Traditional • Folk
World Instruments Tuition
at Waltons New School of Music
‘There is only one way of becoming a traditional player or singer, and that is by listening to genuine material performed in a traditional manner.’
– Brendán Breathnach
‘I’m not interested in heritage – this stuff is alive.’
– Martin Carthy
The [Introducing Tin Whistle] classes are the highlight of my week. I tried other instruments but always gave up, never found one that I could enjoy as much as I do the tin whistle. So much of it is thanks to Harry, who is a brilliant, expert teacher, finding the perfect pace to develop and always encouraging the group
It was inspiring and a great way to learn about Irish music. [Irish Music Tasters]
Great tuition! Have been taking trad flute lessons here for the last year and my instructor has brought me on by leaps and bounds. The Friday sessions are an excellent way to learn new tunes.
The tuition was excellent. I learned a lot in a positive and pleasant way. [Introducing Irish Fiddle]
I liked the relaxed atmosphere and encouragement. Really enjoyed and looked forward to attending each week. [Introducing Bodhrán]
I really enjoyed this course [Introducing Irish Fiddle]. In such a short space of time I feel I have learned loads, and I look forward to improving.
A great teacher who offers excellent tuition catered around each individual student's needs. One of the best. [Introducing Irish Fiddle]
Excellent teaching, and easy learning techniques. [Introducing Tin Whistle]
Fiddle is a tough instrument to start as a beginner, and this course [Introducing Irish Fiddle] shows that it's actually manageable! The teacher is really nice and helpful and patient.
I absolutely loved learning to play the harmonica. Michael McInerney’s love for the harmonica is infectious! [Introducing Harmonica]
A fabulous instructor! So knowledgeable about the tin whistle as well as the history of Ireland and its music and instruments. He also gave great recommendations of places to visit and sites to see which was very appreciated. I'm happy to have a new friend in Ireland.
Great course [Trad Guitar Basics] and tuition. Keep up the good work!
I was over 50 and wanted to learn to play the fiddle, so I signed up for my first set of classes (10). I nervously attended my first class [Introducing Irish Fiddle] in Waltons, and I needn't have worried. The admin staff were so welcoming and light hearted and made me feel at ease. My class teacher has a very natural way of teaching; she is so patient and encouraging and there is a relaxed atmosphere in the class. I will be starting my sixth set of sessions with Waltons at Easter.
Introducing Fiddle was a really enjoyable course. All of the tunes I learned were broken down and made easy to learn and pick up. The teacher was extremely helpful, accommodating and approachable, and this gave me the confidence in going on to learn the fiddle.
I found the [Introducing Bodhrán] course great, as I had never played before and was not at all familiar with the instrument. We were eased into playing comfortably.
I am only sorry that I did not find out about the course sooner at age 61. Better late than never. Paddy is a fantastic teacher, and the course [Introducing 5-String Banjo] so far is a blast!
I'm really happy with Waltons. [bodhrán student]
Paddy made every lesson an interesting one. He is a superb teacher. [Introducing 5-String Banjo]
Everyone should take Introducing Banjo. It's my new favourite thing to do, and it's really fun to learn at the same time.
I'd highly recommend taking harp lessons here. I had been thinking about taking lessons for years and am very glad I finally did so. It has been an absolute delight.
Truly amazed at how far I have gone in such a short period. At Christmas I couldn't even hold a fiddle, but I was playing tunes by St. Patrick's Day! [Introducing Irish Fiddle]
Introduction to Banjo was an excellent starter course. Our tutor Paddy was very patient and paced the lessons very well.
Michael has an encyclopaedic knowledge of harmonica and the blues. He gives great encouragement to his students whilst showing great patience. [Introducing Harmonica]
Fantastic course [Introducing Bodhrán] – really helped me to gain confidence in playing.
Our group is made up of students studying to become music teachers in the public schools of Denmark, and we attended your Introduction to Irish Music and Tin Whistle Taster. I must say that both of them were perfectly planned. The Introduction was delivered with humour and a smile, making a sometimes heavy subject easy to understand, and the Tin Whistle Taster was great, focusing on different methods of teaching beginners to play. We had a great time and experience at Waltons New School of Music, and I would highly recommend that music students at our school do the same if they choose Dublin as their destination for future study trips.
