Patrick teaches concertina classes in Ireland both in person and online. He uses a system that he worked on with his teacher and later by himself for over 8 years. His current interests lie in developing examples of different styles of concertina players from the Irish tradition for his students.
Since COVID-19 happened, Patrick’s in-person classes have been postponed. However, there are a number of ways that you can get in touch if you want to learn.
Online classes are conducted via Zoom, Facebook or Skype. Even though concertina classes like this are not in person, they still allow a very close attention to subtle detail. Teacher and student can share an over and back by taking turns in working out a tune, and the student can play along when their microphone is muted. This allows for an excellent mode of learning when in-person classes aren’t available.
A lesson is carried out as follows:
- The tune from the previous week is played by the student and critique is given by the teacher. They also get the chance to play the tune with the teacher again.
- New tunes are taught slowly, phrase by phrase. This method allows the student to develop good listening skills which are essential in Irish traditional music.
- Near the end of the lesson, the student is left on their own for five minutes to practice and work out the tune on their own.
- The teacher returns to finish off the lesson, listening to any concerns that the student has or what they foresee as problems that may arise before the next lesson.
Tunes carry a lot of stories with them too, and students can expect to learn a lot about the background information on tunes and their alternative names, people who recorded those tunes previously etc.
Students can expect to develop a very well rounded understanding of the tradition, and often if they are in the area, they can get to play at a session or two with their teacher.