Carolan was born, and A Change of Heart. He has taught Irish music appreciation and tin and low whistle at the New School for thirteen years and has taught tin whistle beginners from all over the world in our summer lessons and courses. His solo whistle playing can be heard on the album Rinka (2002), as well as the Waltons double CDs, Ireland's Best Tin Whistle Tunes, Volumes 1 and 2 and Ireland's Best Tin Whistle Tunes for Children.
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2015-2016 First Term Schedule
10 weeks, 5 October – 14 December 2015
(No class on 26 October – Mid-Term Break)
Mondays 7 – 8 pm
Course Alone: €170
Course + Instrument: €173
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Enrolment for this course requires a completed enrolment form (available from the New School office or on our website) and full payment of course fee or course + instrument fee. (Go to Enrolment & Booking Form Downloads for a 2015-2016 General Enrolment Form.) Places are available on a first-come, first-served basis, based on the date of enrolment. Early enrolment is recommended, as places are limited to eight.
Purchasing this course or course + instrumemt as a gift? Go to Enrolment & Booking Form Downloads for a Gift Certificate Booking Form.
Located in Dublin city centre, Waltons New School of Music is a comprehensive music centre, combining music tuition of the highest standard with innovative approaches to music education. The New School offers tuition in the broadest range of instruments and subjects of any music school in Ireland, for students of all ages, levels and abilities.
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