Class descriptions

 Spring 2019 Class Descriptions and Schedule

To download a copy of the Spring 2019  Class Descriptions and Schedule:  [Click here for a PDF version]   [Click here for a word document]

  • Welcome!  Classes will meet on the following Sundays (431 Hartford Avenue, Wethersfield)  unless otherwise indicated:  Feb 10, Feb. 24; Mar. 3, March 31; April 7, April 14, and Apr. 28.  Please scroll to the bottom of the page for class times.   

    • Classes are taught primarily in the traditional method, by ear, so students should remember to bring a recording device!

     Fiddle – Jeanne Freeman  (all dates except April 7 – see below for special workshops with Rose Conway Flanagan)

    Absolute beginner fiddle I – For those with no prior experience on fiddle,  this class will emphasize the skills needed to learn the basics of how to hold and play the fiddle, and begin to play simple tunes.

    Beginner fiddle II – For those who have completed the Absolute Beginner I class, but are not yet ready to move up to the intermediate/advanced class.  Emphasis will be on continuing to strengthen skills covered in the prior class, and building a repertoire of tunes.

    Beginner Irish fiddle – For students who have played the violin/fiddle for at least a year but wish to develop Irish fiddling style and technique.  Emphasis will be on building a repertoire of session tunes and introducing bowings and ornamentations. 

    Intermediate/Advanced Irish fiddle – For those who know some Irish fiddle but are working on expanding their repertoire, ornamentation, and developing their bowing style.

    NEW! Sligo Style! Fiddle workshops with Rose Conway Flanagan – On April 7, Rose Flanagan will present two 90 minute workshops in Studio A, one for beginner/intermediate players and one for more advanced players.    Rose teaches fiddle at her Pearl River School of Irish Music and is a highly regarded fiddle instructor, and has mentored many well known players including senior All-Ireland champion Dylan Foley.  Emphasis will be on bowing and ornamentation in the NY Sligo style of fiddling, and how to make your playing feel smoother.   Beginner/Intermediate:  11:45-1:15; Advanced:  1:30-3:00 p.m.  

    Whistle and Flute – Ellen Redman

    Beginner whistle – For those just starting to play the whistle or flute.  The class will focus on learning all the notes on the instrument in preparation to learning some basic tunes.  This is also a good beginner class for those who have never played but who are interested in eventually moving on to Irish flute or uillean pipes. 

    Intermediate/Advanced whistle and flute  – For those who have at least a year of experience playing the whistle or flute (either silver or Irish).  Common session tunes will be taught, along with ornamentation and tone production and breathing. 

    Mandolin/Tenor Banjo/Guitar – Claudine Langille   

    Beginner and Intermediate –  We will create the specific programming (classes or possibly some private or semi-private lessons) based on students’ needs and ability levels – so please contact us if you are interested and we will arrange the schedule.  Beginners will learn the basics of the instruments, including basic chords and melody structures; you’ll be playing away in no time! For Intermediates, the emphasis will be on growing your repertoire, improving your ear, and spicing up your ornamentation.  

    Youth ceili band class – John Whelan ( 5 weeks only; class meets on Feb. 10, Feb. 24, Mar. 31, April 14 and April 28)  

    For young people who are  intermediate or beyond in skills – John works with students to help build their ability to play in tight unison with good phrasing, ornamentation and musicality, with the goal of developing skills to compete in regional fleadh competitions.   John will be teaching via Skype (assisted by Jeanne in class).  

    Intermediate slow session for mixed instruments – Claudine Langille

    Some experience on your instrument is required; emphasis will be on developing skills and confidence to play in a session (learning tunes by ear, familiarity with keys and modes, tunes types, building sets, and basic “session etiquette”).  This class will literally function as a slow-paced session with a number of new tunes being played each week and past tunes being revisited.  

    Songs in the Tradition – Claudine Langille    

    In this class, we’ll sing a variety of songs that are embraced by the Irish tradition, ranging from pure a capella ballads, to pub chorus songs with harmonies, to contemporary songs composed by trad singers, with arrangements for instruments. All welcome who like to sing!

    Now on Sundays! Bodhran  – Mary Gardner (Class meets on 3 Sundays:  Feb. 10; March 31; and April 7)

    Beginner –  For absolute beginners as well as those with limited experience.  This class will focus on learning basic rhythms and patterns for jigs, reels, polkas, and slip jigs, and well as proper tipper technique.  (Meets 4-4:45 p.m)

    Intermediate  Students with previous experience will focus on incorporating the left hand to explore the tonal aspects of the bodhran.  We will also learn how to accompany tunes in sessions with a focus on playing musically.  (Meets 4:45-5:30 p.m.).


    Probable Course Times (all Sundays)*: 



    Studio A (on right)

    Studio B (on left)


    11:00 a.m.-12:00


    Absolute beginner fiddle I

    Beginner whistle


    12:00-1:00 p.m.


    Intermediate fiddle

    Intermediate flute and whistle


    1:00- 2:00 p.m.


    Beginner fiddle II

    Mixed instrument slow session **


    2:00-3:00 p.m.


    Beginner Irish fiddle

    Mandolin/tenor banjo/guitar, TBD**


    3:00- 3:30 p.m.


    Mandolin/tenor banjo/guitar, TBD**


    3:00-4:00 p.m.

    Youth ceili band

    (check dates)



    3:30-4:30 p.m.



    Songs in the Tradition, TBD


    4:00-4:45 p.m.

    Beg. Bodhran

    (check dates)



    4:45-5:30 p.m.

    Int. Bodhran

    (check dates)



    11:45 am-1:15

    (April 7 only)

    Sligo Style! with Rose Flanagan – (Beg/Int.)



    1:30 – 3:00 p.m.

    (April 7 only)

    Sligo Style! With Rose Flanagan (Advanced)




    *Times may be subject to some adjustments based on final enrollment; students will be notified of any changes if this occurs.  A class may be subject to cancellation if fewer than 3 students enroll.  Thanks for your cooperation and flexibility.  

    **We will create the programming based on students’ levels and needs.  Private or semi-private lessons may be 30 minutes, larger groups will be 45-60 minutes.

    Questions?  Contact Jeanne: