Young Musicians Session at the Irish Center
Is the young musician in your house looking to find a peer group that shares their interest in playing Irish music? Does she want to learn new tunes? Every month Dennis and Kathy and Chris Brennan-Hagy run a session for young musicians at the Irish Center, Carpenter and Emlen Streets in Mt. Airy, Philadelphia from 1-3pm.
Where: The Commodore Barry Club, Irish Center, Carpenter & Emlen Streets, Philadelphia
When: Every Second Sunday of the month from Sept.-May from 1-3pm.
Format: The first hour is devoted to teaching one or two new tunes. Players of all levels are welcome. All tunes are taught “by ear” in small groups. You can bring a recording device (lots of people these days use their smart phones). At the end of the hour, all the musicians reassemble in front of the fireplace for the session. Each player gets to kick off the tune of their choice and anybody who knows it joins in. Many of the tunes we've already taught can be found in Dennis' Tunes.
The session is an outgrowth of the first Irish-American Children’s Weekend the teachers originally coordinated for the Garden State Discovery Museum in 1998. The event proved to be so much fun for all the youngsters involved that the teachers wanted to keep the diverse grouping of musicians connected in some way. "We have a wide range of ages who come" Kathy says, "including some adults who just want to learn some tunes. There’s always room for one more. “The sessions keep getting better and better as more tunes are learned".”
What Instruments Can You Bring?
The predominant instruments at our session are fiddles, naturally, but we certainly welcome the flute and tinwhistle players. Kathy always brings a harp in case a harp player comes (we certainly wish we had more of these). Accordions, concertinas make appearances at our session too. Any generally-accepted instrument for traditional Irish music is encouraged.
My Child Has Never Played Before
We suggest that every participant who comes has a basic knowledge of how to play their instrument, whatever it is. Due to the time constraint, we cannot take the time to show absolute beginners the fundamentals. Any parent and child are certainly welcome to come and "sit in" and listen to how the afternoon is conducted and see what it's like. We'd love to meet you and your budding musician.
Performances by the Next Generation
Our young players are frequently invited to perform at various events and festivals. We have done the annual Irish-American Children's Festival at the Garden State Discovery Museum since 1998. It's our favorite annual event. The Next Generation has performed for many years at the New Jersey Folk Festival in New Brunswick, NJ.
Questions? Call Kathy at 856-795-7637 or Chris Brennan-Hagy at 215-233-2077.