Ireland has a spirit, a sense of warmth and celebration and traditional Irish music encompasses all of that. Whether you’re listening along to the toe-tapping beats or having a crack at it yourself, the excitement of Irish trad music is contagious. When you think of Irish trad music, it’s so much more than its upbeat, fun tempo. It’s the passion and skill of the musicians and the warming atmosphere that brings us all together.
Flute, fiddle, harp, banjo, mandolin, accordion and bodhrán (drum)- all staples in any Irish trad session and there are tons of places to learn about these unique instruments. Dip your toes into trad music at Ceoltóirí Chluain Tarbh
in Dublin with a trad class, each one specialising in a different instrument. Test your musical skills further at the Traditional Irish Music School
that offers music lessons in County Leitrim and Sligo, teaching the basics behind these instruments. Comhaltas
points you towards plenty more classes and activities that take place all over the island for you to get stuck into.
Watch the magic in the making at Roundstone Music and Crafts
, a wonderful craft shop in the heart of Connemara. The master craftsman here, Malachy Kearns, creates one of a kind handmade bodhráns here, painted in Celtic designs or family crests. You’ll be a pro in no time after a quick demonstration on how to use this instrument before taking one home for yourself.
Got two left feet? Well put them to work at Teac Jack
, a family-run hotel in Donegal that offers set-dancing workshops. Have a go at this popular form of folk dancing (a fun addition to any trad session) and don’t worry, it’s less embarrassing when you’re all as bad as each other! If dancing isn’t for you, however, why not try singing instead? The arts centre in Belfast, Cultúrlann McAdam Ó Fiaich, offers Sean-nós singing lessons- a traditional style of singing, sung completely in Irish with no instrumental accompaniment. How’s that for a challenge!
Now you’ve mastered the skills behind trad music, it’s time to sit back and enjoy it. Experience Belfast’s thriving music scene on the popular Belfast Traditional Music
Trail. Enjoy traditional music performances, fun storytelling and a whole lot of craic (fun) as you tour the city of Belfast and it’s pubs with two professional musicians as your guides. It’s a music experience like no other as you dive into the history and culture behind Irish trad music with some fantastic company.
Dublin’s Cathedral Quarter, the city’s cultural hub, is the place to be when it comes to musical moments. Follow the educational, yet highly entertaining tour of the city with Musical Pub Crawl
on their moving concert. You’ll get a taste of everything from the sweet sounds of traditional Irish music to a refreshing pint in some of the city’s most popular pubs.
Wherever you are in Ireland, there’s always a trad session around the corner! The Cobblestone
is a trad music must in Dublin city, owned by the Mulligan family who have been playing Irish music for five generations. Grab a ticket for one of the popular trad gigs at De Barra Folk Club
, a vibrant pub in County Cork, and let the talented musicians play on your heartstrings. Fibber Magee’s
in Belfast is the place to sit back and relax as you cosy up next to a warm fire and tap along to some rhythmic beats. Or set sail to the Aran Islands to find Joe Watty’s Bar
, one of the oldest and most traditional pubs in Ireland where good food, great company and even better music is always on the menu.
The list is endless when it comes to places to enjoy our trad music! Just search The Session
for hundreds of other spots to join in on the fun around our island.
Do any of our Community members know how to play a traditional Irish instrument?