Essential flute maintenance reveals a hidden treasure

I’ve been doing some hands-on maintenance on my 19th Century wooden flute, which has now additionally been re-corked by local Lancaster flute maker Phil Bleazey. I found an unexpected treasure under the B flat key – the initial ‘N’ stamped on the back, presumably by the maker of the key. This flute, made by Bernard Lee & Co at 17, Old Bond Street London, dates from circa 1840, so the stamp was a very interesting find, like a message from the past.

Of course I had to try it out at the earliest opportunity. Here I am playing two reels I learned in South Sligo: The Cobblers, and I’m Waiting for You.

It’s never too late to pick up an instrument! Five tips for adult beginners.

If you’re considering learning to play an instrument, but are a bit nervous about taking the plunge or worried you may be too old to start, you should absolutely read this article. It is written from the perspective of a cello teacher, but it is 100% applicable to learning any instrument, including tin whistle and flute:

It’s Never Too Late to Pick Up an Instrument—Here are 5 Tips for Adult Beginnersby Miranda Wilson

I totally agree with Miranda’s perspective here. As the article says, it is important for teachers to recognise that adult learners have different challenges than children and younger people, and need to progress at their own pace with the right kind of support.

I have been teaching tin whistle and flute to adults for many years, and have never yet taught anyone who could NOT learn and progress with time, effort and a bit of nurture. I strongly believe learning to play music should be a fun endeavor in itself, and as a teacher I always approach it in that way. I always take it at your pace, teaching technique and repertoire incrementally, so that you’re always making progress and never feel disheartened.

So, after reading the above, if you’re thinking of learning to play Irish music on whistle or flute, and think you might be brave enough to have a few lessons to start you off, why not get in touch? Contact Bev

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Some of the brave and talented adult learners at my last tin whistle workshop for Folkus

Website updated!

I have done a massive overhaul of my music website, including a list of all gigs in my diary for the coming year, and some more in-depth information about the teaching and performing I can do.

Some of the details information about gigs is still to be added, but I’m getting there!

 

Irish Tunes Class and Slow Session – Christmas party and 2017 schedule

IMPORTANT!

From January 2017 onwards, the Irish tunes class and slow session will be moving to Monday afternoons.

The class meets weekly between 2.00 – 3.00 pm at The Apothecary Bar and Lounge on Penny Street, Lancaster – there is a charge of £5.00 for participants. Following the class, we have our (free!) slow session until 4.00 pm – all welcome to this, whether you participate in the class or not! See schedule of dates below.

xmas-classWe’ve had an amazing twelve months in our Irish tunes class and slow session! When we return on 16th January 2017 we will be celebrating exactly one year of learning tunes and playing music together, as well as great friendships forged and mighty craic. I’d like to thank everyone who has made our first year such a wonderful success and such incredible fun – here’s to the start of our second year, may it be as good as the last one!

We have a few special events in the planning stage for 2017, including our second annual St Patrick’s Day event, and a ceili featuring our class participants – watch this space for more details. And of course we always welcome new members – why not make learning some Irish tunes your new year resolution?

2016 is not quite over yet, or course: we have two more classes to go.

Today – Thursday 15th December 2016 – we will be learning the three-part reel Christmas Eve, to get us in the mood for the festivities to come.

Next week – Thursday 22nd December – is our Christmas party, with an extra-long slow session, to which all are invited. Class meets as usual between 2.00 – 3.00 pm. Then, between 3.00 – 5.00 pm, the session takes place. We will be playing the odd Christmas tune in-amongst our usual trad music repertoire, and there will be fun and shenanigans, and also food provided by the Apothecary Free Food Initiative.

We will then take a break for Christmas and New Year, and will return on Monday 16th January.

Class/session dates for the spring term are as follows:

02 January 2017 – NO CLASS/SESSION
09 January 2017 – NO CLASS/SESSION
16 January 2017 – Class/session!
23 January 2017 – Class/session!
30 January 2017 – Class/session!
06 February 2017 – Class/session!
13 February 2017 – Class/session!
20 February 2017 – Class/session!
27 February 2017 – Class/session!
06 March 2017 – Class/session!
13 March 2017 – Class/session – ST PATRICK’S DAY SPECIAL!
20 March 2017 – Class/session!
27 March 2017 – Class/session!
03 April 2017 – Class/session!
10 April 2017 – Class/session!
17 April 2017 – NO CLASS/SESSION (Easter)

Further dates TBC

 

 

 

IMPORTANT – CLASS CANCELLED TODAY

IMPORTANT – TODAY’S IRISH TUNES CLASS/SLOW SESSION (17th November) IS CANCELLED!

Teacher is vastly under the weather with a nasty flu bug, and at least one of our regulars (Brian) is out for the count also, for the same reason. We will resume next week (24th November) as normal, see you there! Oh, and if you are a regular and you see this, please drop me a line so I know you’ve got the message.