About the Milwaukee Irish Fest Summer School
Learn about how the Irish Fest Summer School began, view school policies, and browse through some frequently asked questions.
Registration, Cancellation, and Health Policies
How To Register
Registrations are processed on a first-come, first-served basis. Some classes are limited in size. We are unable to offer additional sessions. Your timely registration not only guarantees your place, but also ensures that the classes of interest to you can be offered. Classes which do not meet minimum enrollments may be cancelled at the discretion of the Summer School after July 30.
Online Registration: Register online and pay securely at the Irish Fest Summer School website at www.irishfestsummerschool.com.
Mail-in Registration: Complete the registration form at left and mail with your payment to the Irish Fest Summer School registrar at the address shown on the brochure.
Walk-in Registration and Packet Pickup: Registration is held at the Fáilte Desk in the Milwaukee Irish Fest Center, 1532 Wauwatosa Avenue.
Walk-in registrations will be accepted prior to the first class, based on class availability.
If students cancel a registration before July 31, 2022, you will receive a full refund MINUS a 10% administrative fee. No refunds will be issued for cancellations after July 31, 2022. In the event that Irish Fest Summer School must cancel a class, all money will be refunded.
Health and Covid-19 Policy
We will not require proof of Covid-19 vaccination for this year's Summer School, athough we do encourage participants to get vaccinated to protect themselves. Masking is optional and we ask everyone to respect individual’s decision to wear a mask or not. We will continue to monitor Milwaukee area Covid-19 community levles, and we will consider guidance from the CDC as well as local and state health agencies to update our policy if conditions change. We recommend that students test themselves before traveling to or attending the Summer School.
Fáilte Desk Hours
Our welcome/registration desk, known as the Fáilte Desk, will be located at the CelticMKE Center (formerly the Milwaukee Irish Fest Center), 1532 N. Wauwatosa Ave.
Fáilte Desk Hours:
Mon. August 14: 4:00 to 8:00 pm*
Tues. August 16: 8:30 am to 5:00 pm
Wed. August 16: 8:30 am to 5:00 pm
Thurs. August 17: 8:30 am to 5:00 pm
Fri. August 18: 8:00 am to 1:00 pm
* Registration and packet pick-up will continue at the Welcome Social.
Music Classes - General Information
Music Class Levels
Unless otherwise noted in class descriptions, please use the following guidelines for music class level placements. If you have concerns or questions, please contact us.
Beginner (whistle, bodhran, beginner sampler classes): You have no or little experience playing the class’s listed instrument. These classes will teach the basic fundamentals of playing Irish tin whistle and bodhran (the Irish frame drum).
Intro (Irish fiddle and Guitar accompaniment classes, Intro to Irish flute workshop): You already comfortably play the class’s listed instrument, but have little or no experience playing Irish traditional music. Students comfortable with playing other styles (Old-Time, Bluegrass, Cajun, classical) and silver flute are welcome. As a general guideline, students in Intro level classes should be able to play:
- Scales in D and G major (also A major for fiddle); E, A, and B minor
- Basic bowing proficiency (fiddle)
- Transition between chords smoothly (guitar/bouzouki)
Intermediate: You have proficiency on your instrument and prior experience with playing or accompanying Irish traditional music. Intermediate proficiency guidelines:
- You have been playing your instrument for at least three years
- You have been playing Irish traditional music regularly for at least two years
- You are comfortable playing Irish tunes up to speed
- You can play at least twenty traditional Irish tunes by memory
- You are comfortable learning Irish tunes by ear
- You are familiar with and can execute basic ornamentation (cuts, rolls, bowed triplets)
Advanced: You have proficiency on your instrument, experience playing Irish traditional music regularly, regularly perform and participate in sessions. Advanced proficiency guidelines:
- You have been playing your instrument for at least five years
- You have been playing Irish traditional music regularly for at least four years
- You regularly play sets of Irish tunes up to speed
- You can play at least one hundred traditional Irish tunes by memory
- You regularly learn Irish tunes by ear from sessions, recordings, and workshops
- You regularly use basic forms of ornamentation in your playing
Children 11 years and older with some proficiency on an instrument may enroll in an adult class with the permission of the instructor. (You are responsible for your children; no adult supervision between classes.)
Students must supply their own instruments. A limited number of tin whistles are available for purchase at the Fáilte Desk.
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