The [Introducing Irish Fiddle] teacher was excellent, very encouraging and with endless patience.
Really enjoyed the [Introducing Ukulele] course and am amazed at how much I learned in ten weeks!
Great [Introducing Harmonica] teacher – enthusiastic, good-humoured and very helpful.
I didn't expect to be able to play seven tunes after only ten weeks. [Introducing Irish Fiddle] was a fantastic introductory course that covered the basics perfectly....
I really enjoyed learning step-by-step from a master of the instrument, in a relaxed atmosphere. [Introducing Tin Whistle]
Great fun, great teacher, great group and a great skill learned! [Introducing Irish Fiddle]
Michael made learning fun and very accessible (i.e. you don't have to be 'gifted' to learn to play). He explains techniques well and is very positive. [Introducing Harmonica]
Harry's approach to teaching the tin whistle is brilliant. He started gently (which I needed) and brought everyone along. There's also a mix of Irish music appreciation that works for me. I'd recommend this class [Introducing Tin Whistle] for anyone interested in learning to play traditional music.
A great course [Introducing Harmonica]. The teacher was very passionate about it, and I think all the students thoroughly enjoyed it. I did!
Michael's style of teaching is very informative as he provided a history of different musical styles, which helped [us understand] what is possible on the instrument. It was a great introduction to the harmonica for someone who is picking it up as a hobby while also providing enough content for someone starting with the instrument seriously. [Introducing Harmonica]
Harry is a great teacher, with a passion for Irish music that is infectious. [Introducing Tin Whistle]
Aoife is a very patient teacher. She moves the [Introducing Irish Fiddle] class at just the right pace to push you forward, but she doesn't leave anyone behind.
I really enjoyed the [Introducing Irish Fiddle] course and have signed up for the continuation group. I found the delivery of lessons very effective and benefited hugely from them.
I would highly recommend Harry Long to anyone wanting to take up tin whistle. He is a patient and encouraging tutor. [Introducing Tin Whistle]
Great [Introducing Ukulele] teacher. Never having played an instrument before, I didn't have high expectations for this course, but years ago I fell in love with Israel Kamakawiwo'ole's 'Over the Rainbow' on ukulele and wanted to play it – and believe it or not, now I can!
Harry's teaching methods are excellent, and I could see my own skills improving each week. Great atmosphere in the classroom. [Introducing Tin Whistle]
I can't speak too highly of Waltons New School of Music and of Paddy Kiernan's tuition for the banjo. I love what I am learning and go away from each [Introducing 5-String Banjo] lesson more motivated to learn.
Really enjoyed the [Introducing World Drumming] course and learned so much.
[A] very patient teacher, and I really enjoy her classes [Introducing Irish Fiddle]. She moves at a steady pace, neither too slow nor too fast, and uses a variety of teaching methods. It’s amazing to see how much we have progressed in such a short time.
The [Introducing Irish Fiddle] course was great. The 10 weeks flew by, and I can't believe how much we learnt in that time.
Highly enjoyable course [Introducing Bodhrán]. Would definitely recommend.
Michael McInerney has the blues running through his veins. I didn't really expect much from the [Introducing Harmonica] course, but it's so good I keep signing up for more terms of harmonica playing. Great fun too!
Loved every minute. [Introducing World Drumming]
Michael is a really enthusiastic and capable teacher. I enjoyed both his humour and his teaching methods. He's very patient and encouraging. [Introducing Harmonica]
You are never too old to play an instrument. I have only had five [Introducing Irish Fiddle] classes and can now play three tunes to my satisfaction.
This is a well-designed course [Introducing Harmonica] where progress is nearly guaranteed (as long as you practice enough). Michael McInerney knows what he is talking about, and he definitely has the skills to bring you to the next level.
Great teacher, full of knowledge, who made the [Introducing Bodhrán] classes fun and incorporated extra teaching tools to go above and beyond.
When I took music lessons as a child I hated the regimen of scales, etc. with no tunes. In ten weeks I can play five tunes that folks can recognise. [Introducing Irish Fiddle]
My fiddle teacher is really helpful and encouraging. I always leave feeling more confident about my playing. Thanks!
