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Irish Traditional Music 101 - NEW!

An immersive and historical introduction to Irish Traditional Music

John Ryan, Instructor
Quarter 2: Saturdays, November 11, 2023 through January 27, 2024
Quarter 3: Saturdays, February 3-April 14, 2024
Quarter 4: Saturdays, April 20-June 15, 2024

1:00-2:00 pm, ages 10-18
2:00-3:00 pm, ages 19+


Do Irish jigs and reels get your toes tapping? Join us for the latest addition to Hochstein’s suite of group music classes!

During each 9-week session, students will learn the fundamental structures and rhythms of Irish music, and foster a familiarity with the history and masters of the tradition who have brought it into the present day. Following the successful model in Irish primary schools, each student receives instruction in the basics of that humblest of instruments – the omnipresent tin whistle – to give structure to song-tunes, jigs, and polkas that make up the beginner’s repertoire.

As students progress, they acquire an understanding of the music’s nature and practice, an appreciation of the music as a living and social art, and a basis for the many lessons that the tin whistle has to offer. This course is geared toward both the casual student of history and those looking to progress to any of the other instruments in the tradition (fiddle, flute, button accordion, concertina, tenor banjo, uilleann pipes, and more).

NOTE: Students will need to have their own instruments, so please plan to purchase a tin whistle in the key of D (nickel or brass) in advance of the first class. You can purchase one at a discount through Bernunzio Uptown Music at 122 East Avenue in Rochester, 585.473.6140. Click here to order a whistle on Bernunzio's website. The cost is $10.99. You can order online and then pick it up in the store, or have John bring it to the first class for you. (There is an additional charge to have it shipped).

If you have questions about an appropriate instrument, feel free to email the instructor directly at john.ryan@hochstein.org.


Fee: $20 registration fee, $171 per 9-week session. For students enrolled in individual lessons at Hochstein, the reduced tuition is $135 per session. This class starts in the second quarter of the school year. (Fees are as of Fall 2023.)


Click here for information about our Tuition Assistance.



John Ryan performing at the 2022 induction of longtime inspirations and collaborators, the Dady Brothers, into the Rochester Music Hall of Fame. (Photo: Carla Coots, Insight Photo)