The Art of Tradition secondary school component is designed to bring to life the Irish traditional music components of the Junior and Leaving Certificate Music courses. It comprises a seventy minute workshop, delivered at the school, in which topics are explained through live performance and complimented by a powerpoint presentation featuring photographs, notated examples, audio recordings and film. Each student taking part will receive a colourful twenty-page booklet of notes that serves as a reminder of the material covered and provides details of recorded examples that can be accessed on specially curated YouTube and Spotify playlists. The topics covered are listed below and an in depth explanation can be found by watching the video.

  • The Harp Tradition    
  • Tune-Types
  • The Song Tradition
  • Regional Styles
  • Ornamentation
  • The Tradition/Innovation Debate
  • Fusion

The core team delivering the workshop is Dr Martin Tourish, accordionist with the band Altan, and Cormac de Barra, the acclaimed harper, TV presenter and singer, whose collaborations include Moya Brennan and Clannad, amongst others. This option is open to groups of at least 30 students. For groups of more than 80 students, we also invite the multi-instrumentalist Éamonn Galldubh (uilleann pipes, flute, bouzouki, saxophone, voice), whose performance credits include Riverdance and Clannad, amongst others. Full biographies are available here

Additionally, a masterclass workshop is available that will focus on aspects of performance style. Designed with the practical exam in mind, The Masterclass offers an opportunity for up to fifteen students to bring in their instruments to learn and hone key techniques such as variation and ornamentation, as used by professional performers.

Each workshop is one hour in duration, costs €10 per student and will run from November until May. We ask all those interested to get in touch by Wednesday November 7th through the Booking Form




Have a look at the new video for our secondary school programme.


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