Very relaxed, friendly approach. Paddy encourages everyone to ask questions and is great at demonstrating. [Introducing 5-String Banjo]
The New School offers a diverse programme of Irish traditional, folk and world instruments tuition for beginner, intermediate and advanced students in the following:
- African Percussion
- Afro-Cuban Percussion
- Banjo (Irish/Tenor Banjo, Bluegrass/5-String Banjo)
- Fiddle (Irish, Bluegrass)
- Irish/Wooden Flute
- Guitar (Trad, Folk, Blues, Flamenco)
- Gypsy Violin
- Harmonica (Diatonic, Chromatic)
- Irish Harp
- Low Whistle
- Sean-nós Singing
- Tin Whistle
- Traditional/Folk Singing
- Uilleann Pipes
Traditional and folk instrument tuition can also include preparation for Junior Cert. Music and Leaving Cert. Music practicals, and instrumental study at the school counts as the ‘personal skill’ challenge area for Gaisce – The President’s Award.
Our options for traditional, folk and world instruments tuition include:
- Weekly private (one-to-one) lessons, 30, 45 or 60 minutes in length.
- Small group lessons, designed for students at the same level of proficiency who enrol together, and available as 30- 45- or 60-minute ‘partner’ lessons, as well as 60-minute lessons for 3 or 4 students.
- Single 1- or 2-hour Intensive Lessons.
- Seven group courses for beginners: Introducing 5-String Banjo, Introducing Bodhrán, Introducing Harmonica, Introducing Irish Fiddle, Introducing Tin Whistle, Introducing Ukulele and Introducing World Drumming (see Group Courses for Beginners tab).
- Three group guitar courses for intermediate students: Acoustic Blues Guitar Basics, Flamenco Guitar Basics and Trad Guitar Basics (see Intermediate Courses tab).
Group Courses for Beginners
We offer the following instrumental courses for absolute beginners (as well as a summer version of Introducing Tin Whistle):
- Introducing 5-String Banjo
- Introducing Bodhrán
- Introducing Harmonica
- Introducing Irish Fiddle
- Introducing Tin Whistle
- Summer Introducing Tin Whistle
- Introducing Ukulele
- Introducing World Drumming
‘I can’t speak too highly of Waltons New School of Music and of Paddy Kiernan’s tuition for the banjo. I love what I am learning and go away from each lesson more motivated to learn.’ [Introducing 5-String Banjo]
– M. O’Keeffe
‘Great teacher, full of knowledge, who made the classes fun and incorporated extra teaching tools to go above and beyond.’ [Introducing Bodhrán]
– T. Stephenson
‘This is a well-designed course where progress is nearly guaranteed (as long as you practice enough). Michael McInerney knows what he is talking about, and he definitely has the skills to bring you to the next level.’ [Introducing Harmonica]
– J. Steegmueller
‘The course was great. The 10 weeks flew by, and I can’t believe how much we learnt in that time.’ [Introducing Irish Fiddle]
– D. Robertson
‘The classes are the highlight of my week. I tried other instruments but always gave up, never found one that I could enjoy as much as I do the tin whistle. So much of it is thanks to Harry, who is a brilliant, expert teacher, finding the perfect pace to develop and always encouraging the group.’ [Introducing Tin Whistle]
– A. Boda
‘Fantastic course and great teacher. Learned far more than I expected to in 10 weeks!’ [Introducing Ukulele]
– R. O’Sullivan
‘I had been looking for a course like this and am so glad I found it. Exceeded my expectations.’ [Introducing World Drumming]
– E. Donohue
Our ‘Basics’ courses for guitar provide thorough introductions to the styles for players with some previous experience:
‘I learned more from this 10-week course than from trying to teach myself acoustic blues for over 10 years!’ [Acoustic Blues Guitar Basics]
– D. Farrelly
‘Fantastic course for anyone interested in this beautiful instrument.’ [Flamenco Guitar Basics]
– R. McKenna
‘Good atmosphere, enthusiastic and supportive teacher, and small class size. This course helped me take another important step towards becoming a better guitar player.’ [Trad Guitar Basics]
– F. MacCárthaigh
Irish Music Tasters
Designed for absolute beginners of all ages and running since 1999, our Irish Music Tasters for individuals and groups are brief immersions in the world of Irish traditional music and have introduced hundreds of people from all over the world to its beautiful melodies and infectious rhythms. We offer the following options for both individuals and groups:
- Bodhrán Taster (1 hour)
- Tin Whistle Taster (1 hour)
- Introduction to Irish Music (a talk/demonstration, 1 hour)
- Combined Bodhrán + Tin Whistle Taster (2 hours)
- Bodhrán Taster + Introduction (2 hours)
- Tin Whistle Taster + Introduction (2 hours)
- Combined Taster + Introduction (3 hours)
See Irish Music Tasters for more information.
