Milwaukee Irish Fest Summer School 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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