Trad Slow Sessions
Our Trad Slow Sessions are traditional Irish music sessions in all ways except one: the tempo. We play the session tunes at a slower than normal pace (usually less than half the speed), so that beginning and intermediate players can more easily learn the tunes and join in the session. More experienced players who wish to refine their techniques at a slower pace are also very welcome. Trad Slow Sessions, open to both New School and external students/players, take place once a month on Friday evenings.
See Trad Slow Sessions for more information.
Traditional • Folk • World Instruments Faculty
- David Burns • bodhrán, Irish Music Tasters, bodhrán outreach courses
- Aoife Desmond • Irish fiddle, Introducing Irish Fiddle, Irish Music Tasters, Sounds Irish outreach workshop
- Sarah Flynn • concertina, Irish fiddle, Irish Music Tasters
- Éamonn Galldubh • uilleann pipes, flute, tin whistle, low whistle, bodhrán, Irish Music Tasters,
bodhrán & tin whistle outreach courses
- Patrick Kiernan • 5-string/bluegrass banjo, 4-string/tenor banjo, mandolin, Introducing 5-String Banjo, Irish Music Tasters
- Miguel Angel Lejarza • flamenco guitar, Flamenco Guitar Basics
- Harry Long • tin whistle, low whistle, Introducing Tin Whistle, Irish Music Tasters
- Brian Lynch • African percussion, Afro-Cuban percussion, Introducing World Drumming
- Cathy McEvoy • bluegrass fiddle, Irish fiddle, Irish Music Tasters
- Michael McInerney • harmonica, acoustic blues & fingerstyle guitar, Introducing Harmonica, Acoustic Blues Guitar Basics, Irish Music Tasters
- Ian McTigue • Sounds Irish & Drumming Around the World outreach workshops
- Junshi Murakami • Irish harp, Irish Music Tasters
- Gary Norman • ukulele, Introducing Ukulele, ukulele outreach courses
- Lucie O’Flynn • Irish fiddle, Irish Music Tasters, Irish fiddle outreach courses
- Meadhbh O’Rourke • tin whistle, Irish Music Tasters, tin whistle outreach courses
- Oleg Ponomarev • Gypsy violin
- John Sweeney bodhrán, tin whistle, trad guitar, Introducing, Bodhrán, Trad Guitar Basics, Irish Music Tasters, bodhrán & tin whistle outreach courses
- Carmel Whelan • sean-nós singing, flute, tin whistle, Irish Music Tasters
New School Stage System
Traditional, folk and world instruments tuition at the New School is designed to work within our Stage System, a comprehensive methodology for assessing student progress, from absolute beginner to a professional qualification (Performing or Teaching Diploma level).
New School Stages, ten in all, are roughly equivalent to the ‘grades’ of graded music exams offered by widely recognised exam boards (ABRSM, RIAM, Trinity Guildhall, Rockschool, etc.) and progress from beginner to performing or teaching diploma level. Stages and their grade equivalents are:
- Stage 1 (1 term of lessons or an Introducing group course for beginners, equivalent to Preliminary Grade)
- Stage 2 (1 year of lessons, equivalent to Grade 1)
- Stage 3 (equivalent to Grade 2 or an intermediate group course)
- Stage 4 (equivalent to Grade 3)
- Stage 5 (equivalent to Grade 4)
- Stage 6 (equivalent to Grade 5)
- Stage 7 (equivalent to Grade 6)
- Stage 8 (equivalent to Grade 7)
- Stage 9 (equivalent to Grade 8)
- Stage 10 (equivalent to a Performing or Teaching Diploma)
Students who successfully complete a stage can be issued with a certificate of completion. Please let the school office know if you would like this certificate.
See About Our Stage System for more information.
Tuition fees for private, partner and small group lessons are listed in the Enrolment • Fees section of our website and depend on the length of lessons as well as the duration (number of terms) of enrolment:
- First Term (September-December) • First-Second Term • First-Third Term Fees
- First Term Late Enrolment Fees
- Second Term (January-March/April) • Second-Third Term Fees
- Second Term Late Enrolment Fees
- Third Term (March/April-June) Fees
- Third Term Late Enrolment Fees
- Summer Term (July-August) Fees
- Intensive Lesson Fees
Group course fees are listed on individual group course pages.
Enrolment • Booking
Enrolment for tuition at Waltons New School of Music requires a completed enrolment form and, except for those students using payment plans, full payment of tuition fees.
Intensive Lesson and Irish Music Taster booking requires a completed booking form and deposit.
Private, Partner and Small Group Lessons • Ensembles
Irish Music Tasters
Martin A. Walton Memorial Scholarships
Taking place in late May / early June each year, the New School’s annual Martin A. Walton Memorial Scholarship Competition awards full-year tuition scholarships in three categories:
- Young Student of the Year (students aged 18 and under)
- Mature Student of the Year (students aged 19 and over)
- Most Promising Beginner (students who began studying their chosen instruments within the same academic year)
New School Ensemble Prize
This prize is awarded for the best performance in our scholarship competition by an instrumental, vocal or mixed ensemble made up of two or more students, as well as for progress over the previous school year.
New School Songwriting • Composition Prize
This prize is awarded for the most creative original composition or song for solo instrument, voice or ensemble, performed by the composer or songwriter alone or with ensemble for our scholarship competition.
See Scholarships • Prizes for more information.
Friday Casual Concerts
Our Friday Casual Concerts are a great opportunity for students to perform in public, in a relaxed and supportive setting, before friends, family and other students. These brief concerts take place once a month on Friday evenings at 7 pm in the school and allow individual students and ensembles to show off their skills and learn how to cope with nerves. They are also highly recommended for students preparing for grade exams.
Our End-of-Year Student Concert takes place in the National Concert Hall’s John Field Room each June and showcases some of our best students and ensembles, of all ages and in all music genres, as well as scholarship and prize winners in our Scholarship Competition. Performers are selected by their teachers and the school administration.
See School Concerts for more information.
Currently-enrolled students (and parents of students) are entitled to several useful benefits, including:
- Discounts on Waltons World Masters Series events
- Discounts from Waltons Music
- Discounts on ensembles, sessions and music theory courses
- Discounts on practice facilities
- Discounts on city-centre parking
See Student Benefits for more information.
Our Drumming Around the World workshop combines dynamic live demonstrations with a variety of fun activities, offering participants an enjoyable and positive introduction to music and rhythm in a multicultural context, as well as ‘hands-on’ experience with a wide range of percussion instruments.
Based on our popular Irish Music Tasters, which have been running since 1999 and taught hundreds of people from all over the world about Irish traditional music, our Irish Music Taster workshops provide engaging introductions to the beautiful melodies and infectious rhythms of Irish traditional music. We offer Bodhrán Tasters, Tin Whistle Tasters, a fascinating one-hour Introduction to Irish Music and Combined Bodhrán or Tin Whistle Tasters and Introduction. See Irish Music Tasters for more information.
Our Sounds Irish workshop is designed to open participants’ ears to the rich tapestry that is our music, our history, and our heritage. The workshop features dynamic live demonstrations and allows participants to develop their musical awareness through the hands-on exploration (using both bodhráns and fiddles) of the forms, rhythms and instruments of Irish traditional music.
See Outreach Workshops for general information on the workshops we offer.
Our Outreach Programme includes several curricular and extra-curricular music courses to primary schools, post-primary schools and youth centres. We offer Bodhrán, Irish Fiddle, Tin Whistle and Songwriting courses as part of the programme. See Outreach Courses for more information.
Music at Work Programme
Music at Work is a unique programme that provides convenient and affordable music courses in Dublin-area workplaces. We offer Bodhrán, Irish Fiddle, Tin Whistle and Songwriting courses as part of the programme. See Music at Work Programme for more information.